I can't say that I'm an expert at bringing home baby, by any means. But since we have been around the block a couple times, and I have definitely packed a NOT-so-perfect hospital bag before, I feel like I have some insight that may help new moms pack the most practical bag for their baby!
So before I start, let me just admit that I am an OVER PACKER. Like, make-my-husband-frustrated-because-I-bring-way-too-much-for-every-situation-and-options-to-choose-from-depending-on-my-mood kind of packer. So when we had our first, Elsa, my hospital bag reflected that. And it was ridiculous. But to be fair, Marcus' was equally ridiculous because I'm fairly certain he under-packed and wore the same underwear for a couple days in a row. So we both wised up a little bit with Rosie, our second, and probably will do even better with our third (no, thats not an announcement of any kind - just hypothetical, people!)
So, from experience, here's what you definitely NEED to have in your bag:
Obviously this is number one for me since we own Oh So Vera and specialize in that kind of thing! But I really do believe that their first photo/coming home outfit should be something extra sweet. We buy special clothing for all of life's big occasions and this outfit should be no different; plus, it's such a precious keepsake to hold onto for years to come. We recommend our layette gowns, which make diaper changes easy and also keeps them warm. Our Hello World sets, a collaboration with Owl People, are another darling piece that make their first ride in the car seat a little bit easier than the gowns and are equally as cozy, made from bamboo. Both newborn products have built in hand mittens so that will take care of keeping your sweet babe from clawing their precious little face with their razor sharp newborn nails. Plus, you'll have the nurses at the hospital just swooning over their OSV gear...just sayin'! But you probably won't need more than 2-3 outfits max, because, you guys, skin to skin time....let's just say that, in and of itself, is worth having another baby! So for kicks and giggles - here's a skin to skin photo taken my first night as a momma that will make you want to have another STAT. Or maybe that's just me...
Swaddling a baby essentially puts them back into their cocoon-like environment and is AMAZING for newborns. We have a few knit swaddle blankets at Oh So Vera with some stretch in them to get the swaddle extra snug! We also love Aden+Anais and Little Unicorn for gauze swaddles. I would recommend having several of those in the bag as we used them for spit-up, nursing covers, wiping baby drool, etc. All of ours were dirty by the time we got home so I'm glad we had a few!
Wrapping baby up in a soft, snuggly blanket is what pregnancy dreams are made of, you guys! And one of our favorite blanket shops, Stella and Lu, basically puts a little extra magic into their minky/faux fur blankets and they feel like a cloud. So do yourself a favor and be sure one of those makes it into your bag, too!
We know not everyone is on the pacifier train, but if you are, be sure to throw in a Natursutten pacifier and Loved by Sophia Claire pacifier clip. The pacifiers are made from BPA free, pure 100% natural rubber and are all one molded piece so bacterial/dirt won't stuck in the joints or cracks. And they're sold by Loved by Sophia Claire who also sells the most adorable pacifier clips out there, so you can purchase both at the same time! And plus, the pacifier gave my sore nipples an occasional break that first week, in case you're on the fence. ;)
You guys will thank me for this, and I have to give credit to my doula for letting me in on this secret. As you may know, when babies are born their poo (meconium) is about the stickiest, most tar-like byproduct you'll ever encounter. And there's SO MUCH POO. I think we had 10-12 poo diapers that first day or two and it's so hard to get their buns clean. So put some almond oil (we used Aura Cacia) on baby's tiny bum after each diaper change and VOILA! The poo comes right off when you wipe them next time. Such a simple tip, but one that you'll be happy to have!
It's sweet to be able to take your little one's photo next to a stuffed animal each month to track their growth. I did this with Elsa for maybe 5 months before I started to forget but I assume you'll be better at follow through than me! :) We recently got Slumberkins Sloths for the girls and they would be the perfect milestone marker for baby, and a sweet little lovey to snuggle for years to come! It's fun to get their first picture when they're freshly hatched, and the Slumberkins sloth is crafted in a way that it can roll right up into your bag without taking up much room, too!
Hats, headbands, you name it. A few accessories may fall more into the "wants" rather than "needs" category, but in my world, accessories are needs, people. Several headbands from our shop, some darling floral masterpieces from Flora and Peg, or some adorable knitted hats from Nicki Chicki would be our top picks here!
Kind of hard to pack a hospital bag without the bag, right? Coming from experience, you don't want a bag that's TOO big where things get lost, or too small where the zipper is about to burst. Like Goldilocks, you need one thats juuuust right. We have fallen in love with our Fawn Design bag and it's the PERFECT diaper bag. It can be a backpack, is neutral and cool enough for dad to use, and is faux leather on the outside AND inside - which means its wipeable!! I cant tell you how many times we spilled breastmilk, formula, applesauce, etc. in our old diaper bag. And theres no way to clean that out well. But this is like a dream. And with a bunch of pockets inside and out, it's wonderful!
Seems self explanatory, but I've heard of folks leaving that one behind in a rush! We installed ours early (36-ish weeks?), which nearly took a PhD, and left it in the car so we wouldn't even have to think about it.
This one is a maybe, as our hospital, and many others, provided this for us. But if yours does not, taking a few along with you, even for just the ride home, may not be a bad idea. We had to stop and pick up prescriptions for me on the way home and that took some time - so having even just a couple with you won't hurt.
So there you have it, the essentials you need from a been there, done that momma (and now I feel like I need to go have another one because looking through old photos to put on the blog and writing all of this out gave me MAJOR baby fever). Did we miss anything? What did you feel like was the most important items in your hospital bag?