I’ve hit the 37 week mark, and although I haven’t had signs that labor is going to happen anytime soon, my hospital bag has been mostly packed for the last week or so. I’m still switching out items, taking some things out and putting others in, but it’s just about settled. Bear with me, it’s a long post!
Here’s my laundry list of what’s going in my hospital bag (the
-Packing cubes — I bought ours for cheap from IKEA (
). I wanted to make sure everything was organized because the last thing I want to do when I’m in labor is have to hunt through a duffle bag. They came in a pack of 4 bags, so I used the big one for myself, the medium for Dave, and the two small ones for Baby. If you aren’t close to an IKEA, these
got great reviews. The large packing cube came with two sides, so I packed my laboring stuff in one side and my post-labor stuff in the other.
In the “for labor” side of my cube, I packed:
- A black cotton nightgown (Junior's Sleep Chemise from Target) to labor in — I’m not opposed to wearing a hospital gown, but I think I’ll be more comfortable getting to labor in my own clothes. This one’s black (and inexpensive), so if it gets a little gross, it’s no big deal.
- 2 Lululemon headbands — I love my Lulu. I packed a thin one and a thick one for keeping back my hair.
- Fuzzy socks — black, of course, in case I get the chills. Think ones like these: Soft Warm Microfiber Fuzzy Socks-Olive.
- 1 pair of old boycut undies that I won’t mind throwing away afterwards.
In the “after” side of my cube, I packed:
- A few more pairs of old stretchy soft undies — I know the hospital gives you mesh ones to wear, but I’m packing mine just in case those aren’t comfortable.
- A dark-colored and loose nursing tank (Women's Henley Nursing Cami from Target)— comfy enough to sleep in, decent enough to walk around in.
- Old loose, low-slung shorts — I figure if these aren’t comfortable after labor, I can always snag the big gym shorts from Dave’s bag. I have an old pair from Abercrombie, but these A&F Athletic Shorts looks amazingly comfortable.
- A thin cotton robe — I like this Xhilaration Juniors Fluid Knit Robe, but I’m not super attached if it ends up stained.
- Nursing bra — this one (Basic Women's Stella Maternity & Nursing Bra) from Target is super stretchy and comfy.
- Going home dress — I packed a comfy maxi dress from the Gap (similar: Gap Short-Sleeve Maxi Dress).
- Belly Bandit Bamboo Post-Pregnancy Tummy Wrap (S, Natural) — I was debating about this product and sizing, but there was an “in-store special” at Buy Buy Baby, so hopefully it fits!
In Dave’s cube, we packed:
- Swim trunks — for labor, so that he can go in the shower with me.
- An old t-shirt
- A change of clothes for sleeping in — this is still up in the air. He may just re-wear what he came to the hospital in.
- Going home clothes — a nice t-shirt (Banana Republic Soft Wash Cotton V-Neck Tee) and nice jeans that are comfortable but will still look presentable for pictures.
In Baby cube #1, I packed:
- Baby booties, mitts, and a newborn hat — we were gifted this Goumikids Newborn Set, which I love.
- A newborn snap-shirt — these (Gerber Unisex-Baby Newborn 3 Pack Short Sleeve Side Snap Shirt) came recommended as easy on their healing umbilical cord stumps.
- A newborn short-sleeve onesie (Gerber 5-Pack Bodysuits Brand One Piece Underwear) — in case he gets too warm being bundled up in a blanket? I don’t really know, but it obviously doesn’t take up very much room even if Baby doesn’t need it.
- A 0-3 month sleeper onesie, in case he’s on the bigger side. We have a gray theme going, so the long-sleeve footie from this this Carter's 4-Piece Duck Footie Set is perfect.
Baby cube #2 is holding his going-home outfit:
- Another little cap, just in case. I’m packing the one that came with our Bump Nest.
- A newborn-sized sleeper onesie that’s on the bigger side for newborn clothes. I packed a different footie, but I couldn't resist getting this Just One You Made By Carter's Newborn Boys' Lion Sleep N' Play, too, for our little lion man.
- A big cotton muslin swaddle blanket. I packed this 'Bicycles' Muslin Swaddle Blanket that we were gifted.
-I also picked up a big pink
from IKEA. It has quite a few pockets for a toiletries bag, so I was able to sort everything appropriately. Inside:
- Samples, lots of samples — nursing pads, nipple cream, shampoo, etc.
- A travel razor — I picked up this tiny Gillette Venus Snap Razor from Target, and I like it just because it’s cute and small.
- A few Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother's Milktea bags — friends who’ve had babies are an invaluable resource. One of my good friends tucked a few of these in a bag of goodies for me to try.
- Yes to Coconut Cooling Lip Oil — if any occasion in life calls for cooling lip oil, I think it’s labor. I’m always a sucker for new lip products, and this sounds divine.
- Massaging accessories — a rolling massage ball (Zensufu Massage Roller Ball) and massage tool.
- The Body Shop Divine Calm Relaxing Massage Oil — another essential for labor. If it has “calm” on the label, I need it. This is one of my favorite oils, in general, to help me sleep.
- Hair ties — duh.
- A mini container of Altoids — in case Dave is hovering next to my face whispering words of encouragement with garlic breath.
- A tiny Bose bluetooth speaker (similar: MOCREO® Portable Bluetooth Speaker) — for playing my “birthing/labor” mix.
- Contact lens solution, contacts & case — I’ll probably wear my glasses to the hospital, but I want the option to put in my contacts.
-I know that the hospital gives you diapers, but we got a cute little wristlet with one of our registries, so inside I packed:
- A couple newborn-sized diapers (also from our free registry gift bag)
- Sample wipes
- Sample diaper cream
to protect the paper products and keep them organized. I’m planning on using mine to keep Baby’s documents safe after birth and to hold a few things. Mainly:
- Our Welcome Baby (Boy) Book— I love this baby book, and I want to get his little footprints and handprints in it before we leave the hospital.
- A “Baby Gyllenhammer” sign from our baby celebration — my sister made this for us, and I think it would be really sweet to hang in our recovery room (as short as that time may be). On that note, I should also pack some washi tape to hold it up.
- Our hospital door collage — we want to own this experience.
- My birth art — I did a little watercolor painting/word art for one of my birthing class assignments that embodies what I want my birth experience to look like.
- Our insurance and other important cards — we pre-registered at the hospital, so hopefully we won’t need to do much paperwork (or any), but these will be packed just in case.
- A couple thank-you notes and Sharpie pens.
- Copies of my birth plan (still in the works).
As a side note, I plan to use these bags afterwards to organize and protect the baby clothes that he’s outgrown (but that I still want to hold onto). They are the perfect size for small packs of clothes that I plan to sort into 0-3 months, 3-6 months, etc.
-Other things I packed in my bag:
- A rebozo (Leos Imports Mexican Rebozo Shawl)— this is an accessory we use during meditation (wrap it around your shoulders with your spouse holding the ends, so it feels like a hug), but we also plan to use it for different laboring positions.
- Two towels for Dave and I to use after a shower.
- A fluffy white robe — for the transition point in labor where I may get the chills. I figure this will be easier to try to keep on in various laboring positions than a blanket wrapped around my shoulders.
- Battery operated Tealight Candles — The goal is to keep the calmest vibe in the room that we can. Real candles would be ideal, but obviously not appropriate for a hospital setting.
- A small UPPTACKA accessories bag (also from IKEA) to hold our phone chargers, etc.
- Old flip-flops/sandals — for showering and walking around the hospital in.
- iPad — more for Dave than me, but I doubt it will be getting much use.
- Our “nice” camera (Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR Camera) — for pictures after the baby is born.
- Snacks — (very) light snacks for during labor (like some Cheerios and maybe some frozen grapes), protein bars for after labor, candy.
- Treats for the care team and our doula — maybe like Smitten Kitchen’s cheesecake-marbled brownies? She made them for her labor and delivery nurses, and I just may follow suit. But I'm also partial to these caramel sea-salt brownies. They're divine.
- My make-up bag — I’ll need it.
-In our separate cooler bag, I’m packing:
- Bendy straws — to make staying hydrated as easy as possible.
- Liquids — Trader Joe’s coconut water, Raspberry Lemonade, and Simply Orange Juice for me for after labor.
- An ice pack.
A few things we packed specifically to keep in the car in case needed, and those aren’t pictured. I packed those in either reusable grocery bags or large white plastic trash bags that we can throw the dirties in afterwards.
- Dr. Brown's Gia Nursing Pillow with Pillow Cover, Beco — I’ve read this is helpful to have when you start to nurse at the hospital, but is good to leave in the car since you won’t be needing it right away.
- Two old white towels — in case my water breaks in the car. White, so we can tell what color the amniotic fluid is.
- Extra trash bags to line the seat.
- A light fleece blanket (similar: World's Best Cozy Soft Microfleece Travel Blanket, Navy.
I haven’t done this yet, but I’m planning on making hot/cold compress packs with some leftover fabric and beans/rice to throw in my bag. Although, who actually knows if I’ll get around to this. I might just fill some old socks with rice and tie them off. It works. I’m also considering one of those temporary tattoos, like
from Etsy, to place on the inside of my wrist for extra inspiration and encouragement.
I’ll be updating this post sometime after we get back from the hospital (no promises on when) as to what was absolutely essential. Maybe this is just my crazy still-pregnant self talking, but I think it would be kind of cute to do a little “birth day” celebration with our family when they come to visit us in the recovery room. I’m planning on pre-ordering
and having a family member pick those up along with the bottle of
(to share, obviously) that we have chilling in our fridge. We are so ready.