Imagine having a bag that could literally be used from the moment your child is born, well into their adulthood? A bag that could multitask as a hospital bag, a diaper bag, a travel bag, a sleepover bag, and even a bugout bag. Pillowpak was made to be just that: a bag for the entire family.
Perfect as a Hospital Bag
What to pack in a hospital bag for mom and baby all depends on your personal situation.
Are you having a natural birth or a c section? How far away from the hospital do you live? How long will you stay in the hospital after the birth? How particular are you about the products the hospital will give you and will you want to bring your own?
And no matter your personal situation, your pregnancy packing list will include both the essentials and those other items simply to make your stay more comfortable and homey.
Check out our Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist.
Choosing a bag that easily organizes all of your essentials is crucial. For example, duffel bags often have single drop zones with little compartmentalization, making it difficult to keep all of your stuff clean and separated. So we recommend choosing a bag that has thoughtfully designed pockets that will keep your items organized and easily accessed.
Though labor and delivery departments go a long way to keep their units free and clear of germs, it’s still a hospital, and you’ll want to put in the extra effort to keep your belongings protected as well. Whether you’re packing the family heirloom outfit for you baby to leave the hospital in, the receiving blanket, the hat knitted by Grandma, or the stuffed animal you bought just for your baby’s first photo op, you’re going to want to make sure you can keep these precious things clean and hygienic. Having a hospital bag that will safely organize everything is essential.
Be sure you review your checklist for birth, and can visualize where you’ll stow-a-way all those precious items safely and securely. If you’re able to find a hospital bag that can accommodate carrying a portable changing pad in a separate compartment, that’s great. Even better, purchase one that offers a separate space that can accommodate changing of diapers.
Another big consideration when thinking about the best hospital bag for mom and baby, is how you or your loved one prefer to carry it. Do you prefer to carry it by a handle, roll it in, or wear it as a backpack? You may want to consider choosing a hospital bag that is flexible and can be carried comfortably as either a duffel bag or a backpack.
Perhaps the most important consideration of all is to choose a bag that can be thrown in the washing machine, along with all of the other clothes and accessories you used in the hospital, when you return home.
Moving Beyond the Hospital: Early Newborn Days
So, you’ve safely delivered your baby and you’re back at home adapting to life with your newborn. Hopefully you were happy with the hospital bag you chose, but did you just purchase another one-time use product that you and your partner are going to debate? Or, did you purchase a pregnancy hospital bag that can grow with you and your child?
The early days of caring for your newborn are priceless. Bonding as a family and learning how to co-exist and adapt to an entirely new reality is both magical and challenging. As a new parent, you form your ‘system’ that enables everyone to thrive and is unique to each of us. You adapt to new nap schedules that keep both your baby and you rested.
You determine the products that you just cannot live without - baby’s favorite pacifier, a blanket, or a sound machine. You figure out the best way to carry your baby on walks to the park and to the doctor’s office. You also slowly optimize how you travel near and far, making sure you have everything you need for your baby.
Now, choosing the best diaper bag is a big decision. Likely, you won’t have just one. Well, what if you had the perfect solution that simply transformed itself from a hospital bag to a day bag, for both you and your baby? Ideally that bag would have separated compartments so that you could keep the changing pad separated from everything else, along with separate pockets for things like pacifiers and diapers.
From Baby to Toddler: Busy Days
The early childhood days when your newborn transforms from a sedentary bundle of joy into a fast-paced, two-legged racer are so amazing, but also so challenging. A clean pair of pants are nearly always a moment away from being covered in mud. Just when you think you can leave the diaper bag behind, you realize that toddlers might just be messier, and more work, than their baby counterparts.
The needs of the ever-growing child are constantly evolving, so imagine finding a hospital bag that can evolve right alongside your pride and joy. That bag better have a large capacity, great organization, and most importantly, high quality construction that will withstand the test of time (and toddlers). Did we mention how messy toddlers are and that you’ll probably want to make sure that bag can be safely thrown in the wash?
Growing Up: Playdates, Sleepovers & Beyond
Now your quickly growing bundle of joy is forming their own friendships and before you know it, you’re dropping them off at playdates and eventually, at sleepovers. Their needs have changed, yes, but hopefully the products you chose early on have been able to grow with them. What would be better than to have your little one travel with the bag they’ve known and loved since birth?
After hundreds of trips and dozens of runs through the washing machine, it’s time for your not-so-little one to take their birth ‘hospital bag’ turned ‘diaper bag’, now transformed into a child-friendly travel or overnight bag, with them. Whether it’s a playdate or sleepover, having the ability to travel in style and with optimal functionality, while using the same tried and true bag your family has used through all these years, would be one of the hallmarks of a successful upbringing.
The author of this article is a member of Pillowpak’s team (and a parent of teenagers who have gone through all of the stages of childhood and appreciates, more than ever, products that can grow and evolve right alongside your family). Pillowpak is a high capacity, multi-functional, machine-washable travel bag that will organize all of your hospital bag essentials for mom and baby…including your pillow.