So, prior to having Caroline, I feel like I googled and searched Pinterest high and low about what I would need at the hospital for delivery. I was sooooo excited to finally be thinking of delivering that sweet, little bundle of joy! Now, you have to figure out what you actually need to take and what you don’t actually need while you’re there.
This post contains affiliate links, that if you use, I may make a small profit from, at no extra cost to you.
Lucky us, we had three visits to the hospital for preterm labor before we actually brought Caroline into the world. I had a placental abruption which caused me to bleed and start having contractions too early in the pregnancy, going into preterm labor. When this would happen, we would have to go to the Labor and Delivery Unit for medication and monitoring. After the first unexpected visit, my husband and I had a To Go bag packed at all times waiting for the next time Caroline decided to send us in a frenzy.
I’ve got my opinions on what was necessary to bring and what I brought and didn’t really need.
Clothing – Nursing Bra
First, we have the obvious, clothes. To be more specific, one of the big things I’d recommend getting and bringing to the hospital if you’re going to breastfeed is a Nursing Bra. I had two different kinds of nursing bras and I definitely had a preference between the two. The first kind was more of a regular cup bra with underwire. The second was a bra with no underwire that was more like a sports bra. With nursing bras, the clip to unclip for easy access for nursing attaches where the strap connects to the cup on the front of the bra.
If it is a bra with underwire, when you want to flip the cup open, you almost have to flip the wire over too so the cup material is out of the way so your baby can get to eating. When you’re going to be nursing your baby every two hours, you need something a little easier and quicker, every second of sleep is a precious thing. With the sports bra kind of bra, you just have to un-clip and you pull it down and baby can get to eating much faster and easier. There are so many options out there to choose from.
You can find a ton of them on Amazon and they are easy enough to add to your Amazon Baby Registry . Did you know you can make your own Amazon Baby Registry? They’re almost always running a special giveaway if you start your registry with them too, so why not start on with them today.
Clothing – Nursing Scarf
If you feel like you’re going to be a bit more self conscious about bearing it all while nursing, I’d recommend a nursing cover of some sort. I used mine after I left the hospital on many, many occasions. It was big enough to cover myself and my daughter and still had enough material to drape around if I felt we had any extra space being exposed that I didn’t want to be. I loved mine, you can grab yours here. My nursing cover, was actually a nursing scarf that was designed like the trendy, infinity scarves. I would wear it like a normal scarf and it went along with many outfits. Then, when it was time to feed my little love bug, I unwrapped it and used it as a cover.
Related: Did you learn all you could about breastfeeding? You won’t miss out on any information with this e-course, The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class, from Milkology. Get the education while you still can. It will make a world of difference in your breastfeeding journey!
If you’re formula feeding, bring your bottles. Since we didn’t formula feed when we were in the hospital, I can’t give any more insight with that. I’m not sure if they give you formula or what. Make sure to check in to that during your hospital tour. Check with your doctor and hospital to see what they will and won’t provide. If you want to know which kind of bottles we chose, feel free to check out the list on our favorite baby items.
A robe. If you have a lightweight robe, bring it. If your hospital lets you, laboring in your own robe is soooo much easier and comfortable than laboring in an awful hospital gown. I can’t stand the hospital gowns choking my throat. Plus, once you have baby, while in the hospital, it’s easier to nurse in a robe and get to and from the restroom in the robe rather than wearing a hospital gown or a t shirt.
Toiletry- Bath Towel
Thinking along the same lines, I recommend bringing your own Bath Towel. Hospital towels are small and not as absorbent as the ones that we have at home. If you get to shower before you deliver, you’re going to be 9 months super pregnant and you’ll want a bigger towel anyway. Besides, the hospital towels we had were rough on the skin and we like our towels better. The “body” towels they provided seemed like the size of the “hand towels” we have at home. Just bring one towel; you and your significant other will be glad you did. I know the first shower I got after I had Caroline, I felt like a whole new woman. I really appreciated the little things like having my own towel and toiletries.
Granny panties. Trust me, you’ll want some grandma underwear. No matter what your normal underwear preference is, you’re going to want a couple pair of these bad boys. No matter if you have a c section or vaginal birth, once you go though labor, it’s going to be a circus down there. You’ll want to be able to have ice packs for swelling, pads for bleeding and some padsicles (google those bad boys, you’ll thank me later) for numbing it all up. So, the hospital gives you, lovely, diapers to wear after birth. Real freaking attractive, let me tell you!
But, if you have your own granny panties, you won’t have to wear those obnoxious diapers. Believe me, any chance you can get to feel normal or more comfortable, you’re going to want to take. You’ve been pregnant, fluffy and not so comfy for months after months, you’re going to want to feel human as soon as possible. It is probably wise to think of these hospital granny panties, as disposable ones because you are probably not going to want them after anyway.
Clothes- Going Home Outfit
Going Home Clothes. So, originally, I planned on bringing this cute outfit to come home in as a family of three. But after the first two stays at the hospital, I got the jist that I really just wanted something comfortable to go home in. I didn’t really care if it was cute or not. When the time came to go home, I was glad I had changed my original plan. I needed those comfy sweat pants. Plus, I had those ice packs and what not going on down there, so my cute yoga pants that I had been wearing through the end of the pregnancy wouldn’t have looked so cute going home. I also had a ton of stitching and was still pretty sensitive, so I can’t imagine what I would have felt like if I kept those yoga pants in my bag to wear home. All I could think about was getting home as a family of three as quickly as possible.
All I can say is, think COMFORT over CUTENESS.
Usually, I’m also all about big, comfortable t-shirts, but, if you’re nursing you’re going to want something more like a tank top or something that is easier access than pulling up a t-shirt in the front and back. At least, that’s how I was. Outfit choices will be changing if you plan to nurse. Once we switched to formula because of Caroline’s Milk and Soy Intolerance Issues, I went back to my comfy t -shirts.
Your own pillow. Dude, four total visits at the hospital in one year- I didn’t bring my pillow a couple of the days and I so regretted it. You can barely get comfortable when you’re 9 months pregnant, then add in being in a hospital and hooked up to monitors and uncomfortable beds, you’ll want your favorite pillow. Your significant other can totally carry your pillow, it’s a necessity! We also brought Dave a big blanket from home, as the hospital blankets kinda suck and he uses so many blankets as it is. They’ll supply you with some for dad to use overnight but they never gave us enough or ones that he wanted. It was just easier to bring our own. There’s nothing like your own pillow!
Toiletries. For space sake, we took all travel sized toiletries, except deodorant. My husband is obsessed with putting deodorant on, so if I bought him a travel sized one, it would be gone in a day or two and NO, I’m not exaggerating. As for me, I brought a full sized deodorant because I put in on religiously while in labor and after labor. I didn’t want to smell funny after laboring and when I had nurses checking me non stop and helping me get Caroline used to nursing. I am so conscious about applying deodorant, partially because of Dave’s obsession. You’ll have more people around you than you realize. I can’t stand bar soap that the hospital provides, so I was glad to have my own soap. On the other hand, my husband can’t use liquid soap and has to have bar soap, but, is very particular about it.
Phone Chargers or any other electronic chargers. For obvious reasons, but just make sure to add it to your list so you don’t forget it when you’re trying to leave the house in a hurry.
Snacks. If your doctor and hospital allow it, bring some power snacks like granola bars, trail mix and a little treat for yourself. Depending on how your laboring goes, you will need all the energy boosts you can get. Same thing with liquids…. If they allow you to bring something in from home, take your favorite hydrating drink. You’ll be needing that no matter what. If you plan on nursing, you will be craving your water. Take a nice, big cup. Every time you nurse, you drink the big cup of water. Drink whenever you can. Plus, drinking extra water helps the pregnancy weight continue to fall right off.
To do list
List to Call. Make your announcement list, so your significant other will know who to call. Also, add your insurance company on there. They’ll need to know your child was born ASAP to be added to the policy. We also had to call our nursing pump company to let them know Caroline was born so they could send us the breast pump. Make sure friends and family know whether or not it is okay to share the news of your child’s birth. Some parents like to be the ones to share the news, especially with social media now a days.
Cards. Once I had my epidural, I had some time where I was waiting for Caroline to come down enough into the birthing canal so it could be time to push. My family and friends are pretty obsessed with playing card games, so we packed a deck or two of cards to pass the time while I was waiting for her to descend. But, you could take a sudoku book, a reading book or whatever you want to do to keep your mind off of the contractions and whatever else is going on. My nurses and doctor thought it was amusing to walk in on a woman in labor playing cards, but it helped pass the time and keep my mind off the pain. Whatever activity will keep you occupied, bring it!
Daddy Bag. Dad is going to need clothes, a phone charger and some snacks too. Hospital vending machines just don’t cut it sometimes. Dave always seemed to be free to get food at the cafeteria, at odd hours. They were always closing soon or actually closed and he rarely got to get something to eat there. Dave also took our iPad to keep himself entertained once we had her and I was feeding her, he had something to keep himself occupied. Since we had multiple stays prior to our actual delivery, Dave needed that iPad a lot. It definitely saved him from boredom. Caroline kept us on our toes and she still does to this day.
Baby Supplies So, we didn’t need diapers or wipes or as many outfits as I packed. The hospital supplied the diapers and wipes. But, we did need her car seat. We needed a going home outfit for her and we brought a swaddle blanket. We nursed in the hospital, so we didn’t need bottles or formula (check if your hospital provides if you’re going that route). I didn’t need bibs, but I did use a burp cloth with her, so I’d bring one or two with you. To see which burp cloths and other items I recommend in general for having a new baby, check out the other post on top ten baby shower items My top 10 favorite baby shower gifts We had a girl come in and offer hospital photos, we declined. But you may need cash for that if that is something you would like to do. Again, check with your hospital to see if this is something that they offer.
So, that’s the summarized list of what we took to the hospital for our multiple hospital stays. One thing I wish I would have done was bring in thank you cards for the nurses who helped us through multiple stays in the Labor and Delivery Unit. We had a few nurses who went above and beyond and were phenomenal for Dave, Caroline and I. I also had a couple nurses who I’d rather just never see on my care team again. Those who were awesome, I wish I would’ve had a little something to give them as a thank you for being so awesome! So, maybe, if you think you’d like to do that for your care team, that might be something you want to pack too.
If you have some items I forgot or somethings you used and I’m unaware of, feel free to comment them below! I’d love to see what you liked to have. Next time around, I can have even more useful items!
Happy Delivery Time! ANDDDDD Good Luck Mama! JUST BREATHE