It seems like when we are expecting a new little bundle of joy the world begins shouting at us that we need all of this stuff. The noise of it can make pregnancy overwhelming, not to mention trying to prepare for labor and delivery. This is why I’m here to help by sharing exactly what we put into our minimalist hospital bag. As a fourth time mom, I feel like we finally have this down…but then again, maybe there is just so much chaos these days that I don’t even notice the crazy. 😉
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Of the items below, we packed everything listed as either necessity or nice to have. There are other things that a lot of people really feel are needed but we didn’t deem imperative which you can find under items to consider.
My Minimalist Hospital Bag
- Toiletries – If you’re going for a full-on minimalist approach then you could get away with simply packing a toothbrush, toothpaste, chapstick, deodorant, dry shampoo, a hairbrush, and some hair ties. This is going to be different for every person but I also included travel sized shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and moisturizer. Without a shower, I just cannot function properly! Some moms also bring along a few cosmetics but I’ll be impressed if I even take mascara.
- Nursing Gown & Robe – After three hospital deliveries there is one thing I have really come to admit: the more comfortable, the better. Using the restroom and trying to pull up shorts or pants over the lovely mesh undies isn’t fun. I plan to skip the irritation this time by bringing along my favorite nursing gown with a matching robe. Modesty and functionality all wrapped into one.
- Extra Underwear – I’ll confess that this was the first of our pregnancies where I had to buy some larger underwear. I didn’t go with maternity ones but they do fit better than my pre-pregnancy ones and will be far less annoying than mesh. If your panties are uber comfortable and will work well with the giant feminine pads, pack a few pairs. You can thank me later.
- Chargers – What could be worse than 24-72+ hours in the hospital with a dead phone and a brand new baby needing hundreds of photos to be taken? Have family that will be freaking out waiting for updates? Point exactly. Bring those chargers!
- Going Home Clothes – Say it with me one more time: comfort. When I was pregnant with our first, someone gave me the advice to expect what fit at 6/7 months to fit best during that first week of postpartum life. I have tried to follow that guideline with each pregnancy while packing my “going home” outfit and it works out perfectly. Consider leggings, a supportive tank top, and a long sweater or tunic to hide the panty lines you are sure to have.
Nice to Have:
- Slippers with Grips – Chances are that if you go into labor naturally, you’ll be allowed to get up and walk around to help your body progress a little more. Even if you are being induced though, walking to the restroom or nursery may be made safer (and again more comfortable) by having some socks or slippers with grips on them. I decided to go with some slipper socks for our last hospital stay and am truly happy with the pair I picked up. (But check out these super cute labor socks!)
- Nursing Tank – Even though I packed a gown and robe to wear, having the option to put on something with a little more support is important to me. I also pack a nursing bra for leaving in case checkout is delayed or we decide to stop somewhere and baby needs to nurse.
- Breast Pads – For our fourth little one we are using cloth breast pads. For the hospital though, I packed disposable. My thought process on this one was not wanting to go home with extra laundry to do already. I mean, whyyy would someone do that?
- Nipple Cream – Those first three weeks of breastfeeding are by far the hardest. I didn’t struggle at all with our second or third but my favorite nipple cream was still a necessity to me while it may not be a must-have to a fellow mommy.
Our Minimalist Baby Bag
- Going Home Outfit – I don’t care how minimal you are, you are still going to want your little bundle to be dressed adorably as you head home. Whatever your baby-style is, go for it.
- 1-3 Onesies – With our first three, the local hospitals provided white onesies or shirts as needed but with our fourth we discovered the local hospitals don’t. Word is that they may provide 1-2 white gowns. Thankfully we heard about this in advance and packed a few onesies to be safe.
- Burp Cloth – We love using the cloth diaper pre-folds as our burp cloths. They’re super absorbent, easy to wash, and usually remain stain free with little effort. Having one for at least the trip home was a must.
Nice to Have:
- Introduction Outfit – With our first son on the way after three little girls his “Hello World” photo was kind of a big deal to me. If this is important to you, pack something special but if a photograph of your little one all swaddled up works for you, don’t waste the space. This one is totally up to minimalistic preferences!
- Nail Clippers – Sometimes babies are born with longer nails and newborns are already known to scratch themselves easily/often. Most hospitals will not provide nail clippers out of fear of the baby’s nails being cut too short so if you are comfortable with clipping their tiny nails, you’ll need to bring a pair.
- Swaddle Blanket – Hospital receiving blankets are adorable and all but again, our first mister after three sisters called for a bit of flair. Thankfully, the owner of Lineman Blankets totally hooked us up with some options for our little grunt.
- Personal Blanket and/or Car Seat Cover – Leaving the hospital during the winter? You’ll want to keep baby covered as you walk from the building to the car. Same goes for if there might be rain or high winds.
Items to Consider
- Clothes for Dad – If your mister is going to be staying at the hospital with you then a set of overnight clothes for sleeping and a set of clothes for the next day are a must. With three littles at home and no family near, this wasn’t an option for us.
- Snacks or Cash – Usually I would be all for packing some easy to go snacks but knowing that The Mister would be coming and going made me rethink this. Instead, I would prefer fresh fruits and veggies be stocked in the fridge but we will have some cash just in case as well.
- Camera – We brought along our big camera for baby number 3 but honestly, iPhone these days are just as good and the extra clutter annoys us.
- Water Enhancer – Postpartum is a time where mom really needs to focus on staying hydrated but often baby comes first. One way to get a little more water down is to add some flavoring to it.
- Diapers, Wipes, & Pacifiers – Most hospitals will provide the basic necessities while you are there including formula if you choose. We take advantage of this by not bringing along our cloth diapers or our own wipes. If you feel inclined to bring your own, keep it minimal and if you have a specific pacifier you are wanting to use, pack it as well.