baby / motherhood

what’s in my hospital bag

06.19.17

while i’m very afraid that i’m totally going to be delivering a human any day now, today i’m just focusing on what my hospital bag essentials are. (i’ve never even spent the night in a hospital before, so i’m really a wimp with all this stuff)

but i’ve read countless lists and we’ve taken labor classes and i think our hospital bag is pretty properly packed — hopefully without too much excess crap we don’t need. we live 5 minutes from the hospital, so i’m not worried about under packing, but we’ll see what we end up using. from what i’ve read, i’m going to focus more on what i can take home with me from the hospital versus bringing enough for a week (the mesh underwear, diapers, peribottle…)

for laboR

i put everything for labor in a large pouch i’ve packed within the suitcase, right on top. this includes tennis balls in a sock which gid massaged me with in labor class and it was pretty cool.

aromatherapy spray i love the way this smells and if there’s any chance i need to try to relax, i’d be happy to have this on me.

portable hand fan i’ve been running hot during this whole pregnancy thing, so this seemed like it might be useful.

bluetooth speaker if all goes well, we decided to play music during labor. not sure if we’re gonna do my music or just do some spa music to keep the vibe relaxed, but either way we liked the idea of there being something besides my screaming to listen to.

camera self explanatory — we packed our travel digital camera and our instant camera (but i might remove the instant because i’m trying to keep this thing minimal!)

for me

pillows like i said, i’ve never spent the night in a hospital before, so i’m planning to bring some comfier pillows from home to help me sleep. bring them in non-white pillowcases so you don’t mix them up with hospital ones!

robe / slippers / nightgown i’m bringing a lightweight robe which isn’t my favorite one (just in case), and these super comfy nightgowns i only discovered in my third trimester and now can’t live without.

nursing bra i’ve struggled with finding the right nursing/maternity bras that are not only comfortable but also flattering under a shirt. this one has definitely been my favorite.

nursing pillow we just threw this into my trunk to bring with us.

lanolin i’m bringing a bottle of lanolin but i’m also bringing these silver cups that my night nurse swears by. i can keep you posted if you’d like.

dry shampoo / hair brush / mascara / face wipes / evian spray / basic toiletries while maybe getting myself decent looking will be my last concern, during my least comfortable days of pregnancy, it’s been really nice to put on some makeup and feel a little less disgusting.

phone charger bringing multiples!

for husband

swimsuit we heard this will be crucial if he needs to assist me in the shower or anything like that.

pajama pants / thick sweater clothes wise we’re not packing much for him besides this, underwear and socks.

change for vending machines we might toss in a couple of granola bars too, but we have a little pouch full of change for him if he wants something late night.

for baby

going home outfit i originally had like 4 adorable little outfits in the bag, but went back in and removed them all after i realized that was a waste of space. more likely we’re just gonna get him dressed to go home right?

swaddle blanket i also just packed one swaddle, don’t know if we’ll need this but it’s nice to have a soft cloth with us right? i also put a small burp cloth in there so we can rub it all over the baby and maybe have my brother take it home to have the cats smell it.

car seat we [properly] installed our car seat a couple of weeks ago to make sure they’d let us leave with our baby in tow. no idea how to put a baby in one of those though… or how to remove the car seat, or how to attach it to the stroller… oh jeez.


that’s it! very minimal, especially for me who always always overpacks for everything. hopefully i’m not missing anything vital, what’d you pack in yours/wish you didn’t/wish you did?

22 comments on “what’s in my hospital bag”

  1. The only thing I added on top of this was some snacks for me, like Lara bars, and coconut water…it felt so decadent because hospital food is truly awful. I was in the hospital for a few days cuz of a c-section and my little Arlo had to spend a bit of time in the NICU for low blood sugar. I’m so excited for you! Our Arlo is four months now and he is a total dream. It’s the actual best. Good luck!

  2. Great bag list! These are the only things I swear by that I didn’t see:

    A nice peribottle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00VO65XB0/ref=mp_s_a_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1497897501&sr=8-3&keywords=peri+bottle
    (It was my best friend for a few weeks. It feels so good after giving birth!)

    Instead of the mesh undies, these were a lifesaver and so much more comfy:
    https://www.amazon.com/Depend-Silhouette-Incontinence-Maximum-Absorbency/dp/B008RJV0SM?th=1&psc=1
    (Target also carries their brand that is cheaper. Worth it!!)

    A cheap pair of flip flops for the shower you can throw away after. Anything that touches the hospital floor I’d wash or throw out after.

    Baby wrap

    Snuggly blanket for you.

    Best wishes. Can’t wait to hear the good news!

    IKEA bag to haul blanket/pillows etc.

  3. Looks good.

    I’m conflicted about the nursing pillow. With my daughter, I wish I had it. With my son, I had it and didn’t use it that much. *shrug emoji* We just did a lot of naked skin to skin nursing so I just propped myself up with pillows. From the first kid I learned: why bother dirtying my stuff and I used all their stuff and asked for more. We took a bunch of those panties home, extra pads, extra diapers, everything. We only dressed them once: in a going home outfit and I was in the gown and the hospital socks the whole time and they were in just diapers and swaddled with the hospital blankets.

    Here’s two things I brought for the boy that I am so glad I did: an insulated water bottle that has a straw. It kept the water cold and I was SO thirsty all day and this way I didn’t spill on my baybee. And EOS chapstick. Because it’s a ball shape it was easy to locate and I would keep it nearby to reapply and it wouldn’t roll off the hospital bed tray thing. I was there an extended time since both were c-sections and seriously, hospitals have all the goods for you, just use their crap. I DO think it’s a good idea to have a cute wrap/blanket for them though. For pictures sake, it’s nice having that instead of the standard grade hospital one. GOOD LUCK! I’ll be instastalking.

    1. You don’t need much, but you can bring whatever you want. It’s all about what you think will be a comfort to you. I was grateful to have stuff to shower with though. Also, my hospital provided me with a great big water bottle but you will want to pack one just in case.

      Every birth is different. I look back on mine as being relatively easy compared to what mothering a young baby is like. He’s almost 8 months now and he’s a DREAM, but it was a struggle to get here. You will probably have a totally different experience! But one thing that has gotten me through tough times is thinking how many other women have been in my shoes, and they all got through it.

  4. You’ll loveeee using the bluetooth speaker to play music while you’re in labor. We played some spa music and it just helps keep the whole vibe mellow and relaxed. You’ll love having the nightgowns, too! It’s so much more comfortable than the potato sack ones the hospital provides haha. So excited for you lady! x

  5. Bring a pacifier! Not all babies will need it- our first did, out second didn’t. It was a lifesaver for my first – otherwise he wouldn’t stay off the boob for more than ten seconds!

  6. After having our first baby who was born with goblin nails, I’m bringing the baby nail clippers this time! Flip flops for the shower were also nice to have.

  7. When I had my son 17yrs ago!! He ended up being 10lbs and didn’t fit into newborn clothes or the diapers we brought, ugh. So keep in mind to bring 1 size bigger of clothes just in case. They thought he would be 8lbs, wrong. My second son was 9lbs so I learned from my 1st born. The pacifiers are great from the hospital, my 1st son took it and my 2nd son wanted nothing to do with it. You just never know! Good luck!

  8. Have multiple layers of clothing for baby to come home in. One thing I have been told by a number of different people is that baby needs one more layer than you. So if you have two layers of clothing on baby should have three.
    If you are not sure if baby is warm enough or too hot put your fingers down the back of her/his top and test the skin temperature between the shoulder blades it will give you a good indication of what their core temperature is.

  9. Good call on those nightgowns…I think I will stop by Target and pick some up now! They look so comfy and like they will keep me cool in this hellish summer weather we have in California.

  10. If you aren’t already in labour my advice is:

    – Don’t bother with the nursing pillow. They will have a million pillows at the hospital you can use to prop bebe up with and it is just another thing to have to bring in and out of the car. Actually, I think we did as you and left it in the car and never did bring it in.
    – Don’t just bring a couple granola bars! Bring lots of snacks!
    – You are correct in that the baby will just be diapered and swaddled for your hospital stay and you will only put an outfit on to leave. That said, maybe bring two. Our girl projectile vomited on the first as soon as we put it on her.
    – Read the instructions for strapping a baby in the car seat properly and practice with a stuffy before you leave. You are already tired and nervous about bringing your fragile little bebe home — some confidence strapping them in helps a lot – mainly you will want to have the straps looped through the car seat at the correct height that the bebe is likely to be (just below shoulder-height) in advance. Most people don’t pull the straps tight enough, and you want the chest plate level with the underarms.

    In any case – there is no perfect hospital bag as it depends on what your hospital provides, and what you end up needing/feeling is important. Good luck. You got this!

  11. I brought books and an iPod, believing that labour and delivery would be a long and arduous event. After giving birth an hour and a half after being checked in (that sounds smoother than it felt), I laughed when I saw these items in my bag. But definitely smart to take care of your nips from the get-go. Good luck!

  12. Also, just reading others’ comments about babies and motherhood being a dream, and wanting to add: I don’t know you, and don’t want to sound the gong of doom here, but it’s very possible you might not fall head over heels in love with your baby right away! You might need to get to know each other first. And that’s ok. And the early days, weeks, months of motherhood can be, and often are, a total s—show, tears and blood and poo and a general feeling of I-can’t-do-this. AND THAT’S OK TOO. Everything you might feel is normal or treatable. And of course it’s possible you’ll have a smooth and Instaworthy time of it all, and that would be the best of all, right? But like L&D, you can’t really plan these things. Best to you!

    1. i was completely expecting this actually — it was a wave of emotions for sure, but luckily i do loooove him

  13. Babies cannot control their body temperature. Definitely bring something long sleeved. And of course we’re all hoping for you to go home straight away- nevertheless I would bring a couple of extra clothes for your newborn- just in case.

  14. The silver cups are awesome! They are helpful to encourage healing if you get cracks or bleeding since silver is anti-microbial. You might also want to get the soothing gel nipple pads. They were a lifesaver for me. The problem with a newborn is that they want to nurse all the time, but that’s how they actually make the milk come in properly so please please don’t take a pacifier with you. The insulated cup and lots of snacks are also excellent ideas. I’d add make sure to throw in a small pillow in the trunk, just in case you end up with a csection since the ride home you’ll need to press against your stomach so it doesn’t feel like your guts are falling out. And can I just say that you having a night nurse lined up is the most awesome thing in the whole world.

    1. i can’t believe how great the silver cups have been! we have actually given him a paci here and there, but my milk supply has been more plentiful than i ever imagined so we seem to be all good right now. i did actually end up getting a c, and the pillow trick was right on (i had a cough when i had the baby so that was rough post op)

  15. every one’s experience is so unique. you look like you’ll be more than fine with what you have. one thing that I never saw on hospital bag lists that I wish I had–nipple shields. If you plan on breastfeeding, you might want to get nipple shields I had so much pain breastfeeding and these were miraculous!

    1. the silver cups i mentioned have actually been AMAZING. i have had zero pain, cracking, bleeding three weeks in!

      1. our hospital gave us tons of diapers, wipes, swaddles and even baby clothes (and extras for the road), so we didn’t need any :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *