HOSPITAL BAG ESSENTIALS
After two babies, I can tell you, unless you are going in for a C-section or think you are at higher risk and may be in for a longer hospital stay, you really don’t need too many things. That being said, many women do want to have many of their comfort items with them at the hospital after such an enduring event.
That is why I have broken this list out for those looking for the bare minimum, and those wanted the greatest comforts from home. I’ll tell you along the way what I learned from my experiences.
Here are some background details that may not fit your scenario. My husband and I live only about 10 minutes away from the hospital so he was able to leave and come back. He showered at home and even grabbed himself some food since my meals were provided by the hospital.
items typically provided by the hospital
I would try and confirm what is provided by your hospital with your doctor or midwife ahead of time, but this is what our hospital provided. I will do a full postpartum care post but many of these items you will want at the hospital too.
- Non-slip socks (I would always bring my own though, I will share details below)
- Mesh underwear
- Baby wipes
- Chux pads
- Hemorrhoid cream
- Stool softener (I also have my own at-home, I will share all in a postpartum care post).
- Nipple cream
FULL COVERAGE UNDERWEAR
These were essential for me when getting dressed to go home. You want something supportive to hold your pad or even the diaper icepack pad (I’ll tell you about that trick in my post partum post). I end up wearing these for the first couple of weeks post partum and love the high-waisted feature of these when you want to feel everything is being held in and supported.
LONG PHONE CHARGER
The first time I gave birth I don’t think I remembered to grab my charger and my phone died. You also want one with length to it since the closest outlet may be a ways away from your bed. It shouldn’t be too far away from you so you can get all of those adorable newborn baby hospital pictures.
Don’t forget your purse! Make sure you have your ID, credit card, insurance card, keys, phone (camera), chapstick, etc. I love this tote with the purse organizer combo from Amazon!
They say you’re not allowed to eat once your admitted to have your baby but, with my second I was so hungry I snuck some trail mix in and had some snacks. You’re about to push a baby out of your body. You will need energy! I think this is in case you have a C-section they want your stomach as empty as possible.
The hospital did provide me (and my husband) a water jug with a straw which was so great, we actually still use it to this day! However, I absolutely recommend bringing your own as well. When labor really started progressing with my first-born I was so thirsty. I can honestly say I have never been so thirsty in my entire life like I was in those couple of hours.
NURSING BRA OR TANK TOP
This was nice to put on so I felt put together but also to make breastfeeding easier. Here are some I’ve tried and loved. I also incorporated this in my going-home outfit.
BABY’S GOING HOME OUTFIT
I have always read to bring a newborn size, and a 0-3m size outfit. Both of my kids were right around 8lbs at birth and they still probably could’ve been in a preemie size outfit. So I only brought a newborn sized outfit for my second baby. But, if you are an over-preparer, bring any and all of the sizes!
MOM’S GOING HOME OUTFIT
I absolutely went for comfort over fashion. A cute pair of sweatpants paired with a nursing top and flyaway cardigan. Here are some great, comfy, cozy going home outfits. I’ve always had my kids in the summer so it’s warm. Obviously dress for the weather in your area!
You HAVE to bring this to the hospital. You can leave it in the car and hubby can grab it before you guys are leaving the hospital so don’t feel like you need to drag it through the hospital while you’re in the middle of contractions! We went with the Britax travel system. The car seat is heavy, but it is a great size and was touted as one of the safest on the market by the sales rep I spoke to at BuyBuyBaby.
SWEATER / SWEATSHIRT
I get really cold after they remove the epidural, so I would highly recommend a sweatshirt or sweater to put on in case you get cold or the chills. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for more blankets!
nice to have
I didn’t bring a nursing pillow when my first was born, and I struggled with breastfeeding. Positioning was difficult in the bed with just pillows, I was in pain, latching was hard, all of it. So I brought a nursing pillow for my second child’s birth and honestly, I already had the hang of it so I didn’t pull it out at the hospital. But I would recommend bringing it if you’re a first time mama and even a second, just in case it makes things a lot more helpful. Especially when your body is really sore.
Your feet can get really cold! I wore the hospital provided non-slip socks while giving birth (you don’t want to ruin your own socks if it’s messy!) and then put mine on when we were settled in after the birth.I love wearing them around the house in the winter too, so definitely can be used outside of the hospital visit!
NURSING GOWN AND ROBE
The hospital will provide you with a hospital gown. This makes it easier for the nurses to check you throughout your stay so I always just wore the one they provided. They also have the robe, which is not soft or warm but it was summer both times I gave birth so having something lighter was nice. I bought a nightgown and a robe that I brought with my first, but I never put it on.
TOWEL AND SHOWER SHOES
With my first child, I gave birth around midnight so I was in the hospital for about 36 hours. I had some minor tearing during birth and was very very sore, so I wanted to shower to ease some of the discomfort. Hospital towels aren’t great but you will still be bleeding after and you may not want to get anything on your own towels. If you are picky about towels, bring your own. And definitely bring shower shoes if you plan to shower. With my second child, I didn’t end up showering at the hospital. I was only in the hospital for 24 hours so I just showered when I got home.
If your hospital has decent wifi, you can bring your computer and watch your favorite shows or movies while you’re hanging out and resting. There will be a lot of downtime, so bring something to occupy the time. Even consider bringing headphones if you want to listen to an audiobook, music, or a podcast and your significant other wants to listen to something else. If you have other kids, use these hours / moments to have a little “me time”.
They can provide you as many blankets as you want but if you have a strong desire to bring your own, go right ahead
Although I have no issues with the hospital pillows, considering how many you will end up using, I could see the benefit of having your own. Blankets and pillows are just bulky and that’s a lot of stuff to carry into the hospital so I never thought it was worth it. But, if you have the space, go for it! I love these pillows.
I’ve been seeing some people that bring candles, or twinkle lights to their births. To each his own, but I have no interest in setting all of that stuff up! My first child came so quickly that I was barely in the intake room before they moved me to the birthing room. Then I was in there for such a miserable, yet short amount of time before my baby came so I had no interest in that. I just had the nurse turn off almost all of the lights which made a calming enough ambiance for me. There are some great little battery string lights and flameless candles you can get!
What are your hospital bag must-haves? Drop in the comments!