Summer Baby: Hospital Bag Must-Haves
In four weeks or less I will be bringing home a sweet baby boy, eek! It’s been four years since we have had a newborn in the house, and it’s amazing how many things have changed in the baby-gear world in just four short years! I honestly still feel like I am so out of the loop on what the latest and greatest baby and postpartum items are, but when it comes to my hospital bag, I am grateful that I remembered at least one thing from my first delivery: less is more.
The first time around, I literally packed up an entire small suitcase with a TON of stuff. I had read so many articles and blogs outlining all the “must-haves” for a hospital bag, but when it came down to it, I found I hardly touched any of the items I had packed!
So, in the spirit of simplicity, I’m sharing some of my top hospital bag items for this go-around, and hoping you might be able to share any favorites that I may have missed!
- NOXX Swaddles and Beanies (duh): When my first was born, NOXX did not have the swaddle options that they do now, so when I found out I was expecting I was so excited to get him in some NOXX swaddles from Day 1! These swaddles and beanies are SO much stretchier and softer than the generic blankets the hospital provides, and I know my little one will be WAY more cozy wrapped up in these fabrics. Even though we are in Arizona and it will most likely be about 115 degrees when he arrives, those hospital rooms are cool, so I wanted to make sure I had the best of the best for his little head and body! PS: This cactus swaddle will be available at the end of July, so keep an eye out!
- Outfits for baby: With the NOXX swaddles to keep baby comfortable in the hospital, I wanted a few coming home options that were simple, neutral and would be appropriate given the furnace we will be entering as soon as we step foot outside of the hospital doors. These neutral cotton tanks from H&M are so soft and cute, and perfect for this AZ heat!
- Dwell and Slumber Gown: With my first delivery, I never even changed out of my hospital gown. I think I was really overwhelmed and refused to put my baby down even in the bassinet unless I had to go to the bathroom lol. This time around, I am hoping I can put myself a little more together, faster. I wanted something cute, but comfortable and practical given the amount of times you have to feed in the first 24-48 hours. Enter: Dwell and Slumber. This shop sells some of the softest caftans, and they are so stylish (not something I thought was possible postpartum). Pregnancy and Newborn magazine calls them a, “modern-day housedress (that) is roomy enough to accommodate your curves, cozy enough to nap in, and completely nursing-friendly for when you need easy access postpartum.” I love this color because it’s neutral and works for summer and fall seasons!
- Nursing Bra & Nursing Cami: For the reasons mentioned above, this time I decided to actually pack some nursing bras, and camis to pair with comfortable shorts for when family comes to visit and/or when we leave the hospital (depending on how long we are there I wanted to have a few outfit options). Actually remembering to pack a nursing bra this time will give me a little more coverage but the ability to feed at a moment’s notice! I love the Target brand nursing camis, and found a pack of five nursing bras from a brand called Lataly on Amazon for $27! The price is unbeatable and they are wireless, and are super soft and stretchy. The reviews on these are great also so I am hoping to love them!
- Reusable Nursing Pads: I am not sure how quickly my milk will come in this time, but just in case, I am opting for these thick reusable pads verses the disposable. The less often I have to change them while I am there, the better!
- Aquaphor: I remember articles saying to bring chapstick because the hospital rooms were cool and dry, but the mild stuff really doesn’t cut it. Aquaphor is one of my favorite multi-purpose items, but one of the best ways to use it is as a lip conditioner!
- Dry Shampoo: So, the first time around I packed travel size bottles of shampoo and conditioner, hairspray, stuff to dry my hair, the works. However after delivery, I literally got up to use the bathroom and that was about it. I never changed out of my hospital gown let alone took a full shower and did my hair! So, this time around I am being more realistic and simplifying. I will be packing shower gel in case I am there more than 24 hours and want to shower, but if I do have to shower I want to make it quick and definitely don't want to worry about washing and drying my hair! Dry shampoo to the rescue! This Bumble and Bumble Dry Shampoo ($29) is one of my absolute faves. It’s cruelty-free, has UV Protection, and doesn’t leave that chalky white residue all over your hair, plus- it smells so good! If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly brand, my second-fave is from Target and is also amazing. It’s by Kristin Ess and is called the Style Reviving Dry Shampoo. This one also smells incredible and is very workable leaving no residue once worked in or brushed, and rings in at $14.
- Bottom Spray: So, we all know those fun little squirt bottles and awesome giant pads that are my inevitable future, but I had no idea there was another life-saving product to add to the recovery mix! I have been told by countless friends that Earth’s Mama Herbal Bottom Spray was a postpartum staple, and when I went on Amazon to see what other’s thought, I found that hundreds of other mamas had also given it a five-star review. The common praises seem to be that is a natural alternative to the Dermaplast spray provided by the hospital (it’s organic and made with natural astringents and essential oils), it is less itchy and strong, and the smell is less overpowering.
- Diaper Backpack: Keyword: backpack. With my daughter I used a tote-style diaper bag, and I honestly just didn’t love how it always fell of my shoulder every time I bent over, and it was not as easy to organize. This time I am going with the backpack style, and it’s first test-drive is going to be at the hospital. This Skip Hop Greenwich Diaper Backpack is SO roomy, and comes in three gorgeous colors. I opted for the Caramel just because I am kind of all about warm neutrals right now, and I just felt like it would work for all seasons. However it also comes in black, dusty rose (a deep mauve), olive, and smoke (a dark grey). It’s made of durable, wipe-clean vegan leather, and features nine pockets for ultimate organization. The changing pad pocket also holds tablets and laptops up to 15”, so I can even pack a laptop for my husband to use while we are waiting and hanging out at the hospital.
- Diapers and Wipes: My daughter was SO sensitive to almost every brand of diapers except for the Honest brand. So while I know the hospital provides diapers and wipes, I am bringing just a few of my own in the case that this little guy develops sensitivities as fast as my daughter did! This time I am trying the new Pampers Pure diapers. I have read some awesome reviews on these so am interested in how they will compare to the Honest (which I still love BTW)! They are similar in that they are made from premium cotton and plant-based fibers, and are made without chlorine bleaching, fragrance, lotion, parabens, and EU 26 allergens.
Mini Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Deodorant, Face wipes: (essentials).
Tylenol: A friend told me that if you look at your itemized hospital bill, they charge you for all of the pain meds they give you afterwards so that you should bring your own. I couldn’t remember if I took anything, but figured I would bring this just in case!
Heating Pad: The same friend reminded me of those cramps that come with the first nursing sessions. Post-birth your uterus continues to contract to return back to it’s normal size which for some, can be really painful. I again, could not remember if mine were that bad in those first 48 hours, but she recommended bringing a heating pad just in case, so I figured I would slip one in my bag.
Camera: If you have a nice camera, bring it! Yes it might be a little bulky, but when you go to print those photos, the quality that translates is so much better than what would come from a cell-phone picture!
Chargers: You would be beating yourself up if you brought cameras and phones and then they died before you could snap those first few moments, right?
Robe: As I mentioned earlier, I am hoping to be a little more put together this time around (this may be a far-fetched goal, I’m not sure lol), and so I ordered a SUPER cute robe from Pink Blush to change into after delivery. I have actually been wearing it a ton already, it’s so pretty and soft and makes me feel good when I wear it, even though I usually feel super unattractive and huge. I chose the Black Crochet Trip Delivery/Nursing Maternity Robe. Seriously guys, it’s SO pretty!
So while my bag isn't quite complete, I feel like I've got a good start. Any other mamas due this summer? I would love to hear your hospital bag must-haves. I am suffering from major pregnancy brain right now, so I need your help!
Comment below with your thoughts or some hospital must-haves of your own for a chance to win a $15 shop credit to NOXX! Winner will be randomly selected from the comments and notified by email by 7/1/18.
Hi NOXX fam! My name is Liz Hilton and in addition to being a NOXX super-fan, I am also lucky enough to be sister-in-law to NOXX's owner Jennifer. I am mama to an amazing sweet four-year-old named Stella, and (very) soon to be mama to baby boy Silas.