At close to 35 weeks pregnant, I think it is finally time to pack my hospital bag. I came up with this hospital bag checklist after a ton of research and asking all of my mama friends that have recently given birth for their input on what I need (and don’t need) to pack for my stay at the hospital once my baby girl decides to show up.
I am not super fussy as far as what I am going to look like while I’m there (I mean, it’s not really a pretty process…). I am more concerned with being comfortable, but presentable for visitors. Plus, I don’t want to spend a bunch of extra money on special labor robes or pajamas. I plan on packing light and efficiently. So, this is what I came up with:
- Chapstick – I can’t live without Rosebud Salve. It. Is. The. Best. ‘Nuff said.
- Hairties – I have long hair, and the last thing I need is it in my face.
- Headband – I love the thick yoga headbands from Prana.
- Face Wipes – because you’re not going to want to get up to wash your face and take off your makeup.
- My Purse – With my Insurance Cards, Copy of Registration Papers, Folder, Notebook, and a Pen to record contractions, questions, and look back at notes from my labor and delivery classes.
I plan on going through labor and giving birth in a hospital gown since it will get messy. If you plan on walking around, or if you get cold easily, add flip flops, slippers or socks to the list above.
- Gaucho Capri Sleep Pants – I found these on Amazon, and figured they looked really comfy, could be worn pulled up or rolled over depending on whether or not I need a C-section. Plus, they’re black and can be thrown away if I bleed on them, and I feel like they’ll look presentable when visitors stop by. Note: They run small, so order a size up! I also plan on taking a second pair of yoga pants or sweat pants.
- Nursing Bras – I plan on taking 2 just in case I leak on one. It was recommended to me to bring bras that snap in the back rather than a sports bra that you pull over your head. You’re going to be SORE. So, I found this one at Target that is comfortable enough to sleep in, snaps in the back, and looks like a sports bra when worn under a tank.
- Loose Nursing Tanks – One or two tanks that can easily be pulled up or to the side for nursing.
- Granny Panties – I am planning on wearing the mesh panties they give you if possible and saving the granny panties for when I get home, but I was told the mesh ones aren’t really one size fits all. They tend to run on the smaller size, so if you’re worried I recommend some cheap, dark colored cotton underwear that you can throw away when you’re done with them.
- Disposable Nursing Bra Pads – I am taking a few disposable ones just in case.
- Cheap Flip-flops – to easily slide on and off or to wear in the shower…because hospital showers can be gross.
- Rubber Sole Slippers – So you can easily walk around.
- Socks – If you like to lounge or sleep in them.
- Extra Foldable Tote Bag – I found a great roll-up bag that is small then opens up into a larger bag. I plan on leaving that hospital room with as many freebies as possible (i.e. monster pads, Dermaplast, my new Peri Bottle friend, diapers (for mom and baby) etc. So, having an extra bag to carry it in will be awesome!
- Going Home Clothes – Expect to still look 5-6 months pregnant, so bring something loose! I plan on a loose maternity dress that I am able to wear with a nursing bra that is loose enough to cover my belly, that won’t rub on a C-section scar (just in case) and loose enough to hide the fact that I’ll be wearing a diaper… Also, something cool enough for the Phoenix heat in June.
- Nursing Pillow – So you can practice nursing with it. Also, nice to sit on postpartum;). (Make sure you wash the cover in Dreft or Gentle Free Detergent before use.)
- Nursing Cover – I am obsessed with this all in one Nursing Cover/Carseat Cover from Milk Snob. It’s stylish, too!
- Belly Wrap – If you plan on using one. I plan on using the Original Belly Bandit combined with the Hip Bandit.
- Toiletries – most importantly:
- Stool Softeners – I’ve heard this from multiple pre-pregnant ladies. Preparation is key!
- Pre-natal Vitamins (to keep taking through breastfeeding)
- Belly Balm – Because I have a lot of friends that say they’re stretch marks showed up AFTER giving birth.
- Nipple Balm – To have on hand for the beginning of adventures in breastfeeding.
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Dry Shampoo
- Loofa and Shower gel – Because it’ll make that first shower so much better than hospital soap.
- Razor – We’ll see if I actually use it.
- Face Wash, Toner, Moisturizer – I use this Witch Hazel Toner every night on my face, but postpartum it doubles as the perfect astringent for your lady parts…
- Wet/Dry Hair Brush
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Body Lotion – I have been obsessed with this lotion throughout my pregnancy!
- Contact Solution, Contacts, Glasses if you wear them.
- Straightener/Blow Dryer if you feel like you need them.
For your Labor Coach:
I figure my husband doesn’t need much, since he will be able to run home once the baby arrives. Here’s what’s in his bag:
- Button Up Shirt – A great tip I heard was for your husband to bring a button-up shirt so he can easily have skin-to-skin time with the baby without sitting there completely shirtless. It’s important to me that he gets to bond with the baby, too.
- Change of Clothes for the next day.
- Pajamas – Shorts and a tee.
- Blanket – Hospital blankets aren’t that warm, and I’m sure the AC will be cranked up in our room for my sake.
- Going home outfit – I plan on taking 2 sizes (NB and 0-3 mo.) just in case she’s bigger than expected. And, of course both are cute enough for pictures!
- Nail File – Every nurse I have talked to recommends a nail file to keep baby’s nails from scratching you or themselves. I’m taking one from my Baby Grooming Kit I received as a gift. You can also bring a pair of Baby Mittens.
- Swaddle Blanket – A cute one for pictures and the drive home.
- Car Seat – The hospital won’t let you leave without a properly installed car seat. So, when you pack your hospital bag, also be sure and install the car seat. Practice putting a stuffed animal in the straps, so you know what you’re doing at go time.
- Newborn Hat
- Hands and Feet Pages out of the Baby Book – The hospital staff will be happy to stamp them for you! Check out these adorable custom Baby Books from Ruby Love LA.
- Diaper Bag – I plan on packing all of this in the diaper bag I will be using, along with an extra diaper and wipes just in case for the ride home. My husband’s co-workers were generous enough to give me this Kate Spade Diaper Bag as a gift, and I love it!
- Phones – Download a Contraction Tracker and Timer App while you’re thinking about it. That way it’ll be ready for when those contractions begin.
- Phone Chargers
- I-pad and Chargers
- Snacks – More for your labor coach than for you…
- Camera – Most important thing! Take lots of pictures!
- Gifts for your Nursing and Care Staff – They just helped you bring your child into the world, they deserve a little something to show they’re appreciated.
That’s it folks! It looks like a lot, but once you have it all packed it fits nicely into a small suitcase or weekender bag. For your convenience, I’ve created an easy checklist for you to download and print! If you’re like me, you’ll love checking everything off the list. Enjoy, and good luck with your hospital stay!
*Note: Affiliate links were used throughout this post. I only share items that I genuinely have used or recommend.