12.5.16

packing a hospital bag



Lately I think I have been feeling a bit of a calm before the storm. Things have been quiet. When I come home in the evenings, I usually settle in for some knitting or sewing, and funnily enough, baseball games. This is a new phenomenon! I have really loved watching baseball games since they started in April. I find the sounds of baseball comforting, which came as a surprise. I haven’t felt particularly creative or active, but my mind has been going non-stop. Now that I have eight weeks of pregnancy left (ahh!), and since I got a very helpful list from my prenatal class, I’ve started to think about what I will pack in my hospital bag. I’ve asked a few pros for their opinions and the first thing everyone says is that they didn’t use most of what they packed since hospital stays can be so short— which is funny to me because on the two visits I’ve made to the labour and delivery floor, I’ve seen women arriving with giant suitcases! I definitely understand the urge to feel (over-)prepared, and so here are some of my thoughts about some of what I will pack. I know things don’t always go according to plan but I know that having my bag packed will help me feel at ease in the last few weeks.


Fjällräven was kind enough to send me a Kånken No. 2, which I thought would make the perfect bag to bring. I know it doesn’t look very large, but it fits quite a lot! Plus it’s cute, and as I have seen with a Fjällräven bag I bought years ago, super durable. I’ll probably pack a few additional tote bags for the things the hospital gives you upon discharge.

Breastfeeding pillow (I sewed one), and a pillow from home, since those hospital pillows can be a little flat (and I imagine it would be nice to have something familiar). This pillow by Auggie is so sweet and the cover is machine washable. Perfect.

Massage oil. I love this Kahina argan oil: it absorbs so quickly, and the smell is delicate. We’ve been learning some massage techniques in our prenatal class, which has come in handy since the only issue I’ve had this pregnancy is back pain.

Comfortable clothing for the hospital stay. I spent about a week in the hospital a couple of years ago and my favourite things to have with me were slouchy socks. I padded around the whole floor in them. This kit from Hatch, the Hatch to Hospital box, contains so many soft items that would be perfect for the period after the delivery, including slouchy cashmere socks! What a treat. The airy Tulla top would make a wonderful piece to go home in, since it will be July.

Nursing bras, extra underwear, water shoes in case we get a tub room, toiletries. I think it will be important to bring my own hand soap (I really like the Live Clean brand) because I cannot stand the soap at the hospital, which is very harsh.


I like the idea of having a notebook with me. I often forget to write things down but this feels like an important time to jot things down so as not to forget.

For Geoff: a watch with a second hand (he can borrow my Cluse watch), and pyjamas for his night of very uncomfortable sleep in the chair next to the bed, if he can get any sleep! Plus phone chargers, cameras, snacks, etc.


For baby, star of the show: a cotton hat, some onesies, and a cute outfit for going home. I like this knit set even though it looks warm. We’ll be going from an air conditioned hospital to an air conditioned car, and I don’t know much about babies but I know they like to be warm! Plus a sweet cotton blanket.

Diapers. While I love the idea of cloth diapers, the reality is that it isn’t practical for us since we don’t have laundry at home. I’d like to use diapers that are as eco-friendly as possible, and luckily we live in a city that recycles them.

Of course, we can’t leave the hospital without a car seat. We recently purchased the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio and will install it soon.

 I love lists, so if you have any that helped you or if you have any suggestions, please share!

15 comments:

  1. Baby Bottom Better, it is HANDS DOWN the best diapering balm for tender tiny baby bottoms. I used it with both of my little ones, and it is incredible. My older daughter had very sensitive skin and got awful rashes with any kind of cream or ointment but a little Baby Bottom Better cleared it up in less than a day.
    http://www.weelove.ca/catalog/6981549/baby-bottom-better---herbal-diapering-salve

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    1. Thank you! I love that it's natural :) I got some from Ella's Botanicals but I know that they can have different reactions to different things, so always nice to know about others!

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  2. For the all-in-one baby pjs, seek out zippers. You'll of course need to be more cautious to keep the zipper from snipping baby's delicate skin - but you'll be so grateful to not struggle with those snaps (especially in the middle of the night on a wriggly infant).

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  3. I'm about to go into labour with my third so I've just been reviewing my list. Here are my suggestions.

    If you're breastfeeding, get Lansinoh nipple cream. You'll most likely want it in the first weeks.
    Slippers are nice for padding around hospital rooms, and lip balm for the dry air.
    I prefer to bring my own baby soap from a local Etsy store, because the Johnson & Johnson's stuff they give you is way more harsh and chemically than anything for a brand newborn should be.
    I'm also packing dry shampoo in case the baby arrives at an inopportune time between showers and I want to not look like a greasy mess while being photographed a whole bunch.

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    1. So many great ideas! Thank you :)

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  4. All the cosy soft fabrics are such a good idea. I love that the baseball is calming, I never know what's going to unexpectedly soothe my brain!

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  5. I second Amy! Zippered one-piece footie pajamas are all the babe will live in for the first two months. I wish I had bought all the cute outfits in larger sizes so my daughter got more wear out of them. My advice is to leave behind the undies. The hospital-provided disposable mesh panties sound so weird but are beyond comfortable and do their job well (holding in pads!). I hoarded a ton (ask the nurses) and wore them exclusively at home for 2 weeks after birth. I would also bring a robe...it's nice to have on hand to throw over the hospital gowns for visitors. I was one of those people who packed a ton and barely touched it. Besides my personal toiletries and the going home outfit for myself and baby, I didn't use anything!

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions! I have used those mesh panties after a few procedures and they were remarkably comfortable, ha. I guess you never know what you'll need until you get there, so I understand over-packing.

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    2. We found lots of luck with the line Magnificent Baby - they are sleepers with magnetic closures! Soooooo convenient for the zillion diaper changes with newborns.

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    3. Magnificent Baby! What a name! I will look out for them!

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  6. I commented on your insta post already (robe that can open at the front easily, water bottle with a sport top, and easy on shoes), but then I read here you are having back pain. The worst! I had terrible back pain too in my last two months, and something I found REALLY helped afterward were the SRC Recovery shorts. They might only be a thing in Australia, but you can measure according to their website and then buy them slightly used on eBay. They are like really tight bike shorts with stitching in places where you need support. They helped a ton even though they seem ridiculous! I bought two sizes as I figured I would get smaller after delivery because I carried a ton of water. They are amazing! http://www.srchealth.com/src-recovery-shorts.html

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    1. It's not so bad, but once in a while it can be pretty unpleasant. I've never looked for something like this, so I'm not sure if it's something I'll be able to find, but I'll take a look. Thank you!

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  7. Can I suggest not getting Honest diapers. I know they are eco friendly. However, I was just given a whole diaper cake of them for my newborn and they leaked. Every time. I have 3 kids so believe me we've tried every diaper, if you want dry diapers that don't leak... Pampers.

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