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April 26, 2021
It’s on every mom-to-be’s to-do list, and it’s a sure sign that the baby is coming soon when mom’s bag is packed up and ready to go at any moment. There are many resources available on what to pack, but from experience, we’ve noticed these lists have you packing so much stuff that you don’t actually need (like diapers - more on that later) and missing a few things that would make your time in the hospital much more comfortable. So, we’re bringing you our very own Butt Naked Baby hospital packing guide, along with a checklist printout.
A note on clothing. Nearly every first-time mom puts so much thought into what to wear in the hospital and they're going home outfit, but let’s be real… those outfits might just sit in the overnight bag for the entire stay. Unless you're Kate Middleton, no one will be waiting to photograph you as you leave with your precious new baby, and buying a special labor & delivery outfit is unnecessary. The reason being, you’re tired, (might be) constantly nursing with boobs out around the clock, things get real messy in all the places, and nurses come in constantly to check on your recovery down there…. It just becomes easier to wear the issued gown. Wearing the hospital gown means you can just grab a new one if you get bodily fluids on it (no sweating over stains), and it creates easy access to all the places your nurse and baby are going to be focusing on.
Yes, you might be one of those super moms who can slip into their beautiful gown and robe set with matching slippers and be Instagram ready minutes after pushing. If you are this mom, MORE POWER TO YOU. But, just know it’s okay to stay in your hospital garb, you don’t need to be photo-ready after giving birth. You brought a human into this world, and you deserve to rock that hospital-issued gown like it’s a Gucci cloak.
The goal here is to pack light. We’re not going on an international vacation, hospital rooms are small (again, unless your Kate Middleton) and we’re going to be leaving with more to carry than we came in with, so here are some items you can leave at home.
Diapers: they take up a lot of room and the hospital will be giving these to you to wear… oh, yeah, they’ll give your baby diapers as well. Haha.
Food & Drinks: if you have a special diet or allergy, by all means, bring foods to nourish yourself, but for the average person, the hospital will feed you, and you might be limited on what you can eat and drink anyway, especially if you have an epidural. Don’t be shy to request popsicles to be delivered every 30 minutes.
Tons of baby clothes/blankets/swaddles: While a going-home outfit is a must-have, don’t worry about having your baby dressed in the hospital. Diaper changes will be frequent and skin-to-skin is the best thing you can do for your newborn baby. The hospital baby blankets make perfect newborn swaddles and are all your little one will need. And those cute little hats they put on your baby, this is the only time in their life that they can wear that teeny tiny thimble-sized pink and blue cap, so let them flaunt it.
Pillows/ Blankets: This might be controversial, especially if you’re very attached to your pillow, but we’re all about leaving all the bulky stuff at home.
Toiletries: The hospital will have some toiletries available, but they’re not quality products and they are not toxin-free. We suggest bringing your must-have toiletries for yourself and a few items for the baby. Some babies (especially overdue ones) are born with very dry skin and having a newborn-safe product, like Rescue 911 will help keep their fresh skin protected.
Chapstick: Between the AC/heat circulating and all the labor screams (we kid) you might find your lips will be chapped. You want those lips kissably soft for when baby arrives.
Eye mask: this is an item that is missing from so many packing lists. When in the hospital, either in labor or after the baby is born, you will need to sleep any chance you get. A light-blocking mask will help you catch those zzzs.
Baby Nail Trimmers: People don’t tell you that your child may come out looking like they have false nail extensions. The hospital won’t have nail trimmers for you. Be prepared for your baby’s claws.
Nurse Gifts: This is completely optional, but the nurses who will care for you and your baby are amazing and are doing everything in their power to keep you comfortable while you are at your most vulnerable. Even the nicest women on earth have gone full primal on their nurse while in labor. A few snacks for the nurse station or Starbucks gift cards make a nice “thank you / I’m sorry for what I say while in labor” gift.
One final tip, since you can’t predict when your baby will make its arrival, have your bag packed when you hit 35 weeks. That way, you’re ready for any early surprises. You'll also need those final weeks to constantly remind your partner to pack their bag.