The hospital bag is packed, my to do list is done, and we’re ready for baby girl to arrive. I wanted to sit down and share what we have packed for hospital trip 2. This includes all my hospital bag must-haves including the things I wish I had had the first time around.
I’d say overall we keep it fairly minimal. I don’t really like to haul more than I want. So it’s really just the stuff I’m really going to want/need. For reference, this is the bag I’m using. It’s the same bag I used with Miles. It’s not some life-changing bag. But, it is only $20. I won’t lie, I got tempted to splurge on some fancy weekender bag multiple times during my pregnancy but the truth is…you don’t need a life-changing bag to lug stuff to the hospital. If you want to splurge on a nice bag for yourself because it’s something you need, by all means. I’m just here to say, trust me, the $20 ones do the trick too.
- A robe- Personally I use the hospital gown for delivery and the first bit after delivery. Then, I plan to change into my own nightshirt after I get time for a shower. So, I like having my own robe to layer for the hospital gown and the nightshirt.
- Warm cardigan – Some hospitals are cold, some are hot, having a cozy cardigan isn’t the worst idea just in case.
- Gripper socks or slippers
- Nursing-friendly PJs or nightshirt – Like I said, I labor/deliver in the hospital gown then change after, so one nightshirt is fine for me. If you want to labor/deliver in your own, pack two. This is the one I have, I like it because it’s nursing-friendly and not too short on me (I’m 5’9″)
- Going home outfit – pick something loose and comfortable…let’s remember you’re probably going to be in some type of adult diaper. I’m packing some joggers and a oversized button up.
- Change of underwear and nursing bra
Toiletries and personal care
- Nipple cream – So, I never used this with my first only because Miles never really latched or nursed properly the first few days of life. But I still suggest it because if you have a baby who takes to nursing right away, you might find yourself wanting some nipple cream before you’re home.
- Eye drops – Hospital air is dry, eye drops help.
- Chapstick – Again, the hospital air is dry so chapped lips are likely
- Shower cap – This is something I forgot this the first time. I wanted to shower but didn’t want to have to deal with washing/styling my hair in the hospital. So, a shower cap is clutch. Another tip is some flip flops for taking a shower.
- Other basic needs: toothbrush, deodorant, face wipes or a face wash, mouthwash, hair ties, hairbrush, dry shampoo.
- Makeup bag – This is personal. Some people won’t need/want any makeup. Personally, a little makeup on my face just makes me feel more awake/alive. I pack some of my basics so I can feel fresh faced again (under eye concealer, mascara, a little bronzer)
The hospital will likely give you everything you need in this department (pads, disposable underwear, pain relief, etc.) Although, it doesn’t hurt to check. A few things you might want to double-check that they will provide you include: a peri bottle, sitz bath, Tuck’s pads (witch hazel pads), and stool softener.
A few other considerations:
- Nursing bra – Personally I don’t bother putting on a bra during my hospital stay. I am not going anywhere and just hanging with nurses, so who do I have to impress? Haha. You’re usually encouraged to feed on demand and it was just easier not to have to worry about another layer when trying to navigate nursing with a newborn. I do have one as part of my going-home outfit though, so I have one packed.
- Dermaplast – This is a pain-relieving spray, which you likely won’t get at the hospital. Personally, I never loved Dermaplast (I just didn’t find it did anything for me) but I’m including it because many women love it postpartum. However, they offer plenty of pain relief at the hospital, so it’s really not a must-have.
- Headphones – I’m packing these for me because I really enjoyed listening to music while in labor the first time.
For the Room
- Extra-long charging cords– The outlets aren’t always right next to the chairs/beds where you’ll be spending most your time to get a extra long cord for your phone.
- Quick healthy to-go snack – Most hospitals’ kitchen close at night. This means if you give birth at 10pm you might not get fed until the morning. It’s also just good to have some snacks between meals. For reference I packed a handful of granola bars and some trail mix.
- File folder/binder – They send you home with SO MANY PAPERS from baby info, postpartum care, documents you signed, baby’s footprints…etc… I suggest throwing a folder into your bag so you have a place to just keep it all.
- Spare bag – There’s a good chance you’re actually going to leave the hospital with more than you came… besides the baby of course, lol! They’ll send you home with some postpartum care stuff, all the paperwork, etc. I have a reuse-able bag that’s just folded up really small at the bottom of our bag.
- Lounge outfit (x2) – Something to wear in the 48-ish hours you’re there for and a second comfy outfit to change into after a shower and when you’re ready to head home.
- Zip-up or sweatshirt – Hospital temperatures are unpredictable, so bring a sweatshirt to layer up or down as needed.
- Pillow and/or blanket – We joked when Miles was born that I literally had endless pillows and blankets and Michael was given basically a little throw like you get on an airplane. I mean, I’m technically the patient, it makes sense that they go out of their way a little more to make me comfortable. But, just a note that dad might get forgotten when it comes to comfort and sleep. This time around we’re packing Michael a cozy blanket so he can be a little more comfortable in those few hours of sleep you get to sneak in before you go home.
You really don’t need a lot for baby. The hospital will give you basically everything you need. But here’s a few extra things I’m packing
- Pacifier – Many hospitals have these, but I prefer my own.
- Nail file – Miles came out with sharp nails! And my hospital didn’t have baby files, so I’m making sure to pack them this time.
- Going home outfit – I highly suggest a simple sleep and play, these are my favorite for newborns. I also always pack two just in case (what if the baby pees all over one or spits up, etc.) Just better to have a backup in case.
- Carseat – Obviously you need your infant carseat. Also if it’s going to be chilly make sure to bring a blanket to cover baby for the walk to the car.
- Other considerations:
- Outfit/props you want for hospital photo if you want to take a “special” photo in the hospital. I am packing a muslin swaddle and matching headband.
- Swaddle. You can just use the swaddle blankets provided by the hospital, it’s what we did with Miles. This time I’m bringing one newborn swaddle just in case we want to use it.
- Long-sleeve onesie to wear under their swaddle – They usually have these at the hospital but IMO they aren’t the best (our hospital has the annoying wrap/snap ones that are a pain in the butt).