Honestly I probably overpacked for the hospital. But it all fit into one reasonable bag and I’d personally rather have too much than miss a crucial item. I should also mention we literally live walking distance from the hospital I delivered at so I really would have been okay either way. But, to be honest all I wanted after giving birth was a.) pain relief b.) to shower and c.) to be in comfortable clothes. So I was glad to have everything I needed right there. I was also glad to have it packed up when I went into labor rather than having to think about it between contractions at 1 AM. Here’s what I found necessary:
Comfy Sweatsuit. I was in my robe most of the time in the hospital, but I was grateful to have these for leaving the hospital!
Robe. This was my lifeline in the hospital. It felt so good post-birth and made breastfeeding and doctor checkups so much easier.
Sandals or slippers for walking around the hospital. Anything steady, comfy, and slip-proof. I took walks around the hospital floor as soon as they’d let me.
Nursing Bra. Bring some that are super comfy and soft; you won’t want anything tight or restrictive.
Nipple cream. This is my favorite cream because you don’t have to constantly wash it off before your baby nurses.
Silver Nipple Covers. I really wish I had known about these earlier. I ended up having to take 10 straight days off of breastfeeding and switch to exclusive pumping because I had such a bad injury. This helps you heal between feeds. Those first few weeks were incredibly painful for me, so starting these soothing tools in the hospital is key in my opinion.
Nipple pads. Keep these in the freezer and stick them on anytime you’re sore. You can keep them in a cup of ice at the hospital. Such relieve!
Frida Recovery Kit. The witch hazel liners and padsicles are post-labor heroes. The hospital will provide everything else like basic pads and disposable underwear (don’t even bother packing underwear). Take as many of these free supplies home as you can too!
Sticky socks. These were good for walking around the room.
Pillow. I was super glad to have my own pillow since the hospital ones are not comfortable.
Earplugs and Eye Mask. The hospital was so loud and bright – these helped me get a little bit of sleep!
Breastfeeding pillow. I was super happy to have this while I was learning to breastfeed. This one is super sturdy and you can walk around with it strapped securely to you. It saves your neck and makes the feedings easier.
Toiletries. I brought minimal makeup like tinted moisturizer and mascara so I felt better when guests came. I also showered twice there and was glad to have body wash, my skincare, and my toothbrush.
Phone charger. I bought an extra-long cord which was helpful.
Headphones. I had so many visitors I don’t think I ended up needing these, but good to have just in case!
Snacks. We ended up ordering food a few times (I needed sushi the second I delivered), but I was happy to have a few snacks on hand too. I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours and was starving after labor.
Baby Items. The hospital provides wipes, diapers, hats, swaddles, etc. The only things I brought (and used) was a baby blanket and going-home outfits in two sizes (one newborn size would have sufficed).