I’m literally counting down the
weeks days until my due date right now. Jackson was born 3 weeks early and I was not as prepared as I would have liked to have been for his arrival, and I’m hoping to be more prepared this time. Our goal was to have everything done by New Year’s Day (which was about 95% successful!) so that now we can just sit, wait and hopefully relax a bit during this month or less that we have to go.
One of the big things on my baby to do list was to pack my hospital bag. Since this is the second time around, I feel like I have a better idea of what to bring with me this time (and definitely what not to bring).
I’ve partnered with one of the most stylish mamas I know, Morgan Hutchinson (who owns the fabulous online shop BURU), to share some of our tips, tricks and recommendations for what to pack in your hospital bag for the big baby day!
What are your top hospital bag essentials?
- Latest Vogue and Harpers – now is the time to start getting excited about clothes again!
- Travel kit of luxe shampoo, conditioner, lotions, face creams, and easy to apply make-up. Though the hospital shower might not be anything to write home about, your products can be. It’s nice to feel a little pampered post birth.
- Several sets of flattering and presentable pajamas in dark colors (with easy access to nurse). Your body is going through so much! It’s nice to have something stain friendly that you feel comfortable wearing during the revolving door of visitors.
- I packed my own hospital gown. It just made me feel fresh and less like a patient.
- Going home outfits – 2 for me and 2 for baby. I wasn’t sure what my body would look like so I brought a couple of easy outfits with versatile fits and great shoes. I was confident I could fit into those! I packed 2 for Olive, complete with coordinating blankets, because I wasn’t sure of the weather or what would be easy to dress her in.
- My Breast-Friend nursing pillow
- Comfortable and nice-looking pajamas or loungewear. You want to look nice both for visitors and for yourself!
- iPhone, camera and chargers/cords for both. Jackson arrived so quickly that we didn’t have time to get the real camera out for his first few photos, so it was nice to have a fully charged phone full of photos to send along with the news to family and friends. I also hear it’s good to have a playlist prepped on your phone or iPod, and we meant to do that but Jackson’s arrived before we got that one done.
- Your own pillow. In my rush out the door, I’m not sure how I remembered this, but it was so nice to have my comfy pillow from home when I finally got to lay back and attempt to relax.
- A cute set of PJs or a onesie for baby for photos at the hospital plus a going home outfit.
- A little beauty bag of travel sized products that you love. I started collecting these from gifts with purchase or I asked the sales associates on shopping trips when I restocked my regular sized products.
Did you bring anything with you that you look back and think “What was I thinking?”
- Morgan: Yes – a candle. Pretty sure that’s frowned upon in a hospital! The better option is a room spray – like The Laundress Baby Fresh antibacterial spray. Made the room smell great while also fighting germs.
- Nina: My flat iron. We were rushing out the door and just I threw some random things in an extra bag and it was the first thing I grabbed, probably out of habit. I’m not sure why I thought I’d really have all this time to wash, dry and straighten my hair during the stay at the hospital, but needless to say it never came out of that bag. I think this time I’m better off with a brush and some dry shampoo!
What did your reach for first in your hospital bag (or what was the best thing that you brought with you)?
- Morgan: I was induced and hard labor started fast! Other than the actual hospital gown I brought, I didn’t pull out anything until it was time to shower after she arrived. I was so happy to have nice products! Oops – that’s a lie! I applied red lipstick right before the final push. Sounds vain I know – but it was my last “non-mom” moment to think of myself. I went for it! After she was here, none of that mattered of course…but the picture does look better! 🙂
- Nina: Well that’s a funny story, sort of. We literally ran out the door to drive as fast as possible to the hospital and, in that rush, my dear sweet husband forgot to grab my hospital bag. So, I really wanted to grab a brush, my own pajamas (and socks! My feet were SO cold at the hospital!) and some skincare products to freshen up a bit, but they weren’t there so I had to wait until the next morning when my mother-in-law arrived with my bag.
What beauty-related items did you have in your bag/would you recommend bringing? Any you wouldn’t?
- Morgan: Go clean – aka avoid the chemicals when you can. There are so many weird ingredients that can transfer from mom to baby. But it’s now easy to avoid. There are several amazing brands – but a few standouts include the lip balm from Beauty Counter, Nine Naturals shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, and the tummy rub cream and oil, and the bust cream.
- Nina: I tried to bring beauty products that were easy and that I didn’t necessarily need to get out of bed to use. I had makeup remover and face cleansing wipes, a nice moisturizer and a tinted moisturizer. I wouldn’t necessarily bring a full face of makeup, but this time I do plan to pack some soothing products, both in texture and smell, an eye mask (in an attempt to pamper and relax if I get a few minutes – maybe while baby boy is off getting his circumcision?) and enough makeup so that I feel like myself when we leave the hospital, and so I don’t look back at these photos like I do the last ones!
What was in your bag for baby at the hospital?
- Morgan: I brought 2 outfits for Olive—one was the outfit I wore home from the hospital complete with bonnet and shoes (which was a little fussier) and one was a Kissy Kissy onesie. They’re just so soft! She actually let me dress her in the fussier one (like mother like daughter!) I also packed a few monogrammed blankets – one cotton, one cashmere blend, a sound machine, a little lamb stuffed animal, diapers, and pacifiers.
- Nina: Jackson was born (surprise!) 3 weeks early, so my plan of shopping for the cutest “going home” outfit didn’t actually happened. I did have a sweet, soft set of newborn pajamas and a hat for him pre-packed in my bag so that he would have a non-hospital outfit for when we had visitors, but he actually ended up wearing that home too. I also had a couple of soft blankets for him to tuck into the car seat on our ride home and for photos in the hospital. Baby #2 already has a Kissy Kissy onesie and a hat and also a little outfit to wear home, along with a snowsuit just in case!
What is your ideal “Going Home” look for mom?
- Morgan: I think it is important to find flattering silhouettes in soft fabrics. I remember my skin felt very sensitive. Additionally, lots of pictures will be taken that day. Those images might be the only thing that remain to help you remember it. The first few days are such a blur! No shame in wanting to look cute for a lasting picture. Black is a safe option. I would stay away from sleeveless. Olive was born in November and it was cold when we left the hospital. No doubt the black trench coat I wore over my a-line shirtdress hid a lot of the left over puffiness and red splotches. And…don’t forget cute shoes!
- Nina: I’ve mentioned before that last time I went home in pajama pants, my husband’s t-shirt and a wrap. While that was comfortable, I look at the photos and I just cringe at how horrible I looked. With everything you go through in giving birth, I think it’s really important to feel as beautiful as you are happy when you leave the hospital – especially when you look back at those photos! I plan on bringing some comfortable leggings and a couple of cozy tops (also likely in black). I’ll also be bringing my bamboo Belly Bandit for comfort and to start that compression and “getting back to normal.” With a February due date, I’m imagining we’ll be walking out of the hospital onto some snow, so cute flat boots or snow boots will be on my feet. I also plan on throwing a hat in my bag or the car to cover up the unruly mess that my hair will surely be!
This is another one of those pre-baby things that can be pretty overwhelming, but Morgan has already thought of that and has created the perfectly curated Hello Baby Bag to get you started. The bag has a cozy Rachel Pally wrap top, a nursing bra, nursing tank, seamless leggings, and The Laundress Baby Fresh fabric spray. It’s comfort and style, all in one neat little package to put in your hospital bag, and it doesn’t get much easier than that!
Because I can’t help but think ahead, here are some of my current BURU favorites, perfect for before, during and after baby: