Packing your hospital bag for labor and birth is an exciting but often daunting prospect. To make the process a little easier, we’ve asked our community of veteran twin moms what they considered a ‘must-have item’ during their hospital stay – from the items they couldn’t live without, to the items they regretted leaving at home, we’ve got a list of 24 hospital bag essentials you might not have considered packing.
When should I pack my hospital bag?
As you enter your third trimester, it’s a good idea to start thinking about packing your hospital bag. Most people will want to have packed their hospital bag by week 37, but we know that twins and multiples can often arrive ahead of schedule, so it’s best to have everything organized by week 35.
In case you haven’t heard, labor is hard work – do yourself a favor and pack some snacks! Our twin moms recommend snacks with zero prep-work such as granola bars, crackers or trail mix. Amazon’s Happy Belly Tropical Trail Mix was a popular choice. It’s also a good idea to bring change for the vending machines as a back-up option.
2. Lip balm
This may not be an obvious one, but lip balm is one of the most popular recommendations from twin moms. Hospital air is deceivingly dry, so keep your lips feeling good during labor and after birth with Burt’s Bees Lip Balm. This is especially helpful for moms having a C-section since the oxygen masks can dry out the lips.
3. Extra long charging cable
We can never determine how long our hospital stay will be, but it’ll likely be long enough for our phone batteries to die. This pack of 3 10Ft Apple Charger Cables will help you stay entertained and allow you to keep your loved ones updated during your hospital stay.
4. Comfy clothes
Don’t underestimate the importance of comfortable post-delivery clothing. You’ll thank yourself later for packing high-waisted leggings, big briefs, baggy shirts, warm socks, a nursing bra (if you choose to breastfeed), and a cozy zip-up or bathrobe. Our twin moms put a huge emphasis on loose clothing for ultimate comfort.
5. Hands-free pump and pumping bra
If you’re planning on expressing your milk, a hands-free pump and pumping bra will give you the freedom to tend to your newborns as much as possible while preparing their next bottle. These will also be invaluable once you’re back at home navigating your day-to-day life.
Bring your favorite pillow from home to help keep you as comfortable as possible during labor (hospitals aren’t known for having the comfiest pillows!). It’s also worth bringing a good nursing pillow to assist you if you’re breastfeeding.
My Brest Friend offer a great supportive nursing pillow option for twins.
7. Eye mask
It’s important to save your energy for active labor, but getting a decent amount of sleep is difficult in a hospital filled with bright lights. This is why many moms recommend investing in a blackout eye mask. The YIVIEW Sleep Mask is available on Amazon for only $11.99
8. Ear plugs
The sound of machines, patients and staff can also be a pretty solid sleep deterrent. A pair of ear plugs are highly recommended to help you get some sleep pre-birth. Loop’s reusable noise reduction earplugs are available on Amazon for only $19.95.
Slippers, no-skid socks, or flip flops are a lifesaver for pacing the hospital hallways during labor, and when your feet are so swollen they won’t fit into anything else.
10. Portable fan
Even if you’re due to give birth in the colder months, a portable fan is always a good idea. Keep cool with this JISULIFE Handheld Mini Fan for $15.99.
11. Portable speaker
Add some personal touches to your delivery room with a portable speaker. Enjoy your favorite playlist during labor or play white noise for your little ones post-birth. This OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Portable Speaker is only $27.99 on Amazon.
Our twin moms recommend packing a small bathroom bag to feel as human as possible, including: toothbrush, toothpaste, travel-sized lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and hair ties, clips or scrunchies to keep your hair as far away from your face as possible! Some moms also recommend wipes and dry shampoo in case showering isn’t an option.
This Women’s Deluxe 10 Piece Kit contains the essentials for only $10.59.
13. Abdominal binder
Some moms who underwent a c-section delivery recommend packing an abdominal binder to kickstart the postpartum recovery as early as possible. This Postpartum Support Recovery Belly Wrap is available from $22.05 on Amazon.
14. Nipple Cream
While you and your baby are learning to breastfeed in the hospital, your nipples may get sore. Moms often recommend the Lanolin nipple cream to help soothe and protect them.
15. Maternity pads
The hospital may provide you with pads and mesh underwear while you recover from giving birth. However, some moms prefer to bring their own protection for extra comfort. Instant ice maxi pads are a popular choice to help soothe the area after birth. Adult diapers are also recommended, but some moms bring along a well-fitting pair of high-waisted underwear (you probably call them granny panties) and their favorite brand of overnight absorbency pads.
16. Big water bottle
As we know, labor is no easy feat, so it’s important to stay hydrated! This 32oz leakproof water bottle has time markers to help you stay on top of your water intake.
17. Compression socks
It is recommended that you wear compression socks from the beginning of pregnancy up until six weeks after giving birth to reduce the risk of blood clots. The FITRELL 3 compression socks have a stylish mesh design for breathability and seamless toes for ultimate comfort. Available on Amazon from $14.78.
18. Plenty of warm baby clothes
No matter the time of year, your babies will likely need warm bodysuits. After all, it’s probably pretty cold outside the womb! Carter’s Baby 3-Pack of baby-grows have full-zip closure to make life as easy as possible.
19. Packing cubes
It’s a good idea to pack a few different sizes of baby clothes, and if you want to take your organization to the next level, some twin moms recommend these packing cubes to separate the different sized vests and baby-grows.
20. Burp cloths
You’ll quickly learn that you can never have too many burp cloths. These pure natural cotton muslin cloths are super soft and absorbent. Available on Amazon for $9.95.
21. Amazon Firestick
It’s worth taking some entertainment for both you and your partner, such as a tablet or Amazon Firestick.
22. Battery-operated candles
Create a calming birth environment with battery operated candles or tea lights.
Newborns often love to be swaddled right away. This pack of 3 swaddle blankets is available for $23.95 on Amazon.
24. Announcement boards
Finally, make sure you’re prepared to announce the arrival of your twins! Whether you’re posting the announcement on social media, or simply sharing with friends and family, this wooden letterboard makes for the cutest photo.
Have we missed anything? Make sure to let us know what you’d add to the list!