What's in My Hospital Bag {with Checklist}

Wednesday, March 31, 2021


Preparing for labor and delivery may be the most overwhelming aspect of pregnancy, at least for me. Not only do I have the physical act of birth on my mind, but the thought of being at the hospital for any extended period of time puts me right into a tizzy. To be frank, I'm not a great patient. I'm terrified of needles, have a low pain tolerance and generally do whatever I can (even the unreasonable) to avoid medical treatment. Having a baby during a pandemic has pushed me to limits I never knew existed, but I guess that's also motherhood in the nutshell, right?

In an effort to try and calm my nerves, I've spent a lot of time figuring out how to curate the best hospital bag I can. My goal was to be inclusive, but not excessive, and I think I've struck a solid balance. I scoured the internet to find useful recommendations from my favorite bloggers and influencers. I'd say I took something away from each of them; however, I found myself at a loss because none were really comprehensive. So, I decided to try to fill that void. You can save/download my checklist HERE for current use or future reference. Please consider pinning to Pinterest to help share this post, as well, especially if you're not yet a mama. I sincerely hope you find it helpful! I won't go through my reasons for every item, but below you'll find some key points I felt were worth highlighting. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on Instagram (@thesassysuburbs) or via email (Lauren@thesassysuburbs.com). 

- Shusher/Portal Sound Machine: I've heard nothing but good things about bringing either a baby shusher or portable sound machine to the hospital to soothe the baby during his or her first days. With COVID protocols, most babies are cared for bedside, as opposed to a nursery, so having the extra "help" given the low cost of entry seemed like a no-brainer to me! These are also great stroller accessories and would be ideal for travel (day trips, overnights or longer vacays).  

- Electric Nail File: The thought of having to clip the baby's nails with a standard metal clipper really gave me anxiety for some reason. We registered for THIS electric file, and I knew as soon as we received it, that it would be making its way into our hospital bag. It's pain-free for baby and super easy-to-use. Just make sure you take the right grit file for a newborn (instructions will tell you). 

- Going Home Outfits: Yes, you read that correctly - outfits - as in plural. Needless to say, my mom convinced me that we needed several options in multiple sizes, just in case baby was smaller or bigger than expected. I cannot recommend either Beaufort Bonnet Company or THIS Etsy shop enough. Just make sure to read the sizing descriptions and reviews before ordering, especially with custom options. 

- Beekman 1802 Wipes: You've heard me sing the praises of these wipes on many occasions (they were first featured in my January 2020 Must-Haves), and I still can't get enough. The Beekman wipes are pregnancy/nursing safe and can be used on both face and body. As I noted above, I, thankfully, have no idea what a hospital stay is really like, so I'm not sure I'll ultimately shower there; however, I want to be able to freshen myself up effortlessly. For me, these are a must. 

- Dry Shampoo: BUT, not just any dry shampoo...I'll be taking my tried-and-true Living Proof travel size because it literally cleans my hair. Again, I have no idea what's coming but I'd anticipate a lot of sweating during labor and delivery, and if I'm not inclined to shower, at least my hair can get a refresh. 

- Frida Mom Peri Bottle: I personally have the entire postpartum kit by Frida Mom and I think it was worth it. I opted to register for the set (peri bottle only comes in the large, hospital postpartum kit; all items are available for separate purchase), but if you buy nothing else, get the peri bottle. It's truly ergonomic, compared to the squirt bottle the hospital apparently gives you, which makes recovery that much easier.  

- Peanut Ball: Your hospital may have peanut balls available to you but I was not going to use a ball that was between someone else's legs. I'm sorry, I know it's sanitized and/or has a plastic over it, but there's no way in hell I was going to do that. For those of you who have no idea what a peanut ball is, it's supposed to be an incredible labor aid, particularly with opening the pelvis to ease the baby out. I've read this can be a game-changer for those who have an epidural and cannot completely feel what's happening. I purchased a child's version, given my height, and will be packing it deflated with the pump. 

- Pediatrician Information: Our pediatrician's office told me that we were unable to pre-register for our first appointment, so we have to call to schedule it after the baby is born. Since I'm not sure what state I'm going to be in, my husband may have to deal with all that. I wrote out all information on an index card that he can easily keep in his wallet, and did the same for myself. That way there are no burdensome questions if I'm having a difficult recovery, but it can still get done as seamlessly as possible. 

- Bathing suit: The nurse who hosted our 2-day virtual birthing class highly recommended packing a bathing suit for your husband, and I found this rather surprising, but once she explained that some moms need extra help in the shower, it made perfect sense. If I can have my husband assist me, in addition to or in lieu of a nurse, that would always be my preference. Having a bathing suit on hand will keep him comfortable and covered, and able to help without a second thought. 

- Non-Perishable Snacks & Water: Since our world is overrun with COVID protocols, my husband won't be able to leave the room for any reason. How's the guy supposed to eat, especially with limited cafeteria hours? I snagged a ton of snacks from Costco that were pre-portioned and pre-packaged. Some items included Pringles, pretzels, mini oreos, protein bars and such. I also got a huge crate of bottled waters (for like $4, mind you - got to love Costco), so we'll be taking 10+ bottles with us to stay hydrated without much additional hospital staff interaction. 

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