As someone who is pretty Type A and always wants to be overly prepared for any situation, I was OBSESSED with researching what to pack in my hospital bag. I watched countless YouTube videos and read a ton of blog posts and articles to get my ideas.
My daughter arrived seven weeks early, so while my bag was mostly packed I definitely didn’t have every single thing on my list ready to go. We also went into the hospital for monitoring “just in case” the night before she was born and neither my doctor or I actually thought I was in labor so we didn’t even bring everything with us – just the basics.
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Anyway, if you’re anxious about what to pack like I was I do want to reassure you that pretty much ANYTHING you could actually need will be available to you at the hospital or you can send a partner or family member out to grab something you forgot. I treated my preparations like I was going to be stranded on a desert island and that just isn’t even close to how this goes.
With that said, there are definitely things I recommend packing to make life easier and more comfortable during your stay. I also HIGHLY recommend packing your bag and having it completely ready to go early… learn from my mistake!
I know you’re here for the list of what I actually brought and used to the hospital. Specific items are linked where available:
What I Packed (AND ACTUALLY USED) in My Hospital Bag: Packing List for Mom and Baby
- Sandals for shower
- Underwear you don’t mind ruining. I sized up in these and went with the all-black.
- Night Gown with buttons. I highly recommend the buttons if you plan to nurse or pump. I felt more comfortable in a nightgown at first when I was being checked regularly by nurses. Option 1. Option 2. Option 3.
- Pajamas with button top if nursing or pumping. Toward the end of my stay, I switched to a pajama set and wore these (my absolute favorite PJs ever)!
- Going home outfit for you – I wore leggings and a sweater. You’ll still need to wear items that fit your body during pregnancy. I read you should bring what you wore at 6 months pregnant and did that. I personally just sized up in regular leggings didn’t wear maternity ones but Torrid does sell a maternity option. I just went with these instead.
- Shoes that will fit when extremely swollen! Toward the end of my pregnancy, my shoes didn’t fit. I ordered these in a size up. I love that the top portion has a good stretch which allowed them to fit no matter how swollen I was on a given day. I also loved that they’re available in both wide and extra wide width to accommodate my needs.
- Robe. I didn’t love the robe I actually brought but this one or this one would be a good option.
Self Care Items
- Toiletries including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion (it’s super dry in the hospital)
- Dry shampoo – trust me, it’ll feel GREAT to be able to use this during that time when you’re feeling gross and can’t yet shower.
- Makeup – obviously not necessary but sometimes when I FEEL like crap it makes me feel better to look nice.
- Chapstick or lip balm
- Ponytail holders
- Water bottle – the hospital provided one but I preferred to have my own as I was drinking water nonstop to support milk supply!
- Snacks – our hospital provided a cart in our room stocked with drinks and snacks but it was nice to have our own faves too!
- Pillow with non-white pillowcase (for you and partner)
- Any medications
- Phone charger with a long cord
- Entertainment (books, magazines, iPad) – I didn’t really use these but I imagine if I were in labor for a long time I would have liked having options to distract me.
- Nursing pillow – I used this one. I recommend buying the twin version since it’s bigger even if you’re having one baby.
- Breast pump if you have one. The hospital has pumps you can use (and I did) but I did like having the lactation consultant show me how to use mine too!
- Nursing or pumping bras. I can’t recommend this pumping bra enough. My lactation consultant recommended it and it has been a lifesaver. I also use this less expensive version which is almost exactly the same – it’s just missing the extra piece of fabric in the center. I additionally brought this nursing bra and this nursing bra with me. I still use both.
- Birth Plan
- Pediatrician Info
- Insurance Info
- Car seat – we have this one.
- Car seat cover – I love this one for wintertime!
- Coming home outfits (multiple sizes – I had a preemie and newborn option but if your baby is bigger you might need newborn and 0-3 months)
- Any additional outfits – our hospital did provide clothes if needed.
- Any photo “props” you want for baby pictures
- You DON’T need diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, etc. They’ll give you this. If you have your own preferred brands you can bring those. I personally liked trying what the hospital offered.
Note: many checklists like these recommend bringing postpartum recovery items like pads, sprays, etc. I actually just used what the hospital provided, and was very happy with my options aside from the mesh underwear – they did fit but I didn’t find them comfortable at all. I was glad I had my own.
For More Info
For more info on what to pack for the hospital click here for a post by Jen McClellan of Plus Size Birth. Be sure to browse the rest of the site too… my go-to for plus size pregnancy!
I am not a medical professional and am only sharing products I chose to use. Please do your research and speak to your doctor if you have any questions about specific products or what you need at your hospital as it can vary.