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Hey, mama. I get it. There are soooooo many packing lists out there, all just a little different from the last, meaning the contents of your bag continue to grow until you reach the point of relentless questioning from your husband. I may or may not be speaking from experience….

In my efforts to be prepared (ha!), I was going to waaaaay over pack. The ironic thing? I was blindsided about my hospital stay, and all my research, lists, and planning went down the toilet quickly when a routine check-up at 35 weeks turned into immediate admission to the hospital, observation for three days, and then, boom! baby.

After that appointment, my husband drove us home to quickly grab a few things before taking me to the hospital to check in. It really helped that we lived fairly close, because he also made several more trips back to the house in the days that followed.

My point? Being completely prepared isn’t a thing. Nope. I thought I had everything figured out. I was going to pack my bag at 36 weeks. Instead, I had my baby at 36 weeks.

However, I do have several items that I absolutely needed during my stay that I would like to pass along to you. Ladies, this isn’t the typical list. This is the realist, don’t-waste-your-money-on-silly-things list. And, this is the list that got me through almost a week in the hospital. Most of these items should be things you already have at home, but if not, I’ve included links to items I would purchase.

  1. 1. Slipper socks. My feet were constantly cold, and I’m very grossed out about walking barefoot on tile floors, especially in hospitals. 
  2. Flip flops. For the shower, mama. I won’t go into details, but just think what that shower floor has faced…
  3. Extension cord. All of my outlets were far away from my bed, and none of my charging cords were long enough to cover the distance. The extension cord was a huge help.
  4. Travel-sized toiletries and minimal makeup. Only pack the bare minimum. You most likely won’t feel like getting completely ready after giving birth to a baby. Just the bare minimum to be “presentable.”
  5. Face wipes. I’m very, very thankful for these. I was on strict bed rest once they started the magnesium sulfate during labor. I couldn’t even get up to pee (sad story, I know). After giving birth, showering sounds so wonderful, but that was not something I was allowed to do. So, instead I did the best I could with those face wipes while remaining in bed. Life saver.
  6. Your own pillow. I thought I was keeping things simple by not packing my own pillow. I’ll let you in on a little secret: hospital pillows suck should not be called pillows. They’re awful. I wish I had brought my own. I probably would have slept better.
  7. Nursing bras. You’ll be spending a lot of time trying to figure the nursing thing out. Make life easier by getting bras specifically designed for breastfeeding. If you need nursing pads, ask your nurse for some. They’ll likely be sending home samples with you, so take advantage of those.
  8. Going home outfit. Sweats or leggings will do the trick. Nothing fancy is necessary at all.
  9. Cell phone and charger. If you’re like us, all the pictures you’ll take will be on your phone. All videos you take will be on your phone. All entertainment (except for TV) will be on your phone. Nothing else.

That’s it.

Seriously, you don’t need much. I had purchased a special nursing gown and brought it with me to the hospital, thinking I’d change into it right after giving birth. The thing is, you have major fluids leaving your body, and there’s no telling what may or may not happen down there. I definitely didn’t want to ruin my new gown, especially one I splurged on. So, I took advantage of the hospital nursing gowns instead.

I also thought I’d need a ball and labor book. Again, splurges. Again, nope. Funny thing – those items didn’t arrive at my house until two days after we had returned home from the hospital. Total waste of money? Absolutely. I managed to give birth naturally without bouncing on a ball or reading about how to deliver naturally. I also didn’t have special music playing or “soothing” scents going. If that works for you, great, but if not, don’t fall into the trap thinking it’s a necessity!

Take advantage of the mesh underwear they give you in the hospital – they’re wonderful and keep everything in place. Also, don’t take your own pads like I did. That was just dumb. They have all of that already there.

They also give you a water bottle with a straw that works great. Don’t bring your own. I still use mine, and L is 9 months old!

And there you have it. I made it through a week in the hospital with just these things. All the other crap items just sat unused in a sad pile on the floor.

Related: Just Another Baby Hospital Bag Packing List

Calling all mom’s who’ve given birth. Anything I missed that you would argue is a necessity? Leave a note in the comments below!

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