What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag – Everything I’m Packing to Prepare for the Baby’s Birth!
When we were about a month away from our due date, I started to get serious about packing my hospital bag. I was getting so excited, and nesting a ton, from preparing the nursery, to setting up our stroller system and all the amazing things we’re receiving from our baby registry, to getting our new house in Charleston ready for a family of three! But one of the things I kept delaying was packing my hospital bag! I can’t recommend packing your bag early enough because you never know if the baby is going to decide to make its appearance early, so you can’t be too prepared! When we found out we were going into labor 3 weeks early, I was VERY happy I had my bag packed (only a week earlier, yikes!) and Kenny still didn’t feel packed at all (we ran home before heading to the hospital and he speed-packed everything!). Anyway! Here is everything I recommend packing and the things that we actually used during labor & delivery.
My hospital bag checklist!
First of all, you’ll need a hospital bag. I wanted something lightweight (key!), and something I’d use again as a weekender. I didn’t have anything like this so I splurged on the pink one below, but if you have something this size in your house, that’s perfect!
this one is a pricier option but I love the colors, and it’s ultra-lightweight.
and I feel like this bag (only $88) is the perfect size, too and a great option. Love it.
What to pack in your hospital bag (for mom!)
A robe. A comfortable robe is one of the best postpartum clothing items out there. Plus you’re going to want something cute to take all those precious photos in. Here are some cute ones: this one, and this one, for a fun summery kimono.
Toiletries. I packed a toothbrush and toothpaste, hair brush, dry shampoo, regular shampoo & conditioner, deodorant, lip balm, extra hair ties and my skincare routine. I also packed some easy natural makeup because I wanted to look cute in pictures! I love love LOVE this tinted moisturizer, it feels like a great amount of coverage but never like you’re wearing foundation! That plus some mascara and a little lip balm was my hospital go-to.
Comfortable clothes. Since I planned on breastfeeding after delivery, I packed a nursing bra (this one and this one) . I also brought plenty of comfy clothes – like this comfy outfit, this tee which I love, and a super soft robe. A zip up sweatshirt and a little comfy blanket from home (this is the one I have used forever – I fly with it too! So light but warm and easy to bring with me!) both came in handy because I tend to get cold. I’m also bringing these ultra-soft, ultra-comfy buttondown PJ set that I love (since I’m not going to want to stay in my hospital gown!). Button-down tops are key for breast-feeding easy access! I’ve heard from other moms you’re wanting to ideally have a few changes of clothes since you’ll probably bleed on them! For shoes, I’m bringing comfy slippers for wearing around the hospital room, and some slip-on flip-flops for going home.
Drinks. I brought liquid IV for electrolytes, bone broth for labor (I was SO glad I had this – they don’t let you eat anything but clear liquids during labor – which can be a LONG time, so this is a good way to get some protein and energy you’ll need!), a reusable water bottle, and yes, I packed a bottle of fancy champagne to celebrate.
Chapstick/Lip Moisturizer. You get VERY dry during labor, and you’ll be glad you have lip balm!
An extra-long cell phone charging cord. Hospital beds are notoriously far away from an electrical outlet, and you’ll want a fully charged phone for all the pictures you are about to take of your new baby and video chatting with all of your excited friends and family.
Pillows and a bath towel. I don’t know about you guys but the last thing I want is a scratchy thin towel making me FEEL like I’m in a hospital. I turned the hospital into a luxury hotel stay by bringing our own pillows for comfy sleep, and a big bath towel for showering! Highly recommend.
A breast-feeding pillow – this came in SO handy!
Period underwear. The hospital gives you pads and hospital underwear, but period underwear is much more comfortable, I mainly used the hospital underwear while in the hospital (because it gets so bloody, it’s nice to just throw it away, but I packed period underwear, which ended up coming in much more handy once I was home! Here’s what I used! Also pack a perineal spray. Also – quick tip: take as many of the goodies the hospital gives you home!! They had these AMAZING ice pack pads that were a godsend after birth, I took so many home. They also had a burn/itch spray that was great, and all the pads!
A Spotify playlist. Kenny made us a Spotify birth playlist and I’m so glad he did! Now, the song that was playing while Harrison was born is SO special to us.
Nipple balm. I’ve heard that if you’re planning to breastfeed, you should make sure you have some breastfeeding-safe nipple balm ready. Like this one.
Your birth plan. I’ve heard advice to print out your birth plan so it’s easy to access for the doctor.
Your ID, health insurance card, and wallet.
What to pack in your hospital bag (for baby)
A car seat. Did you guys know they won’t let you take your baby home from the hospital without a car seat? It should be already installed in your car ready to go in the final weeks leading up to your baby! This is the car seat we chose, it’s FAA approved for travel, too, which is awesome, and it hooks onto our travel stroller for easy around town outings too!
A swaddle and matching beanie or bow. We booked a photographer to take a ‘first 48’ session of our newborn in the hospital, and we wanted the baby dressed in an adorable swaddle and matching beanie (if it was a boy) or bow (if it was a girl) we brought both options! Here are a few I like: newborn bundle – girl, newborn bundle- boy, newborn bundle seafoam (gender neutral),
A going-home outfit. Pack two different outfits in two different sizes because you don’t know how big or small your baby will be! In terms of cute outfits to take your newborn home in, aim for one outfit in newborn size and one in size 0-3 months. Here are some I find adorable: this comfy zippered footie onesie (this brand comes highly recommended), this bubble onesie, this sunflower onesie, this tropical floral baby romper, and, if you know the name of your baby – this Etsy monogrammed onesie is absolutely beautiful!
What to pack in your hospital bag (for dad)
Snacks! Bring a lot of snacks! Labor can be looooong.
A blanket and pillow. Hospitals are not the comfiest for getting your daddy beauty rest! Bring a comfy blanket, pillow, and eye mask to make sure you’re getting rest.
Books, a laptop, headphones & entertainment.
A bottle of nice champagne to toast after the baby is born!! Kenny asked our hospital if they had champagne flutes (LOL) so keep in mind if you don’t want to be drinking your nice champagne out of hospital dixie cups, be sure to bring some glasses too!
What you don’t need to bring in your hospital bag
You do not need to bring diapers or wipes! The hospital has all the diapers and wipes you’ll need for those first few days.
Too many clothes Pick out your outfits and comfy clothes ahead of time (for you and the baby!) and resist the urge to bring too much
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