There are so many articles and books that talk about the various things that should and shouldn't be packed in your hospital bag. Truthfully it's really all about what YOU think you'll need and want, as each of us mamas are different. Chances are that no matter how perfectly packed you think you are, you will either forget something or have way too much. But it's totally fine...our pregnancy brains can't work perfectly sometimes!
Remember that having a baby is hard work and no one is expecting you to look camera ready at all times. Clothes don't need to be good clothes as there's a chance of them getting stained, leaked on or ruined somehow. And after labor you really won't feel like doing much makeup and hair upkeep, so just pack the minimal items you need to feel "decent" and you'll get the rest of your beauty from that new mama glow.
Clothing for You:
(Pack with intentions of staying for three days and have your partner pack their own similar bag)
[ ] If you're wanting to labor a particular way such as in water or naturally where you know you may labor for awhile, you can pack the appropriate clothing items.
[ ] Yoga, gym type pants OR nightgowns that you don't mind if they get a little stained
[ ] Maternity tops as you'll still look and feel pregnant (hate to be the bearer of bad news)
[ ] Underwear that you can fit a giant maxi pad in there and make sure it's not a good pair!
[ ] Slippers and socks that you don't mind walking around in during labor
[ ] Robe, sweater or cardigan to throw over nursing tops and nightgowns
For the Breastfeeding Mother:
[ ] One to two nursing bras
[ ] Nursing shirts or tank tops in place of the regular tops mentioned above
[ ] Nursing pads -- a small pack of disposables are great for the hospital, but reusable ones will save money in the long run
[ ] Nipple Cream -- most hospitals provide you with samples of Lanolin, however some mothers prefer non Lanolin creams
[ ] Breastfeeding Pillow
[ ] Your breastfeeding book/resource for quick questions when nurses aren't around
[ ] Breast pump if you plan on using it from the start
(Baby doesn't really need much, the highlighted options are the only things you really need)
[ ] One to two options for that cute little hospital picture (perhaps both in different sizes)
[ ] Burpcloth or two
[ ] Going home outfit with a blanket as you are not supposed to take home hospital ones
[ ] Secure car seat
[ ] The hospital will provide you with blankets and a cap, but it's up to you if you prefer otherwise
[ ] Few onesies if you choose to dress them in something other than what the hospital provides
[ ] Socks, caps and bows if you feel like it is needed, however they stay swaddled up
[ ] Diapers and wipes if you're picky about what goes on baby
[ ] Your birth plan
, insurance cards and IDs just in case
[ ] Snacks for long labors and long days as well as some change for vending machines
[ ] Chapstick as many mamas experience dry lips during and after labor
[ ] Minimal hair necessities (hair dryer, shampoo, rubber band and brush)
[ ] Camera, Phones, Headphones, iPod and Chargers
[ ] Toiletries that includes minimal makeup products
[ ] Light reading if you think you will, chances are you won't though cause you'll be too busy playing mommy and enjoying company
Side Note for Natural Birthing Mothers:
For natural birthing patients there are many more options to consider such as relaxing music, massage oils, birth oil, hand massagers, rice bags, positioning books, inspirational cards and so on. I didn't use any of that during my labor except for a few hand massagers, my medal and a pair of socks. It's better to be prepared, but when the time comes you truly have no idea what you'll need and want unless you have already experienced it. Then again, every labor can be different!
What was in your hospital bag?