Hey friends, happy Thursday! I’m so excited and kind of in disbelief [but also not in disbelief at the same time? If that even makes sense, lol] that I’m at the point in my pregnancy where I’m prepping my hospital bag! Baby boy will be making his appearance in the next couple weeks – if not sooner – so I figured it was time to share my hospital bag must-haves with y’all plus do a double check to make sure I have everything ready to go! I’m SO ready to meet him and I know John is too. Having the hospital bag ready makes it all the more real that he’s going to be here so soon!!
There’s kind of a lot of information here so I wanted to break everything down by category to make it easier to digest. So you’ll see sections for momma, for baby, tech, postpartum, etc. I also want to note that I think it’s important to remember that hospital bags look different for each momma and just because I’m choosing to bring something [or not bring something] absolutely doesn’t mean that’s the right choice for you. My goal is just to provide insight into what I’m planning for my experience and what could be helpful in case you feel a little ‘in the dark’. Remember, you do you!! And, if you brought something that was really handy – please share! I’d love to hear what other people have brought and found helpful – so leave those in the comments! ALSO, if you need more pregnancy posts from me, there’s a new section on the blog HERE to make them easy to find!
I’m pretty excited about this one so let’s get into it!
Alright, ladies, buckle in because I have quite the list here. I’m someone that would rather be over-prepared than under-prepared, so just know I’m aiming for that over-prepared vibe. It will be interesting to see what happens during birth and what I actually use and what I don’t – I’ll try to report back on that, but for now, this is what I have! And really quickly, as I said above, every momma is going to be different so this list likely looks different for everyone, however, this is what I have packed in my hospital bag so far!
• CARRY-ON SUITCASE: I’m bringing quite a bit to the hospital so I am opting to put all of my stuff in THIS carry-on suitcase. Then, all of baby’s stuff [and our tech items] will go in the duffle I’ve mentioned to you guys before [in this post]! I think these packing cubes match perfectly, as well!
• NURSING BRAS: I am hoping to have a water birth so I am likely going to wear this black one as it’ll keep everything discreet. I also packed the new SPANX one as the material is beyond comfy! Enjoy 10% off with code HALEYXSPANX at checkout!
• NURSING CAMI: I likely won’t wear this unless I stay for a couple of days but packing just in case.
• ROBE: I can imagine that, after giving birth, my lightweight robe will probably feel better than it ever has before after that first shower. Mine is old so I linked the most similar one I could find.
• GOING HOME OUTFIT: Lots of y’all suggested a comfy, loose dress but it’s still chilly here so I’m going with this set [top | bottoms] and a coatigan. I’ll likely wear the coatigan into the hospital, as well so I don’t ever really have to ‘pack’ it.
• TOILETRIES & MINIMAL MAKEUP: Don’t forget deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, body lotion, face wash, moisturizer, loofah, contacts, case and solution, a wash cloth, and whatever else you need! I probably won’t fuss with too much makeup but definitely bringing TULA’s Face Filter Blurring Primer [15% off with code ALYSONHALEY]. I am obsessed with keeping all that stuff organized so here are the little containers [with labels] I used + some pouches [mine is by The Daily Edited] if it might help you:
• FACIAL SPRAY / PORTABLE FAN: I don’t think I’ll be bringing a fan but I’ve heard they come in clutch if you’re someone who is always hot! I’m more on the cold side so I’m opting for a facial spray to mist across my face, chest and neck to help relax me. I absolutely love THIS cucumber and aloe spray!
• SOCKS WITH GRIPS: Personally bringing THESE because I don’t think hospitals here provide them and I’ll be walking around while laboring. They might not be something you need if you’re in the States.
• SHOWER SHOES: I’m taking it back to dorm days and bringing shower shoes just because, you know, ring worm is the last thing I want to take care of when I have a fresh newborn that I’m constantly snuggled up with, ha! I’m sure it wouldn’t happen but I’m not one for taking chances during a time when lots of hormones and a lack of sleep could make you a little less tolerant of random annoyances like that.
• SLIPPERS: Definitely recommend bringing a pair that aren’t your absolute favorite and you can throw in the wash when you get home! Hospitals are pretty dirty as much as they do clean them. Something like THIS could work.
• BLANKET: You want things around you that keep you calm and comfortable.
• MAMA NECKLACE: Because, why not?
• BREASTFEEDING PILLOW: Opting for the Boppy for the hospital as I can throw the cover in the wash when we get home more easily than throwing the entire Snuggle Me Organic pillow in that we have! Excited to try both and will let you know which works better!
• COLOSTRUM SYRINGES: If you want to breastfeed, you can just try and get your baby to take the colostrum from your breast but, if there are any issues with latching or you’d prefer not to breastfeed, my friend said having these was so clutch! Can’t let the liquid gold go to waste! The Haakaa ones, sadly, aren’t available in the UK so I’m using these.
• LIP BALM: With all of the up-breathing and down-breathing I’m preparing myself to do, I am going to be needing some good lip balm that’s clean. If you want, you can use your nipple balm. It’s just as hydrating.
• WATER BOTTLE WITH STRAW: It’s so important to keep yourself hydrated through birth. I’m not sure if they allow you or encourage you to take
• PRENATAL VITAMINS: I take Ritual vitamins and will continue my prenatal’s until I finish my current bottle then switch to their postpartum ones. Enjoy 10% off your first three months by clicking my link to purchase!
• TENS UNIT: A TENS unit is a device that sends electrical pulses through the skin through pads that are placed on your lower back. These pulses control pain signals in the body, creating temporary or permanent relief from pain. They can control abnormally excited nerves and release endorphins, which help to reduce your perception of pain. If you requested a prescription for one by your OB, I’m sure they’d be able to write you one OR they might have one at the hospital you can use. I’ll be putting mine on during early labor to help with pain relief.
Another item I’ve seen mentioned on lists is an iPad or laptop to pass the time so definitely consider that if you think it’d be beneficial. Being that I’m opting for an unmedicated birth, I’ll likely be practicing my hypnobirthing, trying to keep my mental space calm and positive, and focusing on working with my body to get baby out as I’m feeling contractions so I just don’t think watching a show would go over well, ha! But, definitely think it’s a good idea for other birth plans!
I definitely enjoyed packing baby boy’s stuff more than anything else because I cannot wait to see him wearing some of it – even if it’s just a plain white onesie! I tried not to go too over the top here and just focus on the essentials, but also included some fun items/ideas for you girls like a nameplate for any hospital announcement photos! Okay, here’s what is in my hospital bag for myself.
• DUFFLE BAG: I feel like duffle bags can end up being a black hole where you literally can’t find anything. That drives me nuts so I opted for this one as it has plenty of compartments for paperwork and all your necessities for baby.
•. A FEW ONESIES IN DIFFERENT SIZES: It’s hard to know what size he’s going to fit into when he arrives so I’ll be bringing a few onesies in different sizes [probably just white ones as I’ll probably have him swaddled quite a bit if we’re not doing skin to skin].
• ANNOUNCEMENT PHOTO OUTFIT: I can’t wait to share his announcement outfit with you guys! I’ll also share where I got it, as well. It came as a set with a bassinet cover, hat, sleeper, and swaddle!
• ANNOUNCEMENT NAMEPLATE: If you’re taking photos to share with friends and family that your baby has made it safely into the world, these little name announcement plates are such a cute and chic way to do so!
• GOING HOME OUTFIT: As much as I’m enjoying the rise in temps here, I am somewhat hoping it’s cold enough to bring him home in this adorable bear onesie I got for him months ago! If not, it’ll likely be something a little lighter, like this.
• SOCKS + HATS: I’ll be bringing a few socks and hats and maybe a set of hand mittens, as well.
• BURP CLOTHS: We have some really cute ones that I can’t wait to share with you but, just to make things easy for when we get home and do laundry, I’m bringing these basic white ones made out of organic bamboo.
• DIAPER BAG: This is something I want to bring because the hospitals here don’t supply you with diapers and wipes from what I understand [I will update this if I’m wrong in case you’re in the UK]. If you’re in the States, it could be good to bring it because they supply you with so many great items that could get you started at home. I haven’t made a decision on one yet [I like this one] so all of our diapers and wipes will be packed in John’s suitcase, as he has a lot more room in his suitcase than mine, ha!
If you’re in the States, there is no reason for you to bring anything you need for changing your baby as the hospital will provide it all for you! They will also have swaddles, as well, so no need to bring that!
These are the items I feel like I am most likely to forget so this list is definitely acting as a double-check for me to make sure I have all the essentials in my hospital bag. There are a few items in this section that might not be for everyone, but it’s what I’m planning for at this point and we’ll see how it all plays out!
• EXTRA LONG CHARGING CORD: Can’t go to the hospital without!
• CHARGING PACK: I’m debating whether I need this being that I’m not bringing my laptop but I’m not sure what our outlet situation will be like so bringing anyway!
• FUJIFILM INSTAX MINI 11 CAMERA [bundled with film]: I’m sure we could just as easily use our phones but don’t we all drag our heels to print photos of special moments that we take on our phones? I think it’ll be sweet to have some polaroid type photos of our experience in the hospital.
• CANON G7X MARK II: This is my vlogging camera and while I don’t plan to actually vlog my birth and share it… I would love to capture some bits of the birth process for us to look back on. I know I’ll be in the zone and it’ll be a bit of a blur. I also know I won’t want it all on my phone as I’m terrible about deleting stuff and don’t want to risk not being able to capture it if we are able to. So, bringing this and we’ll see what we get!
• TRIPOD: This is the tripod I use to set my vlogging camera on. I could potentially laugh at myself later for bringing my vlogging camera and tripod and, whether we use it, will be completely dependent on where I’m at in labor when I get to our hospital room. However, if we are able to capture some of the experience, I know it’ll be something we both treasure so I think it’s worth bringing just in case.
We’re also bringing fairy lights and battery-operated tea lights to create a calm, soothing and spa-like environment. I’ll explain why this is important to me in a future post!
I left this section for last as most of you will NOT need to pack these in your hospital bag. The hospitals will likely provide all of / most of these but if you do want to bring postpartum items with you, some of my friends have raved about the FridaMom Postpartum Essentials Pack. It seems like it might be good value so worth looking into if you just want to bring all your own stuff.
If you’re delivering in the U.K., like me, here is what I’m bringing for my birth being that the expectation is a vaginal delivery. If you’re preparing for a C-section, the items you’ll need to bring are different so be sure to consult with your midwife for instructions:
• UNDERGARMENTS: Okay, so I left this vague because so many people have differing opinions about what works ‘best’. I’m bringing three different options [ha!] and after birth, I will update this with what I used & loved most! Here are the three things I’m bringing and trying:
– MESH UNDERWEAR: Many of you said they’re a dream [so comfy!] but I had a few friends who said they were too flimsy to support the pad and icepack that you put in them for healing and relief.
– ALWAYS SECRET DISCREET POSTPARTUM UNDERWEAR: Quite a few of y’all recommended these. They’re not the most flattering but they smell nice and seem like they might offer more support and protection from leaks than the mesh underwear.
– HIGH-WAISTED THICK POSTPARTUM UNDERWEAR: I’ve heard these are amazing at keeping everything secure. I’ve been wearing them even with the bump and they’re so COMFY so I am already going into labor with a potential favorite, ha!
• THICK ABSORBENT PADS: These will be very, very necessary. They are organic cotton and biodegradable … also really good value.
• ICE PACKS: These reusable ice-packs with washable covers was what I found to curb my carbon footprint even just a little bit as so many things during this stage is disposable. Place these on top of the pad every few hours for 20-30 minutes to provide
• TUCKS: Witch hazel provides pain relief, helps prevent infection, reduces swelling, and fights bacteria so I’m expecting witch hazel to be my absolute best friend after delivery … and yours! Stock up on the TUCKS.
I’ve had friends recommend Dermaplast, which I can’t seem to find here — well, I can but it’s like ridiculously expensive. If anyone knows of an equivalent here in the UK, please let me know!
• SNACKS: You gotta play the long game as you never know how long it’ll take you to deliver so make sure you have snacks on hand that are high in protein and natural sources of energy. I’m not sure about in the States but my midwife encourages us to bring small meals like sandwiches as spouses / partners are encouraged to NOT leave if it’s not necessary due to Covid restrictions.
• ESSENTIALS: In the US, don’t forget your driver’s license and insurance card. In the UK, don’t forget a proof of identity and your blue antenatal folder [make copies of the notes beforehand if you want them as keepsakes]. No matter where you are, if you’re opting to encapsulate your placenta and need to bring paperwork to the hospital for the process to begin, don’t forget that!
• NURSE / MIDWIFE APPRECIATION BASKETS: Over the next few days, as long as baby doesn’t come, I’ll be getting my midwife / nurse appreciation baskets made before heading into the hospital! I’ll let you know what we end up putting in them on IG stories!
And the hospital bag is officially packed and ready to go! Ladies, I can’t even tell you how excited I am and how writing this post has made it all the more real!! Thank you so much for all the prayers and support throughout this unexpected pregnancy journey of mine – it truly means the world to me. xo.