When you're planning for baby, the vast majority of pregnancy and birth checklists out there all about what you need to do for your baby. But what about you? Giving birth is a feat no matter how you do it, and in the flurry and excitement of packing, it's easy to forget about the things you'll need after baby is here!
Planning for baby means planning for you, too. We asked some veteran moms about their must-have items for the hospital and back home. Here's what they said:
Of course you're going to pack toiletries and clothes for you and baby. Here's what to pack in your hospital bag for you:
Pillows from home: Because we know hospital pillows aren't known for their extra-fluffiness. Extra-long charging cable: Keep in touch when you want, from anywhere in your room. Oh, and Netflix. Chapstick: Trust us, it's a must-have. Mints: Freshen up until you can brush your teeth again. Comfy leggings or pajama pants: There's nothing quite like slipping on a pair of cozy pants after a nice shower. Soft, light robe: Be visitor-ready in no time! Fuzzy blanket from home: Hospital blankets are thin, and who doesn't love a fuzzy throw? Your favorite instant coffee (ex. Starbucks Via): Coffee emergencies are a thing. Water bottle: Skip the styrofoam and stay hydrated in style! Snacks for after birth: Your favorite takeout menus and a Designated Bringer of Food wouldn't hurt, either. Post-birth beverage: Finally, you can have that drink you've been craving your whole pregnancy! Nursing pillow: Save your neck and arms by bringing baby up closer to you. Nursing tanks/clothes to labor in: Nursing tanks are great for skin-to-skin after birth. Pair with a knee-length maxi skirt for an alternative to that hospital gown. Button-down or pull-down shirts: for easy nursing access.
You're back home with all of your stuff, and a new baby. Here's what to keep around for those days after birth:
Depends (No really, trust us!): Because it's no fun when your pad moves around. Tucks Pads: A common hemorrhoid relief, but they're oh-so-nice for a sore perineum too! Peri Bottle: A lifesaver when wiping is the last thing you want to do. Constipation relief: No shame in that stool softener game! Water bottle: Between taking care of a newborn, nursing, and recovering from birth, hydration in reach is essential! Late-night snack basket: When nighttime hunger strikes, you'll be prepared. Dim night light: So you can see to change that diaper and then get everyone back to dreamland Freezer meals: Consider hosting a freezer meal shower to stock up before baby comes. One-handed snacks: Feed baby and yourself at the same time! Fresh, cut-up fruits and veggies: Because you can only eat so much lasagna. Baby carrier: For hands-free snuggling and walking around. Lanolin/nipple butter: Relief for nipples that are adjusting to a newborn feeding schedule. Journal: A place for your thoughts and feelings. Extra phone chargers: It's no fun when you phone dies and you're stuck under a baby. Postpartum doula: A postpartum doula is a valuable member of your village! We're there to make sure you have all of the help, rest, and support you need after baby comes home.