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Hospital Bag Essentials Part 1: The Basics

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So the time has come. Maybe you’ve been putting it off for months and your due date is next week, or perhaps you’re a planner and getting ready way ahead of the curve. Either way, packing your hospital bag is an important part of the journey to motherhood and definitely requires time and thought. Here are some essentials to consider as you pack for the all-important trip that will change your life in the best way possible!

Today, I'm bringing you a quick run-down of the basics:

  • Extra hair ties, because you just never know when one will break at the worst possible moment. I also packed a wide headband (these are super cute!) because there’s nothing I hate more than flyaways sticking to my forehead!


  • Lip balm. Hospitals can be dry and if you have a fave brand like I do (hello, EOS!), then it’s one of those creature comforts you’ll be glad to have.


  • Slippers. Yes, hospitals provide slipper socks, but consider bringing yours from home if you enjoy the feel of your favorite pair. I have heard that some hospitals don’t allow you to wear anything except their slipper socks though, so be prepared for that or call ahead to check.


  • Hard candy or gum. Again, this will help combat the dry air or alleviate any bad taste in your mouth.


  • Device charging cords. Those first minutes after your birth would be a terrible time for your phone or camera battery to die! We purchased a pack of extra-long cords since we weren't sure how close the outlets would be in the hospital room, and they have since come in handy at home during nursing sessions when my phone battery is running low.


  • Toiletries, like those you would need for a weekend away. Think face wash, shampoo/conditioner, body wash, toothbrush/toothpaste. Consider bringing makeup and hair tools if you’re doing photos with your newborn at the hospital -- but know that many women (myself included) are surprised to find that doing your hair and makeup are low on the list when you’re basking in the newness of your tiny babe. That said, if you think you’ll want to freshen up before photos, be prepared with what you need. You do you!


  • Snacks -- for you and your hubby! He will be grateful if your labor is lasting a while, and you’ll be glad in the days after the birth to have something to munch on in between meals. Your body will be experiencing a lot of changes and you’ll want to keep yourself properly nourished. If you’re planning to breastfeed, snacks like pretzels, snack bars (my pick is a Larabar), nuts, and dried fruit will encourage your milk to come in (and don’t require refrigeration!) These are just some of my favorites, but you should pack whatever you normally reach for that satisfies. Trust me, you will be hungry!


  • Music playlist. This may not be considered essential to some, but it was hands-down my favorite thing to have during my labor. I spent a few weeks leading up to my due date carefully curating a list of songs that would create the atmosphere I had envisioned for my labor and birth. For me, this included songs to calm me and remind me of who my Creator is -- that although I may feel weak, in Him I am strong. For you, it might mean upbeat songs that keep you smiling or songs that hold special meaning for you and your husband. I can’t begin to express how the songs in my playlist carried me through the toughest minutes and hours before meeting my daughter.

This brings us to the end of Part I, but I’ll be sharing some insight about non-essentials and clothing -- yours, his, and baby’s -- in Part 2. Think I missed something basic today? Leave a comment below! Oh, and congratulations! You are one step closer to meeting your little one!

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© 2020 Danielle Hardesty Photography

Darien, IL Photographer | Chicagoland Photographer

Serving families throughout the western suburbs of Chicago including, but not limited to: Downers Grove, Westmont, Clarendon Hills, Hinsdale, Willowbrook, Lemont, Lockport, Woodridge, Naperville, Lisle, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Burr Ridge, Countryside, Western Springs, La Grange, Bolingbrook, Oak Brook, La Grange Park and beyond!