When I was pregnant, I watched soooo many YouTube videos about what to pack in a hospital bag for birth. I tried to pack as minimally as possible. The COVID pandemic added a few things to my packing list and changes in our plans. I wanted to share what was useful in my experience to hopefully help other mama's out!
This is not an all-inclusive list (those can be found in many other places) but instead is a list of specific things that I couldn't have gone without!
Essentials for Your Hospital Bag
An Eye Mask - I purchased THIS eyemask from Amazon and used it to sleep in the hospital! It was incredibly helpful. I also used the eye mask during labor when I became so tired that I just needed to tune everything out.
Comfortable Face Masks - My husband and I were required to wear masks during our 2-night stay. I highly recommend bringing a comfortable facemask to use during labor. I love the ones from Gap! They even have a wired nose piece.
Sound Machine/Night Light - we received the Hatch Baby sound machine as a gift and I am so glad that I packed it for the hospital. I loved the ambient sounds of rain during the long night of labor. It felt familiar and cozy since we also use a rain sound machine at home.
Small Portable Fan - this is a MUST. Do not think twice! Go buy this fan now! This one is rechargeable and small so that it travels easily. Our hospital room was kept incredibly warm. Combined with postpartum hormones changing rapidly and doing skin-to-skin I was so hot and sweaty. The fan was a lifesaver. I've also used this many times clipped onto our stroller during our summertime walks!
A Hair Dryer - I completely forgot to pack a hairdryer. All I wanted to do was dry my hair and feel semi-normal after my first post-birth shower but sadly I had to let it air dry. I will not make that mistake again if I have another baby!
Toiletries You Enjoy - the first shower after giving birth was like going to the spa. I recommend packing toiletries that you love and will look forward to using.
Boppy Pillow - I wish I had packed my boppy pillow to nurse with. Instead, I had to learn how to breastfeed using approximately 100 terrible hospital pillows stacked on top of each other. When I got home with my son and first used the Boppy pillow, nursing seemed so much simpler! I wish I had had it all along.
Small Speaker - We packed a Wonderboom speaker for music. I had a variety of Spotify playlists ready for the hospital. I wasn't sure what would sound appealing to listen to. When it finally came time to push, I asked my husband to play some music for us and it was so comforting!
Car Seat & Car Seat Cover - Once admitted to the hospital, we were not permitted to leave our room. At all. Make sure to bring EVERYTHING you will need on your way in, including the car seat. I also loved having a car seat cover to leave with. I felt that my son was more protected while walking through the hospital. We love this one.
Nursing Friendly Pajamas - Button-down PJs are a must. The hospital gowns were one-size-fits-all and were extremely large and bulky on me. I hated them. I was so thankful I had packed some soft, comfy pajamas. I lived in these for two days. Order a size up!
A Large Water Bottle - We packed a 32-ounce hydro flask. It was a lifesaver. We literally could not go across the hall to the kitchen to refill our water, so having the nurses fill our water bottles a few times each day was helpful instead of continually asking for cups to drink out of.
No Need To Pack:
Tucks Pads, Peri Bottle, Sitz Bath, Pads, Large Underwear - these are provided to you by the hospital.