Congratulations mama, your baby is on it’s way! Probably one of the most common questions I see on social media is what to pack in your hospital bag. This also happens to be my favorite type of post to reply to. I absolutely love being a mother and all things about a new baby, but how I wish I knew then what I know now! I recently made a Target run and was reminded of all the time I spent there in the baby section, pondering the contents of my own hospital bag. Being a new mother is such a fun and exciting time, but we often go overboard and pack items that just aren’t necessary. I asked around with some of my respected mommy friends and gathered a list of the most necessary items you’ll want to consider for your hospital bag. We all agreed that we packed too much the first time! I mean did my new baby Conlee really need seven headbands while in the hospital? Please keep in mind that your hospital experience won’t be the same as mine or anyone else’s. My hope is that this will be a good resource for new mamas since it comes from mamas that have been in the labor and delivery wing a time or two.
1. Coconut Oil
I never used coconut oil before I had a baby but now I recommend this to every new mother! One of my nurses told me about how wonderful coconut oil is to use when you first begin pumping. My daughter spent a few days in the NICU fighting infection so I was encouraged to pump and pump often. We needed to try to get my milk to come in so we could give her as much of my antibodies as possible. Let’s be real, if you’ve never pumped it can be quite the task, and you want to make your girls as comfortable as possible with their new equipment. I found that coconut oil made the process much more comfortable and soothed sore breasts while I was learning to nurse and establish a good latch. Plus, it’s great for baby’s skin and diaper rash. Coconut oil for the win!
Once you deliver your precious babe, you’ll be ready eat! Depending on the time you birth, food may or not be available. It’s a great idea to have snacks and water packed in your bag for you and Dad or anyone you have staying with you. You just did the most amazing thing ever and birthed a human being; you deserve some cookies!
3. A nice bathrobe
You will likely be encouraged to nurse in the hospital, and one of the most compatible articles of clothing I found for this was my bathrobe. It offered plenty of coverage when I wasn’t feeding the baby but also made it really easy to access the milk source when it was time to nurse or pump. Plus, who wouldn’t enjoy lounging in their bathrobe all day?
4. Swaddle blankets
My husband was the champion swaddler while we were in the hospital; it took me a while to get that perfect burrito effect down. Your baby just spent nine months in a cozy womb, so swaddling reminds them of the home they were just evicted from. I loved the Aiden and Anias swaddle blankets; we still use them to this day! They are so versatile and even doubled as a nursing cover due to their softness and breathability (if that’s even a word). I recommend these to all of my mom friends.
5. Good nursing tanks and bras
Nursing can be a challenging experience for a new mother and the last thing you want to worry about is struggling with your clothes while holding a hungry, crying baby. Nursing bras and tanks are so handy for this reason!I suggest a couple of nursing bras because they WILL end up covered in milk. Nursing tanks are great because they allow you to nurse easily yet keep your tummy covered.
Ok, so you wouldn’t fit this in you hospital bag, but it does deserve mention. When I asked a mom-friend about hospital necessities, she highly suggested a photographer.
“I’m so glad I had her come to the hospital. Not really to get pictures of me but it’s such a whirlwind and there are parts you don’t remember (either from drugs or exhaustion lol).
The pictures from the hospital are my favorite ever. She captured so much emotion!”
-a real life Mom of two
If you haven’t figured this out already, there is no right answer to parenting just like there is no right or wrong list of items to take to the hospital. In fact, I once had a good friend tell me that all a baby really needs is it’s mother, to be fed and warm. As I mentioned, we will all have our own experience and our needs will differ. However, I do feel like this is a great place for you to start and add or take away as you see fit. You’re already going a great job by even considering you hospital bag! Am I missing anything? Leave a comment and tell me your hospital bag must have!