What to Pack in your Hospital Bag?

Baby girl with her tongue sticking out. Her personality to a T.

It seems that everyone in our family got pregnant at the same time. I am completely surrounded by cousins, a sister, and sister in law who are all due in May or June. My heart hurts for all the pregnant mommas out there feeling extra anxious and extra scared or uncertain because of all this Covid-19 stuff. Don’t worry mommas you got this!

I know it can be hard enough when there’s no extra sickness going into your last few weeks and days into pregnancy. Here’s a few tips for what to pack before going to the hospital.

For Mom:

Moms, I’m going to be honest. Don’t overpack, but don’t under prepare either. You are going to want to be COMFORTABLE more than anything after getting to the hospital.

1. Comfy Clothes. If you’ve never had a baby before you maybe mostly concerned with how you’re going to look after you have your new little one or what you want to look like in your pictures. Heads up, you’re not going to care after you have your baby! Seriously. The natural glow of exhaustion and joy is all you need for the best post-baby photo ops. Don’t worry about make up or getting your hair done. I will admit with both I took a shower right before going to the hospital. I was grateful both times. Sometimes it can be a while before you can get up or even consider bathing at the hospital.

You may want to have a loose fitting outfit to go home in. It’s also a good idea to pack some comfy pajama tops, slippers/socks, robe, loose fitting elastic pants, and something easy to put on when you’re going home. (I had two C-Sections one emergency and one planned both in the winter). I made the terrible mistake of packing long boots for one and could hardly fit my swollen feet into them or stoop over. Loose fitting bra, because they will get bigger. Not to be too personal, but I also hardly wore clothes while in the hospital. I sadly and happily wore the nursing hospital gowns. They were easy to maneuver in post C-Section, the nursing staff brought new clean ones during learning how to breastfeed, and I didn’t have a bunch of laundry to do when I got home. Also after having both babies my hormones were changing so much I would either be freezing or burning up. #newmomhack

Featuring hospital nursing gown, Boppy Pillow, and snuggly blanket

2. Snacks. Call me crazy but I like hospital food, but when you want a midnight snack or something out of ordering hours you’re going to want something to eat especially if you had a long labor or C-Section. With my son I didn’t eat for the three days of labor and then they made me wait another 12 hours after surgery before I could order food! If you’re nursing pack something like granola, protein bars, almonds, and dried fruit. Make sure whoever is coming with you has something to eat.

3. Games Depending on your stay you will be pretty busy birthing, caring for baby, and catching up on some much deserved rest. However, we did have a few moments where there wasn’t a lot to do. Especially during our second hospital stay we were limited to two visitors because of the annual flu. We brought a pack of cards and Skip-Bo. We also had to stay three days with my son due to complications.

4. Bath Caddy Bring what you normally need to stay in a hotel for a night or two. The hospital usually has some kind of soap, shampoo, or body wash. I brought my own soap, hair care items in travels size, loofah, shave gel and razor, comb, hair pick, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. The hospital will have mesh underwear and pads of different sizes. A water squirt bottle should also be provided by the hospital. If you have a specific brand of pads you may want to bring a few, but get some for heavy flow.

5. Phone Don’t forget to have a phone charger and extra memory space of some sort for lots of pictures. This is also another good form of entertainment. If you have any Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu have it downloaded and ready to watch. With our first we packed a few DVDs. I think my husband brought Star Wars for himself (insert eye roll here) and we watched Marley and Me in the wee night hours all snuggled in the hospital bed. Memories we’ll never forget.

6. For Nursing Moms NIPPLE CREAM, Lansinoh has a good Lanolin Cream or Medela Tender Care Lanolin is pretty good too. Start putting a little on after cluster feeding to avoid some major soreness or cracking later. It’s up to you, but I recommend leaving your pump at home if you have one unless you have a major oversupply or want a consultant to help show you how to use it at the hospital. Less is best. A nursing bra or two and nursing pads are a good idea too, IF you plan on wearing more than a hospital gown for your stay.

7. Pillow and/or Boppy Just like a hotel you never have enough pillows. Especially if you had a C Section or are nursing. I took one for both hospital stays. It was nice to put under yourself for a little extra cushion on the hospital bed, for your head, for nursing, or a nice side pillow. If you have a C-Section it will feel like your insides are falling out for a while after surgery (hours to yes years afterwards). I still hug a pillow to sleep against my abdomen. A Boppy is great to rest baby in while you’re moving around your room, it’s also nice to have if you are trying to nurse in a hospital bed, chair, or couch.

For Baby:

Remember people show up to the hospital all the time with nothing. They will have everything you need for you and your baby. Everything else just helps you and baby feel more comfortable during your stay.

1. Cute Outfits in a range of sizes for the little one. Especially if you can’t get a photographer in or you are taking your own pictures. Newborn 0-3 and a 3 month would be good. A few little onesies, zip pajamas, and a layette. Something to take the baby home in. Always think something cuddly and warm even in the spring and summer month babies.

I call this a layette others have different names for them. Super easy to change baby in during the day or night hours.

2. Pacifiers (if you are planning on using them) The hospital usually provides a NUK brand pacifier. We brought about three different brands for baby to try while in hospital. MAM, AVENT, and $1 store. Our tongue tied baby boy did better with MAM brand and our little girl has always been an AVENT fan. Remember pacifiers come in different sizes check to make sure they are newborn or 0-3. These did not interfere with bottle or breastfeeding with our children. Sometimes they don’t want much to do with them the first few days of life.

3. Snuggly Blanket Sometimes you will get a free blanket and hat depending on your hospital. We still brought a nice tied Chicago Cubs one for our son and a really cute soft pink one for our little girl. If you have two small ones bring both. They’re nice for pictures too.

3. Bottles (You really do not need these at the hospital. They have the little bottles that go on portable formula usually 2 oz.) If you’re breastfeeding you really don’t need them. Save the room in your bag for other stuff. The hospital will also have diapers, wipes, and swaddles. Ours had Pampers Swaddlers which were great and Enfamil brand formula.

4. Burp Rag Unless you want more laundry when you get home use the hospitals. We still had one for the way home. The hospital also had travel size baby lotions, Destin, A & D lotion, and baby shampoo.

5. Carseat If you’re weeks or even a month away from your due date and you haven’t done so already go get a carseat and install it in your car NOW. We loved Graco carseats for our newborns. We had two bases, one for each car (well worth the investment). Ours were Click n Go and fit into our Graco stroller easily as well. They held up nice overtime, were easy to wash, and the handles were comfortable to carry. (as comfortable can be).

I know ‘no blankets in the carseat,’ but this was during a Polar Vortex people.

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