I asked you all on my Instagram Stories what pregnancy posts you’d like to see and a peek inside my Hospital Bag was highly suggested! I was a little surprised because there are so many posts out on the internet about what to pack in a hospital bag. But, I also get it. I love reading what other people pack, too. Everyone does it a little different and it’s good to get inspiration for when you pack your own!
Now, I’m clearly no hospital bag packing expert. This will be my first time going through it and so I don’t EXACTLY know what I’ll need and won’t. BUT, I have gotten A LOT of advice and have done A LOT of research on my own to decide what I want in my bag.
I think it’s important to note that when it comes to your hospital bag, some of it is going to be personal. Like with pretty much everything in your pregnancy, just because people tell you that you “HAVE TO HAVE” something, doesn’t mean you really do. What is important and necessary to you is different than what’s important and necessary to someone else. Like I said, I read a lot, talked to a lot of people, and pick and chose what made the most sense for ME and for Michael.
But, because of this, I’m also going to include a section at the bottom with things people suggested I bring that I decided not to, just to give you some more things to think about when packing your own bag.
Ok, so first things first, you need a bag. I actually ended up buying one because I didn’t have a bag that was the right size. It was either a small over-night tote that was too small, or I could pull up to the hospital with a full-size suitcase. I figured a duffle bag would be something I’d use in mom-life too.
I ended up getting this bag from Amazon because it wasn’t too big or too small, and the price point was just right. I’m not an over-packer by nature and so you’ll see I mostly stuck to the basics. There are things I HAVE to have with me, but I hate having more than I need. If you are someone who prefers to overpack, you might want to opt for something bigger. If you’re even more of a minimalist than me, you could go smaller.
What’s in my Hospital Bag: For Mom
A lot of people tell you that you’ll be in the hospital gown the entire time, others will strongly tell you to bring your own clothes. Again, this is where the confusion and hypocrisy of the hospital bag comes into play. Do what feels right to you. I assume I’ll be in a gown during labor and initial hours of recovery. But, knowing myself I will want to change afterward into something more comfortable.
- One pair of comfortable loungewear (basically maternity leggings with a nursing top)
- Cotton Robe – I probably wouldn’t have gotten this JUST for the hospital, but I didn’t own one and figure I’ll use it a lot during maternity leave/breastfeeding.
- 1 nursing bra – mostly just for coming home in and a few disposable nursing pads
- Cozy socks (with grips on the bottom) – listen there are A LOT of CUTE fuzzy socks with grips out there but sometimes I’m painfully practical. I envisioned coming home from the hospital, losing one of the matching pairs, so, I bought 3 pairs of boring black ones
- 2 pairs of underwear – I hear that you mostly wear the hospital underwear after birth which is a-ok with me, but I’ll need something to come home in and I threw in an extra pair for good luck.
- Coming home outfit (maternity leggings and a comfy shirt)
- Eye drops because the hospitals have super dry air
- Facial wipes (like makeup removing wipes)
- Face and hand lotion
- Travel toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hairbrush and hair ties
- Makeup: I have a little go-bad of some staple makeup I use whenever I travel. I have no idea how much makeup I’ll really care to put on my face but threw it into the hospital bag anyways. I am one of those people who feels more “together” when I have a little concealer and mascara on. So, I think it’ll help make me feel more like a human being after delivery
Listen, I’m a snacker. This was brought on partially because I’m hypoglycemic so my blood sugar can drop if I don’t eat. But, truthfully, I don’t like to go into any situation when I don’t know when my next snack will be (especially labor). When I heard that very often you don’t get to eat after labor until the next meal is served I had visions of delivering baby boy at 10pm without food in sight until the next morning. Not gonna cut it for me. I packed a box of Cliff bars just in cases.
What’s in my Hospital Bag: For Dad
Don’t forget about dad when you pack your bag! Sure, he’s not going to need as much. But, he is likely spending 2-3 days in the hospital with you, too. Michael packed:
- 1 hospital outfit (for lounging while we’re there, some athletic pants and a hoodie)
- An outfit to go home in (and changes of underwear)
- Basic toiletries – Travel toothbrush, deoderant
- Handheld video game – this might seem silly but, depending on how my labor goes it could just be a lot of standing around waiting for Michael. And, I know myself pretty well and know that when I’m in labor I’m just going to want to be in my own head about it…meaning Michael might not have much of anything to do for hours on end. So, we thought it made sense to throw it in just in case. I’ll let you know if we end up using it!!
What’s in my Hospital Bag: Tech and Other Gadgets
- Two extra long phone charging cables – outlets aren’t always close by, so I ordered two long phone charger cables so I can charge while in bed no matter where an outlet is
- Noise-canceling headphones – like I said above I anticipate wanting to get into my own head sometimes. Noise-canceling headphone and some music will be a great way to drown out surrounding distractions
What’s in my Hospital Bag: For Baby
Most of what I read/heard said that the hospital will have pretty much everything you need for your baby. So, I didn’t overpack in that department.
- Two newborn onesies for going home in. (Two because I have a friend who said she packed one and her baby made a mess of the first before they even left the hospital!) I also threw in a third in a slightly larger size just in case it turns out I have a massive baby…let’s hope I don’t need it.
- One muslin swaddle – only because I don’t love the ones they give you in the hospital to use, however, this is totally not a necessity
- Baby hat and socks since it’ll likely be a little chilly the day we leave the hospital (plus, baby hats are adorable)
- Baby blanket – again just because it’ll probably be chilly when we leave so I figured we might need it as just a little extra layer to throw over him in the car seat
Things People Suggested That I’m Not Bringing
Pillows: A few people said to bring your own pillows because the hospital ones suck. Personally, I could sleep on a cheap throw pillow so lugging some big old pillow with me seems pointless. But, if you’re picky about pillows, I can see how this would be helpful.
Your breast pump: A good friend told me to bring my breast pump so they could show me how to use it in the hospital correctly. I thought this was a great idea! But, I don’t plan to pump until at least 4-5 weeks, and my hospital offers a breastfeeding support group 1x a week I plan to attend. I figure instead of lugging my pump in with me during delivery when I won’t be using it right away, I would instead bring it to one of these support groups when I’m ready to start pumping.
Camera: I’m perfectly happy with cell phone pictures in the hospital. I mean, the cameras on our cells are pretty impressive in this day and age. But, if capturing labor/delivery is something really important to you, then bringing the high-quality camera would be worth it.
Exercise Ball: Women rave about these for pregnancy, inducing labor, and to use during labor to work through contractions. I never bought one, mostly because I have no idea where in my house one would fit. Our hospital also has them available for you to use, so I knew I could probably get one during labor if I really wanted it.
Depends/extra thick pads: Things will be leaking for a while if you catch my drift. I skipped these, again, because our hospital told us they have these things in stock so I knew I wouldn’t need them. But, if you’re not sure, I would imagine you might thank yourself later if you have a few extra in your bag.
Ok, friends! That does it for my hospital bag! Again, like I said, packing a hospital bag is personal. And, I’m no professional at it by any means. But I hope you still enjoyed taking a sneak peek inside what we’re bringing.
Now….just to wait for the little man to arrive. Due date is in 8 days (but who’s counting?) Will he come early or late?! I have no idea. If there’s not internal mom intuition I’m supposed to have, I don’t have it. Half of my is CONVINCED he’ll come the weekend before and the other half is CONVINCED he’ll be so late I’ll have to be induced. It’ll probably be neither of these.