Three babies and three hospital deliveries in, I feel a bit like a seasoned pro when it comes time to pack the hospital bag. Each experience I’ve learned something new about what to pack (by way of what I didn’t pack, of course). So, here it is, the ultimate hospital bag list from a Mom of three! xo
You’ll need to pack clothes for your stay in the hospital, as well as going home. For at the hospital I recommend an open, black, mid-length robe, a nursing tank, and loose fitting pyjama bottoms. Double up on both the top and joggers for longer stays. I prefer everything to be black, which won’t stain as easily. This time around I had a grey robe, which definitely showed any spots of breast milk or nipple cream. Lesson learned. I also pack a cheap pair of flip flops and slippers– ones that I don’t mind tossing afterwards. Also pack some comfortable underwear– for those of you in Canada I’ve found Joe Fresh to have great options!
For heading home from the hospital, clothing choice will differ for everyone depending on season/individual preference/how you feel. In the fall/winter I’ve worn a cozy sweater and leggings in the winter. I like these ones, and just size up for postpartum, they are great for tummy control! This summer I wore a simple black maxi dress. Think comfort as well as nursing access!
I recommend everything you bring for an overnight stay: shampoo & conditioner, face wash, moisturizer, make up remover, make up, dry shampoo, a brush, scrunchies, and lip balm. I also bring my make up bag.
Nutrition & Hydration
Swap out your fancy water bottle for one of these basic shaker cups with a wide spout, making it easy for ice & water refills. You are going to be drinking A LOT of water once you start nursing. When I first brought each of my kids home I had TWO of these beside my bed at all times. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate Mamas! Hospital food is pretty much what you’d expect … not all that exciting, or nourishing, really. You may have plans for people to bring you meals at the hospital, but that quickly changed for me when our toddler became sick and my husband had to rush home. I always have a few of my favourite protein bars and shakes on hand. You can check out the New Mamas package I use here. I’ve used this same product for 10 years and through all of my pregnancies too!
Plenty of sleepers! I brought 4 sleepers for Rowen and he managed to pee through all of them in just ONE night and my husband had to get more (the girls however weren’t like this). He was born in July and it was still cool enough for sleepers in the hospital. I love zippered sleepers for easy changes. Two newborn hats to keep baby warm (especially if the a/c is on). I also throw in a few swaddling blankets– my favourite are the Aden and Anais silky soft. Most hospitals still provide the classic baby blankets for your stay, but it’s nice to have a few of your own too and they are often much softer and sweeter to cuddle your new baby up in. Finally, a going home outfit! Wahoo, you’ve made it! I highly recommend buying at least one in newborn size. With our first baby I thought the 0-3 months or 1 month ones would fit, and she was swimming in them (and we didn’t have small babies). If you are booking a fresh 48 photography session (we did a mini one this time around) keep it simple! Soft loose fabrics are ideal for this, and if you have siblings at home make sure you have their outfits ready for easy prep!
Our hospital provides the basic supplies to get you started- a sleeve of diapers and stack of dry wipes, and some Vaseline. I bring along my diaper bag packed with a few of these same items –you may as well start packing that bag anyways. Our favourite baby essentials have been from Aleva Naturals— a Canadian company using natural, plant-based ingredients safe for babies. Their bamboo diapers are incredibly soft! Other baby extras to pack include: our favourite newborn soothers (the hospital provided one of these for our girls, but didn’t this time around!); nipple balm (also, you’ll want to start applying this stuff right away); this natural hand sanitizer (a must in any diaper bag); and wet baby wipes.
I hope this list is helpful for those of you preparing for your hospital delivery! If you have any specific questions feel free to reach out via email. And of course- don’t forget to bring along your phone and a charger (preferably with a long charging cord) to snap all those beautiful baby photos and keep in touch! xo