Not too long ago, I posted about what I really needed (and could’ve used) in my hospital bag! This time, I am going to share with you what I packed (and wish I had packed) for Charlotte‘s stay in the hospital.
I just want to start by saying I highly recommend having two bags. This makes finding things way easier – which is always helpful. As you can see above, I used a diaper bag for Charlotte and a suitcase for me. Tim also had a bag but it was just a small backpack with food, drinks, his PJs and toiletries. I suggest using your baby’s diaper bag as your little one’s hospital bag – it already will carry half the stuff you will need!
What I Packed and Needed
- Wipes – I’ve heard some hospitals do provide wipes, but mine did not. If yours doesn’t, pack a good amount! We ended up using an entire bag while in the hospital due to how sticky meconium (newborn poop) is.
- Hats & Mitts – We needed the mitts almost immediately due to Charlotte wanting to scratch at her face. They kept falling off though, so we will be packing sleepers with built-in hand covers for the next baby.
- Going Home Outfit – This was something I was the most excited about packing. I wanted to find a dress similar to the one Ariel puts on her daughter Melody in the second Little Mermaid movie. After looking everywhere, I had absolutely no luck in finding an outfit similar! I considered making it myself, but I quickly put that thought behind me. I have zero sewing skills! Thankfully, it was then that I remembered how my Mom kept the outfit she and my Dad brought me home in. It was a white and pink sleeper bought by my Dad with the words “Daddy’s Girl” on it. It made the perfect outfit for my daughter to come home in, with an extra sentimental feeling to it.
- Car Seat – Definitely install this long before your due date, if you can! Ideally before week 35. Make sure you have an approved car seat by checking the requirements in your country. Don’t forget to familiarize yourself with how to use it.
What I Packed and Used
- Newborn Diapers – My hospital provided loads of diapers for us, so we didn’t actually use the ones we packed until our last day there. This was only because we had ran out of the ones provided and didn’t feel like calling a nurse to ask for more. At my local hospital, they provide an unlimited amount until you are discharged but make sure to check with yours or pack some just to be safe!
- Baby Blanket – I was given an adorable fluffy pink blanket for Charlotte that I just could not wait to cuddle her in. It really came in handy for all skin-to-skin moments when we had this blanket around the both of us for warmth and comfort.
- 2-3 Sleepers (Different Sizes) – During my hospital stay, we were recommended not to dress Charlotte and instead to swaddle her; only removing the swaddle for diaper changes and nursing in order to wake her. On the second night of the stay, I was done with the diaper-only nursing sessions. The clip on her umbilical cord kept pinching my very swollen and already hurting boobs, so we put a sleeper on her. Even without a longer stay, there’s a good chance you will want to put your baby in some sort of clothing item shortly after their arrival. Be prepared by bringing a few sleepers. Try to pack at least one newborn size and one 0-3 month size just in case your baby doesn’t fit newborn clothes. Button ones are the best for this age as you don’t need to move them too much to change their diaper.
What I Packed and Didn’t Use
- Swaddles/Receiving Blankets – Our hospital provided receiving blankets by the bucket. Anytime a nurse would visit, they would bring at least five new ‘hot’ blankets, rewrap Charlotte, and leave some extras in the hospital dresser. If it wasn’t for the hospital providing so many receiving blankets, we definitely would have used ours.
- Bib – I just didn’t feel like it was necessary to bib Charlotte throughout our stay. She was a spitty baby, but due to already holding her head up, the spit never really got to her neck. It would just go on us. That’s where I became extra thankful for the millions of receiving blankets we had in our room.
- Baby Shampoo and Baby Wash – My hospital doesn’t bathe the babies after birth. Apparently, it is better for baby to go a day or two without a bath to help them latch easier. Not entirely sure how true this is but regardless, we did not need to use any shampoo or wash on during our hospital stay.
- Diaper Cream – I prefer to use diaper cream only when a rash is developing or already there. All the babies in my nursery who were getting cream applied at every change would constantly get rashes. Seeing my little ones fresh bottom, I didn’t want to start her down that path. I can’t say for certain that there is a correlation between diaper creams being used and rashes developing – I’m sure it’s just different levels of skin sensitivities at play – but I would like to not find out if I can avoid it.
- Pacifier – Like most parents who plan to use a pacifier, I brought one with me to the hospital. However, I didn’t have to use it during our stay. She would only fuss when she was hungry and I needed to fulfill her needs.
- Burp Cloths – Again, so. many. receiving blankets.
What I Will Pack Next Time
- Nursing Pillow/Boppy – While I was in the hospital, I had no issues using a regular hospital pillow for nursing. I had four in total, giving one up to nursing was not a big deal. Sure, it was small, but so was Charlotte. I would just fold it in half and things went fine! However, since buying and using a proper nursing pillow, I’ve realized just how nice it is to have a boppy. It may not be necessary, but it’s definitely way more comfortable than using a regular pillow.
- Size 1 Diapers – So, I didn’t need to start using size 1 diapers until Charlotte was 7 weeks old, BUT, they say the second one is bigger. I figure, might as well pack some size ones just in case my second happens to need them.
- Sleepers With Built-In Hand Covers – As stated above, the mitts we packed for Charlotte kept falling off her little hands. Due to this, I will make sure to pack sleepers with built-in hand covers in my next baby’s hospital bag.