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So, you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy (yay!), and it’s time to pack your hospital bag. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been putting it off for longer than you should and you would have been screwed had you gone into labor early. But! Since you’re here, I’m assuming that hasn’t happened so, lucky you! I’m a chronic over-packer. We’re talking three full suitcases for a two day trip. I don’t know why, but the thought of being away from home makes me feel like I’m going to need to change shirts a minimum of four times per day. While this type of compulsive over packing might be okay for a beach trip, it isn’t exactly ideal for a cramped hospital room. On top of not having much room, you’re also sure to receive gifts in the hospital, making for even more stuff that you’ll have to pack home along with your precious new babe.
When it came time for me to pack my bag, I did a Pinterest search (obviously!) for “What to bring to the hospital,” and was met with tons of lists. Unfortunately, a lot seemed way over the top, while others were a little to sparse for my over-packing soul to handle. I just couldn’t find one that seemed to fit me. I ended up printing out a few and taking some stuff from each list. While that worked, it didn’t feel like the most organized option. So here it is, The Ultimate Free Printable Hospital Checklist! Some of the items on this list may seem a little weird, so I’ll explain them for you below.
- Cookies/Treats for Nurses
You’re probably thinking, “Why do I need to bring this? Don’t they get a lunch break?” Well first of all, no, a lot of times they don’t get a lunch break. Also, it may come as a surprise to you if you’re a first time parent, but the nurses 100% run the show. The doctor only shows up for the last 10-15 minutes or so. So before and after the “main event”, the nurses are your best friends. Keep them happy, feed them cookies, and they will treat you well and bring you warm blankets and the good pain pills. I was lucky to have a team of glorious nurses and I would have been miserable without them. Bringing them some snacks was the least I could do.
2. Adult Diapers
Ummmm… Yeah, sounds weird, I know. Before you get grossed out, know that they aren’t for you to use in the… traditional sense. After delivery, you’ll be bleeding pretty heavily from down there, and you’ll also spend most of the next several days laying in a hospital bed. The hospital provides these oh-so-sexy mesh underwear and maxi pads, but honestly, they’re massively uncomfortable and ineffective at that stage in the recovery game. Thats where the good ol’ adult diapers come in to play. Way more comfortable, way easier to deal with, way more effective. And don’t worry, they’re not nearly as bulky as you might think, so no one will be able to tell you’re wearing them… except for those wonderful nurses.
3. Velcro Swaddle Blankets
This might sound a little “everything but the kitchen sink” but I promise, they are so worth bringing. Unless you and whoever is staying with you in the hospital are some kind of traditional swaddling gurus, these will be essential. The hospital provides receiving blankets to swaddle your new babe in, and while I’m sure you have looked up “how-to swaddle” by now, has Dad, Mom, Grandma, whoever else? Probably not. For at least the first day, it will be really hard for you to get out of bed. Make it easy on your companion and bring a couple of these easy to use things along.
4. Toilet Paper
Yep, the hospital for sure has toilet paper. That toilet paper is about the same texture as sandpaper. If that doesn’t sound like it would appeal to you immediately after having a human being exit your body, bring along a roll of the good stuff.
5. Hospital Gown
Again, totally provided. But! These hospital gowns are not disposable. Yes, they are clean; but if the idea of wearing the same open-butt dress that 100 other people gave birth in gives you the heebie-jeebies, do yourself a favor and bring your own. Plus, there are plenty of options online that are a lot cuter than the standard hospital-provided ones. While this probably isn’t your number one concern during labor, it’s still nice.
So, there you have it! You can print the list below. And be sure to check out my post on Things No One Tells You About Postpartum Life for some tips on what to expect once you leave the hospital and Inside My Diaper Bag for what you’ll need to bring on your first outing with your new babe!
How early did you pack your hospital bag? Did you over pack, under pack, or did you get it just right? Share in the comments!
The Crispy Mama