What I'm Packing in My Hospital Bag
I was seriously in awe the other day when I was officially packing our hospital bags. I had been gathering stuff over the last month or so but actually putting it in a bag that was ready to go with us when the time comes was such a surreal experience for me. Like most first time moms, I have no idea what to expect going into the hospital and delivering my first baby so I did a lot of research leading up to packing my hospital bag so that I could actually decide what to pack in my hospital bag.
There is a ton of information out there about what to pack in your hospital bag and it can easily be overwhelming for a first time mom. I knew I wanted to keep what we were taking to the hospital with us pretty minimal because I didn’t want to be worried about lugging around a bunch of stuff and then keeping track of it all while we’re also focused on a brand new baby. We also are blessed enough to live literally five minutes or less from the hospital and have had a super easy pregnancy so that allowed me to keep packing my hospital bag to a minimum.
In this post, I’m including what I’m packing in my hospital bag as well as what’s in my diaper bag for baby while we’re at the hospital. I’ve done my best to provide a quick summary of why I chose each item as well as the links to as many of the items as I could find (or similar items). I also plan on going back through this post once we’re home and updating it to include further notes on stuff we actually used! My husband also has a bag packed but I pretty much left him in charge of that so I’m not going to be including anything about that in this post. I may follow up in the future though!
* Denotes items I ACTUALLY used during labor, delivery, and our hospital stay.
*Large tote bag - I chose to use a bag I already owned that was on the smaller side to keep myself from overpacking. This is an R. Riveter special edition!
*Two nursing bras - I purchased a two pack that I happened to find on clearance at Target but their new bra line is super affordable and virtually the same style! Definitely recommend the two-for-one deal! (I ended up only using one nursing bra during our time in the hospital).
*Black bathrobe - I also snagged this super soft bathrobe from the Target clearance section but I’ve found a similar option if you can’t find one at your local Target.
*Bath sheet - The shower is my happy place and the last thing I want to be worrying about is using an uncomfortable, paper thin towel to dry off after giving birth. I love Target’s bath sheets because they’re larger than a normal towel and super soft! (I only took one shower while we were in the hospital but it was the most amazing shower of my life. I’m so glad I brought a towel from home! It helped make the shower experience more relaxing. My husband also used it the night before while I was laboring).
*Lavender Eye Pillow - I found this randomly in the Target dollar spot (or whatever it’s actually called) and grabbed it for one of those “just in case” things. Not sure if I’ll actually use it in the hospital but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to take it! I’m linking a similar one that you can get on Amazon! (I did actually end up using this during labor when I was trying to get some sleep! Highly recommend grabbing one if you can).
*Always Discreet Adult Diapers - I’ve been told these are a necessary postpartum evil. I know the hospital will provide pads and mesh underwear but I wanted to be prepared for not liking those. I like to have options. (I thought I would hate these but they live up to the hype. I was so happy to have these because it made the whole postpartum thing way simpler! I also can't describe how comfortable these things are.)
Always Infinity Overnight Pads - Like I said, I like to have options. The light version of these pads are what I wear during my period so I figured I would give these a try (I haven’t seen anyone talk about these specifically as it relates to postpartum bleeding so I’ll be sure to update y’all on how they hold up). If nothing else they’ll be good to have on hand as I heal. (I didn’t use these in the hospital but I was glad to have them for postpartum once my bleeding lightened enough that I didn’t need to wear the diapers. I’m so happy I chose these over bulkier pads!)
*Lavender Essential Oil Roller Ball and Peppermint Essential Oil Cooling Spray - I purchased the essential oils for both of these from Young Living and used the bottles from this kit to make them! (I used these nonstop during labor and just before pushing. Probably one of the best things I brought with me.)
*Large comfortable underwear - Don’t get me started on how sexy these undies are. But at least I know they’ll be comfortable for afterwards. I went with an all black set for obvious reasons and I won't mind if I need to just throw them out. (I wore these over my diaper on the way home. I definitely didn’t need to bring the entire pack but also a great find to have around postpartum. I lived in these until the second week basically!)
*Nightgown - Another Target clearance find of mine but they’ve come out with similar styles in their new lines. Also this one comes in black which is probably a better option to take to the hospital. (I technically used this but only for one night. I would have definitely been more comfortable in leggings and a t-shirt or even shorts. I didn’t pack either of those because I had heard you get checked a lot but that honestly wasn’t the case for me so I would skip the nightgown next time around).
*Portable speaker - My mom actually suggested that I make a playlist and bring a speaker for labor and delivery because of her experience when she gave birth to me. I was born during the LA Riots and she said it got really annoying having the TV on the entire time. I bought this one for my husband during his time at West Point and it’s great! (We used this on and off through labor to listen to podcasts and then put it on Indie Pop Radio from Pandora for delivery. We got so many compliments on the playlist! I loved having something to focus on during delivery also).
*Phone chargers - Probably the number one thing I’ve heard is to bring an extra long phone charger. I bought this pack off of Amazon which has a few different sizes, including a super long one and just decided to bring all of them in case any of our family or friends need them! (The most obvious thing we packed and used. So glad we opted for this pack of 5!)
2 going home outfit options - Honestly the hardest part of packing my hospital bag was deciding on my going home outfit. The weather here in Georgia is pretty unpredictable so I wanted to include two options depending on whether it was going to be 60 degrees or 80 degrees. I’m taking this Target t-shirt dress I’ve been wearing non stop as well as my favorite maternity leggings and a button up tunic from Old Navy. I’ll also be grabbing my Madewell mules if I’m not already wearing them or just be wearing the slippers I’m brining. (I ended up wearing the t-shirt dress home but I wore the leggings the entire time we were in the hospital postpartum as well as a v-neck t-shirt that I had worn to the hospital. I also wore the slippers to the hospital but ended up wearing them a lot while we were there as well, especially because we were taking walks around the floor after!)
Shampoo, conditioner and body wash from home using one of these travel sets (used all of these)
Makeup removing wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, q-tips, contact solution and lens case, dry shampoo (all travel size) (used everything but the dry shampoo, surprisingly)
Compact hair brush, Invisibobble hair ties, a hair clip (used everything but the hair clip, also used a bobby pin. I used the Invisibobble during delivery!)
Hand cream and chapstick (didn’t use the hand cream and honestly my lips stayed pretty moist so I didn’t use as much chapstick as I thought I would but would definitely still make sure to bring some).
TULA 3 Step Balanced Skin Kit (used my entire kit and stuck to my skincare routine)
*Makeup bag - I have no idea if I’m going to actually put on makeup but I wanted to be safe and bring some of my typical everyday makeup with me, just in case. (I did end up using my mascara but next time I’ll just pack that instead of bringing a dedicated makeup bag).
*Slippers - I purchased these UGG slippers at the beginning of my pregnancy specifically so I could wear/take them to the hospital. I wear them everyday so they’ve already paid for themselves in price per wear.
*Water bottle - My Hydro Flask and I have been attached at the hip since February so it’ll definitely be coming with me. (I used this so much, definitely a must have).
(I also ended up bringing a diffuser and my lavender essential oil. I used the diffuser the entirety of my labor and delivery and then again once we were in our mother/baby room.)
*Diaper Bag - I spent an absurdly long time researching diaper bags because I knew we wanted something that was comfortable for both of us to wear and would grow as our family did. I’m extremely short so typical backpacks are a no go for me. I love that the Fawn Design bags aren’t your typical backpack shape because they’re a lot more comfortable for me to use.
*Car Seat - We did the most research on our car seat and stroller combo. We ended up going with the UPPAbaby Mesa car seat and the UPPAbaby Vista stroller system. The color we decided to go with (after much back and forth) is the Henry.
*Two swaddles - I’m obsessed with the swaddles (and pretty much everything else) from Copper Pearl. They are the softest things I’ve ever touched. We picked up this fox one in Atlanta shortly after finding out we were expecting and I’ve been waiting patiently to see our boy in it. I also just ordered a second one as I was writing this to match the other hat. The stripped flannel receiving blanket is from a Walmart set! (While we did end up using both of the Copper Pearl swaddles at the hospital, I highly recommend taking at least one velcro version with you as well. We love the Swaddle Me ones from Target! These are super easy when you haven’t really gotten down the art of swaddling babe yet and they’re great for middle of the night feedings and diaper changes. Jasper loves them because his legs aren’t constricted so he can kick and stretch his heart out while still feeling safe and secure).
*Two onesies - I’ve heard it’s better to bring a few different sizes to the hospital and since our guy has some super long legs (according to our 20 week anatomy scan) I figured this was one piece of advice I couldn’t ignore. I just decided to bring two simple onesies (here and here) to the hospital, one newborn and one 0-3 month. I’m not sure if we’ll actually end up using these or not but figured I would pack them just in case! (Everyone said not to pack that many clothes for baby and I think this was probably the worst advice we got. First, he was way smaller than we anticipated so we needed more newborn sizes. Second, babies are messy and the weather kept changing. My mom actually had to run to our house and grab all the newborn things she could find because that’s how quickly we were going through clothes).
*Two footed sleepers - One of these sleepers is what he’ll most likely be wearing home. Like I mentioned, we live 5 minutes from the hospital so I wasn’t about to spend a bunch of time deciding on a coming home outfit. The fox one is from Target and the gray one is L’ovedbaby
*Three hats - All of the Copper Pearl swaddles have a matching hat that you can buy so naturally I’m bringing the two that we have (here and here) along with this adorable newborn one from the fox set in case he ends up wearing the newborn size home. (We used all three of these in the hospital. The Copper Pearl hats are great because you can adjust the not depending on the size of your babies head. We’ve purchased two more since coming home!)
*Two pair of socks - Surprisingly we haven’t managed to loose a single baby sock yet. TBD on how long that takes but I stuck a few pairs in the bag for just in case we needed them.
*Vaseline - I’ve heard this is great for helping get those first few tar like poops cleaned up easily! (MAKE SURE THIS IS IN YOUR HOSPITAL/DIAPER BAG. I can’t recommend enough how much of a lifesaver this was for those first few poops).
*Water wipes - Our hospital thankfully provides wipes but they’re the kind you have to wet yourself. I didn’t want to be messing around with that so I stocked up on these water wipes to throw in the diaper bag. We’ll use them either way so I wanted to go ahead and pack a set in the diaper bag. (We loved using these in the hospital and once we got home for the first week or so. Now we’re using a different, less wet wipe since his poop isn’t as sticky.)
Pampers Pure diapers - Like I mentioned above, the hospital will provide diapers but I knew we’d need them in the diaper bag eventually. I just stuck a few into this case I got from a freebie box from Baby List along with the wipes.
*Car Seat cover - Shocker, I also purchased a 5-in-1 cover from Copper Pearl in the stunning camel color. I love these because you can use them for everything from covering up the car seat to nursing.
Baby blanket - I don’t have it pictured but we are bringing a super soft baby blanket that my cousin picked up for us at TJ Maxx as a shower gift. It’s just a simple black and white stripe. Not sure if we’ll actually need it or not because again, Georgia weather is unpredictable but it’ll be nice to have with us.
Boppy Pillow - Also not pictured is the Boppy pillow we’ll be bringing with us to the hospital My plan is to try and breastfeed and I’ve heard these are great to have at the hospital for when you’re first learning as well as just for when you want a place to put the baby in general. I purchased this cover in white and black from Amazon.