A Hospital Bag Checklist (from a third-time Mama)
I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant and I cannot believe I’ll soon be a mom of 3 boys! The time has gone by so fast and I’ve been behind on preparing for this baby. Between my 4-year-old starting preschool and my 2-year-old being, well, a 2-year-old, it’s been life in the fast lane. Making a hospital bag checklist has been the last thing on my mind but as time approaches delivery, I knew I needed to get it done.
When I packed my hospital bag the first time around, I was completely over-prepared . I literally brought anything I thought I would need. I labored for 18 hours with Optimus and spent an hour or two in the labor room after he was born. Then when I transferred from the labor room to a mom/baby room, I realized I brought too many things. My parents and husband had to lug suitcases and random things to my other room which was MUCH smaller.
When I packed my hospital bag the second time around, I was slightly under-prepared . I woke up to contractions at 6am and Bumblebee was born by c-section at 9am. I wasn’t prepared for a c-section as far as my hospital bag. My parents and husband would bring me things from home that I either forgot or things that I didn’t realize I needed. Luckily, I had the luxury of living somewhat close to the hospital.
This time around, I’ll have it just right.
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Before making that list
If you haven’t created a registry by now, I highly suggest it. Yes, I created a registry for my third son and yes I will be having a third baby shower for him as well.
Currently, Amazon is having some awesome incentives for creating a registry with them.
1. Complete a registry with Amazon, you will receive a welcome box filled with lots of goodies such a sample diapers/wipes, nursing pads, and a Muslin swaddle blanket!
2. Add any Britax item worth $75 or more to your registry and be entered to win $2,500.
3. If you or anyone purchases $1,000 worth of items from your registry, earn $100 in diapers and wipes.
4. Once your registry is complete, you’ll earn a completion discount of 10-15% off of one item from your registry.
You won’t find this many benefits in other registries, so start making your list mama. You can register HERE.
Making my hospital bag checklist for the third time
Now for the good part. If you’ve been following this blog and my social media, you might remember that I’ve been dabbling into the minimalist lifestyle. I’ve been trying to live with less, for simplicity and to save money. So, this checklist includes only the necessities that I think are important. I’ve included both vaginal and c-section necessities because well, you never know if you’ll need a c-section so it’s best to be prepared.
Vaginal birth: depending on when you decide to come to the hospital, you can expect to labor anywhere from 2 to 18+ hours. Some of this time will include lots of downtime, that is where your phone and tablet will come in handy to pass the time. I like a calm atmosphere so I use my tablet or phone for serene music and my diffuser for some aromatherapy filled with essential oils specifically for giving birth.
Cesarean birth: If you make it to your scheduled C-section date, you will have a small amount of downtime while waiting to be admitted and for staff to get your room ready. But, if you have an emergency C-section or need to deliver earlier than your scheduled date, chances are that there will be no downtime. The necessities will be the same as a vaginal delivery for the laboring phase.
Hospital bag checklist: Tablet and charger, Cell phone and charger, Book, Wax candle or aromatherapy diffuser, Essential oils
Hours after birth
Vaginal delivery: That first hour is so amazing. It’s a wonderful time for you and your partner to bond with your new squish. Kangaroo care and getting that first latch are two of the most important things that happen in that first hour or two. Make sure to bring your camera (the good one) to capture those first moments. After that, you’ll probably have family members venture in and out to meet the new edition. Now is a good time to change into something more suitable, just make sure the nurses have access to your belly for fundal checks. I also like to get baby dressed, swaddled, and cozy.
Cesarean delivery: After baby is born, you’ll need to stay to finish the surgery. Then, you will be reunited with your babe. While you won’t get the full golden hour, you’ll still get a good portion of it. From the time you are reunited, the necessities remain the same for you and baby.
Hospital bag checklist: DSLR camera, Mitts for baby, Swaddle blanket for baby, Beanie for baby, Postpartum robe, Nursing bra
Days after birth
Vaginal birth: In the days after birth, the nurses are going to be checking your fundus and pad counts. This is a time for your recovery as well as establishing a good bond with your baby. If you have someone to stay with you, like your husband or mother, then you will have a chance to shower. If not, ask the nurse to take the baby while you shower. You’ll feel much better afterwards. This is time you can start eating and feeling like yourself again.
Cesarean birth: In the days after birth, the nurses will be checking your fundus and will also be checking your incision site. Sutures are usually taken out on day 3 if it is healing properly. Ask your provider if a shower is permitted before then. If not, you can still dress yourself and freshen up your face and hair (dry shampoo). Your abdomen will likely feel sore so make sure to wear your maternity binder. It will help tremendously when getting out of bed.
For baby: Some hospitals offer newborn pictures for your new babe. You can choose to bring an outfit for these pictures or decide to do a naked picture. Pack an extra outfit accordingly if you wish.
Hospital bag checklist: Pumping supplies (I use the ones provided by the hospital), Nursing supplements, Nursing bra, Snacks, Pineapple juice, Slippers, Postpartum Spray (for vaginal births only), Nipple cream (some hospitals that have lactation consultants provide samples of these), Toiletries (travel size shampoo/conditioner/body wash, loofa, toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, hair ties, bobby pins, q-tips), Makeup (makeup remover, foundation, eyelash curler, mascara), Flip flops for the shower, Loose/stretchy pants and tanks (if stay is longer)
Leaving the hospital
When you finally get to go home, it’s an exciting time. Whether you’ve had a vaginal delivery or C-section, the necessities will be the same. Hospitals will require you to take your baby out in his car seat, so make sure you have the base installed (if it’s a newborn seat) or your husband can install the car seat well. You won’t want to be exerting force on your abdomen that first day home. Consider the temperature when choosing a going home outfit for baby and your self. Take the rest of the postpartum pads offered to you from the hospital and take advantage of the mesh panties too. After that, you have to provide your own pads and panties.
Hospital bag checklist: Car seat, Going home outfit for baby, Going home outfit for mom (loose fitting), Postpartum pads, Postpartum underwear
For your Husband
Men are simple and don’t need much. My husband is good with his phone, charger, 3 pairs of clothes, some toiletries, the remote for the television and he’s a happy camper.
That’s what is in MY hospital bag. What’s in yours? Is there something you HAVE to HAVE?