One of the final steps of preparing for a new baby is getting the diaper bag together. I think my mom made me finalize my diaper bag at around 7 or 8 months. And after packing everything I thought I’d need, and walking out of the hospital with a cart full of other stuff that I never thought I’d be leaving with (lots of mesh diapers, lots of ice packs, lots of medicine and cleaning products) , I realized I packed too much.
But it was a learning experience for me, and I’ve used that experience to share with new moms my list of essentials. I’d even go so far as to recommend you not bring anything outside of these things. Because the hassle of baby is certainly enough. Lots of other unnecessary items will only compound the stress.
I’ve even added a doc that you can download from Etsy. Save it to your board to have it for when you’re ready to start preparing and finalizing your baby bag.
- 3 onesies (1 for each day)
- Going home outfit
- Hospital pictures outfit (optional)
- Pacifiers (optional)
- Swaddlers (optional)
- Insurance cards
- 2 or 3 sets of PJ’s
- Shower slippers
- Walking slippers
- Towels (2 for drying, 2 for face)
- Nursing bras
- Gel pads (optional)
- Socks (optional)
- Going home outfit
- Tablet (optional)
- Tablet charger (optional)
- Phone charger
- Breast pump (optional)
A little bit about some of these…
You might also consider these to be optional. When babies are in the hospital, they spend a lot of time swaddled. And you’re changing their diapers often. So if you bring onesies, don’t get too concerned if they don’t get used.
Unless you really want to, you’ll spend most of the time in a hospital gown. I remember we had gotten to day 2 and I realized that I hadn’t taken a bath, but also that those PJ’s I brought to look cute in would probably not get used. But after that first post-delivery bath, you’ll might feel the urge to be in something that makes you feel cute again, maybe even sexy. PJ’s can do this. It’s an easy way to sort of reclaim your body (although let’s be honest: if you’re breastfeeding, what yours is baby’s). Speaking of breastfeeding, if you bring pj’s, remember to bring some that will leave room for breastfeeding (if that’s part of your plan). So extremely loose with easy access to the goods is ideal.
Don’t bring anything tight either. The diaper/undies you’ll wear simultaneously brings back nightmares but also soothing thoughts. I doubt you’d want to be seen in yoga pants with diaper but. So either a gown or a loose set is recommended. But bring whatever you feel you will be comfortable wearing.
Socks for Mom
Yep, those are marked optional. Because the hospital will provide you with anti-slip socks with the grip pattern on the bottom. There’s just as much fear of falling after birth as there is before birth. So if you don’t want to bring socks, no biggie.
If you’re new to breastfeeding, these might be a good investment even if you only use them a few times. If baby doesn’t latch right … oh the horror … the pain!!! But if you do decide to buy, just buy one or two packs at first. They’re washable so you should be able to use them for a couple of weeks until you’re a pro at breastfeeding and no longer need them.
If you plan to breastfeed, make use of the lactation specialist. While they’re there teaching you how to get the best latch and the different ways you can hold a baby to breastfeed, thy can also show you how to use your breast pump.
Labor and Delivery Gown
It’s easy to spend the entirety of your stay in the hospital gowns provided by the hospital. But they’re also (1) itchy, (2) have been worn by dozens of people before you, and (3) only open in the back. Consider bringing your own like this Breastfeeding Sleepshirt and Nightgown. It’s much softer than the hospital grade gowns and open to the front for easy access for baby.