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Amidst all of the uncertainty and anxiety that came with Landon’s upcoming birth, I turned to one the things that helped calm my nerves: planning through excessive researching. I scoured the internet looking for list after list of items I should pack for myself and my baby once it was time to head to the hospital.

Related: Another Hospital Bag Packing List

After all that research, and better yet, my own experience, I’ve narrowed it down to the absolute necessities. Don’t be like me and over pack. My poor husband tried to warn me as I was doing it, but in my mind, the more I packed, the more prepared I’d be. Turns out, it doesn’t work that way. So, learn from my mistakes and trust me on this!

1. Car Seat

They aren’t going to let you bring that sweet baby home without one. We purchased the Chicco KeyFit 30 and have loved it. It’s easy to install, easy to attach and release the bucket seat, high on consumer review lists, and, most of all, safe. We actually ordered ours from Buy Buy Baby during a major sale, but this is the exact same one from Target.

2. Clothes

Since baby’s bag was easier to pack than my own, I packed it much sooner than mine. I didn’t even remember what all I put in it once we were at the hospital. In my dazed state, I thought they were dressing him in clothes exactly like the ones I had “hanging up” at home. Turns out, thanks to a list I had read, I had packed those clothing items in his bag and my husband was pulling them out each day for the nurse to dress him in. I had no idea. Our stay was longer than most, so turns out, my over packing saved us just this once. A typical stay will only be a day or two in the hospital. So, pack your going home outfit depending on weather, and then pack another 2-3 sleepers. Your baby will not be able to regulate his/her temperature well yet, so pack something light, easy to open and close (I recommend zipper sleepers all the way!), and layer with swaddle blankets as needed. Don’t pack a hat. They will most likely give you several there.

3. Pacifier

Really, this may not be a necessity unless the hospital you’re delivering at won’t supply with you some. There are anti-pacifier hospitals out there, so just make sure to do your research beforehand. Ours gave us at least two pacifiers while we were there.

4. Nursing Pillow

Again, this is debatable, but I was thankful I had packed it, so I’m including it on the list. Even though that new baby weighs next to nothing, nursing sessions can take up to an hour. That pillow really helped with positioning and comfort while the two of us tried to figure out what the heck we were doing.

5. Diaper Bag

This really is only for the off-chance that you’d need something on the drive home. Stock it with a few diapers, an extra outfit, and wipes just in case. None of this stuff you should actually need in the hospital.

That’s really all you need; short and sweet! The hospital will supply the diapers, wipes, swaddle blankets (bring as many of these home as you can. They are by far the best for newborns!!), bath supplies, nipple shield if you need it (I did, and I’m glad they gave me one. Major help!), etc. Don’t overdo it. You don’t need much.

Related: 10 Baby Items You Absolutely Need

Anything else from mothers who’ve lived through this that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

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