I read dozens of these posts prior to my labor, and ended up bringing many items I never touched, or even took out of my hospital bag! As such, I thought I'd do a post about the items I found MOST essential to have in my hospital bag.
1. Comfy slippers: hospital floors are hard, cold, and tiled. During labor and after the birth, comfortable, cozy slippers make all the difference when everything else hurts. I personally love these cute, cozy, and affordable ones!
2. DVDs: Since I was induced and later in my labor had an epidural, we had some opportunity for "down time," where not much visible action was happening on the baby front. My husband packed a few of our favorite DVDs, which was a great way to pass the time and soothe any anxiety and anticipation I was feeling as we waited for our girl to debut.
3. Nursing bras: Purchasing a nursing bra pre-baby was difficult for me, I kept wondering if the size I was buying was accurate, but really had no way to know. I ended up trying on a few while pregnant, and buying a size up from there, which worked out perfectly. My favorite nursing bras then (and now) are the ones without underwire, especially Gilligan & O'Malley available at Target, and Elle MacPherson via Amazon.
4. Baby onesies: You're going to want at least one outfit to dress up your new little one, preferably one with a matching hat. Our hospital offered a complimentary newborn photo shoot from which you could purchase prints, and of course we wanted our new babe to look her best! In retrospect, I would buy newborn onesies with zips over snaps, it's just THAT much easier when you're dressing and undressing them every hour or so for diaper changes.
5. Nipple butter: Laugh now, but you'll need this! I preferred Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple butter to Lanolin. The hospital will provide you with lanolin if needed, so you can see what works for you. I found Earth Mama's brand to provide much more soothing relief in those first few weeks, plus it's all natural, organic, and has a pleasant scent as well.
6. Swaddle blankets: There are a million out there, but Swaddle Designs are hands down my favorite swaddle blankets, they're thicker and warmer than Aden & Anais' swaddle blankets (which we also liked), and come in a plethora of adorable designs, and can be used as blankets once you've decided to stop swaddling.
7. Socks: Your feet get cold! Even if you have slippers, I'd recommend bringing at least two pairs of cozy socks to keep your tootsies warm during labor, delivery, and recovery.
8. Shampoo & Conditioner: Once you've been moved into recovery, are up and mobile, that first shower post delivery is wonderful! Truly, it will revitalize you more than you can imagine! While the hospital does provide shampoo and conditioner, it's typically the generic 3-in-1 gel, which personally doesn't do wonders for my hair. I brought little travel size bottles of my favorite shampoos, and I felt like a new woman afterward!
9. Hairbrush: This seems like the most obvious item, however, I almost forgot mine! After an hour and a half of pushing, my hair got all messed and matted, and I was happy to have a hair brush on hand to smooth it over.
10. Lip Balm: Your lips will become chapped no doubt, and EOS brand was my favorite (especially honeydew and pomegranate). These lip balms are super easy, because you can apply quickly without getting balm on your fingertips.