If you’ve always wanted to be a mother, chances are you’ve spent your entire life imagining what it would be like to meet your little mini me. And now more than ever as your pregnancy is approaching an end, you’re getting closer and closer to that special day and your anticipation is building (more like bursting in all directions like rainbows, am I right?).
Trust me, I’ve been there many times and I know how wonderful the feeling is right before going into labor (well, thats not something you hear everyday). But I also know how important it is to make sure you’re fully prepared ahead of time with all aspects of your birth. I’m not talking about the preparation of bringing a newborn home, buying a crib or even deciding between a co-sleeper or moses basket, or baby-proofing the house, or learning all the little mommy hacks that go along with it, I’m talking about your hospital bag for mom and baby. Yes, the baby hospital bag – AKA the mama’s hospital survival kit!
A lot of people come unprepared to the hospital because they go into labor earlier than expected, or they just get too excited and forget to think about it, but that little bag is something that you should definitely make a priority ahead of time. So today, I want to share with you the top things every mama needs and doesn’t need in their maternity hospital bag!
1 ♥ Need: Don’t Forget Your Birth Plan!
Your birth plan should always be one of your first priorities in your hospital bag for childbirth, as it literally has all the details written down for your birth preference (and honey, nows the time for it to shine!). If you don’t have a birth plan or know what it is, I mentioned it in a previous blog post that you can read more on here. But if you need a little extra help, you should pick up a copy of, “Your Birth Plan”, by Vanessa Merten, which is a fantastic step-by-step book on how to create a memorable birth plan! I also like the book, “The Doula’s Guide To Empowering Your Birth” by Lindsey Bliss to truly inspires me to truly dive into my creation of it.
My favorite little notebook that I’ve used each of my kids birth plan in has been Kate Spade New York Spiral Notebook Gold Dots, as it is simple, charming, and perfect for any special occasion, but you can truly use whatever you’d like!
I absolutely love my plan and am honestly so OCD about making sure we have it located at all times (I know, I drive the hubby nuts), because it’s that important to me. I also like to started organizing my labor and delivery hospital bag checklist and packing my mom and baby hospital bag almost 2 months ahead of time and gradually add other items to it as time progresses to ensure I don’t forget anything, and I would highly recommend you do this as well just to be ready!
2 ♥ Need: Extra Comfy & Baggy Clothes
After giving birth, you’re definitely going to want to change into something comfy (ain’t nobody got time for uncomfortable or tight clothing in a time like this). For this, I like to bring some comfortable pajamas or some baggy postpartum clothes to relax in. My favorite brands are Zumiy & Beachcoco, as they both sell incredibly incredibly comfortable and nursing friendly clothes – which you’ll definitely want to stock up on now! Give yourself some time, get comfy, and make the husband do all the dirty work from now on (muhahaha! Oh, stop, I’m just kidding! Well, kind of.).
We don’t need to get crazy and throw on the stilettos and cocktail dress just yet (sad face), nows the time to chill after all our body just went through. It’s a nice transition to give yourself a chance to truly relax and rest, as it definitely needs it now more than ever. Don’t bother packing any pre-pregnancy clothes either, as your not going to drop down into that size quite yet (sorry, mama).
For me personally, I keep things as simple as possible (the less is best rule!) but for other things you need which I haven’t included here, be sure to check out this beautiful mommy blogger over at HalfStayatHomeMom and her blog post about what else you might need.
3 ♥ Need: Just A Few Pieces Of Baby Clothes
When I say baby clothes, I’m not talking about an entire runway show, I’m talking about just a few outfits at most. A lot of moms make the mistake of packing dozens of pieces of baby clothing in their hospital bag, but in reality, you’re not going to be there long enough to use them and it’s going to take up a lot of space in your bag, so just keep it light. Some good brands to look for are Carters & Gerber Baby, as they two are my go-to favorite for durable, quality, and comfortable baby clothing. Make sure you also pick a variety of onesies, leggings, sleep wear, and everyday clothes, as you want to have options. And it doesn’t take up much hardly any room by planning it this way, so who’s the real winner here?
For even more things you need in your hospital bag (even more than I even packed for myself with my 3 bubs), checkout mombloglife and her hospital bag blog post for absolutely everything you for your labor and delivery.
4 ♥ Need: Postpartum Natural Relaxation Oils
Okay, our bodies just went through a bit of a painful and exhausting procedure to have our baby (no big deal or anything), so now more than ever is the perfect time to relax and take it easy. For this, I always like to make sure that I pack my favorite little body oil and massage all the aches throughout my body, and on my lower belly especially. My favorite one to use is Burt’s Bees Natural Mama Bee Nourishing Oil, as it is not only excellent for relaxing tightened muscles, but also has tons of natural ingredients that are rejuvenating for damaged or worn out skin (and honey, pregnancy will do that to ya!).
You can also pack a gentle lavender essential oil by Majestic Pure, as these always help me to relax and wind down after a long day (and after an 8 hour labor – yeah, you definitely need it!).
A few additional self-explanatory items that you could also add to your hospital bag are:
5 ♥ Need: Reminisce With A Diary
Different than your birth plan, used for your own documentation of your baby. All the little quirks & behavioral traits that you want to remember from the start, or even to jot down all the information that the nurses will tell you before you leave (and trust me, there’s a lot!). I like to use diary notebooks by Red Co, as they always have adorable designs & tons & tons of pages!
I recommend to start doing this before you go to hospital and write down all the information and research that you have gathered nearing the end of your pregnancy and about childbirth and labor, questions you may have or advice you have been given. I have a close friend of mine that is soon to give birth and I’ve recommended this absolutely fantastic website, SilverBirth, where Lila who is a certified labor doula talks all things pregnancy and childbirth, including informational articles about Stripping Membranes & Rupturing Membranes prior to childbirth. I can’t recommend her enough if you are pregnant as she has amazing information! When you get into hospital, it’s just a matter of adding to your notes that you have already and creating a beautiful little notebook of your entire birthing story.
6 ♥ Need: Nurse Away With Nursing Pads
Nursing pads are always an excellent idea when you start breastfeeding because your breastmilk may leak out for a while during and between feedings. So take precaution ahead of time, and save your clothes! I love to use Bamboo nursing pads, as they are affordable, extremely soft, & heavy-duty. You don’t even know they’re there – but they sure are effective!
For more breastfeeding things that you will (definitely) need as your breastfeeding journey progresses, please check out this excellent mom blog by McKayla, MotivationforMom, and in particular her blog post about what you need when breastfeeding. Also check out blog post about foods that increase your milk supply aswell – they are must reads!
7 ♥ Need: Maxi Pads For Maximum Coverage
After giving birth, it is always a good idea to wear extra absorbent Maxi pads afterwards, as you will continue to have some leakage for a while to follow (bleh, right?). My favorite to use is Always Maxi, as these are without a doubt the most absorbent pads I’ve ever used (and you’ll definitely need that right now more than ever!). I know most hospitals will provide you with pads, but just in case you need them when a nurse isn’t around, I always take an extra pack for any extra over spill that might happen.
8 ♥ Stock Up On The Snacks!
It’s always a good idea to pack a variety of snacks & your favorite on-the-go foods because you never know when you’ll get hungry. My favorite snack food is Blue Diamond Whole Almonds, as they are filling & delicious! And it’s either bring your own food or you’re having hospital food ( need I say more?).
9 ♥ Don’t Need: Baby Wipes or Diapers
A lot of mamas (including myself) made and keep making the mistake of bringing all kinds of diapers and baby wipes to the hospital, because, that’s what you’re supposed to do as a mom, right? Actually mama, you would get an A+ in any other scenario but this one, as these diapers do nothing more than take up room in your bag in this situation. Unless you will be using cloth diapers like I did with all of my 3 babies, you won’t need to pack any disposable ones yourself. Take it from a lady who’s had 3 babies, the hospital will provide you with a galore of diapers and wipes (more than you’ll know what to do with), so you don’t have to worry about bringing any at all.
Instead, leave a little extra room in your bag for free items you will receive from the hospital to take back to care for your baby (and trust me, they’ll give you a boat load!).
And a perk of this is that you can use that extra room in your bag for something more important that you’ll really need. Another favorite blog of mine, mamasmakeupdiary not only includes her hopsital bag list but also includes some other mommy tips that are helpful for new parents.
10 ♥ Don’t Need: Makeup Or Beauty Products
I was reading several mommy blogs the other day that talked about the essentials that these ladies pack in their bags, and makeup has appeared on many of the lists (and I’m over here with no makeup on like – what?). Honey, let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got the time or energy to get out of bed, create a Kim K contour, and do a full-face makeup tutorial whilst in labor (if you do, teach me your ways because you are a queen!).
After your baby is born, you’re going to want to do nothing other than obsess over that little beauty. Makeup is going to be a waste to bring, and is just going to take up more and more space. If anything, you can bring a book or two to read while you’re waiting to go into labor, but it’s not likely you’ll have the time.
But if you do, my friend, The Mama Manual wrote a post about the some good books to read this summer. I absolutely adore her recommendations and how she put the post together, so if you need some fantastic ideas, don’t hesitate to visit her lovely page!
11 ♥ Don’t Need: Baby Toys
I made the mistake of bringing baby toys to the hospital in my first pregnancy. I wanted to let my baby have fun, and watch her play with toys from the very start. But something I never considered was the fact that she didn’t know anything about toys, wasn’t interested in them, and really, just wanted to eat and sleep. This is totally normal for newborn babies, so just have patience. They aren’t going to want to play right now since they just came into this world, but I assure you that they will in the future.
Overall, there’s a lot of different things you can pack in your hospital bag for delivery, but I would say that in my experience, these are the most essential things you can’t leave home without and need to pack in your hospital bag for childbirth. More than anything the birth of your child is going to be more special than anything in the world, and it’s all you’re going to think about. So keeping what you pack light and simple is definitely the best way to go.