You’ve celebrated your impending delivery with a fab couples baby shower, gone on an amazing babymoon and styled a gender-neutral nursery. The only things left to do before baby’s arrival are to stay healthy and pack your hospital bag! But just like there are lots of baby registry items you really won’t actually need and pregnancy fears you totally shouldn’t worry about, there are also many hospital-bag options you’ll never use (and some you probably don’t realize you’re going to want). We talked with four moms to get the scoop on which hospital bag items they swear by and which they wish they’d never packed.


Snack Attacks Are Real

“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!).


Ladies, Gird Your Loins — Literally

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.”


Don’t Bother With Books

All four moms say that they brought reading material, and all four moms say they never once peeped a page. Craig remembers bringing her iPad in case she felt like reading, but she never once touched it. As put by Candis Wenger, mom to an eight-year-old and six-year-old: “I was just glad to be there with my baby. That was all the entertainment I needed.” Plus, we’re pretty sure you’re supposed to sleep when the baby sleeps, right?


Comfort Is Key, but So Is Staying True to You

Wenger celebrated her baby girl’s arrival with a pink nightgown built for nursing to wear during her recovery. Also, she explains, “Since I had a C-section, I spent a lot of time walking laps around the maternity ward to speed my healing… so the robe and socks were pretty handy.” Capshaw-Taylor also brought a floaty caftan to wear instead of the hospital gown post-baby, which we love. Personal touches bring normalcy and emotional comfort during what may be an otherwise unfamiliar experience.


Plan Your First Post-Baby #OOTD

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.


This Isn’t a 10-Day Vacay: Don’t Overpack

“Don’t stress it!” both Capshaw-Taylor and Wenger tell us. Craig reminds, “Babies don’t need much more than mom and the clothes on their backs, so only pack what’s a necessity for you.” She also recommends, “Think less about what you’ll need in the hospital and more about what you’ll need once you leave, ’cause that’s when things get real!” Specifically, she suggests, “Focus on installing your car seat ahead of time and making arrangements for older children and pets.”

Are you a mom with some sage hospital-bag advice? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know what worked for you — and what didn’t!

(Photos via Getty)