I think we’ve all seen our fair share of pregnancy rom-coms with the confused couple racing to grab the suitcase they’re bringing to the hospital. That’s always cracked me up. Who brings a suitcase to the hospital? In any case, your midwife or doctor will probably start asking you if you have your “bag packed” by about week 35, so I thought I’d help you figure out what actually needs to go in the infamous bag.
Food. First of all, it’s important to analyze your own personal situation before deciding what to put in your hospital go-bag. What’s the hospital like? Does it have decent food, or is it gross? Is there a cafeteria with things that look edible in it? Is it in the middle of town within driving distance of the nearest Chipotle? People always make a big deal about packing snacks. Look – if there are vending machines and a cafeteria – you probably don’t need to worry too much about your snack game. It just adds a whole other element of stress if you ask me. There will be snacks. They don’t let you eat anyway, and I assure you your husband won’t starve.
Toiletries. Yes – you should pack these. When you feel well enough to jump in the shower, your own shampoo and face wash makes you feel 1000 times better. Just think of anything you would pack for an overnight trip – minus the makeup. Find out if your hospital supplies maxi-pads, because if they do – that’s another thing you can skip worrying about.
Clothing. You’ll feel so much better if you are in a nice, soft nightgown of your own – rather than the hospital issued hard cotton gown. I know some people say they don’t want to bleed all over their own stuff – but I never had this problem because I used the hospital issued GIANT maxi pads and incredible gauze underwear.
Books, magazines, your computer, etc. For me, this was a big nope. You will be tired and there will be a baby there that needs your attention. If the baby is sleeping and you aren’t – you will probably just prefer to zone out on the television. Make sure you ask if there is one, because if there isn’t my advice here totally changes. Bring anything and everything to entertain yourself. When I gave birth to my first child, I delivered in the hospital that Satan herself built. My room had no television or window – it just had a giant clock on the wall in front of my bed. I kid you not.
For the baby. Bring a comfortable outfit for the baby to leave the hospital in. You may want to go with the 0-3 month size instead of newborn if your child is suspected to be eight pounds or over. Neither of my children fit into the newborn outfits I brought to the hospital for them to wear. Your doctor may have mentioned something about “nipple confusion” but I say pack a pacifier just to be safe. It was a godsend for my first child. Check and see if your hospital provides diapers – mine did. They actually provided everything the baby needed for her stay – clothes, diapers, wipes and pacifiers. You may be able to skip packing anything for the baby all together.
So, to summarize:
- body wash
- something comfortable to leave the hospital in – best option here is probably some of your pregnancy clothes.
- computer – if you have no television
- cell phone and charger
- outfit for baby to leave the hospital in