What Should I Remove from My Hospital Bag?

When it came time to think about packing my hospital bag, I did a bunch of research. I googled and clicked on tons of links, looking at what different women had packed. I could tell that some of the things weren’t what I wanted/needed, and I sort of compiled my list as a hybrid of everyone else’s bags.

Which is a good idea in theory. My husband and I sat down and made a list. (You guys, the Reminders app on the iPhone? It is a very fancy way for husband’s to efficiently nag their wives. Do NOT enable the “sharing” part. Learn from my error.) And then over the course of two weeks, we gradually filled the bag with all kinds of things. And though it zips, it’s absurd in its fullness, and I know that if I actually need any of the things in the bag, I cannot even hope to get to them.

And, to make matters worse, my husband has his own bag, which contains his change of clothes, his snacks, and my camera, because I just don’t have enough room in the bag. He also has the phone chargers, a computer, and a flip video camera. So yeah … two bags.

Since I’m realizing that this is absurd, and I have nothing else to do today, I am reorganizing the bag (since labor is CLEARLY not happening right now), and I need help. Which of these things do I NOT need in the bag, and, of course, am I missing anything? (Is it even possible that I could be missing anything?)

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  • Washcloths 1 of 16
    Washcloths
    These are not for a shower necessarily, they're for during labor when I need to be cooled off. I am very easy to overheat (and overheating means nausea and I just do not want to deal with that any more than I have to), and I heard that some hospitals don't provide washcloths and instead you're stuck with paper towels. I suppose I could use them for a shower, but I kind of want to wreck the hospital's washcloths instead of my own ...
  • Tennis Balls 2 of 16
    Tennis Balls
    These are two tennis balls taped together, expressly for the purpose of sparing my husband's hands during labor. I don't know if I'll want to be touched, but this is a nice option if I do want/like a massage during labor, so that he can still use his hands to hold our child after he comes out.
  • Giant Pads 3 of 16
    Giant Pads
    I was told that not everyone likes or has great success with hospital sanitary pads, so I bought the brand I prefer, just in case. They are massively massive.
  • Nursing Bras 4 of 16
    Nursing Bras
    One slightly fancy nursing bra, one sleep bra. I don't know that I'll have need for either, but they were suggestions, especially the sleep one.
  • Nursing Tank 5 of 16
    Nursing Tank
    Extremely wrinkled nursing tank. This is my go-home shirt because it's nice and lightweight, and it's easy for breastfeeding. I have otherwise not packed any shirts. I'm good with hospital gowns.
  • Pants 6 of 16
    Pants
    Yea, this is a place you can ding me for sure. I have a pair of black pants, black yoga pants, and black shorts. Black for obvious reasons. I'm considering taking the shorts out and should probably take out the yoga pants, too. I'm not sure what makes me think I'll need more than one pair of pants, but I fear that I won't know which ones will be comfortable until I put them on. Why this worries me so greatly, I'm not sure at all.
  • Giant Dark Towel 7 of 16
    Giant Dark Towel
    I am told the hospital towels are woefully small and very scratchy, which is not what you're going to want with your first post-baby shower. And it's dark for obvious gross, post-labor reasons.
  • Fuzzy Non-skid Socks 8 of 16
    Fuzzy Non-skid Socks
    Because they feel good, won't let me slip, and will keep my toes warm. And because if stuff gets on them, I'm not at all attached to them.
  • Lanolin and Breast Pads 9 of 16
    Lanolin and Breast Pads
    I have been told that lanolin is God's gift to breastfeeding nipples. And since I already have to wear these stupid pads, and I haven't even had the baby yet, it seemed in my best interest to pack a few extras.
  • Personal Hygiene Items 10 of 16
    Personal Hygiene Items
    I'm not sure I need to elaborate here. Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and face cloths. I'm not packing makeup because I could hardly care less about makeup at this point.
  • Shower Gel 11 of 16
    Shower Gel
    My favorite scent of shower gel, a loofa, and some lotion. I am assured that they provide shampoo, and since I don't have any travel-sized shampoo bottles, I'm just going to use theirs.
  • Gum 12 of 16
    Gum
    This is for my husband, not for me. I love him dearly, but his breath is ... well, not so great. Our birthing class instructor suggested gum/mints for labor since you won't want the smell up in your face coaching you.
  • Receiving Blankets 13 of 16
    Receiving Blankets
    I was told by someone that you're going to want one or two of your own receiving blankets for carrying the baby out of the hospital or just for pictures. I have a bit of a monkey infatuation. Judge if you must.
  • Baby Clothes 14 of 16
    Baby Clothes
    Okay. So. I feel like it's possible I don't need all of these. But should I bring onesies in case he is hugely large and can't wear the itty bitty footy outfits? How many does he need? I've heard just one, I've heard people who think extras are necessary. I don't know!
  • Hat and Booties 15 of 16
    Hat and Booties
    These were hand knitted by my MIL and though I was specifically told they were for him to wear home, that's, uh, not happening because: a) my MIL does not get to decide what my child wears home and b) most of his clothes have built-in feet, so booties are kind of unnecessary. So he'll be wearing them for lots of pictures throughout his hospital stay and then he'll wear whatever I pick out to go home. Yes, this situation irritates me slightly.
  • Brush and Nail Clippers 16 of 16
    Brush and Nail Clippers
    The brush is probably not necessary, but the nail clippers/file are coming. I won't bombard you with my whole opinion on baby mittens, but baby's hands need to be free to explore things as their brain matures and grows, so we'll be clipping/filing so he can explore freely. And so I can gnaw on his itty bitty baby fingers.

So, in that mess, what do we not need? Is there anything else I’m missing?!

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