Hospital Maternity Bag Checklist: Stay sane when you are preparing for your big day with our minimalist hospital bag checklist for Mom’s to be! As a new mom there are a million things we are told that we need. Trust me, over half of it you won’t use. This simplified list covers the main essentials along with having some empty spaces for those items that you just cannot live without!
When it comes to planning for baby the last couple of weeks are always the hardest. It’s just as exhausting as it is exciting…and if you are anything like I was with my kids you are counting down the seconds until baby’s arrival.
Like a lot of first-time moms, I had no clue what to pack for the big day. Now that I’ve done it twice, though, I’ve got this. The first time around I completely messed up my hospital bag…over packed while completely forgetting some of the basics (that I would have never thought about unless someone had told me). To make it easy for you I have included a minimalist printable at the bottom of this post.
Maternity Bag Essentials:
- The first thing I am throwing into my bag are hair ties. Like a gabillion of them. I am pretty sure I have a gremlin that loves hair ties because I can never keep hold of one for longer than a couple of days. So yeah…better safe than sorry when it comes to keeping my hair out of my face.
- Next thing I am taking is my Peace and Calming Essential Oil made into a lotion. Any scent that soothes you will work. You are definitely going to want to make sure that whatever type of lotion you pack that it is awesome for massages and is a scent that you love.
- My iPad is also making the list. I don’t know about you, but I am not a huge basic cable person…so a device with my eBooks, music, and Netflix on it is a must!
- Items for nursing are something I definitely do not want to forget. A comfortable nursing bra, tank, lanolin, and pads are a MUST! Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, you are going to be sore there.
When choosing a Nursing Pad I would personally suggest staying away from disposable pads. To me disposable pads are far too rough. Instead I prefer reusable alternatives. My favorite are Milkies Softie Nursing Pads, which are made of three layers – an outside bamboo layer which is designed to be super soft against your skin and an inner microfiber layer that is designed to keep moisture off of your skin.
- When packing your bag don’t forget to throw in your camera, contact list, and cell phone in a place that is easy to reach! Mine didn’t get placed into the over-night bag, instead I threw them into our diaper bag.
- You are also going to want to have some high protein snacks in an easy to reach area. Before delivery you are not going to want to munch on much (strong contractions can upset your tummy), but once baby gets here you will reach a point of thinking you are starving…and well the hospital will have food but it will be hospital food. A well made trail mix will go much further than say a couple containers full of jello.
- For baby you are going to want to make sure you have a couple receiving blankets for swaddling. The hospital will provide blankets for use, but some hospitals will not let you take them home. Maybe I am a little sentimental, but a first blanket is a lot like a first outfit, something that I want to keep. Sleep Sacks are also pretty awesome and highly suggested (I don’t know what we would do without ours)!
- Speaking of things to go home in…you are going to want to pack clothes for yourself and baby! For baby you are going to want to pack 2-3 outfits. I know my little guy managed to pee on two outfits…third times the charm right? For yourself you are going to want to pack an outfit that fit when you were about six months pregnant. An outfit such as a nursing dress will work out perfect (comfortable, functional, and you will look cute)!
- Lastly you are going to want to make sure you have packed all your hygiene and cosmetic needs. When packing this section do not forget to throw in some witch hazel and a couple pairs of Depends. I won’t lie out of everything I had to pack, going to buy a packet of Depends was by far the hardest for me…but trust me, they will be your lifesaver!
The After Pregnancy No One Tells You About:
Ok…so you probably read over that list reached the part that said pack some Depends and thought, nah I’ll just do pads. Here’s the thing though, pads are bulky, itchy, uncomfortable, and honestly after pregnancy they just are not going to cut it.
That whole area after labor has taken quite the beating. Your muscles are going to be weak, overworked, and sore. While pads may help with part of your recovery, they will not help with the incontinence. And after labor you will most likely be dealing with some sort of incontinence for a bit.
I won’t lie. With my first pregnancy this horrified me. Sneezing was my nemesis. By my second pregnancy I knew what to expect, but was still embarrassed by it. It wasn’t until my third pregnancy when my husband brought me home a pack of Depends while letting me know that it wasn’t something I had to be ashamed of because it is a common part of labor and delivery was it became something that I was okay with. In fact more women in their 20’s deal with incontinence than women in their 80’s.
My options were to be ashamed of it and struggle with being physically uncomfortable with bulky hospital pads that kept me running to the bathroom to readjust…or accept that it is a natural part of becoming a mom and use a cloth-like product that was designed to conquer bladder leakage and is smooth under clothes. Not to mention that if you throw a Depends into the freezer before use it is amazing for handling that post-labor soreness. AMAZING.
…Momma’s you do not need to be ashamed, because you are not alone! 1 in 3 women experience bladder leakage. That is over 51 million American women!