Moms Packing the Hospital Bag

Moms Packing The Hospital Bag

—by Tricia Wellington for little


You’re packing for a three-day trip like no other. First-time moms will come home with a whole new identity, and were it not for the enormity of the task at hand, might be beside themselves with excitement.  It's a good idea to pack a couple of changes of loungewear and a long robe, or just something you’re comfortable wearing in the halls of the hospital. I delivered at New England Medical Center, and my baby and I were on different floors. I didn't see many other moms during my stay, so my suggestions for acceptable attire are up for discussion.

There were countless trips to the Neo-Natal Intensive Care in my maternity bike shorts and an oversized pajama top, which I alternated with a big sweatshirt.  By my third day, I was cleared to go home, and began venturing to the hospital café in search of something that might assuage my suddenly incredible appetite.

My baby was required to stay at the hospital a little longer, and I refused to leave her.  My trips were taking me farther and farther away from the Moms & Infants Unit, and I sometimes ran into people dressed in street clothes. At those times, I was glad to be dressed more like an exercise enthusiast than a patient.


Be sure to bring your nail-clippers, a toothbrush, tweezers, body wash, lip gloss and cuticle cream (the air seemed very dry), your palm pilot, or a pocket calendar and a pen (very important--I ended up scribbling phone numbers and notes to myself on whatever scraps of paper I could find, then trying to make sense of them after I got home), and a little extra cash (because you never know).

After a few days, I found the sterile, impersonal smell of my room disorienting, so it might be a good idea to bring along a tube of your favorite non-obnoxious-smelling hand and body lotion.  (As far as perfumed lotions are concerned, bear in mind the nasal sensitivity that characterizes expectant moms.

Remember, too, the transformation that’s taking place—you might like to have something familiar and soothing on hand.  For me, the soothing came in the form of clam chowder. Warm socks ran a close second. It's helpful to have dedicated bag for soiled items, or a section of a bag that will keep those items separate from everything else.  Don’t forget a comb and brush, a couple of head-ties, if that’s your thing, and a purse-sized mirror. 

You’ll probably get more impromptu visitors now than you ever have, and you might as well look fabulous for having just delivered a baby. Who knows? There may even be a camera or two. If you haven't yet chosen a name for baby, have a look at this selection.

Bringing bottled water is always a good idea. The hospital will usually provide personal care items and something to address your postpartum discomfort. Cell phones are not allowed in some areas, but they’re good to have along anyway, if for no other reason than to reassure you that you're not completely cut off from the world.

Remember that you really don't know how long you and your baby will be in the hospital. The two or three days most moms count on spending could easily turn into a week. With that in mind, and assuming this isn't a multiple birth, add to the bag six footie playsuits, six undershirts (kimono-style undershirts allow the nurses easy access for hooking up the heart monitor), baby's Receiving Visitors outfit, a Take Me Home outfit (my hospital took the official newborn photograph right after we had dressed for a long drive, so be advised).

You'll need the carseatbaby can't travel without it! Bring a few pairs of socks for the little feet, three receiving blankets, several burp cloths, baby's brush and comb, a stocking cap, antibacterial handwipes, a small package of diapers, a box of baby wipes, and an extra duffle bag for all the gifts you'll be taking home.

Tricia Wellington is the mother of one toddler.

copyright little 2003-2004. All rights reserved.

The Little Big Book for Moms
The Little Big Book for Moms