Last time around, I packed my hospital bag 4 weeks in advance and had it stocked with goodies, sitting neatly in the trunk of my car, for what ended up being a total of 6 weeks!  Looking back, I now realize how much the hospital actually provides and how few items you really need to bring yourself.  With less than 2 weeks to go until the estimated arrival of our second baby, I tucked these essentials into a duffel:

hospital bag

1.     Comfortable leggings, shirt, roomy cardigan, panties and nursing bra (without underwire).  This outfit can be worn during the stay or on the way home.  Make sure the pieces are just as loose as the ones you went in with.

2.     A super soft, favorite pair of pajama separates with a shirt that has buttons, making it easy to nurse, and pants that have an elastic, stretchy waist band.

3.     Toiletries, like a toothbrush and toothpaste, cleansing cloths, face wash, travel shampoo, conditioner, great lip balm, a little mascara and cheek stain to help make you feel more like yourself.

4.     Healthy snacks to help nourish you after the birth of your baby; so great to have on hand after a long stretch without any food.

5.     A pre-washed outfit, hat and blanket for baby.  Make sure to also bring the carseat in with you when you are ready to leave.

The hospital will provide plenty of diapers and wipes for frequent changes and several onesies for the baby’s stay, plus all of the necessities for you post-birth.  And even if you aren’t breastfeeding, the hospital will most likely provide you with newborn bottles and formula if needed.

Chances are, your time in the hospital will be relatively short and you will spend most of it absolutely absorbed in your little one.

Hope this was helpful!  Good luck to all of the mamas-to-be out there!