I am guilty of packing too much when I pack for a trip. I always worry the weather will change, or what if we go somewhere fancy? Then what? What if I didn’t pack the right shoes? What if? What if?!? WHAT IF?!?!?
So, it should come as very little surprise that when packing my hospital bag before having my eldest, I had all kinds of nonsense laid out. The only problem was it didn’t fit.
I had to scale everything down, and in the end, which worked out well. When packing for the hospital for my youngest, I knew very well what to do by then and made my choices count.
Trust me, I get it, Mama. I really do. That’s why I want to help you figure out your dilemma.
How Many Outfits Do Moms Need to Pack in Their Hospital Bag?
Likely, you’ve seen many posts about how many things to pack for a baby. And that’s great because it does help. But newborn clothes are tiny! They take up hardly any space at all. Your things will take up the most room in the bag.
These quick tips will help you simplify and remove the stress from the situation. Remember, you should start packing this bag around week 35 and have it in an easy-to-grab place by your door. Make sure your husband knows too. I know mine can’t find eggs right in front of his face in the fridge, and I’m pretty sure most husbands are the same in this way.
Find out what the hospital provides
A quick call to the hospital can help you to keep from packing things you don’t need. In our case, in China, they do not provide towels! At least they did not at the time I had my children there. So we had to pack towels. Oh, and diapers! But they did provide a lot of other things, too, which helped.
Hospitals will usually give you a baby blanket. Some of them will even give you slippers and robes. It’s best to find out what is provided during your stay so you don’t let unnecessary items cramp up your bag.
Go with comfort
As I have told you in my other recent posts, comfort is key. You will feel sore and stretched out even if you deliver your baby vaginally. Those of you having c-sections will be sore and weak in the abdominals. You can still look cute, but choose clothing that feels soft.
Also, go for easy-access clothing. Trying to breastfeed in a top or dress you can not open or pull down is a pain. Do you really want to hike it up from the bottom and expose yourself? I think not!
Don’t forget undergarments
Please remember your nursing bras or disposable underwear. Well, you know what? Don’t freak out, either. If you forget something you need, your husband or another family member can bring it.
Let’s Talk Outfits
Ok, now the real reason you’re here is that you want to know about outfits. How many you need will depend on your stay. If you have an uncomplicated vaginal birth, you will be there for 1 to 2 days. For c-sections, it will be 2 to 4 days. I know both of mine were 4 days.
You will NOT want to be dressed up those first couple of days in the hospital after a c-section. I can assure you of this. Lochia could ruin all those nice clothes, baby spit up, baby poop…you name it.
You WILL want to be comfy and have access to your boobs. Even if you don’t breastfeed, you’ll want to get that milk out because it is uncomfortable when they get too full.
I recommend you choose 1 outfit for going home. Depending on the weather, a casual and comfortable dress could work. Or you can go with a soft lounge set that is more or less pajamas but doesn’t look like pajamas. I have some excellent going-home outfit ideas in this post, so be sure to check them out.
Don’t forget to read about how you want to dress during the labor, which I’ve discussed here.
Remember, your belly will subside some after birth, but you will still look pregnant. This is why I said casual dresses or pants made of soft materials with elastic bands and drawstrings. This way, you can adjust it as needed to fit you without squeezing you.
Don’t forget shoes which should be slip-on in style. No high heels! Your feet will likely be swollen, and you don’t want to mess with that.
In short, one outfit should be good, while the rest can be pajamas or casual loungewear that you can mix or match depending on your feelings. And don’t forget, if you’re missing something, a loved one can go home and grab it!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.