We’re expecting baby #2 in just a couple days so I’m making my lists and checking them twice! For me, preparation means peace of mind. Before having my first son, I spent hours on Pinterest reading blog posts and checklists about what to take to the hospital – there’s TONS of great resources out there (especially when it comes to the basics and what you actually need to bring!) But I thought I’d share what we pack… Specifically: why I choose certain things different than what most lists suggest, and the extras that have been a hospital stay game changer for us! The above and beyond items nobody’s told you, you need! I know they’ll be a game changer for you too!
Let’s start simple: When it comes to packing for you and baby, there’s really only so much you need (especially for baby!) Before getting into the unique items I pack, I’ll share the specific things I pack for myself that are tried and true AND affordable in case you’re shopping…
I choose to pack us each our own weekender bags rather than combining our packing and using a large suitcase. Personally, this helps me keep our belongings organized and reminds me to keep it simple… I almost always need less than I think I do! 😉 Below is the bag I’m using for my stuff this time around. It’s a recent purchase from Target and is turning out to be the perfect size!
The staples in my bag
Nursing tanks I LOVE these ones from Amazon! So comfy and high quality. They have just the right amount of support for making you feel a little squeezed in, while still being loose and breathable enough to be comfy! And at only $30 for a pack of three – such a win!
Button up shirts & dark colored comfy pants! The buttons allow for quick and easy transitioning with regular feeding and people coming in and out. Cute colored sets are so fun, but wearing dark colors allows you to not feel worried about any spotting or staining and is just more flattering and concealing when a lot is going on. 😉 Anything that helps you feel confident and put together in those first days with minimal effort is a win in my book!
I grabbed this set from Target and can’t wait to wear it in the hospital!
Comfy nursing bras. I’m obsessed with this set from Amazon! Not only are they perfect for nursing, they’re so comfy and supportive – they’re all I’ve been wearing for MOST of my pregnancy!
Nursing friendly night gown. I haven’t found a favorite, but my sis swears by this one!
Comfy robe! I personally love a cotton robe thats a little heavier than sheer or satin, but not quite fleece… Keeps you warm and offers coverage when people are popping in and out. But this ones really personal preference. Do what you know is comfy for you!
High waisted undies. You may just end up wearing what the hospital provides for your whole stay and then some, but I like to bring a couple pairs of my own, at least to leave in. That being said… the usuals probably won’t cut it. This pack on Amazon is my pick for the perfect combo of coverage and comfy for a good price!
Dry Shampoo! This is the self care item I CANNOT live without. I’ll be bringing all my usual make up items so that I have the option to get ready as much as I want to in the moment, but I don’t plan on washing my hair at all (unless I unexpectedly need to) so this dry shampoo – my go-to ALWAYS – is what I’ll be relying on!
Single Neutrogena make-up wipes! These are especially handy if you have a c-section and can’t get up out of bed for a while to wash your face! Plus, a handful of these take up way less space in your bag than a whole, regular sized pack. This bag is super affordable on Amazon and I’m always finding myself grateful I have them to throw into an overnight bag when things come up!
Rubber Birkenstocks instead of slippers
Almost every list you’ll come across recommends a pair of comfy cozy slippers, but here’s my take – gross! The idea of the germ factor kind of weirded me out when planning for the hospital. I actually brought some, but quickly decided it wasn’t for me. Another reason I initially made the change was comfortability. Most slippers don’t offer great support if you’re trying to do laps in the hospital to get that baby out. And if you end up needing to be on an IV during your stay (many women do, for some time at least) it may increase your already uncomfortable swelling… These rubber Birkenstocks are the perfect solution to all these problems. Extremely easy to wash, complete with the arch support of classic Birks, and easily adjustable for size changes and comfort! Check check check! I have a pink pair and a black pair and they’re easily some of my favorite shoes! They also happen to be the perfect thing to slip on in those final pregnancy days!Your own pillow (even more extra.. try silk!)
This is just a simple comfort thing, but it’s little things like this that can make a huge difference in your stay! As extra as it is 😉 I’m taking it one step further and packing this satin pillow case I’ve recently been trying out. I’ve heard great things about the benefits of silk pillow cases for your hair and skin and have been loving the results! I know I’ll appreciate all the help I can get to maintain my styled hair at the hospital between being tired and less mobile, but still seeing visitors! You can try this set of two satin pillow cases from Amazon for only $8.99 PLUS, theres several color options and almost 20 thousand reviews of nearly 5 stars!
Diffuser & essential oils
This was an idea I had when I was anticipating a natural birth the first time around. I planned to diffuse lavender as part of my birth plan to create a peaceful environment in our room. Even though I ended up having a c-section, we ended up diffusing lavender the entire time we were there! It did wonders for offering some relief from the sterile hospital smells and just added a calm peaceful touch to our room that I loved. Here’s the one we have! It’s actually a bluetooth speaker as well! Which leads me to my next recommendation…
Having a speaker in our room to play music was SO nice. I’m a big TV person, I’ll admit it! But it just felt too distracting during those sweet first moments in the hospital. So instead, we had music playing basically the entire time we were there! As easy as it is to play it through one of your phones these days, having it in a separate location that wasn’t constantly impacted by us picking up our phones and taking pictures/videos of that sweet little newborn was really nice. It allowed for a consistent volume and was just altogether more convenient! We also have this bluetooth speaker thats the BEST (& we’ve owned/tried several!) if you’re in the market! This thing has worked as the only sound system at several larger gatherings and outdoor parties! It’s worth the investment and we’ll definitely be bringing it as a backup because with how portable it is, we take it almost everywhere anyways!
Birth and room music playlists
This is one of my favorite things I did last time! I had a large playlist filled with our favorite worship music and other calming tunes that I knew we’d enjoy listening to softly during our stay. I also created a smaller playlist of songs I knew I’d specifically appreciate while giving birth. Even when I ended up in a last minute c-section, the nurse helped me turn the playlist on on my phone and laid it near my head so I could listen during surgery. It was so helpful in adding a sense of peace to a somewhat stressful and nerve-racking experience. Now every time we hear some of those songs it immediately takes us back to those special moments. HIGHLY recommend!
Another helpful list I created was a plan for communicating with our loved ones and coordinating visits. I typed it up ahead of time and gave it to my husband so he could be the one in charge of it. This way we were on the same page with the plan and it wasn’t something we had to worry about discussing in the moment. My list basically consisted of:
1- Who to text/make aware when we were going to the hospital (family that needed to start traveling, people we’d like to pray over us, etc.)
2- Who to send pictures to and make aware of the birth before a formal announcement,
3- Who to invite to visit at the hospital…
Extra long phone charger
Between responding to well wishes and snapping every inch of yummy newbornness in photo and video… A phone charger is a must and having a long enough cord to reach the bed is SO helpful. You just never know how the room will be set up and extension cords are kind of a hospital no-no. This pack of three 6-foot-long chargers has a TON of great reviews and is less than $10! One for you and one for dad… and one for back up!
This is my personal preference after using extra long cord chargers last time around. This time I’m taking this portable charger that we recently purchased. It comes in a set of two, is super affordable, and highly rated! So far my review is that it holds charge really well and I LOVE not being hooked up to anything! Super excited about this upgrade!
“Thank you” basket
With my first birth I had grand plans of writing each of my nurses a nice “thank you” card accompanied by some treats, but then we ended up having to stay DAYS and my nurses quickly added up… it just wasn’t realistic anymore. Even though this time around, the c-section is planned and the stay should go more according to plan, I’m taking an easier approach that I think/hope will be just as meaningful, but way more practical. A little “thank you” basket of treats to share! Instead of keeping it in our room, I plan to just have one of my nurses take it to their nurses station or break room so that I can be shared. I’ve filled it with lots of simple treats and written one “thank you” card that can be read by all of them. I’m also including a simple tag that sums it up and has our room number so that they know who it’s from.
I’ve done a ton of reading and research about preparing siblings for the arrival of a new baby. With my firstborn being under two years old, there are a lot of things I wish we could do that just don’t seem to be age appropriate so it’s been tough to find good solutions. One thing I’ve heard about, that I think will be impactful, is to have a present at the hospital that is “from the baby, to big brother.” I wanted something relatively small/hassle free that would also be hospital appropriate in case my son wants to dive right into it while he visits. These MagnaTiles are extremely popular right now and I’ve been wanting to get some, but they can also be really spendy. I found this set that comes in a super handy case on Groupon for $20! I think they’ll be perfect for the occasion and that they’ll also be a great activity for times the new baby needs some extra attention at home.
Bible – Keepsake!
Bring your bible, select a special passage, and ask your nurse to print your baby’s feet on the page when doing their regular prints! This is one of the most special things we did and I’m so excited to have both my babies’ foot prints in my bible. It’s something that I will treasure for my whole life.
If these tips are helpful for you or there’s an expecting mama in your life, send them her way! Or better yet – share this post on your social media so that all the mamas in your life can browse!
Got a unique tip or special thing you did that made your stay extra enjoyable? Leave it in a comment below or send it my way! I’ve still got a couple days to add to my list. 😉 & Thanks for reading!!