I mentioned this hospital bag checklist in my “About Me” story because it’s the topic that pushed me to start a blog. I was frustrated with how ridiculously overpacked my weekender bag was for my hospital stay when I delivered my son. There are a million hospital bag checklists out there telling you what you need to pack but so many of them are way over the top. This spurred me to break down what you really need in your hospital bag. If you’re a pretty laid back person like I am, your hospital bag checklist is going to have the essentials and a couple comfort items. I mean, you’re there to deliver a baby. Yes, you want to be comfortable but baby, rest, and relaxing is the main objective while there.
What you really need in your hospital bag for labor and delivery checklist:
Nursing Bras – you’ll need 1 or 2 nursing bras. I would highly recommend a supportive nursing bra and a nursing sleep bra (which I did not have at the time but live in now). I only wore one nursing bra while at the hospital but you may want a backup just in case. I basically lived in a nursing bra, disposable underwear, and a hospital gown.
Lip Balm – Goodness, don’t forget the chapstick. Hospital air is SO dry. You’ll all need chapstick.
BASIC Toiletries – deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste. Self-explanatory.
Hair Ties – I have long hair so I sleep with my hair up in a hair scrunchie. I pretty much used that the entire time in the hospital. A messy bun is my go to, especially when I haven’t washed my hair in a couple days. Scrunchies are more comfortable than standard hair elastics.
Face Wipes – It’s just nice to be able to easily wash your face when it’s not super easy to move around or shower. This was the case for my husband as well.
Light Makeup – I used under eye concealer, light blush (which I use to set my concealer), and mascara.
Nipple Cream – The hospital might have some for you to use but I brought my own Lansinoh nipple cream and was very glad I did. If nursing is new to you, you’ll need it.
Going Home Outfit – Comfort is key! I gave birth in January in Minnesota so I wore a nursing tank, sweatshirt, and lounge pants home. No one saw me and even if they had I wouldn’t have cared. Just be comfortable. You just gave birth to a baby after all! You deserve comfort.
Lounge Clothes for Husband – Don’t forget your other half when planning what to pack in your hospital bag. Lounge clothes are something we forgot. We had packed pajamas and he wore jeans when I was admitted. Sitting around all day in jeans isn’t fun and it’s just nice to change out of pajamas in the morning. He ran home (luckily we live 5 minutes from our hospital) and got some sweats because it was winter in MN.
Pajamas for Husband – You’ll have people coming in at all hours of the night so even if your partner doesn’t normally wear pajamas, they’ll want some for this.
Slippers for Husband – He’ll probably be doing a lot of running for you so comfortable, easy to slide on, grippy slippers are a must.
Baby Going Home Outfit (2 sizes) – I was told if I went to term I would have easily an 8lb baby. I went to 40+3 weeks and he was 6lbs 11oz. It’s pretty hard to gauge how big your sweet babe will be so it’s wise to pack a newborn and a 0-3 month outfit in your baby hospital bag, just in case. It goes without saying, pack for the season.
Phone + Charger – It’s 2017. Most of us don’t go anywhere without our phone. You’ll be keeping people updated, taking tons of pictures, and using it for quick bursts of entertainment. Don’t forget the charger!
Snacks – Bring something to snack on but don’t go crazy, you’ll want real food. Our hospital birth center had a kitchen nearby with free food for patients and guests (in addition to the patient’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals). We also had Jimmy Johns delivered because all I wanted for 90% of my pregnancy was a cold lunch meat sandwich.
Movies + Player – Some people will say you don’t have time to watch movies. We brought a laptop and a season of FRIENDS on DVD to watch in bed and we did. We really didn’t nap during the day so when we had down time we tried to just relax. I was really glad to have it because hospital TV gets old quick.
An Empty Extra Bag – Seriously, we needed a full extra duffle bag to bring everything home in. The hospital gives you so much stuff. We had 2 wash tubs, 2 packs of diapers, wipes, baby blankets, baby swaddle, and a baby gift pack with books, etc. Plus you can take home all the extra feminine care products you didn’t use include disposable underwear, pads, ice pack pads, tucks wipes, etc.
Items you might want in your baby hospital bag
ID + Insurance Card – They say you need to bring this. I never took it out. Probably pack it, just in case.
Baby Socks – If you don’t pick an outfit with footies attached, make sure you bring socks for those tiny toes.
Baby Nail Clippers and Baby Mittens – Some babies are born with long nails and they can easily scratch themselves. If that’s the case you’ll either need to clip the nails (which the hospital won’t do for you) or you’ll need mittens to cover the sharp nails. We didn’t need these until after we got home from the hospital.
Baby Hat – As I said, it was winter in MN so we needed a warm hat. The hospital actually gave us 2 adorable handknit hats to take home so we didn’t need to pack one.
Warm Baby Blanket – Depending on the weather you might need a warmer blanket than the ones the hospital gives you.
Nursing Pillow – I didn’t bring one and didn’t need one. I am very full busted so I have never used a nursing pillow. They are too large for me so I just use a bed pillow if needed. If you’re planning to use a nursing pillow you may as well bring it to get the hang of positioning with it.
Breast Pump – If you’re planning to pump at any point I would bring your pump along. You won’t need to use it (you’ll use a hospital pump while there and they’ll give you extra pumping supplies!) but they will show you how to use your pump if you’d like some extra instruction.
Things to keep in mind when planning your hospital bag checklist
It’s a hospital, they will have almost everything you need and anything else is just extra. In the end, bring what you think you might need, especially if you live far from your hospital or birth center, but don’t go crazy planning what to pack in your hospital bag.
Now that you know what you really need in your hospital bag for labor and delivery, find out what not to pack in the upcoming blog: “What not to pack in your hospital bag for labor and delivery”
What were something things you packed in your baby hospital bag and couldn’t live without?
Let us know what you really need in your hospital bag for labor and delivery in the comments below!
Until next time,