If you haven’t learned by now, I am a major planner. My bags were packed and ready to go, stacked right next to the door from week 35. I read countless articles and packing lists. There’s not one specific list that I followed, but rather made a list of my own compiling the best ideas from several sources.

There was a method to my madness. I packed according to what I would need at each stage of our stay broken down into Labor/Delivery, Recovery and Discharge.

LABOR & DELIVERY

During labor/delivery, I had a smaller bag with the following packed in the top of my duffle:

  • Insurance Card & Drivers License
  • Contact/phone list
  • Copies of my Birth Plan
  • Chapstick
  • Gum/Lifesaver Mints
  • Hair Ties
  • Movies (the hospital had a DVD player)
  • Notepad (to keep track of events)
  • Warm Socks (the hospital provided some too but I preferred mine)
  • Phone/charger

Lastly, we packed a snack bag full of our favorite foods. The hospital had a nourishment room, but it was nice to have our favorites on hand to munch on. Though I couldn’t eat while in labor, my husband was able to snack without leaving the room. And there was plenty to eat once I was finally allowed to.

RECOVERY

Packed in the same bag, toward the bottom, I had these items for after birth:

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Body Wash
  • Deodorant
  • Face Wash
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Hair Brush/extra hair ties
  • Hemorrhoid Pads (hospital did not provide)
  • Nursing tank top (though looking back I would have preferred a nursing nightgown)
  • Make Up Bag
  • Lanolin
  • Nursing Cover
  • Nursing Bra
  • Bathrobe
  • Nurses Gifts (a must!!!)

In the same bag, my husband packed:

  • Sweatshirt (it was cold!)
  • Extra change of clothes
  • His bathroom essentials

DISCHARGE DAY

We left the diaper bag in the car and brought it up once we were moved to the recovery room after our little princess had been born. Looking back, we really just needed a onesie and blanket for the trip home, though we did bring a couple of size onesies since we weren’t sure what would fit her best. A lot of people suggested bringing a lot of other unnecessary baby stuff. The nurses gave us plenty of diapers, wipes, bulb suckers, baby brushes and hats to take home, but some hospitals may not provide that.

We received a ton of gifts and “stuff” in general. It was nice to have an extra bag to carry it all home. I brought a spare reusable grocery bag which worked perfectly.

More importantly than what I packed, below is a list of what I brought but didn’t actually need and what I didn’t have but wish I would have brought.

What I packed and DIDN’T need/use:

  • Towels (the hospital ones were fine and I didn’t want mine to get all bloody)
  • Hemorrhoid Ointment (hospital provided)
  • Underwear (I opted for the mesh ones the hospital provided)
  • Yoga Pants (why I thought I would feel like wearing them after giving birth is beyond me!)
  • Baby Book (Everyone said to bring it to have her footprints done, the hospital ended up doing footprint stickers which I could put into her baby book without needing the baby book present)
  • Laptop (even though I thought I may “work” there wasn’t time or energy for that)

What I wish I WOULD have brought:

  • An extension cord (plugging in my phone at night made it so I couldn’t reach it which was annoying)
  • Warm Blankets (the hospital ones were not warm at all, my mom ended up bringing one for both my husband and I later in the day)
  • More movies! We brought 6 movies which we watched during labor and delivery. Daytime television is terrible so the next day my sister brought us more to help pass the time while we were still in the hospital.