Looking back on the days my kids were born I started thinking about all the things I packed! It was A LOT. Some of those items I didn’t even need. I hated having to unpack all the items I brought to the hospital, especially the things I never used during my stay.
Here’s my list of things I needed during my stay at the hospital, things I never used, and more.
Let’s start with the hospital bag for mom, here’s what I packed and actually used.
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I brought my own gown, yep that’s right. It sounds a little extra, I know. But it was worth it. In fact, I brought 2. The gowns that the hospital provide are SOOO uncomfortable and the fact that your butt in hanging out the back isn’t too appealing. I learned that after having my first baby. If you do plan on bringing your own gown, be sure to pack one that gives you easy access for breastfeeding, and skin to skin contact.
I recommend the Baby Be Mine 3 in 1 Labor/Delivery/Nursing Hospital Gown because it’s easy to get in and out of, breastfeed, and the waistline is comfortable. Another pro, your butt won’t hang out of the back!
Don’t bring your sexy underwear. Bring the granny panties and you won’t regret it. You don’t want anything tight around your waist after having the baby.
When you go home you aren’t going to want to wear jeans. The best thing you can wear is something loose around your waist. You could also consider wearing a comfortable dress. Be sure to pack clothes for at least 3 days. If you end up having a cesarian you’ll be there longer than anticipated.
If you have to get up and walk to the bathroom you’ll want some comfortable socks or slippers. The hospital will provide you with socks but if you want to feel more at home bring your own or pack your favorite slippers.
The hospital will give you some of these but if you don’t like theirs you can use your own for backup. Be sure to bring the super absorbent pads, you’re gonna need them.
If you’re in labor for a long time you’re going to want to keep yourself occupied. Bring a laptop OR iPad to get some work done, watch movies, or whatever else you enjoy. If you don’t want to bring that you could also consider bringing a book or listening to an audiobook.
The last thing you want to do is pack all of those electronics just to forget the chargers! If you have back up chargers for your devices go ahead and throw them in your hospital bag now.
Be sure to bring your identification, birth plan, hospital paperwork (if you’re being induced), and any other documents you feel you may need. Better to be safe than sorry.
These are obvious, anytime you leave home for an overnight stay.
Heres a few things to pack in your toiletry bag:
- Hair ties/Headband
- Makeup Remover
- Wisp Disposable toothbrushes
Let’s face it the pillow and blanket provided by the hospital aren’t the most comfortable things in the world. Bring an old blanket or a cheap blanket to keep yourself warm and comfortable, same goes for the pillows.
This is pretty much the only bra you’ll need to bring with you. If you don’t plan on breastfeeding consider bringing a comfortable sports bra.
I LOVE this nursing bra (BRAVADO! DESIGNS Women’s Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra)! It’s so comfortable and easy to use in most situations. An added bonus is that you can use the additional add-on to the bra to make it easy to pump.
Bring a camera to take pictures of your most memorable moments at the hospital. If you don’t have an actual camera don’t worry, you’re smartphone camera will work just fine! My husband put a GoPro up during the birth. You can’t see any gory footage due to the angle but it was awesome to see the whole thing play out from another perspective.
Unfortunately, at the time, I had my son I didn’t have my camera. Now I use the Sony A7RIII and it’s worth every penny. My only regret is not getting one sooner, I could have taken some killer pictures with this bad boy.
Here’s what I didn’t pack (or use) for my hospital stay.
If you think these items may come in handy for your stay, pack them. It’s better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them.
- Tennis Ball
- Personal Towles/Washcloths
- Nice Clothes
- Baby Book
Hospital bag for your partner
Most hospitals provide a blanket and pillow to your partner. However in the case that they don’t you want them to feel comfortable, and in most cases, they will feel more comfortable with their own pillows and blankets.
Your partner is going to need most of the same toiletries as you, refer to the toiletries list above to decide what to bring for your partner.
My husband was so THANKFUL for these. I was in labor for 25 hours and he was pretty hungry. He felt guilty leaving for too long so in between the contractions and my sleeping after the epidural he would sneak away for a quick snack from the vending machines.
Your partner may have some downtime, to keep them occupied be sure to pack a laptop or iPad. Sometimes labor takes hours, and sometimes it’s so quick you can hardly believe it.
Don’t forget those chargers! You don’t want to end up with dead electronic devices during your stay at the hospital.
Again, you want your partner to feel comfortable. In addition to the shoes they wore to the hospital they should pack some comfortable socks or slippers.
Your partner should also pack 2-3 changes of clothes. The last thing you want is your partner to have to keep leaving for things that could have been packed. You don’t want them to be gone in the instance that something happens. You will also want and need all the help you can get during this time so it’s important that your partner is present.
Baby Hospital Bag
Most hospitals do provide diapers so this isn’t a necessity. However, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few on hand. If you live hours away from your hospital you may need a diaper for your trip home.
NOTE: Don’t buy too many newborn size diapers. Stock up on size one and up, they grow SOOO fast. My son wore newborn diapers for about 1-2 weeks and then we were moving on to size 1.
If you need diapers, you need wipes. They always go hand in hand.
4-5 Changes of Clothes
Babies are messy. They may have a blowout or spit up. When packing baby clothes be sure to consider the weather. Is it likely to snow during that time of the year? If so, be sure to pack appropriately.
Babies get cold easily. The hospital will give you a baby hat but you may want or need a few to keep on hand.
Baby blankets aren’t necessarily a must but they will help. The blankets that the hospital provides are thin and not the softest. Pack one or two for the hospital stay and the ride back home.
With my first baby, I didn’t even know what baby mitts were. Luckily, the hospital had some on hand. They prevent the baby from scratching their face. With my son, I packed my own which is a good thing because the hospital didn’t provide them this time.
I like the Organic goumimitts, Scratch Free Baby Mittens because they have a strap on them. Most babies can take off the regular elastic baby mitts.
Obviously, this won’t be in your hospital bag but this is the most important item to bring to the hospital. You can’t leave the hospital without a car seat. Make sure it’s properly installed and ready to go. I installed mine around the 34-week mark just in case something happened early. Car seats are one of the most important things to do your research on to make sure you get the best one for you and your family. I chose the Chicco Bravo Travel System because I could easily take out the whole car seat and attach it to the stroller, which is perfect for a sleeping baby. The last thing you want to do is wake them when you don’t have to. I also like the safety ratings and the quality of the stroller.
If you aren’t interested in a travel system car seat/stroller I would recommend the Maxi Cose Pria 85 Max Convertible Car Seat. It has wonderful safety ratings, it’s comfortable, and it has the ClipQuik technology. This makes it easier to get the straps buckled because they’re magnetic and you can safely and quickly buckle your child in with one hand.
What you don’t need to bring:
- Nose sucker
When packing your hospital bag be sure to pack in advance. If you feel your baby may come early go ahead and pack when you feel necessary. It’s best to keep your bag in the trunk of your car if you live far from your hospital. If you’re out and about and need to go to the hospital it’s best to have everything ready to go in your car.
If you need to pack more in your hospital bag go ahead and do so in order to have a pleasant and less stressful stay. Remember this day is about you and your family, you don’t want to be stressing about things that don’t matter.