I’m baaaaaaack! It’s been a nutty, crazy, busy season. My oldest started preK, my youngest and I had the flu, this pregnancy took a major toll on me physically, and it just felt like I was barely keeping my head above water there for the last few months! And now, here we are in the middle of a pandemic. I’m 37 weeks, and it’s time to get serious.

Things are going well with this pregnancy, despite the discomfort, and for that I’m eternally grateful. Now nesting is in full swing, so thankfully even with the sheltering in place going on, I’m staying busy. The last things left to do are arrange the baby’s clothes in her closet and pack our bags.

Don’t forget your mask!

I was talking to a friend recently about what she’d packed in her hospital bag for her first child due in a few weeks, and I realized I never ACTUALLY wrote about my own hospital bags! Since there is so much information out there, and so many variations of what to pack, I figured having done this twice already I might have some insight to share instead of some of the idealist guides I saw on Pinterest that are a mile long. Don’t get me wrong, I used those as a guide for my first, but once you’ve done it, you realize what is necessary and what is a complete waste of time and space.

So here you go: my delivery bag checklists—one for mama, one for baby. (Husband can pack his own.)

Allow me to explain…

For mama (don’t forget your birth plan! You can find a sample here):
•Snacks and drinks (enough for a full meal).
•Comfy maternity clothes for going home (your hips and legs will be the same size as the day you delivered, so consider that with pants. Your belly will feel like a deflated balloon but will be at least as big as when you were about 20ish weeks pregnant. These details mattered, and no one told me! The pants I wore at 20 weeks didn’t fit me in the hips at 40, and that made dressing to come home in cute maternity shorts DIFFICULT. I ended up in my backup leggings.)
•Nursing bra (if you’re planning a water birth, bring a bathing suit top or bra you can easily take off while wet or one you don’t mind cutting off, and another one to change into later. If you’re getting wet, dark colors are best!)
•Manual breast pump (optional).
•Socks with grip (dark is best, and floors are dirty. I like these better than slippers because of their easy launderability. Is that a word?)
•A light robe (or, hospital gown, nothing huge and bulky, you don’t need a giant suitcase! A wrap style sweater works too. Just something if you’re cold and only wearing a bra, or have visitors coming.)
•A toothbrush if you’ll be there longer than a day (or not, depends on if you want visitors, I guess!)
•Granny panties (+ take all the mesh hospital panties you can carry. You bleed, a lot, after birth, and if you deliver vaginally your bottom is SORE. Dark colors are best, you can’t see messes or stains as well. Seriously though, those mesh panties are the real hero. Depends are another option to bring, but do plan your pants accordingly, because they’re a little bulkier).
•Phone + charger (my phone takes better pictures than my camera these days, so I left the camera out last time, and just used our phones).
•Gentle soap/shampoo (at the hospital with my first I was there about 2 ½ days and by then I wanted a shower but my skin all over and everything down there was so sensitive. At the birth center with my second, I was home by 5 hours postpartum so I showered at home when I was ready. A gentle mild soap was enough to freshen up at the hospital.)
•Husband + one change of clothes for him, and a toothbrush maybe. (He’s a big boy, just remind him!)

There are some things you will NOT go to the hospital or birth center with, but if given the option or supply, you should absolutely bring them HOME. Things like:
•peri bottles,
•mesh panties,
The hospital provided more of these than the birth center did, so plan accordingly based on your delivery plans.

The TL;DR version

For babe:
•Car seat (crucial, don’t forget this one please!).
•Going home outfit for babe. Extra outfit just in case (blowouts do happen).
•Diapers and wipes (& whatever the hospital will give you that you can carry as I said above).
•Hat (optional).
•Blanket (if cold).
•Diaper bag to hold it all!
•Paci if you plan to use one. (The hospital gave us feeding supplies like cups or bottles, so we didn’t bring those.)

You don’t need a lot, so don’t overpack! When we had our first at the hospital, I brought all kinds of stuff I didn’t end up using or wished I’d left behind because it was just too much to manage.

I didn’t need…
•A full bathrobe (it took up like half the suitcase, no thank you).
•Proper slippers (never wore them, too bulky under the hospital bed sheets!).
•Nursing pillow (they didn’t let me use it when the LC was there and when the babe and mom are so new, it barely helps at all. Plus it inhibits skin to skin contact which is so important those first few hours.)
•Bed pillow from home (Lol, I’m such a dork. It was comfy, sure, but like ew gross).
•Makeup (good grief).
•Hair dryer (I don’t dry my hair normally but somehow I thought I was gonna in the hospital? Bless.)
•An outfit for each day for the baby (listen, I got a lot of cute newborn stuff and I couldn’t decide on her going home outfit, so don’t judge me. Here’s the thing though, those first two days they get checked SO MUCH by hospital staff that they were having to fully undress my poor girl like ten times a day. She was mad, its been five years and she still hates when I tell her what to wear. Wish I would’ve left her in just a diaper and swaddle like the nurses recommended. Ah well, live and learn.)

Veteran mamas, what did I miss? Share in the comments! Happy packing!