What I Actually Used in My Hospital Bag

A few weeks before my due date with Liam, I shared what I was packing in my hospital bag. Now that we have our hospital stay behind us, I want to share with you what I actually ended up using and what I grabbed at the last minute!

Here’s a review of my original list, sharing what we used and didn’t use from it:

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. I ended up using a couple of my skincare products, oral care products, and lip balm and that was it! I did take a shower there, but didn’t bother with washing my hair. I also didn’t put a stitch of makeup on while we were there, so I used about 25% of the products that I brought with me.

A pair of slippers to wear around our room and some flip-flop’s for any walking or showering. I wore the flip flops for walking to and from the bathroom, but didn’t take the slippers out of my bag. The hospital will provide you with socks that have a sticky bottom (to prevent falling). They’re not the best socks in the world, but they get the job done and will be one less thing you have to worry about washing when returning home! Truthfully, I found myself to run pretty warm during our stay, so I didn’t wear the socks for long anyway.

A phone charger with an extra-long cord and portable charging bank. We used the standard charger, but didn’t use the 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. We didn’t pull this out once! The hospital was pretty quiet and with the frequent visits from nurses and doctors, there wasn’t really a need to try to get into a deep sleep. We do use it all the time now, though!

For Me – To Wear

Long-sleeve sleep shirt – for easy access for nursing and skin-to-skin time. Didn’t wear.

Maternity nursing pajama set – these are great because they’re loose fitting and have the clip-down feature on the tank. Didn’t wear. 

Nursing bra (I threw another one in my bag, too!) and nursing cami. I wore this nursing cami on the last day because I was ready to feel a little bit like myself and put some actual clothes on!

Open-front cardigan. I wore this and really liked having it! Definitely recommend, especially if you get cold easily.

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

Warm socks. Didn’t use these.

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! Didn’t use these! The hospital has everything you need. Truthfully, there’s quite a bit of bleeding happening, so I didn’t want to run through products that I had purchased for after coming home. The hospital supplies got the job done!

*for the first day after Liam was born, I just stayed in my hospital gown. It’s not the most comfortable thing in the world, but between check-ins from the doctor, postpartum care, and wanting to easily use the bathroom, I found it much easier to just stay in a hospital gown that I didn’t have to worry about getting dirty or anything like that. On the morning we were set to be discharged, I changed into a nursing cami for comfort and to feel a little more like myself. I didn’t wear pants or bottoms once during our stay!

For Baby

Two outfits – one for snapping a few photos to share with friends and family and one for his trip home. We used both of these! 

Plain onesie tee. I threw in an additional onesie, which we also used. My recommendation is to keep the outfits simple. Dressing a newborn is a bit of a task (they’re so squishy) and they’ll spend much of their time snuggled up with you or wrapped up in something. 

Swaddle blanket. We didn’t use this.

Cozy blanket. I used this to cover him up when we would do skin-to-skin time! It was nice to have something cozy for him. 

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

I ended up tossing in a pair of socks for him, as well as one of these velcro swaddles that we used. Now that I’m several weeks into this thing, I would recommend bringing a pair or two of zip-up footies for outfits. They’re so easy to put on and make regular diaper changes a breeze! 

Additional things I brought:

I grabbed one of my barefoot dreams blankets as we were walking out the door and am so glad that I did. I used it the entire time we were there. Hospital linens are fine, but it was so nice to have something cozy and familiar to sleep and lounge around with. We brought in a bag of snacks for us to share, which we ate some of. Mostly, though, I just ate during my hospital meals and Mike would go to the cafeteria to grab food. We both brought water bottles that we used a lot.
I think that’s everything! We kept it very simple and didn’t use probably half of the things we brought, but that’s okay. I’d rather be a little over-prepared than under-prepared.

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.

shop my instagram

browse the archives

Leave a Comment


  1. 6.26.20
    Michele said:

    I found much to be the same about my first hospital stay with my daughter. I decided on just using the hospital stuff because it was less to pack and I didn’t have to worry about messing up my own stuff. With her, I used the hospital gown the whole time. When I had my son, I wound up switching into nursing pajamas the second day for two reasons. One, I was bleeding less, so I was able to feel more like myself. Two, my daughter was two and coming to see me and the new baby, and I didn’t want her to be scared seeing me in a hospital gown as opposed to pajamas.

    It’s crazy how much different lists tell us to bring versus what we actually use! When we checked in for our son, we saw a couple bringing in one of those Huge carts bellhops use at hotels. They either waaaaaay overpacked or they’re just THAT much better than the rest of us!

  2. 6.26.20
    Nicole said:

    Congratulations on your little boy!!! You look like you’ve transitioned smoothly into motherhood.

    I read several “what to pack articles” and went very light with my first and was so grateful to not have much to haul to/from the hospital. My husband on the other hand threw stuff in a roller bag and ended up wishing he had packed a bit more thoughtfully in advance. One thing we brought and loved was a wifi/bluetooth speaker. We listened to relaxing instrumental music/praise and worship music and loved how calm it made our room feel. All of the RNs commented that we were the most chill new parents and relaxing room on the unit. Like you I ordered off of the hospital menu and my husband was able to snack off of my abundance or ordered his own food. He quickly ate thru our snacks since we were there a bit longer than planned…

    This time around…I plan to pack about the same as last time but will bring more snacks and a larger water bottle.

    • 7.8.20
      Vanessa said:

      This is so helpful seeing what you brought and what you actually used! Making my list now and will use a lot of these recommendations. Thank you!

  3. 8.12.20
    Amanda Gonzales said:

    Thank you for this post!I am packing my bag now! 🙂