I’ve always been a planner by nature: research and lists are dear friends of mine. So you can imagine that the idea of piecing together a well-packed hospital bag — complete with everything you need and nothing don’t — has appealed to me since our first trip to the hospital with Wyatt.
But the truth is that there’s no way to know exactly what you’ll need and what you won’t every single time and, if you’re like me and are a recovering over-packer, it’s likely that you’ll have a much better grasp on the whole ‘what do I need in my hospital bag?’ the second and third time around…
And that my friends is what I hope to share with you today: this will be our third baby, our third trip to the hospital and our third packed hospital bag. Admittedly things look a little different this time around and we definitely have an expected longer hospital stay ahead of us (an expected CICIU stay even) — but I know that there are some things I’ve changed about what I’m packing vs. what I’m not simply because, experience.
So let’s talk all things hospital stay for mom + baby ! Today I’ll share:
- a complete list of what’s in my hospital bag (for both mom + baby)
- what’s changed about what I’ve chosen to include in our hospital bag (compared to our first two births)
Ready? Let’s get to it!
WHAT’S IN MY HOSPITAL BAG
Nisolo Canvas Weekender (in black) c/o Nisolo, When I set out to pack our hospital bag this time around I just knew I didn’t want to bring our carry-on luggage with us again. That’s right, with our first two births we wheeled our carry-on luggage and diaper bag into the hospital. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, I do think it lends to over packing because, hello? There’s like, room in there still? In any case, I’d already been on the hunt for a great weekender bag. I absolutely love my Nisolo boots that I got shortly after Christmas so I was pretty pumped when I remembered they make bags as well. Can we just take a moment and appreciate the beauty of that bag up there? I reached out to the kinds souls over at Nisolo and was elated that they were interested in gifting me their canvas weekender in black for this blog post.
You guys, I love this bag! Everything is so sturdy and structured and the leather trim has that soft, supple sheen that you just know is going to age gloriously. It’s small enough to feel manageable yet, as you will see below, can swallow a whole heck of a ‘lotta stuff. !
Dohm White Noise Sound Machine, We purchased this white noise machine from Amazon in early 2014, not long after we moved houses and realized that being situated significantly closer to the road was becoming a problem for Wyatt (and us) sleeping through the night. It felt like an awful lot to spend on such a gadget at the time, but a sold four years in I’m calling it money well spent. During our tour we had a CICU nurse recommend that we bring one for our CICU stay and I couldn’t help but think that it was a stroke of genius. We will no doubt benefit from it while in the CICU, but we also have every intention of using it in the nursery once we make it home so it couldn’t hurt to keep that consistent.
Toiletry Bag, Just the essentials packed in here: shampoo, body wash, deodorant, toothbrush, tooth paste, travel sized everything — you know the drill. Even with an expected extended stay at the hospital this time around, I wanted to keep it light here. We will still need to make trips back and forth to the house, what with our boys, dogs and chickens, so anything that I realize I’m missing won’t be too far from (someone’s) reach.
Knotted beanies, I purchased these shortly before we brought Thurser home from the hospital. Not only are they unbelievably soft, but they’re infinitely cuter than the provided hospital beanies. And, for sentimental reasons, I’m excited to have the chance to use them again.
Bannor Toys Ohio State Wooden Baby Rattle, We’ve had this rattle since Wyatt was little — I believe I bought it shortly before his first birthday? This little shop makes all things wooden toys and they have the cutest family! I don’t suspect that it will be heavily used during this time frame, but I imagine it being a cute piece to have when I feel compelled to take All The Pictures. And, again for sentimental reasons, I was excited to pack this along with her things.
Natursutten pacifier, Wyatt didn’t like a pacifier and Thurser like, really really did — so it’s a total toss up with this little lady — I’m just trying to cover my bases.
Wildbird Ring Sling (in Haron, sold out) c/o Wildbird Co., Two babies in and I feel like I’m a bit obsessed with baby wearing. I didn’t really grasp the concept until Wyatt was at least 4 months old but with Thurser I started wearing him in a wrap or sling just a couple days after we brought him home from the hospital. I anticipate my comfort level with baby wearing only growing (as it did with each of our boys) so should we have and even longer stay at the hospital or should she be inconveniently cloaked with tubes and wires I want to have every opportunity to hold and rock and touch her.
Muslin blankets, Is there anything better than the unbelievable softness of a muslin baby blanket? I mean, really? No there is not. I received these beautiful muslin blankets from a dear friend at Donna Jean’s recent baby sprinkle.
All the Little Bows (Petite Ribbon Bow in Caramel + Mini Ribbon Bow in Fawn), I found All the Little Bows on Instagram and loved their tiny, delicate nature. I’ve never been of fan of the over-the-top bows (you know the ones that are bigger than the kid’s head?) but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a bit excited when I found these sweet things.
Long sleeved onesies, tees + sleepers, After having gone through all our baby clothes I was pleasantly surprised at how much we already had that would work for a girl this time around (neutrals for the win!) but I was definitely excited to receive a few new pieces like these L’ovedbaby onesies from friends and family as well. The long sleeved fold over ‘mits’ are a total lifesaver during those early days!
Nursing tanks, I’ve had these nursing tanks from Target since Wyatt was a newborn — worn, tried and true! Wouldn’t mind adding one or two more (depending on fit this time around), I saw some really pretty muted tones at BuyBuyBaby just recently.
Maternity yoga pants, Comfort above all else! These have seen me through this entire pregnancy and I expect that they will get the same amount of wear until my pre-pregnancy ones wear just as comfortably.
Jersey knit robe, I’ve had this robe for a couple years now and I was so glad when I brought it during my second hospital stay, safe to say this one hasn’t changed this time around. Nursing friendly, soft, and cozy — check!
Bravado nursing bras, These two bras (and these two bras only) saw me through two solid years following Thurser’s birth. He nursed until he was 16 months old and then I just wore them until he was about two before I finally bought new non-nursing bras. They are definitely more expensive than some of the nursing bras out there, but I figured out through trial and error that there was a reason for that during my first go at nursing with Wyatt. Once I bit the bullet and tried one of these bras I felt comfortable spending the money. They are extremely supportive, incredibly comfortable and are a breeze to un-snap and re-snap one handed while nursing. I’m hoping to get some more everyday wear out of these, but am prepared to go ahead and buy two replacements should I feel the need and then just demote these to ‘sleep bras’.
OTHER ITEMS (NOT PICTURED)
Nursing pillow, Bringing our trusty ‘ol boppy pillow to the hospital this time around, this guy has been around since the beginning! I splurged on a new linen boppy cover too, one that doesn’t scream baby and satisfies this neutral loving mama.
Medela breast pump, We’ve had this pump since the Wyatt’s birth as well. Originally l just registered for a manual pump, but realized rather quickly that wasn’t going to cut it once I headed back to work. A sweet cousin of mine offered up the advice that I needed to get an electric pump. Of course now it’s pretty commonly known that you can get one free through most insurance providers, but if felt like a big deal at the time! I love this particular style and am still so happy that we got the backpack version of it.
Birth plan + pediatrician information, I just have a folder tucked in the side pocket of my husband’s bag rounding up all of this info. It’s a handy thing when you start to feel bombarded with hospital questions to just have a piece of paper to share with them!
Cannon 77D (camera and charger), This is a new buy for us and we really couldn’t be more excited! The photo and video quality is unreal. I’ve used my Canon Rebel XT since I bought it new back in 2006 (for a photography course I took in college) and it has done a great job! That said, I’m so psyched about having been given the opportunity to upgrade — seriously could not be any happier with this camera.
Smart phones + chargers, Just in case it wasn’t obvious? Also, I’ve found it worth the $7 to go ahead a buy a separate charger that I just keep parked in our overnight bag so there is absolutely no change of forgetting it!
SOME THINGS I’VE ADDED + SOME THINGS I’VE LEFT OUT THIS TIME AROUND
Like I said before, things are admittedly different this time around. With Donna’s anticipated heart and gastrointestinal complications we know right out of the gate we will have more bridges to cross — so that of course changes things. However, I’m willing to go out on a limb here and state that I believe this list would have changed in similar ways (if not the exact same ways) with or without this knowledge. Check out belowthe things I’ve added to our bag this time around as well as the things I’ve decided to forgo this time around.
THINGS I’VE ADDED
Natursutten pacifier, Maybe I’ve just gotten more particular? I became rather partial to this brand of pacifier with Thurser. The natural rubber is not only something I feel better about putting in baby’s mouth, but I am somewhat smitten with the color. We opt for the orthodontic version because I best simulates a flattened nipple in the mouth when sucked on. This is of special importance this time around for me because, although I plan to exclusively breastfeed again, that might not be the reality right away. Depending on her medical needs, she may be breastfed, bottle fed or fed via NG tube. For me it’s important that she be offered the opportunity to practice ‘sucking’ and that it be in done in a way that promotes long term breastfeeding.
Wildbird Ring Sling (in Haron, sold out) c/o Wildbird Co., I more or less covered this one when I mentioned it earlier, but truly: touch and skin to skin time is so important for everyone early on in the bonding process. I’m not sure if it will even get used (as in, be needed right away) but I didn’t want there to be any barriers from making it happen!
Dohm White Noise Sound Machine, Have you ever tried getting sleep in a hospital? Haha! Nick and I joke about this every time, but we just couldn’t wait to get back home and actually rest. With all the rounds and check and midnight wake ups, we’ve deemed hospital stays extremely un-restful. But, we know that we’re in for a haul this time around so we wanted to be prepared for the best possible rest we can muster!
THINGS I’VE LEFT OUT
Diapers + wipes, I learned from our first birth to our second that our hospital provides every last diaper and wipe you could ever need while there — heck they even sent us home with a small garbage bag of them! So, while I have my favorite brands like everyone else, this is one small area that to me is easy to minimize. Use what’s available at the hospital while there and save everything else for once you get home!
My ‘going home’ outfit, I chuckle nearly every time I think about how I was so excited to wear this casual, comfy dress coming home from the hospital with Wyatt — and then when I went to put it on the day we were leaving it didn’t even fit! (I ended up wearing my yoga pants and a comfy tee, win!) It’s easy to under estimate when people say you will look about 6 months pregnant when leaving the hospital, but for me the best option has been to wear either maternity clothes immediately following birth or non-maternity clothes that I still able to wear right up until birth. I’d rather have extra room and feel comfy in yoga pants and a nursing tank on our trip home than stand feeling strangely defeated in a hospital bathroom assessing why the ‘accommodating’ dress silhouette I packed just plain doesn’t fit.
That’s all for today!
My goal is to squeak in two more blog posts next week (a final pregnancy update + a motherhood essay I’ve been working on for sometime now) but that’s only if little lady doesn’t decide to make an early appearance this weekend.
So tell me, what’s in your hospital bag? How have you changed what you’ve packed with each baby? Share away in the comments!