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What I’m Packing In My Hospital Bag: As we get closer and closer to my due date, we certainly have our hospital bags packed and ready to go!
They suggest packing earlier in your third trimester so you are ready to go if need be, and it was a nice weight off our shoulders once we were packed.
Though, I won’t lie, reading through packing checklists I found online, I was overwhelmed. SO, I thought I’d share what we’ve packed, what we decided not to pack, and more!
Just like with our baby registry post, after she arrives and we’ve assessed what we used (or did not use) during our stay, I will make sure to come back and continuously keep this list updated with our favorites, what you need, what you may not need, and more.
My Hospital Bag Checklist
Giving birth during a pandemic means our birth plans have had to pivot. God willing, if all goes well, they will only keep us there for 24 hours, so I’ve taken a more minimal approach (with the below in mind). I’m going to share my whole list, but then share what I decided to ditch as well because of the circumstances.
Biggest Hospital Bag Takeaway
After much research and discussion, here is what I’ve found: It really depends where you live and your hospital! For example, some hospitals have the Tucks brand Witch Hazel Wipes, so no need to pack those.
But if you live somewhere where they may not, and you want something specific, then go with caution and overpack. If you know somebody who has delivered where you will be, it’s worth asking them for advice.
What size bag(s) to bring?
I don’t know why this stressed me out, but I wasn’t sure if I should bring a weekender for me, a bag for Mike, and a bag for baby. Ultimately here’s what we have packed:
- One normal (not carry-on) suitcase for Mike & I. Honestly, we probably could have fit everything in a carry-on, but I like space and it has wheels which will be convenient.
- One overnight duffle for baby’s things.
- Large tote for hospital items to take home.
Here is an overview of what I packed for myself, for Mike, and for the baby.
When I starting packing I had a (hormonal) freak out with everything I thought I needed, so I am breaking it down to hopefully help some of you mamas!
- Slippers: I’m bringing my indoor slippers because they’re easy to pack, and I’m comfy in them. If I don’t find them needed, I will let you know! Tip: If you have an old pair, bring those, because hospital floors are kind of gross!
- Socks: Hospitals get cold, and those socks they provide will likely be too big on me so I’m bringing my own! Though if you don’t care using their grip socks, go for them and just discard! Probably easier! I’m packing:
- Comfy Button Down PJ Sets: I’m packing two dark sets and a long night gown/shirt, but will probably end up needing only one (see caveat above). Don’t think you can go wrong having multiple!
- 2 Nursing Bras:
- Disposable Underwear: They will provide you with mesh underwear, but if you feel more comfortable in your own, grab a set of these high-waisted underwear. I plan on wearing these when I’m home, too. I bought these because I’m petite and want to make sure I’m comfortable.
- Bath Robe: I think I’m skipping this personally and opting just for the hospital gowns, but many love having a cute robe to cover up with. I might add this last minute. Some say even if the room is cold, you can be hot from hormones, so it’s a toss up whether you’ll use it. Not a mistake to pack, especially in the colder months!
- Minimal Make Up: If you want for photos or just feel like yourself! I’m bringing the bare minimum, but some nonetheless!
- I’m a big fan of the Flawless in Five (Minutes), so I’m just bringing that in a little travel case.
- Lip Balms: I’ve heard a must. Bring multiple. I’m bringing these and these, my two favorites.
- Hair Ties/Hair Clips: I’m a big scrunchie fan!
- For Showering: I’ll be packing these items in case, but since our potential short visit, I’m not sure I’ll end up using them.
- A hair dryer if you plan on showering (the hospital hair dryers aren’t the best)
- A hair brush
- Anything you may want for your hair (mini shampoo, mini conditioner, and body wash).
- A Towel: Hospital towels are known to be very tiny, so if you want your own, bring one!
- Oh, and shower sandals/flip-flops should you want.
- Going Home: Depending on the season, this might change. I might opt for this flow-y dress (not breastfeeding friendly but it’s just to go home) for comfort and ease.
- Reusable Water Bottle: Always.
- My Own Pillow: If you want the comfort of your own home, plus hospital pillows are known to suck! Tip I received: Bring a colored pillow case so it doesn’t get caught up with the hospital linens.
- Post-Partum: Again, this will depend on your hospital. You might not need to bring any of this, or you might want to feel comfortable and pack what you want! My hospital provides most of these in the brands I’d want, and since I’ll hopefully be there for only a short time, I’m leaving my FridaMom at home, and I’ll use what they have. With that said, whether I bring or not, I have all these stocked up for when I return home.
- Any Vitamins/Medication needed
For Your Partner:
- Reusable Water Bottle: Always have on hand!
- Slippers: To be cozy! Old pair if possible since hospital floors are gross!
- PJs: Since he’ll be with me overnight.
- Face Wash
- Dry Shampoo
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Anything else they may need or want!
- Shower Items:
- Something to Wear Going Home: He’s opting for Comfy!
- His Own Pillow & Throw Blanket: As stated above, hospital pillows are known to suck! I want Mike to be comfy so he’s packing a pillow and a throw blanket. Tip I received: Bring a colored pillow case so it doesn’t get caught up with the hospital linens.
- Something to Read/Write: The perfect time to start writing in a memory book!
- Any Vitamins/Medication needed
For Us: Delegate! Here is what I delegated for Mike to be in charge of.
- Playlist on Spotify & Charged Wireless Speaker: Set the mood you want!
- Charged Camera: I have this travel camera & this lens, but a good smart phone will be just fine. Remember to designate someone to take photos should you want some!
- A Folder or File Holder: For paperwork we bring, and for any paperwork we collect in the hospital & anything we want to save from the hospital room.
- Paperwork: Our birth plan, and copies of our pre-admin forms, etc., plus any needed insurance cards/licenses/etc.
- Long Phone Charger & Charged Portable Charger: You don’t know exactly where the outlet will be located in the room and you’ll definitely want to keep those phones charged!
- Something to Watch Netflix On (and a good show): iPad, computer, etc.
- List of People to Call: We were recommended to do this before! Mike is assigned to be on phone duty with a list of everyone to message when we’re ready.
- Empty Bag: For things they give you/things you can take home! I’ll be reusing the big tote bag that I’m bringing the nurse gifts & our snacks in for this.
For the Baby:
- Blanket Swaddle, Hat/Bow/Mittens/Socks:
- Zip Footies: Since you don’t really know how big your baby will be, have a newborn size and a 0-3 size with you. The hospital (at least my hospital, again: ask around) provides white snap shirts that you can use under swaddles!
- Pacifier: You can see here which ones I’m trying out for our babe. Some say not to give a pacifier right away, some say the opposite. I’m bringing one of my own to have in case we want it. Our hospital (and from what I hear most do) provide Avent pacifiers should you want. So might not be something you need to pack.
- Coming Home Outfit: The rule of thumb I’ve heard is the amount of clothes you would wear, plus one more layer. I got a cute outfit to bring her home in, because what a special moment that will be! I saw this brand in a store a while back and found them on Etsy. I love it because it’s SUPER soft.
- Boppy Pillow or My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow: You can totally get by without this I hear, but if you have the space to bring it, it could be useful to have, especially for a longer stay! We ended up running home for the Brest Friend with Skylar, so recommend it definitely.
- Honest Wipes & Diapers (or your diapers/wipes of choice): Though your hospital will have, and may have brands you are comfortable with, if you want to know for sure/decide what you are putting on your babe, pack your own!
- Bathing Items: Some say you only give a water sponge bath in the hospital, but I am bringing my own bathing products should we need it, because it’s important to me.
- Car Seat: A given, but make sure it’s installed properly!
- Car Seat Canopy: My carseat has a shield built-in, but if yours does not, consider grabbing one, like this one or this one. Hospitals are germy, and especially now you’ll want to cover up that babe!
Take everything they offer home! They usually will give you tons of stuff!
Here are some other things you might want to consider bringing!
- Sleep Mask: If you’re staying a bit, you might want a sleep mask as it can be bright in your hospital room.
- Baby Nail Clippers or Emory Board: My hospital has these so I won’t be bringing.
- Car Seat Blanket: I’m just going to use one of the swaddle blankets if I need, but if I was having her in a different season, I’d make sure I could bundle her up as needed.
- Motrin, Tylenol, Tums: I’m told my hospital will provide what I wish, so I am opting out of packing.
- Burp Cloths: I can’t imagine the hospital not providing tons of these, but should you want specific ones!
- Mini Fan: That can hook on your bedside if you get hot. Some hospitals have this!
Check if your hospital has a fridge that you can use for any food you want to bring. Because of the current situation, Mike will not be allowed to leave at all, so we are coming prepared for that after labor hunger (and for him)!
- Hydration: Coconut Waters or Drink LMNT
- For a crunch: Popcorn or Crackers
- Easy fuel: Bars or make Energy Balls
- Something sweet: Dried Fruit
- Filling snack: Trail Mix or Granola
- If you have the time: Banana Oatmeal Muffins
- For something to suck on: YumEarth Lollipops
- Fresh fruit: Oranges, apples, grapes
- Other: Nut Butter Packets & a jar of cold brew!
Lastly, and of course not necessary, but I had a lovely time avoiding my actual to-do list and making a few gift bags for nurses/staff! I’m bringing 6 gift bags.
- Paper Bags
- Tissue Paper
- RXBar or bar of choice
- Bag of Chips
- Nut Butter Packet
- Mini Oatmeal Containers
- Beautycounter & Primally Pure Goodies: Hand Creams & Lip Balms
- Another nice idea, depending on the situation, is a beverage on you, like a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts gift card!
I hope this is helpful! This post contains affiliate links but all opinions are my own, that will always be my promise to you.