Totally meant to get this post live before we went to the hospital but at least now I can report back on what we actually used while we were there. If anything we overpacked – a common problem I have in general – but the good news is, we also didn’t need anything extra.
Of course the major X factor is that you never know what type of delivery you’re going to have or how the baby will be once it arrives. These things can greatly impact the length of your stay and the type of items you need in the hospital. For example, Palmer was a NICU baby so we didn’t use anything we packed for her. We also spent most of our time walking to/from the NICU so I used my slippers and cardigan constantly whereas with Isla, most of our time was spent in the room and I rarely used either.
Ultimately, it’s difficult to predict and prepare for every situation and the reality is, the hospital will provide everything you need, so just pack items that you think will make you feel most comfortable during your stay.
For simplicity sake, I broke the list into four categories – mom, baby, dad and other – and I linked the actual items we brought in the caption of each check list.
I’ve heard that if you deliver via cesarean, you’ll want to use a nightgown versus anything with a waistband which is why I include both pajamas and nightgown on my list. You’ll also want to find clothes with buttons that provide easy access for nursing or pumping since you’ll be doing that every 2-3 hours.
We didn’t know the sex of the baby so I actually packed double for any gender specific items – one for a girl and one for a boy! Honestly, most of this you probably don’t need but I packed with pictures in mind. In the end, we really only had the time and energy to take one cute “announcement picture” so most of the outfits went unused but again, I wanted to be prepared. I also didn’t use the nursing pillow this go around because I felt much more comfortable holding Isla in position than I did with Palmer.
Kevin’s a pretty simple guy and really doesn’t need much. In the end, he was fine sleeping on the convertible couch using the sheets provided by the hospital. He also is totally fine rewearing his clothes and wearing them to bed – LOL – so even this short list was probably overkill for him.
Most of these items probably fall in the “nice to have category” but they definitely made our stay more comfortable and enjoyable. We used almost all items but I’d say my favorites were the pillows, blanket and mini fan. I also used these clear organizer pouches and these packing cubes to keep everything organized.
Hopefully these lists can serve as a helpful starting point for any moms-to-be preparing for an upcoming hospital stay! I’ve now used this list 2x for my own deliveries and have yet to come across something I needed and didn’t pack. But again, labor and delivery can and will look different for everyone so make sure to tailor this to fit your own needs.