Hospital Packing List

The idea that we will soon be a family of four became much more real this past weekend.  Since I am ~4 weeks from my due date, I figured it was probably time to pack my hospital bag (I went into labor with my son a week early and my midwife thinks that I will likely go at least that early this time around).

Packing for baby #1 was weeks in the making.  I found tips on websites, asked friends and family, and had a rough list that I obsessed over weeks before it was necessary to even think about a hospital bag.  And I ended up packing way too much – half of the things I brought were not even touched.

There was no obsessive list this time around – and I packed my bag (with the necessary things for baby #2) as well as an overnight bag for my son in record time!  (My mom lives 3 blocks from the hospital I will be delivering at so my son and husband will be sleeping there while baby #2 and I remain in the hospital).

I decided I would share my list and get some feedback from other moms / mom-to-be’s on what they packed / are going to pack/ wished they packed!!

I would recommend packing the things you need/want for labor and delivery in a small bag that you can bring in with you when you first get to the hospital.  You won’t need the majority of the things on this list until after the baby is born and you are settled in your room.  (My husband made a quick trip to the car for the small suitcase of things after our son was born).

Labor and Delivery Bag

  • Hair ties and Sparkly Soul headbands
  • Comfy Socks: I brought the most comfortable pair of socks that I wore for L&D last time and will be wearing them again.  The hospital was on the cooler side and I found that the socks kept me warm and made me feel more comfortable.
  • Important phone #s / information: Insurance card, phone # of midwife, phone # of pediatrician, list of friends / family to text/call with updates are in a ziploc bag for easy access.
  • Entertainment: Small IPOD radio, book, couple of magazines (I’m hoping for another short labor/delivery in the hospital, but I’m planning for the worst!)
  • Gum

Maternity Bag

  • Toiletries: These are about 75% packed at the moment (the list at the bottom is what will be packed at the last minute! shampoo/conditioner, perfume, lotion
  • Hair accessories: Hair ties, Sparkly Soul headbands, brush, blow-dryer (I recently chopped off most of my hair and am loving that it takes me less than 10 min to blow dry and style my hair!).  Looking back at pictures from my son’s birth, I wish I had spent more time trying to freshen up before family and friends came to visit.  I had thought that I wouldn’t have any time to spend on my myself, but I would shower and get dressed while the nurses/doctors had my son in the nursery washing him and checking his vitals.
  • Flip-flops: I didn’t have a shower in my room and had to use a (private) shower down the hall.  The flip-flops came in handy for the walk down to the shower as well as while I was showering.
  • Slippers: I wore them around the room as well as when I needed to leave the room (to go to nurses station and/or to the nursery).
  • One set of pajamas: Basically just a pair of pants, nursing tank top, and wrap (the wrap portion came in handy when I needed to leave the room and wanted to be covered up a bit more than the nursing tank top allowed.) My favorite nursing tank top is the Bravado Nursing Tank Top– this is all I wore in our home the first few months after my son was born (at $45+, they are a bit pricey, but definitely worth the cost). I would recommend this for nighttime since you don’t have to worry about dealing with a bra and shirt all the time!
  • Clothes for Visiting Hours: Definitely choosing comfort over fashion here – I will be wearing yoga pants with nursing shirts (I am a big fan of these from Motherhood Maternity).   Helpful hint: if you plan on breastfeeding, make sure that the shirts are conducive to breastfeeding frequently.  
  • Clothes for trip home: Maternity jeans and shirt
  • Underwear: Recommend buying a pack of cheap underwear to throw out soon after you give birth.  Not to share TMI, but this is important if you deliver naturally b/c they will likely be ruined in the first few days/week after the baby is born.
  • Outfit for baby: Packed in a few ziplock bags (you won’t need these until it’s time to leave the hospital so keeping them separate and out of the way makes life easier!): Two shirts (one NB and one 0-3 mo – because we don’t how big the baby will be!), socks, hand mitts, blanket, burp clothes (x2), few diapers, and cold-weather bodysuit/hat (just in case it’s a chilly fall day!).  Note: my mom will be buying an appropriate gender-specific outfit for Pumpkin to wear home after I give birth and we find out the sex!  There really isn’t much that needs to be packed here as the hospital provided wipes, diapers, cream, belly button cleaning accessories, etc for us to use while we were there (and plenty to take home).  And while we are in the hospital, Pumpkin will be wearing just a diaper and shirt (while being swaddled) per hospital policy.

    Only clothes on my son while in hospital (he was swaddled with the hospital blanket the whole time!)

  • Breastfeeding accessories: Definitely some of the most important items packed!!  These include: nursing tank top for nighttime, nursing bra, nursing pads (likely not necessary if you only plan to stay in the hospital a day or two since your milk will not come in for 48+ hrs but it’s better to play it safe!), nursing cover (important if you are going to have lots of friends/family visiting!), breastfeeding cream, and breastfeeding book.  I didn’t bring the cream or the book the first time and it was two of the biggest mistakes I made.  My mom/sisters had to make an emergency trip to Babies R’ Us for the cream (I was bleeding and in so much pain).   And although I had read numerous breastfeeding books before I went into labor, I found that my memory was a bit cloudy when it was time to actually breastfeed.  It would have been so easy to have a book (with diagrams) to refer to those first couple of days! (This was my breastfeeding bible the first few months!)

Still have to pack – List is on Fridge for easy access!!:

  • Toiletries: Makeup bag, toothbrush/toothpaste, glasses/contact solution
  • Other: Cell phone, IPAD, camera
  • Chargers: Cell phone and IPAD (I will try to blog/tweet/etc during L&D)

These are pre-positioned at my mom’s (less for us to worry about):

  • My son’s overnight bag (enough clothes/diapers/etc for 3 days)
  • Car Seat – we aren’t putting the car seat in the car until after the baby is born
  • Cord Blood Registry (CBR) kit

    Cord Blood Registry Kit

Things I am NOT packing this time around:

  • Car Seat Liner: We will be using this when the weather gets cooler but it is not necessary since I am due late September. We purchased the JJ Cole Bundleme carseat liner and couldn’t have been happier!

    Nice and toasty on our daily walks!

  • Diaper bag: I had a fully stocked diaper bag with diapers, wipes, cream, etc with my first child.  Our hospital provided us with everything we needed and I didn’t need a whole diaper bag for the trip home since we drove straight from the hospital to our home
  • Candy/snacks for labor: Recommend checking with your hospital / practitioner to see if you are allowed to have some (my hospital does NOT allow any food, candy, etc once you are checked into a L&D room
  • Multiple outfits for the baby: Not necessary, especially if you plan to go straight home after the hospital

What was one thing you were thankful you packed when you were in the hospital? 

Was there anything that you packed that you didn’t even use?

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    19 thoughts on “Hospital Packing List

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    4. I think we might have our babies around the same time! I haven’t started the hospital bag yet (I’m 35 weeks) but since I’m expecting to go early again that’s on my list for this week.
      Isn’t it funny how the second time around we know exactly what we need and don’t? Did you forget Chapstick or Vaseline for your lips? That’s like one of my number one comfort items for a hospital stay. I would die without it. I can’t remember exactly what the hospital gives you…I know they have nursing pads, but not the Lanolin, right?
      JSweet recently posted..Pregnancy Fitness Routine: Muscle Up MondaysMy Profile

      • Chapstick is a must!!! I keep it in my purse at all times anyway so didn’t write it on here!!!!!! I don’t remember getting nursing pads but my milk didn’t come in while I was there so I’m not sure if they have them!!! How are you feeling?

        • I’m feeling pretty good but also feeling like the end is near! I need this baby to wait at least two weeks so I can get past my daughter’s birthday party. Do you think you are going to go early this time?

    5. I loved the Bravado nursing tanks too! Like you, I totally overpacked for the first baby and hardly brought anything for the second. Only two things I would add to this list that were helpful for me – a pack of pads and a tennis ball. I had the worst back labor during both births and used the tennis ball to massage my back and relieve some of the stress and pain.
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..5 Spots to Run in San Francisco {Guest Post}My Profile

    6. Michele,

      You are so organized! I love it! While I am not a mother I remember hearing one of my friends mentioning after she gave birth to her first child how happy she was that she brought a cute blanket for the baby for photo ops. Those blankets (more like oversized dish towels) that the hospital provide aren’t very attractive.

      Happy delivery! I can’t wait to hear all of the details, etc. As I told you recently when you were here I love your blog.

      Much love,


    7. Additional things I included in my L&D bag:
      – Clothes to change into after a shower; I hate hospital gowns! (we got to recover for 2 hours in L&D before moving)
      – Mood lighting (battery operated candles =))
      – Back-up drain plug (if you plan to use a tub). This is the best thing our Doula brought… otherwise the tub would have been useless!
      – Swim trunks for husband – if you plan to use the shower and want help in there
      – Button down shirt for husband – so he can do skin-to-skin time too =)

      I delivered my second last week and found it to be so much more enjoyable and less stressful then the first. I hope the same is the case for you. Good luck!
      Lindsey recently posted..Baby girl has arrived!My Profile

    8. this is what I packed for #2
      2 pairs of presentable pjs (I wanted to leave w/in 24 hrs…I did)
      a pile of pads a mile high
      cheap, costco underwear
      nursing bras
      belly band (holy diastasis help, batman)
      jellybeans, because..of course.
      going home outfit for the peanut
      swaddling blanket
      hair brush, mousse, lotion, shampoo, flipflops, makeup kit (small) deodorant
      tiny wine bottles, because, of course. I’m a NYC mom, I wasn’t the only one.
      I didn’t bring food because I delivered in the city and used seamless/grubhub, I also delivered next to a whole foods and made the hubs go and get me giant salads.
      I brought SO much when I had my son-that was goofy. I was SO sick with him, I couldn’t stand, let alone dress in anything other than a hospital gown. Silly me.
      I also got my legs/arms/underarms/bikini waxed at 38 weeks. EASY PEASY.
      Soooo simple, right?
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    9. I hardly used anything last time! I’m keeping it much more simple this time, with mostly just my iPhone/tablet for during labor (books, music, internet). Some sweats for wearing around after baby is born and going home in, not much else.

      +1 to the bravado tanks – they are seriously the best!! I think I have them in like 6 different colors, lol.

      • No!!! It’s not supposed to do that!! Supposed to help you!! Seriously…your fam seems so much like mine, so even if you forget a ton of things they can always bring it for you!!!