What’s in my Hospital Bag

I don’t think I wrote my hospital bag last time around, which is probably because I just threw things into a suitcase and hoped what I took was what I needed. Honestly, I don’t even remember what was in there because I took so much stuff. I think I looked at every list out there and added every item to it. Then, of course, I only used about 10% of what I took, and my poor husband had to lug everything in and out of the hospital (if I recall, it took him at least two trips, because we took so much stuff). I should also mention that last time we were stuck there for 72+ hours, because it was a military base and they did not have their act together, but that’s another story for a different day.

This time around, I’m basically starting from scratch, and I’m going with a less-is-more approach. In one, carry-on sized suitcase, this is what I’m taking:

For Mama

+ Toiletries in one bag. (I basically raided the travel-sized section at Target)
shampoo and conditioner, loofa, body wash, face wash, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste
+ Nursing tanks x2. Bringing two, since spit up and blowouts are a drag and I want a backup just in case I need an extra. I basically lived in these the last time. (These tanks from H&M are my favorite)
+ Long sleeve sweater and cardigan. To cover up, and in case it’s chilly.
+ Comfy pants x2. A pair of gauchos and maternity yoga pants since I still looked/felt 6 months pregnant when I left. (Yoga pants and gauchos from Old Navy—I can vouch for the pants, but the link to the gauchos are new; the ones I have are from two years ago)
+ Nursing sleep bras x2. One to possibly wear in the pool for laboring and another clean/dry one. (These from Target are comfy),
+ Yoga shorts. For the pool. (Also from Old Navy)
+ Flip flops
+ non-skid socks. To keep my feet warm, and so I don’t slip if I’m holding the wee little one
+ Small bag inside suitcase with “extras”: Hair brush, chap stick, mints (because sometimes you forget to brush your teeth—lesson learned from last time), nipple cream (I know they’ll probably have some, but this is my favorite, so I’m taking it with me), extra hair ties, anti-bacterial sanitizer, face wipes…to wipe off the sweat—labor can be like running a marathon, folks!
+ In the front pocket: Birth plan, family contact info, my favorite water bottle, cell phone, a book/kindle…just in case there’s downtime (one can hope).

For Papa:

+ electronic stuff. Laptop, phones, cords, etc.
+ set of clothes. In case he comes from base and needs to change out of his uniform
+ Father to Bee hat. Because, tradition
+ Toiletries. Toothbrush, (he’ll use my toothpaste), and deodorant
+ Some loose change. The hospital has on-call room service, but sometimes you just need a Snicker’s bar.

For the New Baby:

+ Coming home outfit. The same one I wore home, and the same one Julia wore home
+ Two onesies. Not really necessary, but I can’t resist teeny weensy little clothes. I’m taking a cute little number that says “Love Bug” on it, and another that says “Little Sister.”
+ Cute accessories: An adorable headband (that I still need to buy ASAP), and an itty bitty hat for the hospital photos
+ Car seat. Stays in the car, actually, but I’ll put it on the list
+ blanket. Will also stay in the car for the ride home

And that’s basically it. It’s a vast difference between the first time around, and I feel good about it. I’m skipping the ginormous Boppy and I’m not bringing any “care” items for myself; the hospital will have all I need until I get home (yup, huge mesh undies and all). I’m skipping the makeup (I don’t put it on normally, so why apply it during one of the most exhausting days of my life?), and I see no need for a robe or night gown. The only thing I’m undecided on taking is a yoga/exercise ball. I hated using it when I was in labor with Julia, but I’m wondering if I’ll want to use it if I take a shower while laboring. I may throw it in the car just in case.

Am I missing anything really essential?


  1. I also packed shower shoes because we didn't plan for a private room. We delivered in a German hospital so what's provided is a bit different from in the US. Overall, it sounds like you've got this down to a science! Oh, and those H&M nursing tanks? My favorites, too. Small Shaw is almost 11 months now, and I still sleep in those tanks several times each week. Sending you good wishes for a smooth delivery!

    1. my flip flops will hopefully double as shower shoes! I most definitely used those nursing tanks the entire time I nursed Julia—they're awesome!

  2. I loved the exercise ball in early labour but not as things progressed. I did bring it to the hospital though and they put it on the bed and I leaned over it which I enjoyed for awhile. Also if you didn't use depends post partum last time you must this time! They are so much easier than the mesh undies!

  3. Also prenatal vitamins, Lansinoh cream, witch hazel, depends, & that spray that helps with stitches. They penny pinch the heck out of you. I didn't realize it with my daughter, but with my son they scan everything in front of you and make it more obvious.

    1. I'm taking my favorite nipple cream (mentioned above) and will use their mesh painties and pads there—I have witch hazel, depends, and all that jazz for when I get home!

  4. Great list! We overtook with the first child (don't remember what either but just that I barely touched it). I took a similar amount of stuff to your list here with our second last fall and, again, barely touched it! Labor was SO fast this time that the OB joked if we hadn't left home when we did, we would have had a home birth. So, the mini iPad I packed for reading? Never touched it at all. No time during L&D and no interest after she was born. I did use my iPhone and DSLR some after she arrived. Also, my husband packed nothing. LOL He later went home for a shower, change of clothes and brought back his toothbrush, I think? Who knows. I was focused on me & the little. The hospital staff was impressed we came and left with just a small carry-on. Clearly not first time parents. 😉 So excited for you that you're close to meeting your new little one!

  5. LOL, you're less is more approach is still more than I took for my 2nd. With my son, I brought SO much stuff, the second time around, I brought a toiletry bag and change of clothes. It all fit in my purse! One outfit for the baby and that was that.

  6. I'll have to remember your list for my turn. I know I brought a buttload for my last birth and used basically nothing. This time the birth center doesn't provide as much stuff, so I better make sure I pack things!

  7. I never got to pack a bag. My son came two months early so I wasn't at all ready for him. Next time though if I make it to term I have all kinds of things planned to pack.

  8. With my second child I took way less than the first, and since I am pretty positive I will only be there 24 hrs again, I love that second + births, with no complications get to leave asap (from birth of baby to release) I am taking even less, like, should fit in a large purse, lol! My two must haves that I did not see listed, extra hair ties(since I always "misplace" them and warm socks, but living here in MT, with Feb due date, great warm socks or slippers and robe are my main must haves! And you are on your game! This third baby, I am so laid back and slack! I have not even thought of packing my bag yet! Now, off to check out these h&m tanks!

    1. Yup, both of those are on the list already — glad I got the essentials on there 🙂 I'm curious how this birth will go since the last time I was induced AND had to stay close to 80 hours (it was a stupid misunderstanding and will not be happening this time).

  9. Looks great, so well organized! How long is the stay usually? I was there less than 12 hours so I needed basically nothing but an outfit to get home, other than when I had to go straight to the hospital where they took my daughter for her, I used less than 1/3 of what I had packed so I like that you're travelling smart (and light!)

  10. Your list sounds pretty darn similar to what I took when Millie was born. Though I may have added a few things last minute, because I hadn't finished packing when I went into labor. At 39 weeks. LOL

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