Hospital Bag Packing: A Second-Time Mom’s Perspective

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In about two weeks, my second son will be in my arms. Well before this point in my pregnancy with my first son (just last year), the nursery was complete, the diaper bag packed and my “go-bag” was ready to throw in the car at a moment’s notice.

But this is my second pregnancy…and nothing is done.

First thing’s first – I need to pack my hospital bag! One thing I learned from my first delivery was to pack everyone their own bag for after delivery and one bag for the labor and delivery room.  

Labor and Delivery Room Bag

In case you are a first-time mom and wondering why on earth I am packing a bag just for the L&D room, trust me. You don’t want to be lugging alllll your bags, pillows, etc. when you check-in to the hospital. Just bring in your one L&D room bag with your essentials, and then dad can go back out to the car and get the rest of your bags and extra items as needed when you transition into your regular hospital room.

  • Extra-long phone charging cable – one for mom and one for dad
  • Odorless snacks for dad – just in case you’re stuck in there awhile
  • Flip flops for mom – better yet, just wear flip flops to the hospital and let those be your footwear the entire time
  • Toiletries – makeup, deodorant, hair brush, ponytail holders, tooth brush and paste, etc. With my first baby, I was in the L&D room overnight and couldn’t sleep. One way I passed the time was to get up and put my makeup on and do my hair. Looking back on pictures, I’m glad I did!
  • Baby Book for baby’s footprints/handprints
  • One cute swaddle blanket
  • Chapstick – because your lips will get dry, especially if you are getting any pain relievers
  • IDs and insurance info
  • Notepad/journal and pen – for any notes from the doctors you might need to jot down

Bring, but leave in the car

  • Nursing Pillow (Boppy, etc.) – First baby I ended up not getting this out of the car because the nurses brought me extra pillows. However, if the hospital is really busy the days you are staying, there might be a pillow shortage.
  • Pillows for mom and dad with non-white pillow cases – Same story as the nursing pillow
  • Blanket for dad
  • Breast pump and gear
  • Carseat
  • Sibling gifts

Mom’s Overnight Bag

  • Comfortable nursing/sleep bra
  • Two PJs or lounging outfits you won’t mind being photographed in
  • Protein bars
  • Moisturizer
  • Loose going home outfit – you’ll still look 4-5 months pregnant when you leave
  • Robe or comfy cardigan you can throw over your PJ’s if the AC is cranked up
  • BellyBandit or other similar product if you are planning on using
  • “Granny-panties”
  • Fridababy’s postpartum angled peri bottledesigned much better than the peri bottle the hospital will give you
  • Items to help alleviate swellingI was extremely swollen after delivering my first son and that was miserable. This time I am bringing with me some 100% clean products that are safe for baby and I while breastfeeding and will help with any swelling I might encounter again.
  • House shoes or comfy socks

Dad and Toddler Bag

  • Two changes of clothes for dad
  • Dad toiletries
  • Snacks for dad and toddler
  • A couple books and toys
  • Computer and charger
  • 3-4 changes of clothes for toddler
  • Toddler comfort items
  • “Big Brother/Sister” shirt
  • Color Wonder activity set or something similarly fun and not messy
  • Water bottles for dad and toddler
  • Extra tote bag  –  To bring home all the newborn diapers, swaddles, bottles, postpartum ice packs, and anything else the hospital will give you and for any gifts you might receive while at the hospital.

Baby’s Diaper Bag

  • One preemie size outfit
  • One newborn outfit
  • One 0-3 month outfit – Because you never know for certain how big your baby is going to be and/or how much weight he’ll lose between birth and going home, I find it helpful to bring going-home outfits in each of those sizes.
  • 3-4 plain newborn kimono style shirtsThe hospital will provide one, but they are typically huge and look awkward on baby. Kimono style because of the umbilical cord stump and 3-4 because it will get spit-up on multiple times.
  • One other swaddle – other than the one in your L&D room
  • Wubbanub – or paci of your choice
  • The Ollie SwaddleThis was incredible with our first son. It has become my top recommendation for all new moms!
  • Prop for birth announcement picture – totally unnecessary I know, but I will want the picture.

What did you find to be vital to your hospital stay? I’d especially love to hear what C-Section mommas and/or moms of multiples found helpful.

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