What to Pack When You’re Expecting

hospital
Image adapted via Flickr/ penelope waits

If you guys could have seen my first hospital bag, you would have laughed. Hard. I packed an adorable nightgown to wear while I was lounging in bed after giving birth, as well as a fuzzy robe and soft slippers. I had my trusty nursing bra, no makeup (because I was a natural, beautiful mama who didn't need to cover up with makeup for those first pictures in the hospital!), and a cute outfit to wear home. For my unborn son, I brought about five different outfits, including one official “going home” outfit that included a fleece vest, hat, and socks. In late November. In Florida.

While I was in the hospital, I realized ain't nobody got time for fuzzy slippers, that I could have used just a little bit of makeup, that the one thing I forgot was my toothbrush, and that even in late November in Florida, it can be way too hot to put a baby in a fleece outfit. The second time around was much different. I brought a nursing tank top and comfy pants, my yoga pants, and a t-shirt to wear home, my toothbrush, and two onesies for the baby, plus some bows because–obviously.

Here are my top must-haves for your hospital bag, as well as some info on what your hospital will provide.

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Image via Flickr/ Aine D

Did I make it clear enough that you should bring your toothbrush? It's worth saying again and again and again. This isn't the only toiletry that will make you feel more human after giving birth. Throw in glasses or contacts (including a case and solution) and a good-smelling body wash and lotion. After giving birth, you will feel exhausted, exuberant, scared, sore and–dare I say it?–bloody. These few small reminders of home can help make you feel more refreshed during your stay in the hospital.

{ MORE: Meghan Markle is Hiring a Doula. Should You? }

nursing tank
Image courtesy of Motherhood Maternity

My nursing tank top was my FAVORITE item in my hospital bag. It functioned as a nursing top and a pj top with easy access for breastfeeding and plenty of room for my still-poofy mom belly. The built-in bra top gives a little extra support in case your breasts are sore, and it's super comfy for sleeping and entertaining guests in your room. I wore this with a pair of gym shorts for a comfortable outfit that was appropriate for all the visitors in the hospital.

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Image via Macy's

The hospital should provide you with diapers, wipes, and other baby supplies, plus the ever-present blue and pink hat and some receiving blankets. I also got a couple shirts, but I didn't use them because I had my baby in onesies the whole time. You don't need a whole slew of clothes for your baby in the hospital. Remember, you'll be nursing quite a bit or sleeping when you're not, so a fancy outfit really isn't necessary. A handful of onesies will suffice, but another great item is a blanket “bag,” which is like a blanket sleeper, but without legs. This garment will make it easy to keep your baby comfy, and the zipper makes it easy to change diapers.

{ MORE: 5 Unexpected Ways a Doula Can Provide Support }

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Image via Walmart

I have long hair and have for years, so a hair tie is almost always on my wrist just in case. Except (almost) when I went to have my daughter. I grabbed one as I was going out the door, and I'm so glad I did. You won't want to deal with your hair while you're in the hospital, so having hair ties is a must to keep your hair out of your way. I loved these Goody elastic headbands, too, to keep my bangs and frizzies out of the way. It was one less thing to worry about!

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Image via Target

In case no one has told you, you essentially have one long period after you give birth. Regularl undies? They just will not cut it. You need to bring out the big guns to hold the gigantic pads you'll be forced to wear for a couple weeks. While the hospital provides some super-sexy mesh panties during your stay (and maybe a small supply for when you leave), buying some comfy, fitted boyshorts can help you feel more normal when you leave. I loved my cotton boyshorts from Target after I had my daughter.

{ MORE: What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for a Vaginal Birth }

What are your must-haves for your hospital bag?

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What to Pack When You’re Expecting

Amanda is a social media manager for a health care organization by day, a blogger and freelance writer by night, and a celebrity news junkie all the time! She's also mom to an amazing 2 year-old boy and wife to a great guy who indulges all her celebrity gossip (and sometimes tries to scoop her!) Amanda loves coffee, fashion, nail polish, cats, and Tim Gunn (not always in that order.) For more celebrity gossip, fashion, beauty and DIY, visit Amanda's blog, It's Blogworthy. ... More

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1 comment

  1. Kara says:

    Great list! I’m definitely packing a nursing tank with sweat pants to lounge around in … I told my husband to expect me live in that outfit for a while! I’m also planning on bringing my Boppy pillow to help with nursing.

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