I will be heading back to the hospital in a few days and I am in the process of packing my minimalist hospital bag for our (hopefully) three day stay. I have a unique view point on the subject of what mom’s really need to pack in their hospital bags 2 reasons:
Way back in nursing school I was an assistant nurse and I spent a lot of time working on the postpartum unit at our hospital. I loved the experience! Who wouldn’t love being around newborn babies all day long?
But I was always shocked at the ginormous amount of stuff some families would bring in with them prior to their deliveries! Sometimes it felt like they were planning to move into the hospital for weeks.
They brought bags full of stuff: sets of clothing (for mom and baby), multiple different electronics, receiving blankets, pacifiers, robes, sets of shoes, tons of toiletries, diapers, a personalized delivery gown (or even 2!), baby toys, boppy pillows, bed pillows, blankets, snacks and drinks. The lists could go on and on.
It looked like some moms packed every item they received from their baby showers (with the exception of the crib!). They had food and drinks to last weeks. You name it, I probably saw it in someone’s room.
Then when they were discharged (usually 2 days later) the husband or partner would have to make a dozen trips to the car, often with an assistant nurse to help bring all this stuff they never even needed in the first place.
In fact I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter feeling a little stressed out about it. Everyone I talked to had a different set of things that I needed. And the lists were so long!
The planner in me even started researching on Pinterest (don’t go looking there, please). There are endless different “hospital bag checklist essentials for the Mom-to-be” lists. Even I found myself overwhelmed by what I actually needed to pack. I am not joking when I say some of these lists covered an entire page in 12 point font!
Do I really need my own embroidered birthing gown? Breastfeeding shirts? My computer? Outfits for each day? Snacks and drinks? (doesn’t the hospital serve food?)
My biggest question of all: If I am only going to be there for a couple days, why on earth did I need so much stuff?
I had nothing with me except my purse when I delivered my daughter (not on purpose, I had an emergency c-section at 33 weeks). And you know what? It was completely fine. The hospital had everything I really needed. There wasn’t a need for me to pack a single thing!
Now that I am going back into the hospital soon to deliver our son I became inspired to write a new kind of list called:
As I mentioned, you still don’t really need all this stuff. But some of it is just nice to have with you for comfort.
When people ask me what was most important to me during my stay, it is this: an eye mask and ear plugs. Those were the only things I had that I realized I could not have done without during my stay. Many hospitals even have those too if you forget to bring them.
The hospital already has diapers, formula, diaper creams, blankets, and every other item a baby would need while they are still admitted.
And maybe getting a teeny tiny bit of sleep too before bringing him home.
My husband will have to make a few trips home to bring our daughter in so if I happen to forget something he can always bring it then.
So there you have it: my own personal minimalist hospital bag list! I’ll be back home later next week with our son so I’ll let you know if there was anything I forget that I really missed having with me.
Wish me luck. I’m having our son in less then 2 days!
Sarah, Mother Nurse Love
Sarah Jividen is a registered nurse, blogger, writer, wife, and mother with an aspiration to empower nurses and moms to take better care of themselves. Sarah lives with her husband in a beach suburb outside of Los Angeles where they are raising their two-year-old daughter, newborn son and two rescue kitties. In a rare moment of free time you may find Sarah practicing yoga, socializing with friends, sampling dark beers or attending a local concert venue with her husband.
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