What’s In My Hospital Bag

My bags are packed for our hospital stay when we have our baby – things are feeling very real! Since I’ve never done this before, I referenced a lot of online sources for what is good to pack in a hospital bag. Additionally, with the current circumstances in our world, our hospital stay is going to look a little different than I originally thought. We won’t be having any visitors, so I wasn’t concerned with packing any clothes that I would want to be in for visits or photos with family…that sort of thing.

I’ve packed for myself and the baby, and Mike will pack his own bag. I opted to use packing cubes to keep things organized and separated. I’ve kept it very simple, opting for the “less is more” approach. Everyone is different, of course, so I’m just sharing what I think I’ll want for my first time ever doing this. Knowing myself, I may throw a few additional things in over the next couple days/weeks, just in case of a longer-than-anticipated stay or if I think of anything I may want to have there.

For Me – To Use

I’ve got a variety of toiletries packed, including my skincare products, oral care products, cleansing wipes, lotion, lip balm, dry shampoo, nipple cream, and some hair ties and clips. I’m thinking that I may throw a couple makeup products in, like my under-eye brightener, brow pencil, and mascara, to liven up my face a bit for whatever photos we take of us. I’ll probably throw in some shampoo and conditioner, just in case I end up washing my hair during our stay.

A pair of slippers to wear around our room and some flip-flop’s for any walking or showering

A phone charger with an extra-long cord and portable charging bank

A small, portable sound machine – we got this to use for on-the-go with baby boy, but I think it may also be nice to have in the hospital to drown out a little bit of the din

For Me – To Wear

Long-sleeve sleep shirt – for easy access for nursing and skin-to-skin time

Maternity nursing pajama set – these are great because they’re loose fitting and have the clip-down feature on the tank

Nursing bra (I threw another one in my bag, too!) and nursing cami

Open-front cardigan

Going home outfit – I’ve got a maternity tank, joggers, and an open-front wrap. Comfort is key!

Warm socks

Disposable underwear + Depends – I know the hospital will have everything that I need for recovery, but I’ve heard mixed reviews on the underwear the provide, so thought I’d throw a couple of my own options in, just in case!

For Baby

Two outfits – one for snapping a few photos to share with friends and family and one for his trip home

Plain onesie tee

Swaddle blanket

Cozy blanket

A hat knit by my grandmother – for photos of him at the hospital

And that’s pretty much it! As mentioned above, I may toss in a couple extra things between now and actually leaving for the hospital, but this is the gist of what I’m bringing with me. If there’s anything you brought with you or wish you’d had with you that I haven’t shared, I’d love to hear!

My outfit: Long tee (wearing XS) | Joggers (wearing XS) | Layering Necklaces

Hi there!

Lauren Bown Lifestyle Blog is an online destination where I share my personal style, beauty finds, and bits of life in hopes to inspire other women to feel good in their skin and find the beauty in the ordinary.

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  1. 4.22.20
    Nicole said:

    A nursing pillow! I didn’t bring one for my first baby and had a much harder time nursing with the hospital pillows, but with my second baby I brought a nursing pillow and had a much smoother experience!

    • 4.22.20
      Jamie said:

      Yes! Bring a boppy for sure.

    • 4.22.20
      Anna said:

      Yes! Take your nursing pillow!! I wish I had taken mine. Hospital pillows are hard to come by and so flat.

    • 4.22.20
      Chrisandra said:

      Totally! We had granola bars, Pringle’s, and some other snacks and we ate them all. I’d even throw in a soda or sparkling water or two! Especially since you won’t want anyone wandering the hospital to find snacks right now and won’t have visitors to bring anything.

  2. 4.22.20
    Lindsey said:

    I am 4-ish weeks pp with my 3rd kiddo and yes, COMFORT IS KEY. Be sure to stock up on nursing Cami/tanks-i’ve lived in these after having all of my kids. I love the target ones. Also for undies, just buy Walmart boyshorts (they come in a pack) with Heavy pads and you’ll be set for that part. Have you heard of a Woombie for baby? I’ve used one with all of my kids and it’s a game changer. They all slept best/longest while in their Woombie!

  3. 4.22.20
    Jami said:

    One thing I didn’t plan on but wish I had was something for me to wear for newborn photos when the hospital photographer came. They were able to drape a pretty blanket over me so it worked out but I wish I had something of my own. We did not want to risk bringing a professional photographer into our home with a newborn so we only used those photos. I did pack what I wanted our baby to wear.

  4. 4.22.20
    Jessica said:

    SNACKS!! for you and Hubby

    • 4.22.20
      Lauren said:

      Yes! Especially if you give birth in the middle of the night…you’ll be starving! I made sure to have a cold cut sandwich waiting in the fridge for me and usually pack fresh fruit and granola bars or trial mix.

    • 4.22.20
      Amanda said:

      Drinking straws are a good idea for when you’re in labour. It’s much easier using a straw than trying to drink from those cups. Make sure you have a good lip balm to hand, especially if you need to use gas and air. High energy snacks are good to have on standby too.

    • 4.22.20
      Katie said:

      Also bring change or cash for vending machines in case the hospital dining is closed after you deliver. And with what’s going on I don’t think your hubby can leave and come back like mine did! I delivered at 11pm. Everything was closed, so his first job was to go get me a sandwich from the grocery store deli! 😁

  5. 4.22.20
    Michele said:

    Hi! I found I brought a lot of stuff the first time that I didn’t bring the second time. It may be helpful to call the hospital about what toiletries they have. I was grateful to not need to worry about soap, toothbrushes, or toothpaste in my hospital bag. For my first, I didn’t wear anything I brought, despite my mom insisting that she bring me a bathrobe. I figured I was bloody and gross and I’d rather not get my own stuff bloody and gross, but for my second child, I wound up wearing the nursing pajamas because my daughter was coming to visit and I didn’t want to scare her with the hospital gown.

    Another thing to consider is your hospital. They may prefer you don’t wear pajamas with pants because of the frequency with which they check your areas. This wasn’t the case at my hospital, but my friend’s hospital was pretty strict with what you were and weren’t allowed to wear during your stay. If you haven’t, you may want to give the hospital a call to see what they recommend. Those labor, delivery, and maternity ward nurses know what’s up!

    DO pack good entertainment. Even with an iPad, If you place any trust in the delivery room TV, you’ll be stuck with a Law and Order rerun festival from 1992 allllll through labor. Speaking from experience.

    • 4.22.20
      Lauren said:

      The pants are just for if we get up and walk around outside the room. I don’t anticipate wearing them while in the bed! Thanks!!

  6. 4.22.20
    Maureen said:

    Bring the shampoo! That first shower after giving birth was necessary and revitalizing. Labor is serious work!

    • 4.22.20
      Michele said:

      Yes! So much this!!!

    • 4.23.20
      Katelyn said:

      Yes! Trust!! You WILL want to wash your hair!! 🙂

    • 4.27.20
      Melissa said:

      Your own pillow to sleep with (in a colored pillowcase bc hospitals usually have white) hospital pillows are flat as pancakes!!! Your neck will thank you!

  7. 4.22.20
    Jenn said:

    A nursing pillow (like hoppy) was really helpful while learning to nurse in the hospital. It’s a little bulky so we left it in the car and after birth hubby ran and got it.

  8. 4.22.20
    Michele said:

    My biggest lesson learned: a passie! My hospital wouldn’t give me one and my husband had to drive home at midnight to get one.

    • 4.22.20
      Lauren said:

      Our hospital will have them (from what I understand), but I’ll throw one in, just in case. Thanks!

  9. 4.22.20
    Thea said:

    Any kind of sleep gown/dress would be my recommendation (for comfort and because they check you often) as well as a dark-colored dress option to wear home (versus pants + shirt). It’s so much easier to throw on/take off, and you can worry less about any messes that may occur on your way home!

    • 4.22.20
      Lauren said:

      I’ve got one packed!

    • 4.22.20
      Julie said:

      Disposable nursing pads so you don’t soak your nursing bras & nursing cami. Breast pump is a fabulous help if your contractions slow down; it will bring those contractions back evenly. Mother’s milk tea & mother’s milk protein snacks.

      Check with your hospital before packing any extras; they may not allow you to use them. I leave before 24 hours AMA (against medical advice.). I cannot sleep in a hospital bed with all the hourly checking; I prefer my own shower, too.

  10. 4.22.20
    Emily said:

    Maybe bring a few of your favorite and easy snacks! Eating is hard to remember to do and you may not enjoy the hospital food! Those are some things I’m bringing this time around. Also, don’t forget a blanket for your hubby!

  11. 4.22.20
    Sarah said:

    If you have to pump for whatever reason a hands free pumping bra was a life saver and made it so much easier for me. I had to have a c section and we had to give special formula for the first month so as much as I didn’t want to pump I had to to build my supply and bring my milk in. Also don’t forget socks for your little one!

  12. 4.22.20
    Meagan said:

    I kept it pretty simple, too! The one thing I couldn’t have done without that you didn’t mention was my own pillow – absolutely worth the extra space!

    • 4.22.20
      Chrisandra said:

      Depends on the hospital but we threw a couple of our pillows in the car in case my husband or I wanted them, they were close by!

  13. 4.22.20
    Kathryn Goff said:

    Where is your bag from!!!!

    • 4.22.20
      Sara K. said:

      Came to ask this too!

  14. 4.22.20
    Helen said:

    Your list looks great!! I am an overpacker, and packed way too much my first time. 😂 The one thing I would add… you might want an extra pair of cheap slipper you can throw away, depending on your birth plan. For a natural labor with lots of walking around, you want something comfy on your feet, but they will probably get gross.

    • 4.22.20
      Michelle said:

      This is where Crocs came in handy for me! Also, after giving birth, I was so swollen that flip flops wouldn’t fit on my feet. I wore my Crocs home (after giving them a good clean).

  15. 4.22.20
    Priscila said:

    Frida Mom Upside down Peri Bottle is a complete game changer! I don’t know if your sister or mom friends told you but a peri bottle will be one of your most used items postpartum, they will give you one right after birth. I used a regular one from the hospital when I had my first daughter and didn’t like it.
    five months ago I had my second baby girl and I bought the frida bottle and it made such a difference. I totally recommend.

    • 4.22.20
      Lauren said:

      I’ve got one waiting for me when we return home!

    • 4.22.20
      Kaitlin said:

      I love the Frida so much. I did take a few peri bottles from the hospital too and was so happy because it was nice to have one on each level of the house/bathrooms you use the most instead of having to always go upstairs or remember to bring it with you to the bathroom you use when you’re going to bed, etc.

  16. 4.22.20
    Meredith said:

    One thing I didn’t have that I wished I had packed was a pumping bra. Our baby had to go into the NICU unexpectedly, and we had a rough start with nursing so I had to pump and give it to her in a syringe. The hospital had a pump that we used but since I didn’t have the pumping bra I just had to hold the bottles every time which was really annoying! Hopefully you won’t need to worry about that, but just something to consider as a “just in case!”

  17. 4.22.20
    Brenna said:

    All of this is perfect! Less really is more. I’m 35 weeks tomorrow with baby #3 and have slowly started a little pile. We usually pack our own snacks (granola bars with oatmeal and coconut water are two of my go-tos for supporting that milk to come in), and this time we will double up on the snacks and drinks – we’re in Winterville, NC and hubby can’t leave the hospital once we’re there. I’ve seen others mention the nursing pillow – definitely go ahead and stick yours in the back of your car for after he’s here. You’ve got everything else covered! Can’t wait to see his cute face on here! 💕

  18. 4.22.20
    Kristen said:

    I packed basically everything like you did. The only other things I packed was my own towel for a shower at the hospital. The towels at the hospital are not soft at all, and then shampoo and conditioner.

  19. 4.22.20
    Chloe said:

    Bring a book/ something to read. If you consider getting an epidural, you will be relaxed but the delivery might drag. With my first born, it took seventeen course after the epidural. My second and third child came 1 ½ hrs and 45 min after I had checked in in the maternity ward. So… it‘s going to be interesting! Take care. 🥰

  20. 4.22.20
    Nicole said:

    Hi! I’m so excited for you!! I am a labor and delivery nurse and have a few more suggestions for your bag!
    -Your own pillow
    -hair ties
    -lotion and lip balm
    -deodorant/refreshing wipes
    -baby socks
    -snacks for afterwards!!

    Much love!! <3

  21. 4.22.20
    Anna said:

    Totally agree on less is more – but there’s a few things I’d recommend in addition to your list that made our stay just easier and more comfortable! A portable fan (we bought one for baby girl’s stroller on amazon and happened to bring to hospital and it was a life saver during labor!!). A nursing pillow like others have said – the hospital pillows sucked and the nurses were always cramming pillows under my arms to help me with nursing our daughter and it was just so uncomfortable. Two pillows from home for you and for Mike – this will help you sleep so much better I promise! Lastly a big Yeti cup or tumbler. Some hospitals provide a big cup – ours did not, just a pitcher of water and plastic cups. I loved having my huge cup of water so my husband or nurses weren’t running back and forth to refill. Trust me you’ll be so thirsty! I think you said this in toiletries but make sure you bring chapstick too!! I applied it constantly. And actually one more thing haha, this isn’t a necessity but I have to mention it – if you do want some comfort if you shower at hospital, bring yourself one towel from home. My husband was totally ok with drying off with hospital towel, but wow I was so happy I had my nice fluffy towel from home because our hospital’s were thin, rough, and small haha – it just made me feel some normalcy! You are so close!!!!

  22. 4.22.20
    Heather said:

    I’m picky about my pillow, so I brought mine from home.
    Definitely throw in some favorite snacks. Hospitals aren’t known for their cuisine. Plus, you might be ready for a nap when lunch comes and suddenly starving in the middle of the afternoon. I’d also suggest bringing a couple different pacifiers for baby. I know there’s conflicting views on whether or not newborns should take one if you’re trying to breastfeed, but it gives you options. (Some hospitals will provide one and some won’t) My second had bad jaundice at 24 hours and needed to be under lights in our room. He could only be out for limited time to feed and change. So offering a pacifier when he was awake and restless and couldn’t be held was really soothing for him.

    • 4.22.20
      Kristin said:

      I totally agree with your own towel. Our hospital’s towels were very small and not very soft. I also agree with a nursing pillow, I liked “my breast friend pillow” (awful name I know). I also enjoyed a few of my own snacks. I was also very hot occasionally during labor and birth and a little clip fan was super helpful since the air was regulated in the room. Lastly, I was glad to have my own pillow for comfort.

  23. 4.22.20
    Leah said:

    Pack your own pillow, but the hospital provided pillows are horrible. Put it in a non- white pillowcase so it easily kept separate from the others.

  24. 4.22.20
    Laura said:

    The best thing I brought with to the hospital was a small USB rechargeable fan. I have never been so hot in my entire life than when I was in labor! My husband’s job was to follow me around with it when I was having contractions! And then it was pointed directly at my face that entire first night cause night sweats are really common with your hormones coming down. Then afterwards when we got home, we were able to use it on the stroller when we took our daughter for walks since it was extremely hot when she was born. Also, I didn’t bring a nursing pillow, but I wish I had. Trying to maneuver the pillows while trying to figure out the nursing thing was tough. And bring TONS of snacks!! You will be so hungry after labor and the worst is when you’re up nursing at 2am and have nothing to eat! Hope these last weeks of pregnancy are smooth for you and good luck with labor and delivery! It truly is an experience!!

  25. 4.22.20
    Olivia said:

    This is great! Love the packing cube idea. I think I’ll do that my next time around! I would recommend a water bottle with a straw so it’s easy for hubby to hold while you sip away! So excited for you guys!

  26. 4.22.20
    Hannah said:

    One thing I threw in last minute and both my husband and I were SO thankful I did was our own towels. The ones at the hospital are small and so thin. When I showered it felt so good to be in my own towel!

  27. 4.22.20
    Christina said:

    This is a great list! I took my nursing pillow for my second and it helped a lot. I also packed a little notebook to use to jot down times for feedings and wet and dirty diapers. They ask you every time they come to check on you or the baby when he’s eaten last and if he’s had wets or dirties, and in that newborn fog it can be hard to remember. I also found that it made a sweet momento to have for putting together a baby book later. I used it to just jot down thoughts and ideas and such.

    • 4.23.20
      Jenny said:

      Agree completely on the notepad/pen. It’s also a great place to jot down questions you may have for the pediatrician or ob during rounds. And yes, yes, yes to LOTS of snacks. Every time the baby ate, I ate!

  28. 4.22.20
    Joanne said:

    I’m from Canada so maybe our hospitals are different then yours but I had a girlfriend who was a labour and delivery nurse who strongly recommended bringing my own toilet paper. The hospitals here buy in bulk and it is cheap, thin, scratchy tp. What you use at home is thicker and softer and feels better on sore bottoms😀. All the best as you look forward to this precious time.

  29. 4.22.20
    Joanne said:

    It may be different here in Canada, but a girlfriend who is a labour and delivery nurse recommended bringing my own toilet paper. The tp from home is thicker and softer then the tp hospitals purchase. All the best as you and Mike look forward to this blessed experience.

  30. 4.22.20
    Allison said:

    Yes to the shampoo and conditioner, that first shower is life! One thing I did unintentionally with my first baby was bring a shampoo and conditioner that I don’t normally use with me to the hospital. I still don’t use that brand regularly, but now whenever I smell it, it brings me back when my now toddler was just born (which thankfully was a positive experience). It is a good scent memory 🙂

  31. 4.22.20
    Nikki said:

    I bought this same bra, kinda last minute and loved it. It ended up being me favorite. So excited for you, we had our 3rd baby 4 1/2 months ago. Enjoy all the baby snuggles, the first few days are exhausting and the best all at the same time ♥️

  32. 4.22.20
    Kaitlin said:

    Hi! I think you’re doing amazingly at packing so far! My first time, I took way too much. I’m due in July and it’ll definitely be different this time around. A few suggestions – I definitely 2nd or 3rd the comment for a nursing pillow. I love the brest friend one if you have it? Also this might be TMI but I’d suggest any slippers be washable or that you don’t want to wear them again :/. I had a very normal, vaginal birth but my pelvic floor muscles were still a liiiiittle traumatized after and I got up to go to the bathroom, got to the potty, looked down and realized I had already started to “go” and had peed on my slippers lol….sigh, real life!

    A long phone charger was nice and then my husband was glad he brought a blanket as the hospital was chilly and their linens left a bit to be desired! Otherwise I think you’re totally set! I’m so excited to “meet” him and find out his name! All the best to you in these last few weeks <3

    • 4.23.20
      Jenny said:

      Bravo on mentioning the peeing as soon as you stand up. No one warned me, and it is super common.

  33. 4.22.20
    Nicole said:

    Did I miss the links to the bag and the packing cubes? Love them!

    • 4.22.20
      Lauren said:

      Packing cubes are linked in the copy of the post (about halfway through) and in the “shop the post” widget at the end. Bag is old from Target.

  34. 4.22.20
    Stacy said:

    A easy swaddle, think a Velcro or zip one. The smaller the better. You can always double swaddle w the blanket version then zip on top. My swaddling skills were def lacking and you don’t wanna wait for the nurses every time!

  35. 4.22.20
    Emily said:

    Loving your blog! Do you mind sharing where your bag is from? It is so cute! Thanks!

  36. 4.22.20
    Sadie said:

    I second the big water bottle and nursing pillow recommendations after having my daughter 8 months ago. Also something I thought was going to be frivolous but was so happy I bought was a cheap version of a delivery gown. It was black and snapped up the back and had snap downs for the front. I wore it all through labor and delivery and threw it away after that, but it made me feel so much for comfortable and had a lot more coverage than the hospital gowns.

  37. 4.22.20
    Kelsey said:

    Our hospital’s birthing class suggested bringing a baby book if you have one. When the nurses do the baby’s footprints, they can stamp his foot in your book too!

  38. 4.22.20
    Krista said:

    Call me vain if you must. With all three of babies, I packed my razor. There’s nothing better than a fresh shave when you can actually reach all of your legs after baby.

  39. 4.22.20
    Katie said:

    I always recommend an empty bag for all the extras they let you take home AND an empty folder for the paperwork! Xoxo

  40. 4.22.20
    Miriam said:

    I way overpacked for the hospital so definitely agree less is more. But I was very thankful for my own pillow (don’t take one that you would be upset about having to toss) and shampoo/conditioner. I couldn’t wait for a shower and definitely wanted to wash my hair! Someone suggested taking slippers and flip flops I could toss and I was thankful for that advice, ended up throwing both away.

  41. 4.24.20
    Carmen said:

    After I had my first son I sent my husband to the store to buy me pads, he brought me home some that went from my back to my belly button lol. The hospital will give you some, but they are pretty bulky. I would recommend buying some that are comfortable (don’t let your husband pick them out!!) for when you get home! Good luck!!

  42. 4.24.20
    Dana said:

    Hi Lauren! Congratulations on this awesome gift from God. I love your blog and am so happy for you guys. We have two boys – 23 mos and 10 weeks, so I can relate! Lots of good suggestions I see in the comments. Something I wish I’d done was write down the names of all the nurses and doctors to write thank you s to afterwards. We had a longer stay this last time and there were so many amazing staff that helped us. I like to bring my bible and journal too. God has so sweetly met with me in the early beginnings and tired days. Once you’re on your feet, the Risen Motherhood podcast is my favorite to listen to about motherhood and the gospel. All the best!
    Ps. Thanks for sharing your new decor- I’m eyeing that bed from Joss and Main!

  43. 4.24.20
    Miranda said:

    If you’re planning to breastfeed can I recommend you get cooling gel pads to wear between feeds and nipple shields for the feeds themselves, in case baby has trouble latching or is small and struggles to feed efficiently at first. These were LIFESAVERS for me and I think I would have given up without them. It can really hurt at first!

  44. 4.25.20
    Jill said:

    Hi! Congratulations!
    This looks great. The Depends are totally the way to go.

  45. 4.25.20
    Rebekah said:

    Well it’s been 12 years and I barely packed anything. My daughter was 3 weeks early and we really didn’t have much in the bag. I’ll tell you what I wish I had but didn’t: colace. It took forever for the hospital to bring me some. And the car seat manual – to adjust the straps. I literally did not wear a thing I owned the whole time I was there. It was all just so messy for days . . . Two things I did remember to bring: baby outfit in different sizes and an empty bag rolled up in mine. I packed everything I could from the hospital room. Pads, peri bottles, underwear, swaddles. Anything the nurses told me that I technically was being billed for. It’s such a surreal experience – expect the unexpected. Congrats – it will be an amazing experience!

  46. 4.27.20
    Magalie said:

    Hi Lauren, you should also bring your airdryer. But Not for hair use … 😉

  47. 4.27.20
    Jessica said:

    I wish I would’ve brought my My Brest Friend nursing pillow! Those brand new babies are hard to hold and nurse, especially with your first when everything is new! I also wish I would have packed more snacks, specifically some lactation cookies. Target sells the Munchkin brand cookies and they are ridiculously delicious. I am super glad I packed my own blanket and your first shower will feel so glorious so I’m glad you packed some showering supplies! Postpartum hormones are intense and I had so many hot flashes I couldn’t wear anything warm. Make sure you have every type of layer because you can go from hot to cold within minutes! I would also wake up drenched in sweat. And put that nipple butter on every 👏🏼 single 👏🏼 time!! Even if you aren’t sore yet.

  48. 4.27.20
    Ashley said:

    I wish I had brought some footie pajamas for at night. The nurses will swaddle them for you but my little girl was still so cold. I had one outfit with footies on them but wish I had enough for both days.

  49. 5.1.20
    Jill said:

    Hands down, the BEST thing I put in my hospital bag was C-section undies. It was a last minute decision that I threw in my Amazon cart the week before delivery just in case, and I can’t imagine my C-section without them. I was surprised to find that they didn’t bandage or cover my incision in any way, and the disposable underwear would have caught on the stitches… plus the gentle pressure from the high waistband was a big relief. I think even without a C-section, the gentle compression would feel nice on a post-baby tummy. Congratulations!!! I had my first, a boy, in December and it’s the best thing in the world. 🙂