Knowing what to pack in your hospital bag can be a bit difficult, especially if this is your first pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my daughter, Kayleigh, I packed a very big and heavy bag. I wasn’t really sure what I should bring, so I packed a lot more than I needed to.
One unnecessary thing I packed for my hospital stay was my own underwear. I didn’t need those, because I opted to use the mesh ones provided by the hospital instead. They were much more comfortable, and I didn’t have to worry about ruining them with blood stains. Other unnecessary items I had included in my hospital bag were maxi pads, Lansinoh cream, and multiple outfits for Kayleigh. All of those things were provided by my hospital, so there was no need for me to bring my own.
My hospital bag was so full of stuff, that every time I wanted to find something in it, I had to empty out all of the contents and dig through it all. I’ve learned from my mistake and next time, I’ll know exactly what to pack to avoid bringing too much with me again.
Want to know what to pack in your hospital bag? Here’s what I’m bringing with me next time! This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
1. Comfy Pajama/Yoga Pants – I lived in my Gilligan & O’Malley Women’s Modal Pajama Pants while I was in the hospital. These pants are so incredibly soft, comfortable and warm. They just give me that cozy all over feeling whenever I wear them. I wore one pair while I was in labor, and I wore the other 2 pairs I brought with me after I had Kayleigh. I don’t really like the ugly and uncomfortable hospital gowns they provide you with, and after you give birth you’re destined to wear mesh panties and those gigantic maxi pads, so you really want a little more support down there anyway. These pants are also great for new Moms to wear around the house while taking care of baby. I wear mine all the time. I’m actually wearing a pair as I type this post up!
2. Comfy Shirts – As I said above, I didn’t like the hospital gowns, so I wore my own clothes most of the time I was in the hospital. I brought 1 to labor in, and 2 for after Kayleigh’s birth. Wearing your own clothes instead of the hospital gown after birth can make you feel a little more human. My mood instantly changed for the better after I changed out of the hospital gown into my comfy shirt and pajama pants.
I also wore a pair of pajama pants and a comfy shirt on the ride home. After giving birth, you are most likely not going to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes for a while, so I would not even bother packing them. My body was very swollen, so the comfy clothes felt great.
3. Flip flops – I loved wearing flip flops while I was in the hospital. They were really easy to slip off and on whenever I climbed into or out of bed. I didn’t have to mess around with shoes, worry about slipping on the floor with just socks on, or walk around barefoot.
4. Snacks – I gave birth to Kayleigh just after midnight, so the hospital’s cafeteria was closed. I had been in labor for a full 24 hours, without having much to eat, and I was absolutely starving! I really wished I had brought some snacks with me to munch on. The nurses’ station had some bagged lunches available, which included a turkey sandwich and grapes, but I was so ravenous that I wanted more even after eating that!
5. Toiletry Items – The first time you shower after giving birth feels absolutely amazing. You’ve just been sweating like crazy pushing a baby out of you, your hair is all over the place, and I won’t even mention all the stuff that goes on below the waist. Taking a shower will make you feel soooo much better, so remember to pack all of your toiletry items (I bought travel-sized items): Soap, Shampoo & Conditioner, Make Up, Hairbrush/Comb, Hair Dryer, Hair Straightener, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Mouthwash, Deodorant, Lotion, Chapstick. I also packed toiletry items for John. Tip – pack all of the smaller items in a “beauty bag” to make it easier to find them. If they’re all just thrown loosely into your hospital bag, it will drive you nuts trying to find what you want!
6. Going Home Outfit for Baby – The hospital has baby clothes on hand for your little one during their stay, so you really only have to worry about packing an outfit to bring your baby home in. Make sure to keep the climate in mind when packing your baby’s going home outfit. You don’t want him or her to be too cold or too hot.
7. Breast Gel Pads (for breastfeeding Moms) – I was given a tube of Lansinoh cream during my stay in the hospital, which help soothe my sore, cracked nipples, but what really felt great for me was the Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads. These things feel soooo awesome and really helped me get through those first few days of breastfeeding that are always so rough.
8. Clothes for Dad – Make sure to pack a couple of outfits for Dad to wear while he’s in the hospital with you, unless he plans to go home to shower and change. Our hospital was 45 minutes from home, so John just stayed there with me.
9. Bathing suit (if using a tub for laboring or birth) – I was so happy that I packed my maternity bathing suit in my hospital bag. I’m a very self conscious person, and I wasn’t about to get in the birthing tub au naturale. The maternity bathing suit made me feel very comfortable, so I was able to just relax and focus on my breathing, instead of people looking at my body.
10. Baby Book – My final recommendation of what to pack in your hospital bag is a baby book. I packed Kayleigh’s baby book in my hospital bag, because it has a section in it for me to write a little note about the day she was born, and there are also sections for her handprints and footprints, which the nurses at the hospital helped me with. If I had not brought this with me, I would have missed out on those things, so I’m really glad I did.
That wraps up my list of what to pack in your hospital bag! It’s super short and simple, and will hopefully make for a much lighter hospital bag the next time!
While you’re thinking about what to pack in your hospital bag, it’s also a great time to prepare for your baby’s birth with the Earth Mama’s Free Birth Plan. This plan was created to help guide your thinking about topics that are important to discuss with your birth team. Whether you prefer a natural, non-medicated birth or a medically assisted (epidural) delivery, Earth Mama’s Free Baby Birth Plan is a perfect tool for having your desires met during labor. There are a lot of options, but don’t feel anxious. Thoughtfully considering areas of concern is empowering and helps prepare you for better communication. Be sure to make enough copies to present your customized birth plan to your doctor, midwife, nurse, doula, birthing center or hospital and any attending family or friends.
Did this list help you to decide what to pack in your hospital bag? Do you have anything else to add to the list?