Having A Baby Soon? Keep This Hospital Bag Checklist Handy
The big day is almost here. Woo-hoo! Just one thing — you’ve yet to pack your hospital bag. You’re fairly certain you shouldn’t bring a 12-pieceluggage setwith you for a 48-hour hospital stay, but even your labor playlist is in better shape than your go-bag list. Yep, packing for “baby day” isn’t exactly easy. Narrow things down with this hospital bag checklist that covers all the essentials!
Sorry, there’s just no polite way of saying it — tampons are a major no-no right after having a baby. That said, the mega-super-flow maxis that the hospital provides are more like your newborn’s diapers than what you’d buy at the store. Grab a box (or several) of your preferred pads before heading off to the hospital. Seriously. You’ll need them.
Some moms even recommend going a step up from pads. Alex Capshaw-Taylor, knitwear designer and mom to an 18-month-old, urges, “Buy yourself some Depends. They’re so much more comfortable and practical than the giant pad and one-size-fits-all underwear the hospital gives you.” Payne seconds that emotion, though she also recommends packing mens’ boxer briefs to “hold the enormous pads and ice packs you’ll need after giving birth.”
Comfy, High-Waisted Underwear
You’ve been dreaming for months of fitting back into that cute little thong. But the need for pads means it isn’t quite ready to make its grand reappearance. While your friends are busy telling you that comfy clothes are a post-delivery must, they might conveniently forget to mention that what you wear under them is equally important.
Speaking of comfy clothes, you might be planning to buy the prettiest PJs possible to look good for your visitors. Just wait until you’ve been in labor for 12 hours and pushed for a few more — being stylish won’t be at the top of your agenda. Childbirth isn’t exactly the cleanest thing you’ll ever do, and no one will care how you look right then. They’ll all be focused on the squishy little bundle of screaming joy you just delivered. It’s the perfect time to be snug rather than chic.
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Sure, the hospital will gladly provide these for you. (Just tack the price onto the insurance bill.) But you’re a fresh mint gel girl, and the standard-issue hospital variety is plain ol’ mint paste. Not to mention, you like a dentist-clean, battery-powered brush, and all they’re offering you is a manual. Your own toothbrush and paste may seem insignificant now. But these tiny comforts from home will make the difference during your stay.
Lipstick? Not so necessary. Lip balm? Absolutely! The dry hospital air won’t do your lips any favors. Instead of getting chapped and cracked, keep some of your fave balm in your bag. While you’re at it, toss in your favorite combo body-hand cream.
Hair Ties, A Headband, or Barettes
Even if you do have time to take a shower, you probably won’t be majorly into blowing out your hair. Keep things simple during your hospital stay, and stick to a ponytail or toss on a cute headband to satisfy your style cravings.
Extra Phone Charger
The constant stream of “Congratulations!” texts and Facebook messages you’ll be getting are sure to drain your phone’s battery. Make sure that you can keep in contact with friends and family, take a zillion pictures of your new baby and post as much as you want on IG by keeping your phone charged. If you only have one charger at home, buy a spare and stash it away in your hospital bag. It’s not likely that you’ll remember to pick your usual charger up off of the nightstand when your water breaks.
“Bring snacks!” says Laura Craig, artist and mother of two (four years and 18 months). “The hospital food left a lot to be desired, and buying from the food court was expensive. Familiar food will not only keep you nourished but will also be a creature comfort amid all the change of those couple days.” Danielle Payne, paralegal and mother of two (four years and seven months), agrees. “I really appreciated the friend who brought me bagels and sweets the first day. Beats getting flowers!” She also says that Swedish Fish made it into both her bags (which is an idea we can totally get behind, hospital stay or not!).
A Going-Home Outfit
For Capshaw-Taylor, that meant “a pretty dress and heels” to honor the “vestige of my life before baby.” For Payne, it meant anything other than what she ended up packing, which was a pre-maternity sweater dress that ended up being too constricting and itchy. (Noted!) She and Wenger both agree that, while it may be a total bummer, packing maternity clothes to wear post-baby is the most comfortable and practical sartorial option.
What else are you packing in your hospital bag? Tweet us your baby-day must-bring list @BritandCo!
Additional reporting by Megan Parry.
This article has been updated.
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