Updated July 31, 2019
Getting ready to pack your hospital bag for delivery? Look no further than this comprehensive list of hospital bag essentials!
I can’t believe I’m at the point in this pregnancy where I actually need to pack my hospital bag! Eek! I have been making a list and trying to get organized before packing and making sure my list is complete and thorough, just in case I go into labor earlier than expected and need to pack a bag in a pinch. That would be my first piece of advice – have a thorough and complete list on your phone so if you have to pack in a pinch, you are not scrambling as much.
After polling my Instagram stories viewers and comparing it to various checklists online (plus my own list), I’ve put together a really comprehensive packing list for the hospital! All of these suggestions are coming from veteran moms and a third time mom (me).
I started thinking about what I knew the hospital would provide, what I wish I had the last two deliveries, and what I really loved having with me. Then I added in suggestions from my audience and other resources I’ve seen around the web. Now my list is complete and I here it is for you to reference!
Things I Know I’ll Get at the Hospital (and will take home with me)
I find it a bit unnecessary to pack certain items I know the hospital will have, so make sure you check and see what is typically available when you’re staying post-delivery. Also, the plan is to take as much as I can when we are discharged (especially the diapers and wipes!). Here’s what I know my hospital will have on hand, and what I plan to let them take care of.
- Baby Care Essentials
- Mesh panties
- Peri Bottles
- Belly Binder – my hospital put this on me the last two times I delivered, so I know I can get one there. Check with your hospital and see. If not, definitely bring one!
I am not packing any of these items and taking advantage of the supply at the hospital! Now let’s get into what I’ll be bringing with me from home.
Hospital Bag Essentials
I’ve broken this down into categories and linked products that I own and plan to bring with me. Hope you all find this helpful!
|Small Rolling Suitcase // I don’t like having to carry a ton of bags, so a small rolling suitcase is ideal to put as much as I can in. I like to leave room between that and the diaper bag so I can stash things in and take them home.|
|Diaper Bag // I’ll be bringing this in as my “purse” (wallet and keys will be in here) along with baby’s items.|
|Pretty Pajamas // I can’t stand being in that hospital gown and want to get out of it as quickly as I can. Since I’ll be having a c-section, I will be avoiding pants. I have preferred pretty night gowns. I’ll be taking this gown with me (and probably 2-3 others).|
|Pretty Robe // Great to throw on when you have visitors, and it also keeps you very comfortable.|
|Nursing Sleep Bra // I like light support underneath my pajamas when I’m nursing so I’ll be packing a few of these.|
|Cozy Cardigan // I recently picked up this Barefoot Dreams cardi because I really want to feel cozy and pampered. Another option to wear around the room instead of a robe.|
|Slippers // I hate being barefoot in a hospital room so these slippers are coming with me.|
|Plush Socks // Great to keep feet warm when you are in bed. Hospitals are generally cold and dry.|
|Pillow from Home // When I was in the hospital in June due to my kidney infection, I was so uncomfortable in the hospital bed. My husband brought up my pillows from home and it made a huge difference in comfort and sleep quality. I’ll be bringing them with me again.|
|Going Home Maxi Dress // Like I said, I’m avoiding pants after a c-section. I have this maxi dress (wearing it in this IG post!) and it is perfect for pregnancy and postpartum.|
Personal Care & Toiletries
|Lanolin Cream // I am not looking forward to my nipples getting beat up by the early days of breastfeeding. This stuff is a lifesaver. I can’t remember if the hospital will give you any, so I’m sneaking a tube in my toiletry bag.|
|Hair Ties // Absolute must! I prefer the coil hair ties as they do not damage hair or leave any kinks.|
|Dry Shampoo // Literally won’t travel overnight anywhere without dry shampoo. The hospital is no exception.|
|Makeup Wipes // I will not be able to walk right away after my c-section (although my goal is to get moving as quickly as possible – helps with recovery), so getting to the bathroom is hard. I’ll be wiping down my face as much as I can.|
|Lip Balm // Another total must-have. Something about the dry hospital air, feeling parched, and having a baby makes your lips extra dry. This will stay by my side at all times in my postpartum room.|
|Hand Cream // Another thing to help hydration in the dry/cold hospital room. This is my favorite hand cream, and it’s super affordable and natural!|
|Facial Spray // Yet another item to keep your skin feeling hydrated. Also, those postpartum sweats can be brutal… so this will help you feel refreshed.|
|Curling Iron // Even if I just curl a few pieces of my hair, I’ll call it a win.|
Makeup // I do plan on bringing a small bag of makeup because it’s just who I am. It may not be for everyone, but it is for me. Makeup helps me feel human. Not to mention, I do plan on having some photos taken in the hospital, there will be guests, etc. I know my appearance ultimately doesn’t matter but I do want items with me that make me feel good.
Other Essentials // Deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, moisturizer, small brush, shampoo & conditioner, etc.
|Nursing Pillow // I brought my Boppy when I delivered my girls and was so happy I did. The hospital pillows really do not provide enough support when trying to get the hang of nursing.|
|Swaddle Blankets // I know the hospital has an abundance of receiving/swaddle blankets, but I am bringing a few from home that are really stylish and cute. Mostly so I can take lots of cute photos.|
|Hats // Same situation as above – I know they have plenty in the hospital but I would love to have a few cute ones for photos.|
|Going Home Outfit // This doesn’t need to be fancy. Just a cute sleeper is enough!|
|Car Seat // This is an obvious choice, as you literally cannot leave the hospital unless you have a car seat properly installed. But this is the car seat that we have, and it’ll be installed in the car and ready to go. We had this seat with Caroline, but it has since expired so we got a new one.|
|Extension Cord // Outlets may be hard to reach, so packing an extension cord is a good solution to be able to plug a few items and be able to keep them within reach. A 6-foot long phone charger is another smart option, but I don’t have one and don’t really need to order one at this time. So, I’ll be bringing an extension cord.|
|Portable Charger // I absolutely love my Anker and want to have it on me as back up in case I need it.|
|DSLR Camera // I love taking photos, so I will be bringing my big camera with me. I’ll probably keep a 35mm lens on it. I want a wide angle because of the small space of the hospital room. If you don’t own a big camera, no sweat. Phones take great photos, and so do small mirrorless cameras! I’ve always thought a camera is an amazing investment when you start to have children. Photos are priceless to me.|
|Small Video Camera // We recently bought this video camera and have been obsessed with it. Not only does it capture 4K video, it has a built-in stabilizer (otherwise known as a gimbal). Best of all, it’s tiny. It literally does fit in your pocket. I would love to capture video this delivery so we are bringing it. Even though video content is part of my job, I think this camera would be wonderful for the family movie enthusiast!|
|Laptop // I don’t know if I will actually use my laptop in the hospital, but I am bringing it in case we want to watch Netflix or if I get bored and want to do something on a bigger screen.|
Reader Recommended Hospital Bag Items
Like I mentioned earlier, I polled my Instagram Stories viewers to see what everyone else was glad to have when they delivered their babies. Everyone really came through with some amazing suggestions!
Some of the most common answers that I already included above were pajamas, your own pillow, robe, lip balm, long phone charger, facial spray, nursing pillow, slippers, flip flops, socks, your own toiletries, and dry shampoo.
Here are some of the other items I thought were pretty genius! I may just have to throw a few into my bag.
- Depends Underwear – This was recommended quite a few times as an alternative to the lovely mesh panties and pads the hospital gives you. What a great idea! It’s going to be hard for me to change clothes/underwear the first day or so, so I think what I’ll do is have the Depends waiting for me at home.
- Pumping Bra – Another item that was suggested a few times! I have actually never owned a pumping bra because I never had difficulty just wearing a sports bra and sticking the pump flanges in. I also didn’t really pump much at all in the hospital with my girls – I just did a lot of nursing on demand. But if you’re planning on pumping a lot in the hospital, you may consider bringing a pumping bra with you to make life a little easier.
- Long Cord Power Strip – Amazing idea! Actually think I like this better than just taking a regular extension cord.
- Snacks – I hadn’t ever thought of this before, but this may be a genius idea. Especially if you have guests come visit or you get hungry in between the room service hours. I know at my hospital they take orders three times a day for meals and you have to get your order in before a certain time. I think it may be a good idea for me to throw in a few protein bars or something!
- Frida Fridet – A lot of my readers said they liked this better than the peri bottle the hospital gives you. I did still use the peri bottles despite having a c-section but not sure if I am going to order/pack one of these. I think if I was having a vaginal delivery I might!
- Sleep Mask – This was a really cool suggestion! My hospital room got really dark when I was in there last month, but if you are sensitive to light or unsure, this is a great idea to pack one for you and your partner to get some better sleep!
- Sound Machine – Another great idea if you’re sensitive to sounds. Bring your own sound machine or download a white noise app onto your phone!
- Moisturizing Face Masks– I had not thought of that but had about two people say that they loved having a sheet mask or a moisturizing face mask after delivery. Y’all know I’m all about treating yourself, so I am all for this idea!
Is there anything not on this list that you loved having with you in the hospital post-delivery? I’d love to know!