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Having two baby boys 17 months apart helped me refine a lot of things I did as a mom, including what to pack in my hospital bag. When you have your first baby you think you need everything but the kitchen sink, the second one you realize less is more. So here are my tried and true hospital bag essentials and a few tips for while you’re there!

  1. Long Sleeve Night Shirt: With all the check ins from nurses and just everything that goes down this is a MUST for me. I packed two one time and one the other but I think you’ll be fine with one. Remember I was a c section so I stayed an extra day.  I love this one from Eberjey.
  2. One nice pair of button front pajamas: I like Eberjey but there are a million dupes that still have that same buttery feel. Here are two linked. 1. Target and 2. Target
  3. Nursing Bra: I like this one from pea and the pod and I wear a medium and am typically a 34B. Here is a pretty amazing amazon dupe.
  4. A big robe: I love barefoot dreams here is the one I wore the entire time
  5. House shoes: a must. You’ll be scuffing around that room in no time and on walks around the hospital floor. I treated myself to a fancy pair of Minnie Rose ones but here is an amazon dupe! 
  6. Flip Flops for the shower
  7. A big, old towel you can leave there 
  8. Mother love nipple cream (a MUST for nursing moms or moms trying to nurse)
  9. Boppy: if you have one. I’ll link one from Target and Amazon
  10. These underwear will not be worn but they’re great post partum for either delivery but if you want to get ambitious about getting out of those mesh ones they give you at the hospital, bring a pair. Though I don’t recommend that.
  11. Toiletries: I just brought one face wash, a moisturizer, a small shampoo and conditioner.
  12. A hair band – I found these cute scrunchies
  13. A sound machine: it’s so loud in the hallways there and you only get a little time to sleep between nurse checks. This is a great one.
  14. Man bedding: critical – a pillow and a good blanket for the significant other 

For the Baby: So the first time with Ford, I brought diapers, outfits, creams, so many things…I literally only needed 3 things: the pacifier, the baby nail file or clippers and the outfit to bring the baby home in – that’s it. They have everything you need for that precious baby there so don’t waste your time and energy packing anything but the basics. If you are shooting anything in the hospital and want a special outfit bring that too. I also like these bibs, just a regular rubber pacifier and this Kissy Kissy convertible gown.

  1. Car seat: I have and love both the Nuna Pipa Lite and the Uppababy Mesa.

Tip: If you have a big brother or big sister involved always bring a gift from the new baby to give the younger siblings when they come to meet the baby. This was a special thing for Ford. We also bought him a little I’m a big brother book we could read to him. I’m a Big Brother book & I’m a Big Sister book

Oh and you also don’t need medicine – they have everything there for you and won’t even let you use your own.

Hospital tips:

  • Make a plan but be open. I had two c sections and both were completely different. I had one baby come back with me and one go to the Nicu so it just totally depends on your particular experience. 
  • Enjoy your time there! I was literally calling my insurance company to see if we could stay another night. It’s not a family reunion or time to reconnect with old friends at the hospital post baby. It is a time for CLOSE family and friends. Don’t feel bad saying that you need some bonding time or that you need time to rest. That’s what you’re there for. If you only see someone once a year at a holiday they don’t need to be visiting in the 48 -72 hour window you’re there. They can meet that baby at Christmas. But really, I am a HUGE family person but you have to put your own family and yourself first then let the crew come by. And don’t be afraid to tell them when you’re ready for them to leave or if they need to step out of the room. These minutes and days are sacred and most of the time they understand. It’s really such a special time and I always cherish the memories with my people there.
  • Ask for extra mesh underwear and pads. Thank me later.
  • Don’t try and be super hero mom. 
  • Take lots of pictures. I look at mine once a week.
  • Also people have strong opinions on having a photographer or not. Honestly it’s all personal preference. I wouldn’t trade it for the WORLD but if you don’t feel comfortable or feel like you don’t want to be photographer just use your phone. Those pictures are just as special.

In the spirit of always showing y’all all of the real life content on my blog, here are some high quality iPhone pictures from our time at the hospital.

Jul 17, 2020

What To Pack in Your Hospital Bag + Tips


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I'm a small town, Kentucky girl who has experienced a lot of life from Miss America to the Amazing Race. And I'm here to share with you the best of what I've learned on this unique journey.

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