While it is recommended that you pack a bag for your stay at the hospital when you have a baby; it’s not completely necessary. A lot of items will be given to you. If you’re looking to save yourself from bringing so many things (and risk accidentally leaving them there), here is a guide to what is definitely worth bringing and which hospital provided items are just as good.
The hospital will provide you with hospital gowns and lovely mesh underwear. No surprise there! You are more than welcome to wear hospital gowns during your entire stay and change back into the clothes you arrived in when you leave, but in my opinion, you will be dying to get into some normal clothes by the second day. When it comes to undergarments, however, use the hospital mesh underwear. They are disposable and you don’t have to worry about laundering or ruining your own underwear.
In most hospitals, your baby will be dressed in a stocking cap, a t-shirt, a diaper and swaddling blankets. You are allowed to bring your own baby clothes, but it might make checkups a little trickier for doctors and nurses. Your baby’s own clothes will look very cute in pictures, though! It’s entirely up to you!
You may receive a set of essentials, similar to what you would get in a hotel room, when you move to your mother-baby room. I received a large cup filled with items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, lotion, lip balm and tissues. It had a few other items as well. I ended up using my own products, just because I’m picky about things like toothbrushes and soap smells, but it’s nice to know that if I had forgotten to bring my toothbrush, I wouldn’t have been out of luck.
You are more than welcome to have your spouse or another family member bring you a home cooked meal or takeout. Whether or not you choose to do this depends on the quality of the food in the hospital where you stay. In my experience, the hospital food was excellent and I was sad to give up the convenience of delivered hot meals when I went home. If you’re not sure, have lunch in the hospital cafeteria before making your decision. Sometimes hospital food gets a bad rap, but you might be surprised!