Are you wondering what you should pack in your hospital bag? When I had my first baby, I packed enough to last me a week in the hospital, and most of it sat unused. By the time I packed my bag for my third baby, I knew exactly what I needed.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I scrolled through all of the articles about what to pack for labor and delivery. I made a huge list of all the possible things I would need, but when I got to the hospital, I realized I needed very little.
Packing a huge bag is actually more of a burden than anything else. Most women only stay for 24 hours after the birth of their baby; c-section moms typically need to stay 48 to 72 hours. Prepare for a two to three day stay; you only need a few things since you’ll be in bed cuddling your new baby most of the time!
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What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag
Hospital air always feels so dry when compared to my house, and my lips end up cracking and uncomfortable. I make sure to pack a thing or two of chapstick in my hospital bag. It’s something I didn’t pack with my first baby, and I regretted that choice!
I love Burt’s Bees Lip Balm. This four pack comes in different flavors that are all yummy! Shove one or two in your bag – you’ll be thankful you did!
2. Ponytail Holder
When my ponytail holder snapped in the hospital, I low-key panicked; I wasn’t trying to impress anyone and my hair showed that. Now, I always pack a few more ponytail holders into my hospital bag. They break at the worse times – I swear!
3. Warm Socks with Grips
The socks the hospital give you with grips on the bottom aren’t nearly warm enough, especially if you have a winter baby. Hospitals tend to run on the colder side, in my opinion, so socks are a must.
Plus, no one wants to walk barefoot in a hospital. That’s gross!
I like these Jormatt Ultra-Thick Fuzzy Socks with Non-Skid Slipper Socks. The set includes three pairs, and they’re super warm and cozy to wear. The non-slip grips on the bottom make them perfect for walking in a hospital room; you definitely don’t want to fall after having a baby!
4. Comfortable Pajamas
Some women wear adorable clothes in the hospital, but I like to keep it comfy as much as possible. This is especially true if you end up having a c-section; you’ll need comfortable, not-tight-clothes.
I like these two sets of pajamas. This long sleeve sleepwear set would be perfect for a winter baby. The material is so soft; you’ll love them! If you have a summer baby, you might like this short sleeve cotton pajamas set. It comes in multiple colors and drapes so well; the set is comfortable yet looks good on your body!
5. Sleeping Nursing Bra
Unless you stay in the hospital for several days, chances are your breast milk supply won’t fully arrive until you’re home. Leave the more structured bras at home and bring a comfortable sleeping nursing bra.
My favorite set – hands down – is the Cayke Maternity Nursing Bra for Sleep. These cotton bras are easy for breastfeeding, adjust easily as your breasts change in size, and are breathable since they’re made of cotton. You receive three bras in each pack.
I recommend bringing one or two nursing bras in your hospital bag. There isn’t any reason to bring more than that!
6. Nipple Butter
Breastfeeding isn’t easy, and shortly after you begin, don’t be surprised if you experience sore nipples. Nipple Butter by Earth Mama is my favorite remedy for sore nipples.
It feels great and helps soothe the soreness. The formula contains no lanolin, so you don’t have to wipe it off before nursing your baby. It’s organic and only uses the best ingredients for you and your baby!
I suggest using it before your nipples feel sore. I started applying it as soon as I began nursing, and it helped with my third baby!
Related: Breastfeeding: What To Expect The First 2 Weeks
7. Travel Sized Soaps
Most hospitals don’t provide soap, and if they did, I’m not sure if I would want to use it. Most women only spend two to three days in the hospital total, so travel-sized soaps work perfectly for a hospital bag. Don’t take up space with full-sized bottles.
8. Bath Towels
The towels at the hospital shouldn’t even count as bath towels; they barely cover half of my body! Wrapping my hair up after a shower is impossible with those small hand towels – I swear that’s what they give us.
I brought along one of my favorite bath towels, and I’m glad I did. Showering helps me feel more human after having a baby, so sometimes, it’s the little things that count the most.
Something else that I don’t like at the hospital are the pillows. They’re flat and hard; I like a fluffy, soft pillow. I don’t get too much sleep in the hospital anyway, so what sleep I do get needs to be good quality sleep.
Grab one or two of your pillows off your bed – you’ll sleep so much better this way.
10. Boppy Pillow
If you’re breastfeeding, then I suggest bringing a Boppy pillow with you as well. A Boppy pillow helps you position your baby properly while nursing and gives your arms a bit of a break. Another reason I like a Boppy is it protects your belly from your toddler’s well-meaning elbows when they want to sit on your lap to see the new baby.
11. Warm Blankets
As I mentioned before, I think hospitals tend to run on the colder side, and unless I want to keep a dozen sheets over the top of me, I need some warmer blankets from home.
I don’t like to bring my nice blankets. I bought a blanket to bring with me, and this Bedsure Sherpa Fleece throw was perfect. The material is warm and soft; it’s really a great throw blanket.
The pads and mesh underwear are great, but I think Depends work even better, especially if you have heavy postpartum bleeding. Bring a few along with you to see if you prefer one over the other and keep some at your house for your postpartum weeks ahead.
13. Cell Phone Charger
You really don’t want to forget your cell phone charger when you pack your hospital bag! You’ll need it a lot for all those FaceTimes, texts, and mindlessly scrolling when your baby doesn’t sleep.
If possible, get a super long cell phone charger – one that is around 6 feet long – because you don’t know where the outlets will be in your hospital room. Make sure your spouse brings a cell phone charger as well.
Grab some snacks to take along with you in your hospital bag. You’ll want some non-perishable snacks like:
- Granola Bars
- Peanut butter crackers
- Dried fruit
- Protein bars and cookies
Make sure you bring cash and change as well. Most hospitals have vending machines that you can get snacks out of and some extra drinks. The hospital provides meals, but I know I felt like I was starving after I had my babies so I wanted food all the time.
Our hospital had boxes of food for women who were hungry outside of meal times – make sure to ask ahead of time.
15. Baby Essentials!
In a separate bag, I put some essentials for the baby. The hospital provides all the wipes and diapers you need, so you only need to bring a long a few things.
Here’s what I always bring.
- Two to three sleepers – these are the easiest at this stage and won’t bother the umbilical cord.
- A coming home outfit
- A muslin blanket for swaddling – I prefer these over the hospital blankets.
Simple! You only spend a short time there, so don’t pack too much!
Trust me; don’t overpack your hospital bag. Grab the essential items and be ready to spend the next day or two cuddling your brand new baby.