One thing I’ve heard most about having a third child? You get super efficient and practical out of necessity. Some of the things you used to worry about feel silly, and you have a new sense of what’s really important. I will gladly welcome less worry over the little things, since that’s kind of my MO. Only time will tell, but one can hope! In the meantime, I think I’ve learned a lot with my first two babies, so I’m going to share what I plan to pack in my hospital bag this third time around.
Nursing Nightie. I didn’t pack nursing-friendly pajamas for my first two births, and I’m not going to make this mistake again. It’s just so much easier to get access as you need it, especially if you are having trouble getting a good latch at first. Plus, with all the folks coming in and out of your room, you may feel more comfortable with a little extra coverage than the standard issue hospital gown. Treat yourself to something soft and lovely like these options from Belabumbum to make sleep a little easier in that hospital bed.
Robe. This is another item I thought I didn’t need the last two times, but you know what? This time, I’m going for it. I know I’ll feel more comfortable seeing visitors when I have something more substantial on, and I know I’ll use it plenty for night nursing once at home. I love the pretty neckline on the Belabumbum robe above.
Pretty Swaddle Blanket. While the picture of your babe swaddled in the ubiquitous hospital blanket is a rite of passage, you may want another pretty one on hand for photo ops. Since this is likely my last baby, I’m going to milk every last bit out of the experience and will pack this pretty swaddle in my bag.
Bag of Toiletries. Pack travel-sized shampoo, soap, lotion, toothpaste and toothbrush in a wet/dry bag. You probably aren’t going to want to bring your whole morning routine, but make sure to grab what makes you feel good.
Nursing Bra. See my tips on a nursing nightie above. I actually wore my nursing bra right to the hospital the second time around. You’ll also want to stash some nursing pads in your bag, especially if this isn’t your first baby and your milk comes in fast and furious.
Travel Bag. You can opt for an overnight bag or you may even be able to get away with your diaper bag if you selected one large enough. No need for a suitcase. You really don’t need that much stuff.
Phone/Charger. You probably won’t forget your phone, but definitely don’t forget that charger!
Going Home Outfit. Don’t forget your little one’s going home outfit! My advice is to opt for a simple sleeper or one-piece. Even getting my first born into a onesie and a pair of pants had me nearly in tears. Let’s just say new babies don’t like clothes, and you will likely be pretty worn out by the time you are heading home, so those baby screams seem especially sad. Make things as easy on yourself as possible.
Car Seat. You won’t be able to leave the hospital without it. In my experience, baby has to be buckled right into the infant car seat in your room and checked before discharge, though I’m sure different hospitals have different procedures. Just have it waiting for you in the car until it’s time to go. I’m using the Nuna Pipa—you can find out why I selected this car seat here.
What I’m skipping this time:
Nursing Pillow. With a tiny, sleepy newborn, I found the nursing pillow couldn’t quite get baby in the right position. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good nursing pillow later, but I just used the hospital pillows, which I could better manipulate to get a tiny baby who’s just learning into position.
Fancy Camera. Cell phone cameras have come a long way, and with the hospital lighting, you might be better off waiting to get those stellar photos at home.
Entertainment. I’ll admit I haven’t been known for long labors, so maybe I’ll change my tune if this little lady takes her sweet time coming into the world. If you have a planned c-section, you may want more to do since you have a longer hospital stay. With my first, I was too busy figuring out the whole baby thing, and with my second, my entire stay was less than 48 hours from check in to check out.
Changes of Clothes. Honestly, you are going to be checked so many times by the nurses/doctors, it’s just easier to stay in a nightie. Yes, you’ll want to make sure you have something to go home in, but make sure it’s still maternity clothes since you’ll still need them. If you really want to save room in your bag, you more than likely can wear what your wore coming in.
You’re in luck, because The Project Nursery Shop is throwing a sale in honor of Mother’s Day that has a few of the items above at reduced prices, along with many other options for your hospital bag.
The sale runs through May 4, 2017.
Some products and/or samples were received but all the opinions are my own.