I packed and repacked my hospital bag at least 3 times. I knew I was overpacking, but also knew I would rather bring too much than wish I had something that had been left at home. Better safe than sorry, right?! I thought I would write a post really quick to go over my hospital bag again and share what I actually used during our stay after having Charleigh Rae. A few of these items were shared with me by my friends, and I was so so thankful I had them (in particular, for recovery). Your hospital will most likely send you home with recovery meds/supplies, but I was SO thankful to have extra to come home to, as opposed to having to have my husband or a family member run to the store. There were also a few things that surprised me during my stay, like the fact that my “going home” outfit(s) that I packed weren’t about to fit my post pregnancy belly, the hospital shower situation, and my lack of desire to take any photos (thankfully my sister and hubs snapped a few!). So, I thought it may be helpful to y’all if I shared what I used, what I didn’t, what I wish I’d packed, and why! I basically copied and pasted my previous post, “What’s Really in my Hospital Bag”, and explained why each was helpful, what I would leave out, etc. I hope this helps! XOXO
Robe - I packed this one, but I also packed a pretty one for pictures. I definitely didn’t feel like taking any “pretty” pictures, but was thankful I had at least one robe to throw over my nightgown. It helped when I was a little cold but was still easy to nurse in.
Socks & Underwear - I didn’t wear the underwear I packed (hello diapers), and I’m not sure why I thought I would miraculously be back down to my pre-baby size anyway. Socks though, a must. Fuzzy ones for sure!
PJ’s - I brought a pajama set (top & pants) and a soft button down nightgown (nursing friendly). I loved having both of these - they were perfect, but if I were to only bring one, it would be the nightgown.
Going Home Outfit - I brought leggings, an oversized top and a t-shirt dress in case I didn’t want anything touching me. Although it was all oversized, when I went to change and get ready to go home, NONE of this fit me. I ended up going home in a black nightgown with a long cardigan over it. I didn’t mind at all (was in pain, sleep deprived, couldn’t wait to get home), but was, again, surprised how swollen my tummy still was!
Nursing Bras - unpadded and padded. If I remember correctly, I wore the padded the whole time. It was more comfortable and more support. Not that you’re in a bra much.. I feel like I was nursing the entire hospital stay. I didn’t realize how intense cluster feeding really is, but Charleigh wanted to eat basically nonstop our second night there.
Cozy Cardigan - I love wearing my cardigans around the house, and I thought I would bring one along that I could throw on over whatever I was wearing. Cardigans are also a good choice because they’re nursing friendly! I brought this one and this one, and I am so thankful I did. One of my must haves for sure - I’m always cold and hospitals are freeeezing!
House Shoes - I brought some I can just throw away after. I am glad I had these, but I honestly wore fuzzy socks alone most of the time. I think I just wore these when I was getting up to go to the bathroom and when I was walking around more and didn’t want to get my socks dirty.
Shower Flip Flops - super cheap ones so I could toss after. I’m a germaphobe. Glad I had these and threw them away after my 2 second shower.. haha!
Belly Band - definitely didn’t even think about trying to put this thing on. I honestly didn’t use it once I was home either. I tried to wear it a couple of days, but it was SO tight and SO uncomfortable that I think I ended up tossing it. I had the size small/medium and on top of making me nauseous and suffocating me, I think it just made me feel even worse about my swollen tummy. Not worth it. I have heard good things about this one, though!
Face Wash & Lotion - It felt so good to finally wash my face and lather up with moisturizer! Some ladies prefer makeup remover wipes, which would be easier in the hospital, but I hate wipes and love my face wash. I also have dry skin, and the hospital seems to make it drier (could be in my head) so facial moisturizer is also a must.
Body Lotion - I can’t remember if I used this, but I would bring it again next time just in case. Nothing feels worse than having really dry skin.
Prenatal Vitamins - definitely keep taking these after you’ve given birth. You need them to help your body heal, and especially if you are breastfeeding.
Stool Softener - my doctor (and a few of my girlfriends) told me to start taking these before you go into labor or you’ll regret it. They were 150% correct. I was so thankful I started taking these a week or two before going into labor - I think I would have died if I didn’t. Take these and thank me later (especially if you tear at all). I also kept taking these after giving birth and while I was still healing, which took about 4 weeks!
Minimal Makeup - If I’m being honest, I wore the same makeup (without washing my face) from 5:00 AM on Friday until sometime Saturday afternoon.. Gross, I know. But I had no desire to mess with it, and definitely didn’t want to redo it. I brought concealer, cc cream, bronzer, highlighter and mascara to make me feel a little better, and was thankful I had it when I was ready to freshen up.
Hair Brush - I did brush my hair, contrary to how I look in most of the photos that were taken.
Blow Dryer - haha.. yeah right. I used dry shampoo and didn’t even think about washing my hair during my shower. I couldn’t get out of the shower fast enough. I was in pain when standing, and I could hear baby girl crying, so I just basically rinsed off and jumped out. I also somehow managed to soak the entire hospital bathroom.. it was a disaster and I was a mess haha. I was glad that I had my own products, though, for sure!
Nipple Cream - my lactation consultant actually told me that since there are extra ingredients in this one, to make sure I wipe it off before each feeding. That seemed like a huge pain in the rear to me, so I asked my sister to get me just plain Lanolin. I love this one, but thankfully didn’t need it much.
Diapers/Pads - I was told by many that these are the best diapers and much better than the mesh undies they provide at the hospital (and it is SO true!). I used diapers, NOT pads - I tore 3rd degree, plus some, so the thin, little pads I brought were laughable. I lived in these diapers for like, 3-4 weeks if I’m being honest. They were just so much easier than the huge mesh panties and giant pads that the hospital provides. You could still pack a few pads just in case you don’t tear, but I was thankful I had these with me and a stock pile at home!
Witch Hazel Pads - these help with recovery and are soothing. The hospital also provides these, but I ordered some for home as well.
Belly Oil - I didn’t use this in the hospital, but definitely kept using it once I was home. I wanted to make sure my skin (tummy) was moisturized to help with elasticity and healing.
DERMAPLAST - this stuff is a godsend. I wouldn’t have made it out without it (kidding.. kinda). The hospital gives you a bottle of this, but buy another so you have one waiting at home. One of my friends told me to pick up a bottle of this at Target before going into labor, and I did so, but didn’t think I would use it much. Once I was home, this stuff saved me. There were a few times when I went a little too long without taking my pain meds and could feel the pain creeping up on me. This stuff gave me a little instant relief while I waited for my meds to kick in. I think you’re only supposed to use this 3-4 times a day, but I used it more because... OUCH.
Camera - I honestly didn’t feel like taking many pics, but so thankful we had the camera and Carl was able to snap a few! I told him not to take any of me, but looking back at them now, I’m so thankful he didn’t listen to me and got a few of me and my sweet girl’s first few hours together.
Pillows & Blanket - I am such a germaphobe that we left these at the hospital. I just bought cheap pillows/blankets from Target or Walmart to bring (definitely recommend doing this). This blanket is currently on sale for $14, so you won’t feel as bad if you want to leave it behind. The hospital actually called me to tell me all the things I left behind, which was sweet, but I just told them to just toss it all! I do wish we would have brought more than one blanket, though. I originally packed it for Carl Michael thinking I would be fine with whatever was in the hospital and ended up stealing it from him the entire stay (sorry, babes)! Again, the hospital is freezing, plus it’s softer for baby! I am so thankful that we brought our own pillows. They have pillows, obviously, but I liked having our own to sleep on and to help prop me up in bed when I was nursing/holding baby. I also brought this Boppy Pregnancy Support Pillow, and surprisingly I used this more than the nursing pillow. It was so much easier to hold baby with this pillow and helped with nursing too!
Extra Long Phone Charger - definitely a must!
Nurse Gifts/Goody Basket - full of snacks (granola bars, gold fish, gummies, etc), hand sanitizers from Bath & Body Works, mints, etc. just to say thank you! The nurses were SO thankful for this, and surprised that I did it, actually. After a rough labor and delivery, it was the last thing on my mind, so I had Carl Michael take it back to the labor and delivery wing before we left. My anesthesiologist actually stopped me on our way out to tell me thank you and how thoughtful it was! I definitely recommend doing this - they work so hard and are rarely recognized for all they do. It was such a small gesture to say thank you and was definitely more appreciated than I anticipated.
Anything I want for photos of baby - ex: letter board, name sticker, swaddle blankets, etc. We ended up just taking photos of Charleigh when we got home. I would probably still bring this, just in case you feel like taking photos (many people do!), but I didn’t feel well and was just fine waiting.
Socks & Mittens - I was glad we had little baby socks and mittens even though she was wrapped in a swaddle. Charleigh loved having her hands up close to her face when she was first born, so mittens are a must unless you want little scratches all over their face! I will say that I had trouble keeping these on, but never found another brand that stayed on any better.
A few onesies - we didn’t use these. Your baby is constantly being checked out by nurses, doctors, specialists, etc. We just kept Charleigh in a diaper, socks and a swaddle. I do wish we brought our own swaddle (we just used the one provided by the hospital) and we loved this one once we got home!
Swaddle/Receiving Blanket (for photos) - we took pics at home, so didn’t use these in the hospital. It would be nice to bring at least one along just in case, though.
Pacifiers - nurses and lactation consultants in the hospital advise against using pacifiers, just to make sure baby latches well while breastfeeding. But Charleigh was such a good eater from the very beginning, I think we would have been fine to use them sooner than we did. And we may have gotten a little more sleep… ?
Car Seat - They make you bring up your carseat and strap the baby in in front of them before you’re discharged.