Hospital Bag

by Asheya on November 23, 2011

Today we are pleased to welcome guest poster, Olivia Nicholas!  Planning a hospital birth?  Olivia helps pack your bags…

With all of the preparations necessary for a new baby, it is important to remember to give attention to smaller items such as what to pack in your hospital bag.  Here is a list of items that are sure to make your stay at the hospital or birthing center more comfortable.

Clothes:
You will still look between 3-6 months pregnant even after giving birth.  (In fact, you may still need your maternity clothes for at least a month or so after the baby is born.)  With this in mind, you will be most comfortable if you pack maternity clothes to wear while in the hospital as well as for your trip home from the hospital.  Expect to pack enough for at least two or three nights at the hospital. 

Also, keep in mind that anything you bring to the hospital may not make it out intact.  Don’t bring anything you wouldn’t mind having stained or even completely ruined.  (Giving birth isn’t known for being a particularly neat and clean process . . .) 

-3 pairs of pajamas that you can comfortably nurse in (nursing tops with the little slits are notoriously difficult to use when learning how to nurse, so something that pulls down or easily unbuttons is best)
-warm socks
-slippers
-a robe
-3 nursing bras and nursing pads
-3 (or more) pairs of large or maternity underwear (you may prefer to use the disposable panties offered by the hospital, but it is nice to have the option of using your own)
-a “going home” outfit (be kind to yourself and pack maternity clothes!)
-shoes to wear home (just plan on wearing the ones you arrived in)
-Make sure your partner packs at least two or three changes of clothes as well!

Toiletries/grooming items:
-travel sized shampoo and conditioner (Your hospital may provide shampoo, but do yourself a favor and pack some nicer items to use during your stay.  You won’t regret it!)
-a bar of gentle soap (think Dove)
-two towels (The hospital provides these, but you may appreciate something bigger and softer.  Again, keep in mind that you don’t want to bring anything you wouldn’t mind having ruined.  Make sure your towels are not white so they don’t get rounded up with other hospital towels.)
-deodorant
-lip balm (have this handy to use during labor)
-face wash
-lotion
-contact lens solution and cases
-glasses
-makeup (sounds crazy, but you may have the opportunity to spruce up for some pictures at some point)
-hairdryer
-hair accessories (items such as headbands or bandanas will be helpful to keep your hair out of your face during labor and again when trying to handle your new little one!)
-heavy flow pads (the hospital provides these, but you may prefer to use your own brand.  Keep in mind that pads with a “weave” on top may tug at your stitches.  Big, cottony, old school pads are your best bet.)

Labor items:
Make sure to go on a tour of your hospital or birthing center before the baby is born and ask what is and is not allowed in the delivery rooms.  You may be surprised.

-massage items such as tennis balls, massage oil or handheld massagers
-mp3 player with headphones (make your “labor mix” sooner than later!)
-non-smellly snacks for your spouse (if you can’t eat them, you aren’t going to want to smell them!)
-popcicles (many hospitals allow access to a freezer for just this purpose)
-clear fluids such as juices (without pulp) and chicken broth
-lollipops (preferably sugar-free)
-headbands and hair clips to keep your hair pulled away from your face

Items for Baby:
The hospital may provide clothes for the baby, so there is no need to pack much.  They may also provide diapers.  All you will really need for baby is a seasonally appropriate outfit to bring him/her home in (including a hat) and a blanket.  You will also need to bring baby’s carseat.  (Make sure to get your installation okayed before the baby arrives.  Many fire stations offer this service: call ahead.) 

Other items:
-your own pillow and pillow case (Bring a brightly colored pillow case.  Not only will it make a lovely background to your post-labor pictures, but this way the hospital staff won’t accidentally take it when changing the linens.)
-breast pump (you probably won’t use it, but consider leaving it in the car just in case)
-camera (don’t forget the charger and extra memory cards)
-documents (any hospital forms, insurance cards, ID, birth plan, etc.)
-phone and charger (Make sure your phones are charged at all times leading up to your labor.  Some hospitals and birthing centers won’t allow you to use outlets in the delivery room!)
-computer (some hospitals offer wi-fi)
-change for vending machines (you can thank me later)
-list of phone numbers if they aren’t already in your phone
-light reading (magazines or books)
-pictures of your other children (you may not get to see them for a couple of days!)

Lastly, consider having your partner or birthing partner pack your hospital bag.  He or she will be the one digging through the bag to pull things out, so they might as well know where everything is!  Good luck and congratulations! 


Olivia Nicholas is a writer and busy mom.  She is always happy to share her passion for life and experiences through her writing, and in her spare time works as a freelance writer for Storkie

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