What to Pack in your Hospital Bag

What to Pack in your Hospital Bag

Packing up your hospital bag is so exciting.   The idea of going to the hospital and coming home with a new baby actually starts to feel real.  You’ve finally made it to the “it could be any day now” phase of pregnancy.  But, what should you pack for what will most assuredly be the most unique few days away from home?  Check out this list of hospital bag must haves!

What to Pack in your Hospital Bag for Mom

*For Mom and Dad

Night Gown or Robe

You want to steer clear of any pajamas with pants in case you end up having a c-section and have an incision at your waistline.  You also want to pack something that has easy access for nursing and skin to skin.  I bought and packed a new nightgown for the hospital, but never actually ended up wearing it.  With all the mess that comes postpartum, I found it easier to just wear the hospital gown.

Nursing Bras

Even if you just let it all hang lose in your hospital gown like I did, you’re going to want to wear a bra home.  Having a nursing bra made all the difference.  It was comfortable and fit my new boobs that literally grew the moment my baby entered the world.  The last thing you want to do is strap on something with an underwire, trust me.  My favorite are these seamless nursing bras.  They are the only ones I could comfortably wear until the days of round the clock engorgement were behind me.

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Postpartum Underwear

If I could do it all over again, this is the number one thing I would change.  I didn’t pack postpartum underwear, ya’ll.  What was I thinking?  Again, I let it all hang loose while I was in the hospital, but once it was time to go home, I was in a real situation.  Yes, I wore giant mesh hospital underwear under maternity leggings.  I still cringe thinking about it.  These postpartum underwear are amazing.  They’re high waisted, super soft, and have a leak proof lining.

*Slippers

The hospital will give you those nice, old lady socks, but you’ll probably want a pair of slippers in case you want to get up and walk the halls to get baby moving.

*Toiletries

Don’t forget to pack all the good stuff like toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant (having a baby is a workout and you might not get the opportunity to shower for days), shampoo, conditioner, and a hair brush.  I didn’t think I’d be too concerned about shaving my legs after having a baby, but by the time I took that first shower, I was so itchy and uncomfortable that I made my sister deliver a single disposable razor to the hospital.  I say over pack in this department just to be safe.

A Going Home Outfit

Depending on when your baby is due, this can get a bit tricky.  You want to pack something big and comfortable.  Don’t forget, you’re going to look about six months pregnant when you leave the hospital.  On top of that, you’re going to have a lot going on “down there”, so be sure to keep that in mind when picking out your clothes.  If you’re due in the warmer months, I would go with a maxi dress or something like that.  If you’re due in the colder months, like I was, maternity leggings or sweat pants are probably your best bets (I lean more toward the sweat pants).  If you go with the leggings, be sure to pack a very long shirt.

*Phone Charger and Extra Long Cord

You’re going to be trapped in a bed for days, need I say more?

Chapstick

You can’t drink anything while you’re in labor.  That, mixed with lots of heavy breathing can lead to some seriously chapped lips.

*Flip Flops

Pack and old pair of flip flops to wear in the shower.

Boppy

We brought our boppy to the hospital, but never actually took it out of the car.  I can’t tell you why we made such a poor decision.  Once we got home and finally used the boppy, it made all the difference with it came to comfortably nursing my new baby.

Postpartum Products

All of these wonderful things will be provided by the hospital.  Pads, pain reliever, stool softener, and nipple cream will be on hand (and pretty much anything else that falls into the category).  Sounds fun, doesn’t it?!

What to Pack in your Hospital Bag for Dad

Snacks

You’re gonna want to kill him when he eats in front of you while you’re in labor and can’t partake, but the last thing you’ll want him doing is running off to get food.  Having snacks on hand is a great idea (that we didn’t think of).  I will totally have a daddy bag of snacks the next time around.

Three to Four Days’ Worth of Clothes

You never know how long your stay might be.  We ended up being in the hospital a little longer than expected and my husband’s wardrobe was not prepared.  By the end of it, he was wearing underwear inside out and his sweatpants could have walked home.

A Pillow and a Blanket

The hospital will probably have these on hand for dad, but bringing your own is so much more comfortable.  This is first on the list for my husband next time around.

What to Pack in your Hospital Bag for Baby

A Going Home Outfit 

The wonderful thing is that you really don’t need much for baby.  The hospital provides wipes, diapers, Vaseline, hats, blankets, and onesies and swaddles to wear while you’re there.  You really only need an outfit for baby to wear home.  I suggest packing a newborn sized outfit and a 0 – 3 month sized outfit, just in case you wind up having an extra-large baby like I did.

Car Seat

This is a bit of a no brainer, but you won’t be able to leave the hospital without showing the nurses your car seat (and your baby safely strapped into it).  Make sure your car seat straps are set to the smallest setting ahead of time.

If possible, it’s great to have a friend or family member on hand that’s willing to bring you anything you forgot.  In the end, as long as you have the basics, you’ll be good to go.  The hospital is very accommodating, and if you forget something you truly need, it’s likely that they have something to help you out.  Best of luck, mama!

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