What are you supposed to pack in your hospital bag? Ignore all the crazy long lists out there, you aren’t going off to war and birth doesn’t need to be that complicated.
Even if you are planning on a home birth it is a good idea to have some of these items already packed so when the baby comes you already have it in one place. Also, if for any reason you have to transfer, you will already have it prepared (happened to me). Thankfully I had a hospital bag packed and didn’t need to freak out trying to find things.
The process of giving birth to a baby is not something that has ever been considered easy. If you are one of those people that sneezed and the baby slid out with the greatest of ease, I am completely and utterly jealous. In an effort to help you along in this pregnancy and take off a little bit of the stress, here is our tried and true items for you to pack in your hospital bag. We got some great real world advice from some lovely and experienced mamas in our facebook group. If you aren’t already apart, join in on the fun here.
Comfy socks. I ended up as an emergency c section and my feet were soooo coooold from the anaesthetic. Many changes of underwear. And I pretty much lived in leggings and t shirts so a couple of sets of each. Maternity towels. Shower stuff but also dry shampoo in case you can’t get into a shower straight away (c-section). And snacks. Lots and lots of snacks.
Something to wear home. The hospital covers everything else.
1- comfy clothes to go home in. Yes, still maternity. I ended up with a c-section and unfortunately packed pants. With a button. Ugh. Pack stretchy pants or a maxi skirt. Comfy loose shirt. Comfy shoes or slippers
2- a robe
3- brush/headband/hair ties. Maybe a hat if you just don’t want to deal.
Socks, nursing bras/pads, clothes for baby. I didn’t bring any sleepwear or undies to wear in the hospital because I didn’t want to bleed all over them. I just wore the hospital gowns and net undies. I did bring comfy clothes to wear home though.
I actually gave birth to my second child in a buttoned shirt from my brother. If you want to breastfeed, buttons going down from the neck are really good.
As Carrie said, all baby needs is something to wear – a couple little onesies will do it. The hospital will have diapers. For you, I recommend leggings/stretchy bottoms, plenty of underwear (the hospital will probably give you mesh ones but I didn’t feel secure in them), and comfortable tops that you can nurse in if you’re planning to (I wore spaghetti-strap tank tops, but it was Hawaii so…).
I bought these XL hideous cotton gaucho pants things from Target. They are so ugly but I was comfy in them even after a c-section, along with a nursing tank. Also I brought my maternity pillow and my own blanket, along with a boppy for the baby. Also a brush, deodorant, toothpaste, dry shampoo and chap stick. Definitely chap stick.
I used depends after and they were so much better than the pads.
Bring a bunch of onesies for the baby. My baby pooped or puked on everything we brought. I wasn’t down with the hospital paper shirt they had her in.
I was so glad I had gotten a nice new robe and comfy jammies to wear! And a water bottle if you don’t want to worry about dealing with a cup while trying to nurse and drink at the same time. A cute headband, too! So you don’t have to think about your hair. And everyone made fun of me but I took and did my makeup and look adorable in all the photos that I could have looked gross and sleep deprived in….Snacks for your partner, too. They really need a bag of clothes to change into etc. so they don’t have to leave you to go home or leave the room even. lol!
These girls are spot on. Forget the baby clothes. That wee bobbin will be covered in a blanket and beanie for a couple of months.
What they don’t tell you: you are bigger when you leave then when you showed up. Most of us anyway.
Your first post baby meal will be the most important, delicious and beautiful part of you having a baby.
Food! All the food you can think of! For you and birthing partner. Various sized nappies for l.o. (we quickly found out everything we had was too big!!) comfy undies for you and ones you don’t mind throwing (same for night clothes), lip balm for sure!
I second and third the food. I had to be induced early due to high blood pressure and would not have made it through the 36 hours of labor without the epidural, however, once you have the epidural, you can’t eat. I was soooo hungry by the end of it.
Lip balm, big ol’ underwear, headband to keep hair out of your face, snacks, a little makeup for pictures and visitors (only if you care about that stuff), and something for your nips. Mine got cracked shortly after the milk started coming in.
I don’t know if anyone has said it but SLIPPERS! Super comfy awesome slippers… hospital floors are way nasty. Also… flip flops because… hospital shower floors are UBER NASTIER! I have foot issues… I cannot deal with the thought of getting gnarly ickness on my feet.
Gel pads if you plan on breast feeding. Life saver and boobie saver. Also, lanolin cream in case the hospital doesn’t provide any. Ear plugs to get a little bit of sleep as people come in and out to check on you/baby. Also, and I only ever encountered this in Israel, but almond oil for your vagina pre-delivery. I laughed at it initially, but not a tear or a stitch after slathering it on. I no longer laugh. If you want any tips from a total pain wimp and an epidural fan who is pregnant with her 3rd, let me know.
If you have descent insurance, see if they’ll give you the gel pads in the hospital. Do not leave that hospital without seeing a lactation consultant.
Download The Hospital Bag Essential List!
Also be sure to check out our Afterbirth Essentials list