I’m notorious for overpacking – for example, going to the Cape for a weekend could mean I bring 3 bags. I’m just one of those people who doesn’t know what I’m going to want to wear until it’s that day! I anticipate bringing a little too much to the hospital, so I thought I’d share what I’m packing… and then I came back and updated this post to share what I actually used at the hospital and what I brought with me but didn’t need. (This is the monogrammed bag I’m using!)
Let me be honest here: I am not planning on trying to look cute. You probably are not going to see any photos of me in the hospital bed tbh. Secondly, everything I pack has one theme: to be comfortable. I packed everything below in separate packing cubes (I love these things and use them every time I travel!).
Post-birth Update! I’ve edited this list to share what I actually used and didn’t need. Updates are in italics!
In the Hospital Bag For Mom
- Workout pants to hang out in during the day with a couple of looser tops/tanks
I wore only one pair of workout pants during my time in the hospital, so I could have brought just one pair. As for tops, I spent most of my time in my robe, so I could have only brought one or two looser tops/tanks – I had 4 or 5 in my bag!
- 2 nursing bras
YES. I used both! I wish I had also packed these nursing pads because my milk started coming in fast.
- 2 sets of pajamas
…were not worn at all. Instead, I wore just loose sweatpants and a nursing bra at night.
- A robe I can put on for when visitors come in
This was a good call – it made me feel better, it wasn’t tight on my belly, and it made me look semi put-together!
- Grippy socks: I’ve read that hospitals won’t let you just have regular socks on if you’re up and about, so I packed some grippy-bottom socks
I really didn’t need to bring these, as the hospital provided them.
- Flip flops for the shower
Wore these and ended up just tossing them in the trash there after!
- My own pillow and blanket: I’ve heard conflicting things about this but I feel like I’ll be more comfortable with my own stuff. I just need to remember to put a different colored pillowcase on my pillow so it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital pillows!
It was so nice to have my own pillow, because the hospital ones are covered in some weird plastic. I didn’t end up using my own blanket, though. We really should have brought T’s pillow and a blanket for him, but he said he was fine with what the hospital provided. (But if your husband/partner is picky, bring their own stuff!)
- Toiletries: Includes all the usual suspects (toothbrush and toothpaste, for example) but also things I’ve read are must-haves, like this cream for breastfeeding, this spray for post-birth, these wipes (for general freshening up), and my own choice of pads. I know the hospital provides those, but I’m picky!
I definitely used less of my own stuff than I expected, because the hospital provided a lot. As soon as I got home, I did use all of this stuff. It was nice to have it at home waiting for me – I just didn’t need to pack it in my hospital bag. (Yes, I even wore the famed mesh undies my whole time in the hospital, which I didn’t think I would do.)
In the Hospital Bag For Baby
- A going-home outfit in 2 different sizes (newborn and 0-3 months) since we don’t know exactly how big she is, complete with a hat and mittens (and a cute hair bow, too!)
I’m so glad we packed newborn-sized stuff, because originally I wasn’t going to. Eleanor was born at 6 lbs 9 oz, so she definitely needed the newborn sizes! We didn’t use the hair bow because I was afraid I was going to hurt her head with it, so we used a hat instead.
- Pacifiers: I don’t know if we’ll use these, but I heard that most hospitals don’t give them to you, so bringing them just in case!
We didn’t use these in the hospital, but I’m glad we had them on hand because we started using them when she was about a week old.
- Our car seat installed
- An extra foldable bag to bring home the items the hospital gives us (a friend told me to bring a duffel bag and to take #allofthethings)
We used this!
Related post: 6 Diaper Bag Essentials
Other Stuff I Packed to Bring
- Nursing pillow with this cover
This was important to have! I actually used my nursing pillow behind my neck for extra support during labor.
We only took a few pictures with our good camera in the hospital – I wish we had taken more!
- A long iPhone charging cord with a multi-USB charger
- My Kindle, even though I’m not sure I’ll have time to read!
I didn’t use this because during the only time we had to just kind of sit around, we binge-watched a TV show on T’s laptop.
- Snacks: I know the hospital has stuff but I also want to be able to just grab something if I’m starving. I can be a little picky about my food sometimes!
This was clutch. Granola bars, juice boxes, fruit, and fruit snacks. We ate almost everything we packed in our hospital bag!
- Hospital paperwork: Kind of an important one! The hospital sent me a whole packet of forms to fill out prior to coming in for birth, so I’m putting those in my bag so I don’t forget them.
It was nice to have the birth certificate form done already, because there was so much constantly going on – nurses in and out, family visiting, etc.
By the way, thank you to all of the moms over on Instagram who shared with me what they’re glad they brought to the hospital!