Heading to the Hospital: What’s In Your Bag?

Heading to the Hospital: What’s In Your Bag?

I think it was about December that my mom started asking if I’d packed my hospital bag yet. I had not.

While I didn’t wait until the very last minute, I came pretty close. I just wanted to take my time and enjoy the process, knowing that we were coming back home as a family of three. So up until a couple of days before going into labor, my hospital bag was empty.

I take that back. One thing that I had put a lot of thought into and made sure was in my bag was Shai’s coming home outfit. I went a little overboard with that – a Burberry onesie and matching hat and little Armani baby booties. I wanted something special, knowing full well that I’d never get rid of that outfit for as long as I live.

Side note: Mommies-to-be, don’t do what I did. I have no idea what I would have done had I gone into labor early. I just had this gut feeling that he wasn’t coming out any time soon. I guess I lucked out there.

As silly as it sounds, the best thing I brought was my own hospital gown. It was comfortable and made me feel good (as good as a hospital gown can, I guess). Considering I stayed in that for my entire stay, it was a wise investment.

Also, icy poles (popsicles for the Americans)! As ridiculous as it sounds, they were a lifesaver. I brought a bunch of snacks that I didn’t eat because I couldn’t. No matter how much I begged the nurses, I wasn’t allowed to eat any solid foods, so I ended up eating, like 15 icy poles. (Which reminds me: ladies, be sure to eat before heading to the hospital. You’ll thank me later.)

A few other essentials:

  • Notebook and pen – I wanted to remember as much of this experience as possible; so now I have a nice little record of all my thoughts and feelings.
  • Thick socks – It was winter and they kept my feet nice and toasty.
  • Bathrobe – It’s easy to throw on when you get in and out of the shower.
  • Flip-flops – Again, easy to throw on and take off.
  • Hair clips and ties –No matter how glam you want to look giving birth, it’s a tough, sweaty process. I put mine up as soon as the contractions started, which was good considering how fast he came out. The rest of my stay, I kept it in braids.
  • Toiletries – I brought my shampoo and conditioner from home. I wanted to be clean, but I wanted to feel as comfortable as possible, too.
  • Moisturizer – I don’t know what it is about hospitals, but my skin got SUPER dry.
  • Lanolin cream – If you’re breastfeeding, you will need this. Of course, the hospital has some if you need it, too.
  • Full brief underwear – Whether you have a C-section or natural childbirth, you’ll need this. Although, the disposable underwear the hospital had were awesome – I ended up taking a couple bags home with me!
  • ID card and any paperwork your doctor had given you.


Mommies out there, what did you end up packing in your hospital bag? Anything you ended up not needing or wish you had thought to pack? I’d love to hear from you!

Photo Credit: Shane Russeck

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  1. My breastfriend pillow for nursing, yoga pants, nursing tank top, and chap stick!

    Posted by: Liz on May 16, 2017 at 9:13 pm
  2. Since my delivery was a scheduled c section I had plenty of time to pack a bag. Most of the things you mentioned were in my bag except for the hospital gown. I didn’t know you could bring your own. Lol! The hospital gowns are the worst experience when in the hospital. So anything to make it easier for you the better. I especially like your suggestion about the take home outfit for the baby. It is something you will keep for many years.

    Posted by: Dee Cheek on May 16, 2017 at 8:52 pm
  3. I took Cottonelle wipes and really soft toilet paper with me because hospital toilet paper feels like sandpaper after you have given birth!! And a hand mirror, for putting on makeup in bed if I felt like it, and for managing to look “down there” at the stitches from my episiotomy, because I felt like I had been ripped from one end to another! Being able to have that mirror and actually look at the stitches gave me the confidence to know that they were only about 1/2″ long and very neay done, and that I was not going to rip open going to the bathroom.

    Moisturizer, moisturizer, moisturizer!!! And absolutely, a nightgown that makes you feel very comfortable but pretty. There will be lots of pictures. And don’t worry how you look. You will look back and wish for every picture you didn’t take because you hadn’t brushed your hair.

    When you are 5 1/2 months pregnant, go shopping for your going home from the hospital outfit. That is how big you will be when you leave the hospital. Pick out a whole new Not maternity outfit, cute but comfy shoes and all, new full underwear and all. Buy baby’s outfit, too. And pack this outfit for the hospital so that it is brand new to come home in, and you will have a new outfit to wear for the first few months until you get your shape back rather than going home in maternity clothes.

    Posted by: Leslie Fraser on May 16, 2017 at 8:47 pm
  4. Honey straws were a lifesaver for quick bursts of energy when I wasn’t allowed to eat solids during labor!

    Posted by: Christy Krasowski on May 16, 2017 at 8:46 pm
  5. I brought a blow dryer because when you finally get to shower and your hair is wet you want to blow dry it after because the hospital is always so cold, the last thing you need it to get sick.
    I also brought my own pillow and pillow cases.

    Posted by: Nicole on May 16, 2017 at 8:16 pm
  6. I overpacked my bag. Lots of clothes I never wore. I needed the snacks for me since by the time I could eat again, the kitchen was closed. But what did we forgot to pack? ANYTHING FOR MY HUSBAND. We were so worried about me and the baby that we forgot about him and he wore the same clothes for the entire labor and all that night. Seeping in jeans is not comfortable, and with nurses in and out, he wasn’t sleeping in underwear.

    Posted by: Michelle on May 16, 2017 at 7:16 pm
  7. I gave birth in November and to me the most essential was my son’s outfit. The hospital gave me everything even though I had a bag full. I couldn’t eat either but I didn’t bring popsicles. I had pre-clampsia after birth with which sucked bc I was unable to eat or get up for 24 hours. Definitely eat before you go into labor and stack snacks.

    Posted by: Liv on May 16, 2017 at 7:05 pm
  8. Are those Feat Socks?

    Posted by: Leslie on May 12, 2017 at 5:12 am
  9. Oh Peta…when my water broke like 3 1/2 weeks early and of course I didn’t have my hospital bag packed (as I was thinking it was too early to have the bag packed). Because my husband kept saying we are coming back home to watch Super Bowl (football) game in January 1997. After got to the hospital to check to see if I could go home for few hours BUT the doctor said no and the baby will born that night. I was already about 4 cm so I had to stay at the hospital then 8 hours later my baby was born – it was a natural birth (no drugs or epidural). My husband did run home to pack a few things but he brought the wrong stuff-lol. Good old memories!!

    Posted by: Patricia on May 1, 2017 at 2:37 pm
  10. For my 2nd baby, I made sure to pack a little gift to give my first born so she wouldn’t feel left out of the whole experience. It was a special gift from her new baby brother!

    Posted by: Misty on May 1, 2017 at 11:13 am