What I pack in my hospital bag in preparation for a hospital birth. Everything I need for mom, dad, baby and more. Plus, some packing tips + tricks I’ve learned from my 3 previous hospital births!

It’s almost time for baby! I’ve got my bag all packed and ready for the hospital!

This is my 4th baby. By the 4th time I’m a pro at knowing what I need (and what I don’t need to bring) to the hospital. And also know that sometimes your water can break 8 weeks early before you’ve even bought ONE THING for the baby, let alone pack a bag, and it’s all just fine too. Haha!

Here are my best tips and what I pack in my hospital bag for delivering a baby at the hospital.

First, A Few Tips

  • I like to have my bag packed 6 or 7 weeks before I give birth. I feel much calmer having most things crossed off my to-do list. I’ll never regret being prepared early! Plus, less for me to do once I’m really pregnant and just want to relax, haha!
  • Most things you can have packed far in advance. Like clothes, phone chargers, non-perishable snacks. But some things you’ll be grabbing day of. Like makeup, iPad, toothbrush, etc. I like to have a list of “grab day of” things on the Notes app of my phone. When I start early labor, I get those things together so the bag is ready to go.
  • I like using 1 big suitcase. I have a basic suitcase from Costco that I love. (the big kind on rollers that’s too big to fit as a carry-on) It’s mostly empty when I bring it. But they send you home from the hospital with tons of stuff, and I don’t want to be stressing about getting it all to fit when it’s time to go home. Plus, just 1 suitcase is much easier to keep track of when changing rooms, and for Shawn to be carrying in from the car, etc.
  • To keep it somewhat organized inside the suitcase, I am obsessed with packing cubes! They’re mesh bags where you can keep “like” things together. I use these to keep all our items separate and easy to locate. I have these ones in small, medium and large. Can’t recommend enough!

What’s In My Hospital Bag

For Mama

  • Nursing bra
  • Some cute postpartum jammies to feel cute + fresh in the hospital
  • 1 pair of maternity leggings
  • 2 pairs of socks, the shoes I wore to the hospital is what I’ll wear home
  • I don’t bring clean underwear because I love the mesh hospital ones they give me for free at the hospital. And that’s pretty much all I wear as underwear for 2-3 weeks after giving birth, haha! No need to ruin my underwear!
  • 2 comfy long sleeve tops
  • 2 comfy short sleeve tops
  • My makeup bag
  • A chapstick
  • my Seed synbiotic (code TASTESLOVELY for 15% off) to help with those post birth poops, if you know, you know
  • Toiletries
    • for me that’s my:
  • Even though a lot of people love to have shower shoes/flip flops, I actually don’t (NOBODY PANIC!). If you’re someone who does, pack cheap flip flops. I’m also fine using the hospital towels, even though they’re small. I like traveling light!
  • My water bottle
    • they have a pitcher they give you at the hospital, but I prefer my own
  • Boppy nursing pillow with this waterproof cover
  • I don’t pack a pump or nursing pads. The hospital has a pump I can use if needed, and little cups and syringes if you want to do hand expression and save the colostrum for baby. My milk doesn’t come in strong enough for nursing pads until day 3, and we’re usually home by then. If not, the hospital has nursing pads for you too. Again, love traveling light!

For Dada

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • A hat
  • A button front flannel (or zip open sweatshirt) to stay warm AND that he can wear when doing skin to skin with the baby
  • Toiletries
    • he uses a lot of the toiletries that I listed above for Mama, but additionally likes to have his shampoo and hair gel. I don’t pack him a razor or shaving cream, he’s fine going a day or 2 without shaving his face
  • His water bottle

For Baby

  • A going home outfit
    • for me, that’s a basic white long sleeve onesie in both Newborn Size and 0-3 month size and some plain pants, I’m clearly not fancy with clothes at all, haha!
  • a swaddle
  • 2 swaddle blankets
    • I love these ones, I find the hospital ones are kinda itchy and not so cute, much prefer my baby in plain white
  • a cute hat, to keep him warm AND to look cute for a picture
    • got this one for baby Luke in the the color Blue Moon, and this one for newest baby in the color Blue Moon with no name on it.
  • a cute wooden name placard for a picture and a sharpie to write birth stats
  • 1 binkie, just in case
    • my babies always love binkies. Josh loved these ones. Ryan loved these ones. Luke loved these ones. I’m trying these ones with the newest baby. I like that each boy has had their own kind, too cute! If I can, I try and wait a few days before giving a binkie to avoid nipple confusion, but also fine doing the binkie right away. Whatever feels best in the moment for baby and mama is fine with me!
  • little nail clippers or nail file
    • my babies always come out with long nails, and I love giving them a little trim so they don’t scratch themself. Again, not necessary, just something I love to do!
  • newborn car seat
    • which we leave in the car until it’s time to come home. We don’t worry about a stroller, Shawn is fine carrying the car seat to the car
  • I don’t pack any diapers or wipes, the hospital gives me those

For Snacks + Food

I love having healthy food ready to snack on, especially important for Shawn who I want fed and alert and ready to help (and not leaving the room to get himself food at critical moments, haha!) Pack whatever foods you love. A few ideas:

  • meat sticks
  • protein bar
  • mixed nuts
  • dried or freeze dried fruit
  • applesauce pouches
  • crackers
  • rice cakes
  • popcorn
  • apples or oranges you grab the day of as you’re headed to the hospital
  • Electrolyte powder to add to water for extra hydration (code TASTESLOVELY15 for 15% off sitewide)
  • I’m also packing my protein blender bottle and my favorite protein powder (code TASTESLOVELY15 for 15% off sitewide) so I can for sure have a nourishing breakfast. Shawn will just get me some milk while he’s getting his coffee. Not the biggest fan of hospital breakfast.

For Electronics/Entertainment

Usually we have lots of downtime between getting the epidural and when it’s time to push. Nice to have a few things we can use for entertainment, and help the time go by faster until we get to meet our newest baby!

  • our iPhones
  • an iPad loaded with some downloaded movies from Netflix since wi-fi can be spotty at the hospital
  • chargers for both our phones and the iPad
  • my wireless charger (in case I don’t want my phone to have to be plugged in to the wall to charge. It also has a charger for my kindle!)
  • my kindle
  • a book and some magazines for him to read

Last, Some Tips on What To Bring Home

One of the main reasons I love bringing such a big suitcase is so I can bring the free hospital goodies home. Here are my favorites to stock up on.

  • Get SO MANY of the mesh hospital underwear. They’re my fav. The nurses always give me like 20 pairs.
  • Get lots of the pads and chucks from the hospital too for postpartum bleeding. The nurses always load me up with tons too. If I run out of hospital ones, these ones are great. I prefer pads and hospital mesh underwear over an adult diaper, so it’s really easy to change out the pad when needed. With adult diapers you have to take your pants off and it’s an extra hassle I love skipping. But do what works best for you!
  • I get as many of those ice packs the hospital has as possible. The best for cooling and reducing swelling. I just shove them in my pants over my underwear. Another reason I love bringing maternity leggings so much, they help hold the ice packs in place.
  • I use that squirt bottle the nurses give me to “clean myself” after going pee without wiping the sensitive area, and to help with any stinging while peeing (squirt warm water at the same time you’re peeing and it helps a ton!). I do this for a good 2 or 3 weeks after giving birth. I bring this home. This one is also great since it’s angled!
  • I’ve never needed a ton of the dermoplast (numbing bottom spray), but the nurses usually give me a bottle to take home. I might use it for a day or 2. Depends on the birthing experience.
  • I usually head home with a pack of diapers and wipes for the baby that the hospital gives us. I’m never one to turn away free diapers!
  • Make sure you get any medications prescribed by your doctor. I try and not take any pain medication if I can avoid it. Mostly because it can cause constipation, and that first after birth poop is horrific enough. Also, I start taking my Seed probiotics (code TASTESLOVELY for 15% off) RIGHT AWAY to make the first after birth poop as effortless and painless as possible, haha!
  • If you have older toddler kids, listen up! I like to order and wrap up presents from the “new baby” to the older sibling(s). They get their new present right after meeting the new baby. We’ve done this every time we bring home a new brother from the hospital and it starts off introducing a new baby in the BEST WAY! Starting off that the new baby is bringing him presents and making brother’s lives better! Plus, it’s fun for them to have something new to play with while you’re adjusting to life with a newborn. Do all this way in advance and have the wrapped present hidden somewhere at home that they’ll open the day you come home from the hospital. This is a list of my favorite toys for kids if you need some inspiration!

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