What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

With my first pregnancy, I was caught off guard when my daughter came two weeks early, which meant—I didn’t have a hospital bag packed. Nothing. Nada. My mom was throwing stuff in the washing machine as we flew out the door.

Not this time around!

Thanks to my initial blunder and listening to other bloggers’ advice, here’s what’s actually in my bag the second time around.

What I Packed for Myself

  • Button-down night gown: this was a Godsend when I had my daughter. The buttons made it easy for breast feeding and when you’re wearing the mesh panties and thick pads after labor, you don’t want to put pants on. 
  • Socks: in case your feet get cold (as mine do!) 
  • Nursing cami/nursing bra: Target actually had a nice selection and range of sizes in-store
  • Nipple balm and breast pads
  • Pillow from home: put a non-white pillow case on it so it doesn’t blend in with the hospital pillows
  • Towel from home: they’ll likely be softer, same color advice as above
  • Mommy-and-Me Robe and Blanket: I love all the fabric options on Milkmaid Goods! Plus, the material is so so soft!
  • Flip flops
  • iPhone Charger
  • Ponytail holders/bobby bins
  • Gum/Jolly Ranchers: It’s a distraction, especially when you’re not allowed to eat during labor!
  • Medications/Pre-natal vitamins 
  • Toiletries (essentials only! Leave your hair styling products at home, you won’t use them.)
  • Going home outfit: I packed a breezy black cotton blend dress that doesn’t wrinkle. Make it easy on yourself. It’s not a fashion show!
  • I’d also recommend packing all your hospital items in a small rolling suitcase, as opposed to a duffle bag. More often then not, a family member will be riffling through your stuff trying to find what you need and this will give them better visability. Plus, you’re going to have your hands a little fuller on the way out, so a bag with wheels may help!

What I Packed for the Baby

  • Her first little outfit! Bring size newborn if you have it (wash all fabrics in Dreft Detergent before packing them!)
  • Light swaddle blanket
  • HALO Sleepsack
  • Hat
  • Burb Cloths
  • Baby socks and mittens
  • Passefiers (yes plural, because you’ll lose at least one in the hospital!)
  • Baby book: if you want their little feet stamped in it
  • Boppy: I’ve heard that this is helpful to have with you for breast feeding!
  • Car seat: you can’t bring your baby home without one properly installed in your car! 

For the Bigger Kids

  • If you have other children, think about their hospital game plan. If they will be leaving the house, pack an overnight bag for them too.
  • Also think about whether you want to have a small gift or card on hand for for your older child/children at the hospital. Just a little something to make them feel special and excited about the new addition to your family! 




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One Response to What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

  1. Amy Hiser July 16, 2018 at 9:54 pm #

    While this is a helpful article to first time moms, I must speak up about one of your statements. You stated that gum/jolly ranchers are for “when you’re not allowed to eat during labor.” This seemingly innocuous statement has huge implications. The phrase “not allowed” implies that a woman has lost her autonomy during the birthing process and others get to determine what is best for her. And it’s not just about what she wants to eat or drink, it bleeds over into what kind of birth she wants, how much she wants to move, what position she wants to deliver in, what she wants for her baby after birth, etc. It’s stated excellently in an article from Birth Monopoly, “You’re not allowed to not allow me.”
    Also, as I’m sure first time mothers would want to know, the organization Evidence Based Birth has published a thorough article that informs one of the research, risks and outcomes associated with eating & drinking during labor, so that the mother may make the final determination of what is best for her own body during labor.

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