The hospital bag, go bag, baby bag, whatever we want to call it is one of the most important things we do to prepare for baby's arrival. We search for the perfect check list to take with us to the hospital, but many moms find that no two hospitals are the same.
As moms we usually pack everything but the kitchen sink. As we prepare for delivery, many of us want to avoid this because we know we will be bringing PLENTY home with us from the hospital so we don't want to bring what we won't need. Inevitably though when we decide we won't need things, we deeply regret that we don't have them the minute we need them. It will either take to long for someone to bring one, the hospital doesn't have it, or the hospital will charge an arm and leg for it.
Moms everywhere have created list and what is necessary and what isn't when it comes to packing the hospital bag. These are the items that were deemed non-essential in the packing process which became a huge regret come time for the real deal. We forget little things. We forgot the actual essentials because we didn't have them pre-packed as we still use them on a daily basis before baby's arrival.
15 The Baby Book
While we fill out more paperwork after birth than some people do to buy a vehicle, the baby book will be one thing we want to fill out. Many hospitals will do baby's footprints right in the book if we ask as well.
It will be nice to write down small memories, stats, and visitors to the hospital while we are there. Once we get home, it's so easy to get side tracked or simply forget who visited, the memory, or exact stats because we are so busy and so much is changing. It's crazy how distracted we feel that entire first year.
Plus, it is also nice if there is a spot in the baby book for visitors to write down a message to baby. Some moms also like to include doctor's name as well as some of the important nurses who took care of us and our new addition during our stay.
14 A Night Gown That's Nursing Friendly
After birth, many moms admit wishing they had brought a nightgown. Pajama pants don't really go over well because nurses need to check us down there basically around the clock even after birth. Plus, there can be a LOT of staining that happens so many wish they brought a night gown they weren't super crazy about.
Our own night gown is more stylish and comfortable than the normal hospital gowns we are provided with. Some women prefer the hospital gowns as they don't create extra wash for themselves or wreck their own clothes. Many moms also wish that they brought a night gown that was a v-neck style or nursing friendly if that is what mom decides she wants to do.
13 Boppy Pillow
This one is usually overlooked by moms who don't know if they'll breastfeed or not or who those of us who'd rather pack light and think a pillow will be a good substitute. For many of us these pillows become a permanent attachment while we have a newborn.
They are so comfy for a post C-section mom to hold her baby without putting too much pressure on her abdomen, breast feeding or not. The pillow also provides more support for visitors who want to hold our newest addition as well.
While a boppy pillow surely isn't a necessity for the hospital bag, it is an item that many moms miss or regret cutting from the list.
12 Nail Care For The Baby
Who knew such a small item could be so important? Most moms want a nail file during their hospital stay both for themselves and for baby. Newborn skin is soft and delicate, but newborn nails are basically itty bitty razor blades. Many babies are born with sharp nails and scratch up their little faces right away. Having a nail file is nice because it's an easy, safe way to protect baby especially if he or she is not a fan of wearing mittens.
We get hang nails in the blink of an eye, but now we really want to be careful that WE don't scratch baby up either. Having a nail file is one way to quick clean up our nails and avoid any sharp edges scratching our little one. We can also borrow it out to our spouse or any visitors who might be a fan of long, claw nails.
11 Light Snacks During And After Labor
Most hospitals do not allow us to eat during labor. After baby is born though, snacks are so great to have on hand! Almost every hospital has a cafeteria, but they usually close rather early leaving many moms hungry during late night feedings or when our nurses wake us up in the middle of the night to check on us.
Snack are great for dad while we're in labor because he is actually allowed to eat, well at least by the hospital. It might feel a little mean if he's snacking on some trail mix while we're starving halfway through giving birth.
Snacks are also a great idea to bring because the hospital has limited options and sometimes vending machines can be pretty questionable. This way we can customize what we like and have our dietary, nutritional preferences.
10 Make Up Because There Will Be Many Pictures
It might seem vain to want make up after having a baby, but many moms regret not packing make up. There are SO many pictures, and while no our newborn doesn't care how we look, do we really want to look like a complete zombie on film for the next 50 years?
We also get tons of visitors while we're in the hospital, including sometimes our older children, we may not want to look like total death for these guests. Lastly and most importantly, many women want to put on some make up after birth to feel like themselves again. We often lose our own identity and autonomy in labor and delivery so something as simple as this gives us a piece of ourselves back.
9 Large, Dark Coloured Bath Towels
Hospital towels have been forever deemed small and itchy. They aren't the super soft, big bath towels we are used to at home, and that is definitely something we are going to want after birth.
Many of us have left the bath towels behind because we either don't think we'll want to shower at the hospital or have time to. We also figure it's a rather bulky thing to pack when we know the hospital will have some.
After birth we have bodily fluids of all sorts all over. We desperately want a shower, and are usually a little disappointed with the scratchy hand towel we come out of the shower to find. Bring a fluffy towel, ladies, preferably dark colored.
8 A Carseat Cover
While it is absolutely necessary to have a car seat to take baby home in, many of us who live in various climates don't think about the carseat cover. Our newborns are used to our warm, tight womb so going out into the bright, cold hospital is a big change. But to go outside in basically any month besides summer can be a huge shock. We don't realize just how cold it is outside to our babies sometimes.
A carseat cover is a great item to have even just in case because we don't know if it will be windy, raining, or snowing when we take baby home. It can also help to shield our brand new baby if it is sunny outside as well. It is also important to check manufacturer recommendations recording appropriate use of the carseat cover and other accessories (if any) to our seat before leaving the hospital.
7 Sleeping Gear For Dad
While the hospital provides mom and baby with all we could ever need, dad draws the short end of the stick a lot of times sleeping on what could be confused for a cardboard box but it usually some type of pull out sofa bed. Hospital pillows are usually rather flat which is why we stock pile 10 of them behind ourselves, but dad might want to opt to just bring his own. He is a lot less likely to stain it with any fluids or such because he didn't just give birth either.
A well rested dad can better help us with our new addition and have a clearer head to absorb all of the information nurses and doctors provide new parents with. Plus he will be able to make take a night shift with the new baby when we get home so that we can catch up on some much needed sleep after being poked and prodded for the last 48 or 72 hours.
6 Chapstick For Those Dry Lips
Basically everyone regrets the ten million chapsticks we've lost and probably think the hospital will just be another place to lose one. That being said, many moms regret not having brought a chapstick in the first place.
Hospitals are extremely dry. This leaves us with dry feet, hands, and worst of all dry lips. Chapstick is great to have for both mom and dad. Living in the hospital for a couple of days will leave us with chapped lips.
Chapstick is one of the very few things that is actually pretty difficult to get at the hospital. It's not something that they really have on supply like diapers, wipes, or even nipple cream. If they by chance do offer chapstick, it's usually a pretty dry one anyways so bring some from home.
5 Straws And Plastic Cutlery
One mom regretted not packing extra straws and plastic cutlery. Hospitals provide us with straws and cups of water, but with all of the bustling around that happens checking mom and baby throughout the stay, so many straws were tossed on the ground. Having extra straws would be a quick, easy fix for these moms who lose their straws.
Plastic forks, knives, and spoons are so necessary for the hospital food. Plus they are even better to keep in the room for any one who brings food, take out, and delivery options. It saves us a few trips to the hospital cafeteria. Plus sometimes people want to share meals and such so it's always nice to have the extra forks and spoons on hand.
4 Soap, Shampoo, And Body Wash
Travel size shampoo is cute and all, but we're going to want a good shower after birth. Yes, that includes our own shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. One mom regretted deciding to use whatever the hospital provided when she ended up with a weird combination soap of the three together.
We want to really wash up after birth. There are fluids everywhere. We are sweaty and gross to say the least. Any woman would want their own shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. We like our scent and the familiarity of what we have at home is an added bonus.
It's also a good idea to pack some toiletries for dad as well because he'll be sweaty and gross as well. Plus after sleeping on the hospital pull out couch for a night or two, he'll definitely want a nice shower.
3 Reusable Water Bottle
Our nurses do an AMAZING job at keeping us stocked with styrofoam cups full of water and ice. However one mom greatly regretted not bringing her own water bottle from her because she kept either losing her straw or spilling water on herself and her new baby. Super not cool!
A reusable water bottle is nice because it does a better job of keeping our water cold. We can refill it with our dozen styrofoam cups or simply send dad or someone to grab us some more water and refill our bottle. Plus we are way less likely to spill that on ourselves, baby, or table than a cup. And it's good for the environment.
2 Loose-Fitting Pants
There's definitely an old wives' tale that we can walk out of the hospital in clothes we were pre baby. It's laughable, but so many of us believe it. Wishful thinking, right? Whether we deliver via C-section or vaginally, loose pants are AMAZING.
We will probably be wearing a diaper worthy pad and cotton grandma undies leaving the hospital which will show in yoga pants or leggings if we're going for any type of vanity there. Plus if we had a C-section, we will want literally nothing rubbing our fresh scar. It is not a great feeling. Jeans aren't worth it.
Loose pants will be our best friend as they rest easy on a scar if there is one and on our healing uterus. It won't too much pressure on the newly tender area, and we won't care what we are wearing.
1 Glasses (If needed)
Our items that we use daily are actually more likely to be forgotten from our hospital bag because we don't have them pre-packed which means while we leave for the hospital we have to actually actively remember them. That's much easier said than done. Many moms regret not bringing their glasses to the hospital.
There is a TON of paperwork that goes along with having a baby, who knew? Our eyes get tired and strained reading it all, plus we are already exhausted from birth and the lack of sleep that comes with a new baby.
Those of us who usually opt for contacts might also regret not having our eyeglasses as well. Hospitals are notably DRY which can make our eyes dry as well. Wearing our glasses for a few days might beat getting up and applying eye drops 10 times a day.