What I Packed in my Hospital Bag for my Twin Birth
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What I brought in my hospital bag for delivering twins!! While I am almost a year post-op, I began this draft August 2021, so over a YEAR ago. My point in saying that is that I may have blissfully forgotten things, but I took notes on what I packed beforehand, so I know exactly what I packed. I also have a memory like a steel trap, so I do in fact remember what I actually used from this list.
Keep reading to see what I packed, what I actually used, and thing I wished I would have packed for my twin cesarean section (c-section) birth. This is obviously for the twin niche, but could be helpful for a singleton birth as well!
I listened to all of the twin advice I could pre-birth and one of the biggest tips I received was to be packed for the hospital by the start of your third trimester. I followed this to a T as I was sure I would deliver early. You can read my twin birth story here, but I didn’t deliver early. I actually made it to 38 weeks!! I delivered at 38w1d which was technically early, as I was scheduled for 38w3d. While I (thankfully) didn’t have to utilize my preparedness for an early delivery, having everything packed up for the most part was nice, as I wasn’t able to go home to pack up. I was in L&D for my last non-stress test (NST) and they ended up keeping me. I actually took an Alto (a rideshare service) to the hospital those last several weeks for all of my NSTs for this very reason if Nick couldn’t drive me. We only have 1 car. Anyway, when I ended up having to stay at the hospital, Nick was able to easily grab our bags, drop off our dog, and head to the hospital pretty much stress free because we were prepared. He didn’t have to rush since I wouldn’t be scheduled for another 10 hours (honestly the worst part), but it was still nice not to have to panic trying to remember everything to bring.
If you want the exact timeline, I started physically packing our bags at week 28, but I started a note* brainstorming what I wanted to bring a couple weeks before that. I made sure I was packed and the list was complete by week 33, as a lot of twin births happen around week 34. The average is more around week 36, but anything goes with a twin pregnancy!!
*TIP: We had a shared iPhone note that was a list of everything to bring / grab. There were certain things like toiletries that we didn’t pack up until the end and the list made it easy on Nick, especially because I wasn’t there to help in the end. Sure he could have called or FaceTimed me to inquire, but I needed to stay calm and frantically searching for things you can’t find doesn’t help. I actually had travel sets and an extra set of glasses, etc, so my toiletries were already packed minus my makeup bag which was on the list for him to grab. We also used this note in case of emergency / if anything were to happen before I had a chance to pack my bags, which is why I started to craft it around week 26. It would have been a good starting place for Nick and aided him during a stress-ridden time such as a very early birth. This list also had my “birth wish list” on it for easy access, but I had printed physical copies of that specifically as well.
WHAT BAGS DID WE BRING?
This is just to give an idea of what we packed / brought into the hospital. We tried to bring as little as possible and even in the end it felt like a lot to bring back out to the car. I think we brought the perfect amount, just wanted to be honest as if you bring too much, it will feel like even more when you leave and have kid(s) in tow.
Large Duffel. I’m talking like sleepaway camp big / it fits a sleeping bag and your stuff. I’ve had it since I was a pre-teen and it is literally what I would bring all my stuff to camp in. Nick was hesitant because I had shoved the 2 pillows we brought and the cord blood kit boxes in them / he said we could just carry them, but in the end, he was happy with our decision. When everything fits in a bag, it makes it easier to carry. This bag also had all of Nick’s belongings in them. This bag is a good example of the size we brought.
Small / Mid size Leopard Duffel. This is also a bag I’ve had forever. I still have it, but if I were to go to the hospital now, I would bring my XL Dagne Dover Landon Carryall bag because I’m obsessed with it. I kept all my stuff in this bag just so it was easy to find everything I needed / not have to dig through Nick’s stuff either.
Backpack. Nick and I both have the Large Dagne Dover Dakota backpack. Nick brought his to house important documents, his laptop and a few other things. Some of his items didn’t fit in the duffel so he put them here as well.
Diaper Bag. We have the Large Indi Diaper Backpack for our twins and we love it. (all baby items went here!)
*I also had my purse (the Senreve Doctor Bag) since I was stuck at the hospital; however, I probably would have left it at home had I gone in for my scheduled C-section. I was actually glad I had it though, because we ended up coming back with some baby items we didn’t have room for and this gave me another place to shove things. It holds a lot more than meets the eye! It is my favorite to travel with for this very reason.
WHAT I BROUGHT IN OUR HOSPITAL BAGS
This may seem silly or oddly specific, but it’s best to be very specific, especially if you have to pack in a hurry. Doing this makes sure you don’t forget things that seem really obvious, but in panic, you just might forget. The below was our actual list in our phones. We built it as a bulleted list and checked things off, but left them visible if it was already placed in the bag Certain things I listed exact location of or clarifying colors, etc to aid in finding them. So, in no particular oder, here are our lists:
Toiletries (packed and ready in my duffle - blue gingham bag and pink floral bag)
Makeup (haven’t packed yet - flat silver bag second drawer in bathroom)
Keys w/ wallet chain (I actually had these with me at the hospital, listed it in case I didn’t go in early)
Contacts (for Lauren if wearing glasses)
Canon camera (on desk in floral bag)
Twin rings (in jewelry box)
Stool Softener (packed)
Pique Ginger Digestion Elixir Tea (packed)
2 Fuzzy socks (packed)
3 Compression socks (packed)
Cotton Robe (packed)
Rubber bottomed slippers (packed)
Going home outfit (packed, blue floral dress and fuzzy slides)
*I thought about bringing pads and underwear, but just wore the small mesh (NOT the large mesh) ones that the hospital provides. I did have underwear and pads waiting for me at home and actually took some of them from the hospital too. You can read my about my c-section experience and tips here.
*I wore leggings and a shirt to the hospital, so I had that outfit too
BOTH ME AND NICK:
Long phone cords. I bought these ahead of time and packed them, so we wouldn’t have to remember to grab our cords. You want really long cords / not your regular length, as hospitals often have peculiar outlets. We put one set of cords in my bag and one set in Nick’s backpack.
Birth wish list print out. We put this in Nick’s backpack front pocket, but he also had access to it via our shared iPhone note.
Pen. Placed in Nick’s backpack to fill out all our paperwork.
Snacks. We had protein bars, bananas, apples, and some of Annie’s packaged cheddar bunnies) and they lived in my duffle.
2 Pillows. Both were placed in the oversized duffle.
2 Pillow Cases. We waited to put the cases on until we arrived in our room. Also Pro tip, use a color other than white so they stand out and you don’t forget them. We used grey pillow cases. They lived in the oversized duffle
1 Blanket. This lived in Nick’s backpack.
2 Cord blood kits. They are kind of big, but you don’t take them back with you, so it was space we gained. We put these in the oversized duffle. Be sure to fill out the paperwork as much as you can as that helps it go faster. Make sure this is on your birth wish list and your nurses are aware you need it done twice for twins. They also need to take your blood twice too.
2 Reusable water bottles. These lived on a backpack and on diaper bag. We had a note to fill them up with water if time allowed.
Hospital gifts. This was for the staff. We put them in portable trays and in their own carrying bag.
Insurance card (online / in Lauren’s wallet too)
Garbage bags. Use these to take stuff from hospital you might want - ie diapers, formula, etc. This was recommended to us and we did end up using at least one. They kind of just throw things at you to take home. We keep some of the basins we were given in the car and use them as water bowls for our dog on road trips. We kept the couple of trash bags in our oversized duffle. Trash bags don’t add much weight or take up space, so it is an easy thing to consider including.
2 Shower shoes. We just used our beach shoes which we keep by the door so Nick had to remember to grab these on the way out. Mine lived in my duffel and Nick’s lived in the oversized duffle. These are similar to the ones I have.
Car Seats. You don’t need to bring these in / they live in the car, but I wanted to put this here, so you won’t forget to actually bring them in your car to the hospital! We used the Britax B-Safe Gen2 Flexfit Infant Car Seat in Twighlight Safewash.
Laptop (to be put in backpack)
4 Boxers (packed in oversized duffle)
4 Socks (packed in oversized duffle)
Going home outfit (packed in oversized duffle, grey jeans and blue shirt)
Wear grey sneakers to the hospital (packed in oversized duffle)
1 Athletic Short (packed in oversized duffle)
1 Sweatpant (packed in oversized duffle)
3 T-shirts (packed in oversized duffle)
Zip-up jacket or sweatshirt (packed in oversized duffle)
*Nick wore jeans and a collared shirt to the hospital so he had that outfit as well
WHAT WE PACKED IN OUR DIAPER BAG FOR OUR NEWBORN TWINS
20 diapers (we didn’t need this many because the hospital has them, but it was good to have just in case / get used to what a filled diaper bag is like)
1 pack of wipes
1.7 oz Baby Balm
2 Baby blankets (the ones I wanted pictures in)
2 covered foot pajamas (brought these in newborn size because we didn’t know what to expect - purchased them from Gerber, they come in easy packs and organic cotton too)
2 footless pajamas (brought these in newborn size because we didn’t know what to expect an had these in case they had to have NICU time so the wires would have somewhere to go - purchased them from Gerber, they come in easy packs and organic cotton too)
2 going home outfits (theirs were from Pehr)
2 basic short sleeve bodysuits (I actually keep some in the diaper bag at all times for emergency outfit changes)
WHAT I DIDN’T USE
Baby sleepers / pajamas. I brought these just in case, but we kept them in blankets and otherwise naked while we were there. I know babies can still go to NICU at 38 weeks, but I probably wouldn’t have brought these if I did it again. Just one less thing to pack!
My own meds and supplements. From my vitamins to my Ulcerative Colitis meds, they didn’t allow me to take my own drugs. They had to be from the hospital pharmacy. I would have just left these at home had I known this was going to be the case. I think I maybe would have brought a backup of each thing just in case, but would not have packed my whole medicine cabinet. Note that I did have all my meds on my birth wishlist for reference in case they asked Nick or I couldn’t answer.
Water bottles. I had my Big 1L BKR bottle because I came to the hospital with it that morning before I knew I was staying. We had planned on bringing and did in fact bring two 500ml BKR bottles. We stuck one on the side of Nick’s backpack and the other on the side of the diaper bag backpack. We did use them, but they weren’t a necessity. You can always get cups of water from the nurses, but I will say we liked to get water, fill up the bottles, then ask for another refill so we always had some. This specifically came in handy when we needed water at night.
Pacifiers. We didn’t introduce these until about 3 months old when they showed signs of needing it when we put them down to go to sleep. So we didn’t end up using these, but honestly it isn’t bad to bring, because they don’t take up much space at all and are good to keep in your diaper bag regardless.
Compression socks. I was wearing them at my NST, so I had a pair of compression socks, but the hospital took mine off and put other ones on. I didn’t need to bring 3 pairs from home and would probably have been okay with just 1. They don’t take up much space though, so it wasn’t a big deal. I wore them everyday in my pregnancy!
WHAT I’M REALLY GLAD WE BROUGHT
Extra pillow / soft pillow case. We actually brought two pillows - one for me and one for Nick. People told me to do that and I was like… really? Well, we 100% needed them. I was in the hospital bed for 5 days, which is actually really uncomfortable, specifically on the tailbone area. Nick slept on a window ledge with the bare minimum, so he needed it too. My pillow had a silk pillow case on it was was amazing next to the scratchy hospital sheets. You should at least bring a pillow and leave it in your car so you can have it on your lap for your ride home. This is specific for c-section patients as it helps with pain. To be honest, the ride home was nothing compared to having the pain of jiggling around in a car with two humans in you, but I’m still glad I had it. I also rode home sitting on my donut pillow.
Fuzzy Socks. I didn’t know if I would use these, but they were great around day 3(ish) when I was out of my calf pumps and compression post op. I took off the hospital’s compression socks and their grip socks to let me legs breathe and put these on. So cozy! I brought slipper slide sandals with a rubber bottom so I could walk around with my fuzzy socks still on. I have the Barefoot Dreams socks and love them. Highly recommend!
Birth Play List. Okay so we didn’t “bring this” nor did we have a speaker, but Nick played it on his phone when the c-section started. You should 100% do this. You can listen to ours here. I know people like to bring speakers. I think if I was delivering vaginally in a regular room I would have considered it, but I don’t regret not having a speaker in the OR.
BKR Paris Balm. This saved my lips!! I wasn’t able to drink water for about 24 hours. Couple that with the bone chilling cold of a hospital, and it is a recipe for a lip disaster. The day after my c-section my lips were so red that my family thought I put lipstick on in photos. They hurt so badly, but the Paris Balm came in clutch. It is so thick and hydrating and exactly what I needed. I put a coat on every couple of hours for my entire stay. I think I emptied a mini sizeof it in that hospital stay alone!
Snacks for the hospital staff. I will share a post on these soon! I just did individually packed sweet and salty snacks for both the day crew and night crew. We actually ran out, so ended up doing things like buying coffee one morning and pizza another morning.
THINGS I DIDN’T BRING AND AM GLAD I DIDN’T
Breast-Pump. I played around with my Spectra 1 at home pre-birth, but ultimately decided not to bring it to the hospital. I focused on nursing and then used their pump when necessary. My hospital had the Medela and that is what the lactation consultants used and were familiar with. My milk didn’t come in until a week later, so I didn’t really have much to pump. It is also a littler different with two babies instead of one. It might be better to bring a pump with just one, but even then, I would probably just use what the hospital had and have one less thing to pack.
Twin Z Pillow. I LOVE this pillow and it is 100% worth it, but it would have been a lot to bring. I guess I could have used it as another pillow / padding? It’s just big. I have the same thoughts for the Twin Go Nurse and Lounge pillows. I actually preferred nursing with those over the twin z, but even then, I don’t think I would bring them to the hospital, because it is a lot. I suppose they could make your nursing journey easy, but I felt supported and helped with pillows. My husband and the lactation consultant helped me a lot. I road tripped with the above pillows, but I never flew with them. I felt like not having them at the hospital prepared me to be able to fly / travel without them.
Twinkle lights, candles, etc. It may have been different if I was in a labor and delivery room versus an operating room, but I don’t regret not having any of these “softening” touches that people rave about. The operating room (OR) was obviously sterile and cold, but it is supposed to be. My doctors and staff were wonderful and warm. Side note, twins are usually delivered in an OR regardless if they are welcomed into the world naturally or via surgery. My postpartum room had a window which provided soft, natural light and we kept the lights off most of the time. Totally bring these if you want them, but at the end of the day it would have been just another thing for me to carry home, with my hands full already.
WHAT I FORGOT AND I WISH I WOULD HAVE BROUGHT TO THE HOSPITAL IN MY HOSPITAL BAG
Formula. This is a big one for me! I was open to breastfeeding, but open in the sense that if couldn’t or needed to combo feed, I would. Since my milk didn’t come in while I was at the hospital, the staff suggested that I start supplementing around day 4 due to weight loss. I just chose to not think about it / let them have the formula the hospital provided, but I immediately bought Bobbie formula when we began our combo feeding journey. I wish I would have purchased a can to have just in case. At that point I may have brought a couple bottles from home too? Though the hospital does have bottles / there were some that came with the breast pump parts which they ended up giving me. The formula we used there came in bottles, so I didn’t really see any others, just for reference.
Pillow. Yes, maybe another pillow? Poor Nick had basically nothing and I could have used another pillow to lay on for my tailbone. I’d say try to bring the twin z, but honestly it is so big and doesn’t really squish down like a normal pillow. If you want to bring it, it can definitely be used as another pillow while sleeping.
White noise machine. This wasn’t a deal breaker, but it would have been nice if I brought one of our (we have 2) portable white noise machines, since that is what they were going to sleep with at home.
Jewelry case. I had on jewelry since I didn’t know that I would be staying at hospital that day. I wish I brought a jewelry case / bag of sorts to safely keep things in it. Nick ended up wearing mine during surgery (my rings were on my necklace and he wore it so we wouldn’t lose them) and then I kept them in my glasses case later on when I wasn’t wear them. Not the safest option to say the least.
I hope this was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions or anything you would add for our fellow twin parents. I always love to hear from others / what worked for you.
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