What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag (and What to Leave at Home)

Now that I am less than a month away from having this baby, I figured I better start thinking about what to pack in my hospital bag. I am a serial OVER PACKER, and I always end up bringing things along on trips I never end up using. This was also the case with my first baby. I thought I needed a lot more than I actually did, and it just made bringing everything back home a little more stressful (and more trips to load up the car)! In case you are also pregnant and preparing for a baby, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my tips for packing your hospital bag! Hope it helps you!

Nursing Gown/Robe – Of course the hospital will provide you with a gown to wear, but they aren’t very comfortable (or cute). And let’s face it, after having a baby we want to feel beautiful and comfortable! I’ll be honest, I spent a lot of my time naked with just my blankets on, but there are times you need clothes! (Eh em, family photos and visitors)! So here is what I’d suggest – I love this Pinkblush Delivery Robe. It’s so comfy and cute – you can read all about my review of it on my previous post here. Whether you are having a vaginal delivery or c-section, the last thing you’ll probably want to wear is pants. So I also highly recommend getting a nursing nightgown. You’ll want something lose, flowy, and not too revealing for when guests show up. This Jessica Simpson Lace Nursing Nightgown fits the bill.


Motherlove Nipple Cream – While we are talking about nursing, you are definitely going to want to pick up some of this nipple cream . It will be a life saver for you! It’s certified organic and completely safe for ingestion, so no need to wash it off before you nurse. It will help tremendously with sore and cracked nipples. Apply generously and multiple times a day to help yourself!!

boppy cover

Boppy – I loved using my boppy pillow. If it’s your first time nursing a babe, chances are you’ll already be a little uncomfortable. Pack one of these to make the experience easier on yourself! I’d suggest getting a plain Boppy pillow – and then head to Etsy to get your own slipcover that fits your style! (You’ll be using it a lot)! I love the shop Cute Bean Creations – they have tons of stylish patterns!



Pillows – Speaking of pillows, make sure to take your own from home for you and your partner. Of course the hospital will provide you with one, but having your own from home will make you so much more comfortable.


Slippers – If you’re like me, your feet and ankles may swell up a lot after giving birth. So packing up some comfy slippers like these Ugg Flip Flops  will have your feet feeling like they are at the spa instead of a hospital. They are so soft you’ll feel like you’re walking on a cloud! Perfect for walking the halls and for when you get back home! A side note on flip flops – you may even want to pack your own pair for your shower. Of course hospitals are incredibly clean, but something about standing in a shower barefoot where tons of other people have washed off their blood and bodily fluids just grosses me out…so pack a pair!

ShampooMake Up Bag and Toiletries – It’s not like you’re going to be wanting to put on a full face of make up after you have the baby, but I’m guessing you will want a shower, and after that you’ll probably want a little makeup. For me, I always use my Beautycounter Tint Skin, Ecobrow Defining Wax, and Tarte Mascara and Eyelash Curler. It will give you the perfect “natural look” for pictures and visitors! My hospital also provided me with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, but it wasn’t the same as my own. This time I will make sure to pack my Beautycounter Daily Shampoo  and Conditioner. Don’t forget your hair tie, too!

Lip Balm


Lip Balm – You won’t want to forget this! My lips were so dry after having my first son, so this time I will come prepared. I am in love with Beautycounter Lip Conditioner . It’s super moisturizing and made with safe ingredients like avocado oil, shea butter, meadow seed oil, and jojoba oil. Perfect thing to wear on your lips for all of those baby kisses you’ll be handing out!

Rose Water

Nourishing Rose Spray – The days and nights are going to be long while you’re in the hospital. And your face might be a little extra swollen from all of the fluids they will be pumping through you – not to mention all the pushing you will be doing! I’d highly recommend bringing along the Nourishing Rose Spray  – it will wake your complexion right up and is super healing with ingredients like organic rose water. Plus it smells amazing.


Onsies/Going Home Outfit for Baby – I spent a lot of time doing skin to skin with Knox the first time around, and I plan to do the same with this baby. However, you will need some clothes for the baby! I would HIGHLY recommend getting outfits with zippers! Snaps and buttons are so cumbersome and can be hard to deal with. I always look for easy zippers, and I have to say I’m obsessed with Hanna Anderson’s baby clothes. This Night Night Baby Sleeper is too adorable. I also like that it doesn’t have feet. This allows you to use it for a little longer than the footie ones!

Going home dress

Going Home Outfit for Momma – I will be having a c section, so, again, the last thing I’ll want to wear is pants. I’m planning to wear a loose, flowy dress of some sort for the way home. I thought this Caslon Maxi Tank Dress would be comfortable and flattering. I’ll be having the baby in September in Minnesota, so it could be hot or cold – you never know! If it’s chilly, I’ll pack a jean jacket to go with it.


Swaddle Blanket – The hospital will have some blankets for your new babe, but I definitely recommend bringing some of your own for cute photos. I love the Aden + Anais Cotton Muslin Blankets. They are so soft and have that worn in feeling. If you’re looking for a cute photo prop, get a personalized swaddle blanket with your baby’s name on it! (Hint hint, this will be how we announce our little guys’ name)! I love the Jennifer Ann Personalized Name Blankets!



Camera – This will be an experience of a lifetime! While I love my iPhone for taking easy photos, I was super happy I had my nice camera with me the first time around. I will definitely pack it again for all of those precious memories. I love the Canon EOS Rebel. They takes incredible pictures, and they are easy to use!


Music – I am a huge music person. I love country music, but Luke Bryan just doesn’t seem fitting to listen to while having a baby! Instead, go to Pandora and find some soothing spa stations that you enjoy! I loved having mine on – it just made me feel more relaxed and peaceful. Even the doctors and nurses said they loved coming in my room because the music was so serene!


Snacks – One last thing, we packed some of our favorite snacks to have on hand! Trail mix, Lara Bars, Twizzlers…you don’t want to always have to run to the cafeteria for food or find a vending machine. So my husband especially appreciated me packing some of his favorite snacks.


Ok, now that we’ve talked about things you will want to have with you – let’s talk about the things you don’t need. I literally didn’t touch 80% of the things I packed last time around. That’s not going to happen this time around!


Clothes – Ok, yes you need some clothes, but not a ton of them! I packed like 5 pairs of pajamas, night gowns, and robes. Literally, just bring 1-2 nightgowns, your robe, and your going home outfit (it could even be the outfit you wear to the hospital to save space –unless you’re coming to the hospital in a hurry)!


Underwear – You do not need to pack underwear! My first time around, I packed a bunch of cute, high waisted, full bottom undies, and I didn’t wear one pair. Why?! Because the hospital will give you the most comfortable pairs! Don’t bother bringing your own! I even took a few pairs from the hospital to take home afterwards!


Pads – You will be bleeding a lot after giving birth. But again, no need to pack your own pads. The hospital will have the perfect ones for you!


Nursing Pads – I also packed these the first time. So not necessary. It takes a good 3-5 days for your milk to fully come in, so this most likely won’t happen in the hospital. Save them for home.


Water Bottle – I was so thirsty after having Knox. And you are going to want to drink more water than normal if you plan to nurse (at least half your body weight in ounces every day – probably more). The hospital should give you a giant water bottle that you can refill at your every whim. I brought mine home with me, and to this day (2 and a half years later) it’s still my favorite bottle to drink out of!


Diapers and Wipes – Again, you don’t need to pack these! The hospital will have diapers for your babe as well as wipes! They take up a lot of space, not to mention they are expensive. So save your diapers and wipes for when you get home!


Breast Pump – I brought my breast pump with to the hospital the first time around. I didn’t end up using it once. Again, this is a big item, so I’d recommend leaving it at home. Most experts don’t recommend routine pumping until your milk supply is well established (which can take 3-4 weeks). However, some people use a pump earlier than that if they are having trouble establishing a supply. Even if you start pumping right away (in the first week of baby’s life) you most likely won’t need this until you get home.





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