You guys have been asking for this post for a while now, and today is finally the day! After weeks of tweaking this list, we finally have it nailed down. So how did I come to this? I started by asking the mom friends that I trust the most. I pooled their answers and wrote down what I thought made sense.
My friend Arielle has a great list on her site and went back after her labor to share what was helpful and what wasn’t.
Then I talked to my doula and doctor who both added a few more things. A lot of you have made some amazing suggestions too! Finally, in our first parenting class last week (which covered labor and delivery), our teacher gave us a hand out with a great list that made me rethink a few more items.
When I used to read other peoples’ lists, I thought the amount of stuff they were bringing was insane, but after extensive conversations with experts and moms, I really think most of this will be incredibly helpful. At this point, I feel like our list is rock solid, but definitely know if I’m missing anything.
The bag itself
We’re taking two bags, this one for me and baby, and one for Anel so that while we’re there he doesn’t have to ask me where things are. I’ll go over what’s in both below. While the list seems long, it all fits into two bags well! Except for Anel’s pillow, which he insists upon bringing, and the breastfeeding pillow.
ID and insurance card: Both are in my wallet which is in my purse which is also coming with us. We pre-registered at the hospital so we don’t need to bring any other official paperwork.
Birth plan: Our birth plan is pretty loose (I’ll share it in the coming weeks), but my doula, Anel and I are all on the same page and want to make sure our doctors and nurses are on board too. We have a print out of our wishes to share when we get there.
Dopp kit: I filled my dopp kit with travel sizes of my everyday toiletries like cleanser, moisturizer, body lotion, toner, a toothbrush/toothpaste/floss, brush, deodorant, eye cream, a loofah (I’ve heard the towels/wash cloths at the hospital aren’t great), belly butter, and hair ties.
Make up bag: I might never need this but if we have visitors, I might swipe on some concealer.
Lip balm: I always have it on me but everyone keeps telling me how much I’ll need it there!
Snacks: While I won’t be allowed to eat during labor, it will be nice to have some of my favorite nourishing snacks available for afterwards. I’ll also be bringing plenty of coconut water for electrolytes.
Grippy socks: I can’t tell you how many people have told me to bring grippy socks. They won’t let you walk around in regular socks at the hospital, but it can get cold in the room. Hence, grippy socks FTW!
Nursing bras and nursing night gowns/shirts: For easy access. I love this maternity night gown because it’s super soft but also snaps open easily. I also have the matching robe which I’ll be bringing.
Zip up sweatshirt: To wear over nursing shirts if I get cold.
Loose sweat pants: These have been my longtime favorite pair. I have two so one is packed.
Going home outfit: Let’s be honest, I’ll probably end up wearing sweats, but if I feel like it I have a loose maxi dress on hand.
Phone charger: Obviously
Nipple cream: Everyone says this one is the best one out there.
Belly balm: I’ve been using this one from The Honest Company for the last few weeks and I’m obsessed. It goes on smoothly and smells great too.
Belly bandit. It seems silly, but apparently the tight post-partum belly bandit feels great after labor if you don’t have a c-section. Plus it helps hold everything in place.
Diffuser and essential oils: While I’m not planning to use any on my skin (I want the baby to learn my scent quickly without distractions), we do plan to use my diffuser during labor to help with nausea (peppermint oil) and to help calm down everyone in the room (lavender oil).
Flameless candles: I used to make fun of people for bringing these but the only options in the room are blaring lights or pitch black so these make a great and comforting happy medium.
Noise cancelling headphones: I have recordings from my hypnobirthing class that I’m planning to listen to when we arrive.
Speakers: We also have portable iPhone speakers for calming music when the headphones are no longer an option. I downloaded two labor and delivery playlists from Spotify that are incredibly calming.
Flip flops: For the shower
Two onesies: One that’s newborn sized and one that’s 0-3 months. We have no idea how big she’ll be so we wanted to be covered for every scenario.
A hat: I found the cutest little newborn hat on Etsy that I want her to wear in her first picture.
Swaddle: This swaddling blanket (in pink stripe) will be so sweet to wrap her up in when we leave the hospital
Breastfeeding pillow: I didn’t want to bring this at first because it’s so bulky but everyone I talk to says it’s necessary so our Boppy is coming along for the ride.
Going home outfit: We’re probably just going to put her in a tiny white onesie and swaddle her up. She can get fancy another day!
Organic formula: While I do plan to breast feed exclusively, I want to be prepared for any situation. If she ends up needing formula for whatever reason, I want to make sure it’s one that I feel ok with. Arielle and Aimee recommended this one that comes from Germany. Fingers crossed that I won’t have to use it, but if I do then I do.
PJs: We’ll be spending two nights there (Five if I end up needing a C-section) so he’ll want to be comfy.
Dopp kit: His dopp kit is packed full of travel sized toiletries, a toothbrush, razor, comb, and all of his everyday essentials.
Pillow and eye mask: Poor guy will be sleeping on a cot both nights so at least he can have some comfort with his own pillow. We assume there will be lights and people walking in and out of the room all night so hopefully the eye mask lets him get a little more sleep.
Comfortable clothes: Not much to say here. Pretty much a no brainer! This includes socks and underwear obvs.
Noise cancelling head phones: In case he needs an escape.
Snacks: We have no idea how long I’ll be in labor so we want to keep him fueled at the hospital even if I’m not allowed to eat. We’ve stocked up on perishables like bars (he likes these), nuts, coconut water, and gluten free pretzels.
iPad: For reading, TV, and sending emails to our friends and family.
A bathing suit: Weird, right? I thought so at first too but our teacher at The Parent Collective said it’s helpful if I want relief in the shower at the hospital during labor. The partner isn’t allowed to be naked so a bathing suit helps.
Flip flops: Also for the shower.
Ok so what am I missing, friends?