I'm the first one of my friends to have a baby. When I was in the hospital waiting for, and then with Weston, the thought racing through my head was, "write down what you need and don't need to tell future new moms!" Of course I didn't actually write anything down, but I quickly figured out what I needed, didn't need, and really, really should have brought with me when I was in the hospital.

Let's talk about what I needed and had:

  • I had a black jersey, so soft, t-shirt dress (in XL) which I put on the day after he was born. I kid you not, slipping out of that hospital gown into the dress (which went right to my knee) was a life-changing experience. I went from a patient to a comfortable mom! I wore that until we left the hospital...and I don't recall at all what I wore when I left--HOWEVER--something no one tells you is that most of the time you're required to take the new baby to the pediatrician the day after you come home. I was not ready. I DUMBLY made the appointment for 9am. We had no sleep the night before, I was in pain, bloated feet, and had nothing to wear. Word to the wise: prepare something to wear, and don't make a 9am appointment EVER with a newborn. (Also, bring a wrap sweater--to keep you warm--and wrap the bambino in!)
  • I had face wipes (those exact ones) which I used and made me feel semi-human again. There was a shower in my room, but there was no way I was going to get myself all cold in the shower. At least I could keep semi-clean with these wipes. 
  • I had a button-down pajama top which came in handy in attempting breastfeeding. I suggest if you're going to try breastfeeding to have something along those lines! It did come in handy when we had to do skin-to-skin to raise his blood sugar (thanks a lot, gestational diabetes). Did you know skin-to-skin contact raised his blood sugar more than formula?! Crazy. 
  • I brought slippers, which was useful, but I didn't wear. I wore the gross hospital socks instead. 
  • Clothing and things for Eric: while I didn't shower there, Eric did, so he needed clothing, toiletries, and flip flops for the shower! (there was a towel there, but I think we may have brought our own, or maybe my mom brought them)
  • A pillow! This needs like five exclamation points! Hospital beds are horrible. We brought a pillow for me, and one for Eric, which we bought at KMart for $5 each, along with really cheap, but soft pillowcases. I left both pillows in the hospital because the thought of taking home hospital infested pillows creeped me out. However, hospital pillows themselves are horrible, so I highly suggest bringing your own! 

Okay, more importantly, let's discuss what I should have brought:

  • So, I did think I was going to breastfeed, but it wasn't working--next time I will definitely be bringing bottles and formula
  • The hospital gives you a ton of stuff (there's a little changing table under the baby's bassinet), but the hospital stuff was eh. I did bring my Honest diapers, but they were too big! Next time: the Swaddlers Sensitive in preemie and newborn size, just in case. 
  • PAIN MEDICINE: Yes, it deserves all caps. Here's why. After the lovely labor of love which is delivering a baby, you are in pain. Now, I'm only talking from a non-c-section point of view, so I'm not sure about post-c-section, but I was offered over the counter pain meds. I happily accepted, except that...the nurses took forever to bring them to me! When I was on them, I was FINE, until they wore off. Next time: bringing my own. Duh. 
  • Also: bringing a ton of food next time. Hospital food SUCKS. Eloquent, no?
  • Okay, so let's talk baby clothing. When the baby is born, they put him in this giant kimono top. It was huge, and made him cold! I should have brought clothing for him, other than the going home outfit. Why I didn't think of that while in hospital, I do not know. Bring clothing! No one told me that...uh, duh...you're allowed to dress your baby. (Also: bring your own hats and scratch mittens for baby!)
  • Speaking of that, I would highly recommend a SwaddleMe or some sort of swaddle-helper. They give you a flimsy hospital blanket and no one teaches you how to swaddle (we had learned before--yeah, no--no memory of that when you're holding your screaming 5 hour old baby!); we had to google it on my iPad and save the step by step photo instructions. Newsflash: I still can't swaddle a baby. Eric's a master at it. I use the SwaddleMe and I will be bringing it next time! 

It's really hard packing a bag for yourself and someone you don't uh, know yet...We weren't even fully packed when my water broke! (Oh, I didn't mention that? That he came three weeks early and we had just gotten my car washed that day?) As I was on the phone with my mother debating whether to go to the hospital or not, Eric was finishing packing. Ah, fun times. 

What did you need and not bring when you had your baby, or, 
what did you bring and thank yourself for it? 


  1. great list! A word about the pain medicine though, in the hospital, we (RNs and Drs) ask that you don't take your home medicines. It's so we can know what is going into your body and what will interact with what. Also, trust me, the tylenol extra strength is no where near enough to touch the pain you experience after a c-section. Usually, we give some pretty heavy duty drugs after that. Then again, I'm a cardiac nurse and only did one semester rotation in labor and delivery and I live in a different state than you so it could be different. The food though is totally okay (usually) :)

  2. Paige! That's very a very helpful caveat. You need to be aware of what your drs and rns are looking out for for you. I think what Olivia is basing it off of is her experience (vaginal birth, no real complications). after a day or two the nurses only came around for her when offering her pain meds, they'd ask how the pain was and give her meds. there were no vitals, no real medical tests on her at all.

    But you're totally right, each scenario is different. And you always should be careful of what goes in and how it interacts!

  3. Thank you, Paige! That is so true. Like Jenny said, I was basing this off of my experience...and I had a very easy one! I was allowed to take any pain meds I wanted, it was just that they took too long to get to me. I'll update the post with a caveat--THANKS!

  4. Hi Oliva, fellow new Rookie Mom blogger here. Love your list. I'm 37 weeks and am working on my hospital bag and love seeing what other mama's brought/wished they'd brought.