My son was born three weeks early and my labor was fast with a capital F (that’s not the only thing about my labor that had a capital F, but that’s another post!).  My husband and I were completely unprepared and the bags that we hastily threw together didn’t even make it out of the car before I gave birth.  So believe me when I say the hospital really gives you everything you need for labor, delivery and the days after.  If you are caught off guard by labor, like I was, and don’t have everything packed, don’t worry, you’ll still have everything you need.  But round two, we were more prepared and a few ‘creature comforts’ were nice to have.  Below are my suggestions on what to bring to the hospital. What are your suggestions??

  • Your own pillow -with a colored pillow case so it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital’s pillows
  • Lollipops or hard candy for during labor- I didn’t use these, but every list swears by them, so bring them along!
  • Ipod/docking station– with your zen playlist or your heavy metal playlist, what ever is going to get you through labor!
  • A favorite throw blanket -Its nice to make the hospital a little more homey
  • Receiving blanket -the hospital will give you plenty, but if you have a special one for pictures
  • Camera and/or Video Camera–  They can be pretty graphic and PLEASE don’t post them on facebook, but those pictures of your baby all slimy and wrinkled on your chest for the first time…I’m tearing up thinking about it.
  • Large bath towel– that first shower after delivery is golden, but the hospital towels are a little scrawny, you may want to pick up an inexpensive one, as it could get stained. And bring one for your partner too.
  • Socks or slippers for mom – 2 pair – be prepared to never see them again
  • Oral B brush ups – great if you are in bed for the day after delivery!
  • Munchies for you and hubby
  • Granny underwear– like the cheap Fruit of the Loom kind for the hospital and the first few weeks home.  You can just throw them away if they get ruined.  Personally, I liked the weird mesh ones they give you, but some people hated those.
  • A robe and comfortable PJs– Most hospitals have a postpartum hospital gown that is a little more like a nightgown, but I liked having comfy pajama bottoms and a nursing tank.  Again, you may want to get an inexpensive pair incase they get stained or ruined
  • Clothes for the baby– I wasn’t sure about this before I had my first, but you don’t need to bring any clothes for the baby.  Your little bundle will spend his or her first few days in a diaper and t-shirt provided by the hospital and expertly swaddled by your nurses (or completely spastically swaddled by you).
  • Going home outfit for baby and mom -remember, you have no idea how big or small your baby will be and mom will be about the size she was at 5 months pregnant, do yourself a favor and just bring yoga pants.
  • Cash for the parking garage -most take cards, but if something happens, its not the time to be stressed about getting your car out!
  • Car seat installed – You can take your car and car seat to many highway patrol offices, police stations or the store you bought your seat at to have it installed correctly.  The statistics say 85% of car seats are installed incorrectly.
  • Thank you notes – I kept a list of each of my nurses’ names as they rotated through over the two days and wrote a quick thank you note to each of them before I left the hospital as well as to the doctor who delivered my baby.  My husband also picked up Bagels from the Noah’s down the street from the hospital and dropped them off at the nurses station the first morning we were there.  Those nurses work hard and take good care of you!


*I realize I talk about a lot of things getting stained or ruined, nothing of mine actually did get ruined at the hospital, but it is better to not worry about anything happening to your favorite pjs you brought back from your honeymoon in Paris!

Stay tuned for next week post when we talk about what to bring HOME from the hospital with you!