When I was pregnant with Bauz, I scoured Pinterest looking for ‘hospital bag essential’ lists. It turns out that trying to pack your hospital bag is comparable to trying to pack for a trip you don’t know the destination of! When you’re a first time mom it is SO hard to know what you are going to need and want and all of the options and brands can make it really overwhelming to try and narrow it down. Below I’ve compiled my perfect hospital bag and the items that we’ll be taking when we have baby #2. All of these items are perfect for c-section mamas- we ended up with an emergency c-section and were not prepared for that type of recovery at all! I really think some of these products would have made it a lot easier!
After having my c-section, I had a really hard time finding clothes that didn’t rub on my incision and were nursing friendly. I ended up wearing enormous sweat pants because I didn’t feel up to leaving the house right away, and I regret it when I look back at photos! The dress above is one of my all time favourites now, and I so wish I had known about this brand when Bauz was a newborn. They are easy to unbutton when you need to nurse, cute styledvwith a knot or a belt and even skin to skin is easy because you can just tuck them in without having to undress. I am a big time lover of Birkenstocks and thanks to having a tonne of swelling after our delivery, I couldn’t get my feet into anything I had with me. I love the fact that you can tighten and loosen these sandles, plus they give you some much needed support as your body starts to go through many changes again. You would think the camera is a no brainer, but I didn’t bring mine! Mamas don’t forget your cameras, sometimes phones just don’t cut it! I definitely wouldn’t have put a water bottle down as a necessity before having Bauz, but it is. If you are a nursing mama, you are going to be thirsty like it’s your full time job! I personally think the cuter the bottle, the more water you drink! These ones are great because they keep your water cold for hours, especially in the hospital when it’s not always convenient to just run and grab more! Lastly, this diaper bag is my all time fav! I have used a few different ones now, despite it being the original that I bought and I always come back to it. It is roomy, has a few compartments and holds up SO well. Mine has little to no wear and we have been using it almost daily for over a year now!
We had Bauzley in the winter, so that definitely influenced how I packed his clothing. Excuse the warm and cozy vibes if you are having a summer baby! I found that in the hospital I only dressed him in sleepers because it was a little chilly, I would leave all the other clothes at home next time other than the outfit I want to take baby home in. I am obsessed with that cute little sleep sack above, how darling would that be for social media announcement?! We were very lucky to have my mom make most of our receiving blankets for us and I love the coziness of the flannel ones. They make it really easy to swaddle baby and don’t cause them to sweat like a fleece or any sort of poly blend might.
THE NECESSITIES FOR MOM
Now that I’ve listed the cute items I will be stuffing my bag with next time, here are the essentials for helping with a quicker and easier recovery.
- Disposable underwear- these are so ugly, a little embarrassing and amazing. I bought the granny panties that people recommended on all the other lists and every single pair rubbed on my incision. The disposable underwear fit snug and high, putting an even pressure on the incision without irritating it. It’s also great that you don’t have to worry about ruining any undies or clothes with postpartum bleeding.
- Breast pads- I really loved the Johnson & Johnson pads to begin with, they were super absorbent and have a little spot in the middle wear you can put nipple cream without it smearing everywhere. After my milk supply regulated a bit I preferred to use reusable breast pads, they feel much softer and way less waste.
- Nipple cream- this is such a necessity! Your poor boobies will probably need some love, I preferred the Medela cream for an over the counter solution. If you are continuing to struggle, ask your doctor about Jack Newman’s all purpose cream, it works wonders!
- Padsicles- all you need to do is take some maxi pads, put water on them and toss them in the freezer ( laid flat) some people use witch hazel as well, I didn’t and they still provided me with a lot of relief. If you are local in G.P. (and most other hospitals) they will provide them for you.
- Nursing bras- I loved the sports bra/night bra style, especially for the first few weeks I was cursed and blessed with an oversupply so I spent a lot of time engorged and these were the easiest to pull down gently.
- Nursing Pillow- There are two kinds of nursing pillows, one is more firm and smaller, like a semi circle and the other is larger, softer and looks like a boomerang. If you are having a c-section the soft large one is the way to go! No accidental bumps and bangs to the incision site while you try to learn how to nurse. I am still on the fence if I would actually take this to the hospital with me because I think the less stuff to carry, the better but I did think it was important to share my opinion on what style to get!
- Toiletries- These are basically whatever you consider personally essential: hair brush, makeup, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, lipbalm, hairties, etc.
- Personal Information- When I packed my diaper bag, I made sure to put my ID, Health Card and any other personal info that the hospital may require. Another good piece of advice I received was to take cash/change for drinks and food in the hospital.
- Phone charger, camera battery and someone in charge of making sure that all of it actually gets charged. Lol!
THE NECESSITIES FOR BABE
- Car seat & Car seat cover
- Diapers & Wipes- If you have a specific kind you prefer, otherwise the hospital provides them. I chose to pack my diaper bag as if I was going for a day out and then I was certain I had what I needed in case anything wasn’t provided.
- Soap- I wish I would have had our soap from Fox & Chaos Naturals to begin with, Bauz has really sensitive skin and for that first bath in the hospital I think it would have been great. You can buy it here along with lots of other great items.
- Outfits & Blankets- I have listed some of my essentials above, but I think a good standard for how much to bring is 2 outfits per day and a going home outfit if you want them in something different for photos. I brought one soft and cuddly blanket to the hospital with us and 4 receiving blankets. I think the amount you actually use completely depends on how much your baby spits up, we went through approximately 100 blankets a day haha, kidding but it sure felt like it.
I know the lists above make it seem like a lot of stuff, but I think packing for the next baby I could fit everything for me and babe into a carry on sized suitcase- and I wouldn’t have to sit on it while I was still pregnant to get it zipped up haha. As for dads, I know a lot of lists include them but James did his own thing and he was perfectly fine LOL, we have enough to worry about packing for an entire new human dad’s can fend for themselves. 😄
My goal for our next babe is to keep my bag as minimal as possible and make sure that I look and feel put together with little to no effort! Good luck to all you new mamas! ❤