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How to Pack Your Hospital Bag

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What do you need in your hospital bag?

Now that baby number two is here, I feel I can actually answer that question!

The hospital bag can be a mystery.

New moms are usually so afraid to under pack... that they over pack.

Even the second time around it can be a little confusing.

I'm not saying I totally nailed it. But....after going overboard the first time, and forgetting things the second. I'm pretty confident I'll have it down for baby number three

....if I ever convince my husband that there should be a baby number three.

I knew I was not interested in carrying a ton of stuff to the hospital that I wouldn't use, so I decided I wanted to keep my bag as light as possible.

I also knew I'd be bringing some more items home from the hospital, so I wanted extra space.

I forgot some things and brought others that were useless. This is what I learned after attempt number two at the hospital bag!

 

 

What You Need to Pack in Your Hospital Bag:

 

1. Your New Baby Binder or a Folder to Organize Your Paper Work.

This should contain at the very least your hospital paperwork and your birth plan.

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2.  Yoga Pants

Nothing made me feel as great after my daughter was born as putting on actual clothing. With my first, I didn't even realize that I was "allowed" to put pants on after delivery. I know that sounds silly in retrospect but I really didn't know I could do anything without the hospital staff's permission. Needless to say, I knew better this time. So bring yoga pants, and as soon as you're up for it put them on.

It's a life changer to have pants on! :)

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3. Chapstick

Or whatever lip balm you prefer. Would you believe I forgot this! My Birth Photographer  actually gave me hers in the middle of labor. I knew better than to forget chapstick, but I did.

 

4.  Lotion

I was so glad I had lotion in the hospital. My hands constantly felt dry. I probably applied lotion 25 times a day while in the hospital.

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5. Other Toiletries You Use Daily

Would you believe that I forgot toothbrushes and contact cases!?  These things were on my list and I was SURE they were in my bag...They weren't. I packed my bag pretty early in my pregnancy (around 30 weeks) so I probably intended to add to it and forgot. I did have toothpaste and contact solution. Luckily the nurses were able to provide me with a makeshift contact case, aka two medicine cups. Still, this resulted in a middle of the night run to the convenience store for the husband because we still needed some toothbrushes. Also bring shampoo and body wash, you will definitely want your own.

 

6. Socks

I didn't bring socks because the hospital where I had my son provided socks with grips on the bottom. Apparently, this hospital doesn't. Now I know. I actually had to have my mom bring me a pair of socks when she came to visit because I just couldn't deal.  Be prepared, bring socks.

 

7. Camera

Not every image of your newborn should come from your cell phone. In the two days we were in the hospital there were so many precious moments I was able to capture with my DLSR. I was feeling pretty great after having her so I was able to run around the room taking pictures of everything and really documenting the whole experience. Even if that's not your kind of thing, it's great to have shots of the baby meeting family. I have lots of precious daddy daughter shots from those first two days.

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8. Hair Ties

I started labor with my hair down. I got so hot that I angrily demanded my husband put my hair up...NOW.  Good thing hair ties were easily accessible for the poor guy. My hair looked ridiculous but hey, he tried.

 

9. Nursing Bra

I never even bought a nursing bra with my son. I have one this time around and it is convenient. Although probably not absolutely necessary. Even if you don't go for the nursing bra, a comfy bra is essential in the hospital.

 

10. A notebook and pen

This may be because I am a crazy person who absolutely needs to be making lists all the time. I could not take the time that I was in  the hospital and just sit there staring at a TV. I had things to do, so I needed to make to do lists so when I was discharged I would remember them. Newborns sleep a lot, you will have more free time in the hospital than you are probably expecting.

 

11. SNACKS

My husband had to run to the store for these too. I wanted to eat between meals. If you aren't interested in waiting all day for someone to feed you, be prepared.

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12. Cell Phone Charger

For me, and probably most of you, your cell phone charger is a necessity any time you go anywhere overnight. I needed it to stay in contact with my family, check in on my older child, and check social media on my downtime. My phone is also my go-to camera for moments that I need to capture fast. I try to reach for my DSLR whenever I can, but sometimes your phone is more convenient. I'd rather have a cell phone picture than miss a moment I want to capture. I really needed my phone to be charged, DO NOT forget the phone charger :)

 

Things I brought that I didn't touch:

1. Night Gown

I ended up wearing the hospital gowns the whole time until I changed into yoga pants and a regular shirt. I could have worn the gown with the yoga pants but I didn't. They may still be useful and I would probably pack one again, but not necessary.

 

2. Pads

They have their own and they are huge and awesome. I knew this but wanted to be on the safe side I guess.

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3. Extra underwear and outfit to wear home.

I wore the disposable underwear the whole time. I also wore them home. I didn't need extra clothes at all.  I wore my yoga pants home and of course some worn out flip flops :)

Why not, right?

 

4. Makeup

Ha! This was just silly. I thought maybe I would want to look pretty when I went home. & maybe you will want to. I didn't. Like I said.....yoga pants and disposable underwear... :)

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Advice: Leave room in your bag for presents! 

Despite my best efforts at maintaining a minimalist lifestyle, there was no chance people wouldn't be buying for the new baby or big brother.

Luckily I prepared for this and when my grandmother couldn't resist a run to the hospital gift shop, I had room in my bag :)

& if you decide to pack your bag EARLY...double check it closer to your due date.

 

What did you NEED in your hospital bag? Did you bring anything that you absolutely didn't need?

 

Next week I'll share what I brought to the hospital for the baby! :)