Monday, April 6, 2015

What to pack in your hospital bag for mom, dad and baby

Before I had Owen, I read a lot of posts about what I should pack in my hospital bag when having a baby.  There are a bazillion things people say you NEED. Some you do...others you don't.

I'm going to give you two lists - things we used and what you should leave at home.  Why not bring everything just in case, you might ask?  You'll be moving hospital rooms at least three times (not counting any possible "false alarms" where you're sent home to continue laboring), so you really don't want to be lugging around lots of heavy bags.  My biggest piece of advice - PACK LIGHT.


The paperwork - Insurance card, ID, hospital forms, birth plan, ID etc...

Bedroom slippers - with grip on the bottom (that you don't mind getting messed up) - you'll want to have something besides hospital socks to wear...and don't you dare put your bare feet on the floor!

Socks (several pairs) - hospitals can be cold!

Lip gloss/ chapstick - all those breathing exercises you learned will dry your lips out!

Ponytail holders and/or headband - bring extras...this is work!

Cell phone & charger(s)

Overnight bag - with all the fixin's, including your own (travel size)'s worth it!

Shower shoes - because ewww....

Camera - a good one!  You'll want better-than-cell-phone pictures.  Make sure your battery is fully charged and memory card is blank.  It'll surprise you how many pictures you take of your brand new baby.  We brought an extra battery and memory card, but didn't need it.

Nursing gear - nursing bras, pads, creams, etc

Comfortable clothes to go home in - or more if you hope to wear them after the birth.  Think mid-maternity clothes

Sweets for the nurses - yeah...I know I said pack light, but this should be on your must-bring list.  Bring some caramels, cookies, peanuts...something yummy for the nurses' station.  They're going to be your best friends, and they work their butts off for you.  They'll appreciate it and probably show that appreciation by loading you up with free stuff as you go home.

An extra bag (or three) - for all those freebies!  We went home with FOUR BAGS of free stuff...our nurses stocked us up!  Formula, diapers, several blankets, "Soothie" passies, breast pump extras...and that's just the start!


Bathrobe and/or comfortable clothes - for after labor, if you don't want to wear the hospital gowns

iPad/Kindle & chargers(s) - I doubt you'll be bored...but who knows?

A few snacks - We brought lots of snacks, but only ate one of them.  I think a lot of this will depend on the food situation at the facility where you'll deliver.  Our hospital had GREAT food that could be delivered any time you wanted (and options on the floor itself) so we just had food brought up.  If you hear the food there is bad (or don't know)...bring some of your own.

Bathtowel - hospital towels are rough and tiny.

Music - and whatever device you plan to play it on if you want it for labor.

Something special - my mother-in-law had Husband's baby blanket repaired for Owen to use, so we brought that to the hospital for Owen to go home in.

For husband:

Comfortable shoes - he'll be standing up a LOT...

Instant coffee - if he's a coffee drinker, bring some instant coffee packets.  Our nurse made husband a pot because she felt bad for him.  Buying coffee for that period of time will really add up...

The "long weekend" usuals - pack for a few days ( never know if it'll end in a c-section, so bring a few extra shirts just in case!)...just make sure to pack light.

Cash - for the vending machines

For baby:

Car seat - leave the carrier in the car until you need it,.  Just make sure you bring it inside a few hours before you leave...especially if it's winter!

Going home outfit - or two, if your baby is estimated large (don't want to bring something too big or too small!)

Blanket - for going home if it's cold!

Things to leave at home:

Your breast pump - use the hospital's...they'll have a better one than you do!  (Confirm they'll have one for you to use during your tour)

A pillow - just ask for extras if you're not comfortable.  And won't want to lug it around.

Diapers, wipes, creams, baby shampoo, etc - The hospital has all of that for you.  Save yours for later!

Anything you can't live without - things get lost and messed up.  You're in a hospital...birthing a baby...feeding a baby...changing a a hospital...

What "must haves" would you add to the list?


  1. Your own bottles (for emergency), especially if you plan to nurse. The bottles they give you at the hospital will flow too quickly, then they will not want to nurse b/c it's more "work." Also, your own pacifiers, if you plan to use them. If the pacifiers you have at home are different from the ones they have at the hospital, you could end up with a lot wasted b/c your baby will develop an attachment for the hospital ones.

  2. i brought Depends, those mesh undies and big pads did nothing for me except make a crime scene of my hospital room! lol