What I Actually Used in my Hospital Bag
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Wow, has the adventure of motherhood been a whirlwind! There are so many emotions and experiences you can only hope to prepare for. I wanted to write about the items I actually used in my hospital bag for labor and delivery and the postpartum days for other moms to reference.
I won’t waste your time with my birth story—I just want you to know the items that were most helpful for me. The items vary from clothing to postpartum items and everything in between. I’ll write another blog post about the items I used a few weeks out from delivery, so stay tuned for that!
- Cloud slides. These slides were so dang comfortable both in the weeks before delivery and in the hospital. It’s truly like walking on a cloud and very supportive. They won’t slip on the floor and they’re easily cleaned. If you’re dealing with swollen feet, you want these.
- Aquaphor. This is super helpful for soothing diaper rash and making those first few poopy diapers a breeze to clean. It can also be used for dry skin anywhere on the baby.
- Cooling breast pads. As you get used to breastfeeding or pumping, these cooling pads will soothe sore nipples and they can be reused for a couple of days. Stock up for the first week or so.
- Pre/postnatal vitamins. I took these throughout my pregnancy and postpartum days. I didn’t experience any “ick” when taking them. The ingredients are made to support your pregnancy including folic acid, DHA, and iron.
- Nipple cream. This was suggested by a friend and I’m obsessed with it. I have tubes of this all over the house. The cream is super soothing and moisturizing, and it’s breastfeeding-friendly.
- Labor prep tea (and postpartum). I drank this daily leading up to delivery. I started with one cup a day and increased from there. It’s also great for postpartum support. Not to mention that it’s yummy. I get the sweetened version.
- Baby car mirror. We used this on our trip home from the hospital driving maybe 15 mph. This eased our minds knowing our baby was sleeping contently in the backseat. It was very easy to install and stays in place. We’ve got one for each car so that we don’t have to move it back and forth.
- “Beyond the Blues” by Shoshana S. Bennett, Ph.D. I can’t recommend this enough—I read it 6-weeks postpartum and wish I had known about it during the first days after the hospital. The author practically reads your mind and puts those tired thoughts you may be experiencing into words.
- Motherhood poetry. I’m usually not a big poetry fan, but these are so relatable. The author covers pregnancy, losing a child, expanding your family, and toddlerhood. This is very easy to read and understand when exhausted.
- Postpartum recovery kit. I used every single item in this kit. Just trust me, you need this once you get home. There are disposable underwear, ice maxi pads, healing foam, and cooling pad liners. There’s also a peri bottle that works wonders. I wish I had brought it to the hospital for an easier peri bottle than what the nurses gave me.
- Disposable underwear. These feel as close to actual underwear as can be. They don’t feel like a chunky diaper and stay in place compared to the mesh ones from the hospital. You’re going to want extra so you don’t accidentally ruin your normal underwear.
- Stroller car seat set. After hours of research, we decided on this set. The car seat and base are a breeze to install. The stroller folds up nicely and has plenty of room for a diaper bag and 4 cup holders. We ended up getting an extra base for our other car so that we don’t need to move it once it is installed. Highly recommend making an appointment at a local fire department to have it inspected for safety. It’s a free appointment, don’t miss out on this.
- Nuk pacifier. We tried all types of pacifiers and this was what our baby wanted the most. The shape helps promote orthodontic development, too!
- Yoga pants. Don’t wear leggings in the hospital—you’ll likely be uncomfortable. These yoga pants were breezy and super soft for me and my baby.
A few extra tips before you go to the hospital:
- Take a child and infant CPR class. We went through our hospital system for an inexpensive class. If your baby somehow ends up in the NICU, you’ll need this certificate to get them out and take them home, per our CPR instructor.
- Take a birthing class. Hospitals offer them. I liked the thorough coverage and online convenience of Mommy Labor Nurse classes. She also has a ton of free resources. Check her out!
- Pack your bags a week before you think you need to so you don’t rush around while in the early stages of labor.
- Use a packing list to make sure you grab everything you need.
- Consider packing a plastic comb for labor. Sounds odd, but it works. Here’s how it works!
- Prep frozen meals for when you get home from the hospital. Or hit up the Trader Joe’s frozen aisle as I did.
- Bring a journal to write down your birth story so you don’t forget any details due to exhaustion.
- Please rest if possible before going to the hospital. You’ll need your strength.
- For the perfectionists reading this, try not to plan and prep for every detail. Try to be present in each moment and be kind to yourself.
Everyone’s postpartum journey is different and can be difficult in its own way, but these products can help ease you into it. Don’t forget to ask for help and rely on your support system. They are there to help you, not judge you. You’ve got this, mama!
Want to read more? Here are a few of my related blog posts you may be interested in checking out!
Check out some of the items mentioned in the blog post above, along with a few extra goodies we think you’ll love!