33 answers

What Should I Pack for the Hospital?

Hi, mamas!

It is getting to be the time where I should be packing my bag for the hospital. In the books that I have been reading and checking on line there are lists that are super long and some that are super short. I don't want to pack so much stuff that I won't actually need, but I also want to be prepared. From your experience, were there things that you didn't pack, but wish you did? Things that you packed that you didn't need at all? I'd love to hear your advice!


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WOW. You all are AMAZING! Thanks for the tips. I will be well-packed and ready to go! Getting very, very excited!!

Featured Answers

Definitely bring the baby book and ink if there is a place for hand/foot prints. My hospital wouldn't provide the ink. Also lots of lotion and lip balm. And warm socks.

The number one thing I recommend that you bring is old, full-coverage underwear and loose-fitting leggings. You'll bleed a lot and the underwear and leggings help hold the pads in place. You'll also feel better being a little more dressed than in the hospital gown, so bring a couple of comfy (long - to cover the thick pads)shirts.

Other than that - I didn't have any down time, so didn't need any books or anything like that. Some food was helpful to have with. Camera and video camera. I liked having my own music for when I as in labor. Clothes for my husband (he stayed the whole time). Going home outfit for me and baby. That's pretty much it. Don't over-pack.

Everyone else had great ideas. I loved having my robe. Also, chapstick and lotion. I got really dry in the hospital.

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A photographer will take your baby's picture during the first day or so. If you want your baby's photo taken in a particular outfit, bring that. I wanted my baby to be photographed in a special outfit on a particular blanket, so I brought them.

Otherwise, I would pack very light. Between feedings, trying to nap, and admiring your newborn, there is not much time to do anything else!

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Congratulations!! Someone recommended to me to buy Tucks medicated pads (witch hazel) to have at home - your hospital will probably provide it while you're there but it wouldn't hurt to have some at home and that way your husband doesn't have to go out and find it in the stores!Good luck!!

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Everyone else had great ideas. I loved having my robe. Also, chapstick and lotion. I got really dry in the hospital.

I think you have gotten fantastic advice so far but I actually have two things I would add to the list. One would be if you have space in your trunk put your breast pump in there. This might sound crazy but a lot of babies do end up spending sometime in the NICU. The hospital has a pump if you are in a situation where you cannot feed but this is also an opportunity for you to break out your own and have the nurse really show you how to operate it. Plus it might give you more freedom as to when/where you can pump. You don't need to bring it in with you just have it in the trunk and if you are in an unfortunate situation you can at least have your husband go get it and start actually using your own. I also would advise picking up a stool softener. Whether you have a C-section or a vaginal delivery you will most likely want one. In the hospital they will provide it for you but getting it in advance could save you a trip to the pharmacy later.
Congrats, and best wishes!

Here's what I'd bring (I've done this twice)
your pillow
a boppy or other nursing pillow
a robe and slippers
toothbrush and toiletries
a clean set of maternity clothes to wear home (you will still need them, but especially if you were laboring in them you'll want something clean!)
food and drinks for you, your husband, and anyone else (I liked having some Gatorade or similar to drink while in labor)
something mindless to read (trashy novel or magazine)
going home outfit for baby (or you can have someone bring it to you after Baby makes an appearance)

That's it! Best of luck with the birth! Don't get anxious if your baby decides to wait until after Christmas - most first pregnancies last until 41 weeks.

Robe - so you can cover up quickly.
Big underwear - if you have a c-section you don't want the elastic resting on your insition.
Baby outfit - I highly recommend buying one of those onesies that have the cuffs that flip over the hands so the baby doesn't scratch herself.
I wore the hospital gowns during the 5 days I was there. I had a c-section and I didn't want to have to worry about the blood from my c-section getting on my nice pjs.
Good luck!

Hi K..
I haven't read through all the other posts, so this may be a repeat...
1. nightgown and loose pj pants
2. nursing tanks and nursing bras
3. slippers/socks
4. BOPPY (I wish I had this in the hospital)
5. Pillows for your husband if he is sleeping over
6. phone charger
7. camera charger
8. birth plan
9. snacks
10. baby book
11. tooth brush and paste

Don't forget to save a newspaper of the day the baby was born. It's great for the baby book. Good luck...this is such an awesome time!

Congrats, so exciting!!!

For me, the staples - boppy pillow, Lansinoh breast cream (in purple tube, can get at Target - this stuff is also awesome for dry hands in winter), GOOD shampoo and conditioner, razor, body wash, hair straightener, bit of makeup, toothbrush/toothpaste, deodorant, etc., good slippers, my OWN comforter for the bed, robe and change of clothes for day 2 (very loose fitting, easy to nurse in and go to the bathroom in because you'll still be bleeding HEAVILY, but I can't handle the hospital gown for more than a day). Chargers for camera and cell phone, magazines (hard to focus on a book really and you'll need to be sleeping when you can anyway, so I like to keep reading light). Cute headband for labor and after. Tiny nail file for the baby - their nails are way too fine and teeny to use nail clippers yet, but they are often long at birth. They sell baby nail files with most safety baby kits. Also encourage you husband to get sushi for you guys for the 2nd night and bring it to the hospital.

For baby - her own cozy blanket, and outfit for going home! Don't forget the bundle me for her carseat and hat too. And hopefully you have an extra head support in her carseat for the first months.

Good luck with everything!!

Definitely bring the baby book and ink if there is a place for hand/foot prints. My hospital wouldn't provide the ink. Also lots of lotion and lip balm. And warm socks.

It seems you've gotten some pretty good advice! I'm pregnant with #5 and one thing I always liked to bring was ultra sound pictures (3 and 4d) to see how much baby looks like them and other baby pictures of my kids (or you and your hubby) it's just fun. :) Also I made signs and brought them. One for the door asking that they don't push the epidural because I wanted a natural birth and one for my baby's bed there saying he was a breastfed baby and NOT to give him and bottles or pacifiers (because they will without asking).

Gift basket for the nurses! I did this with my first and they were all so appreciative. I even filled it with store bought cookies, brownies and muffins…..I wasn’t in the baking mood at 39 weeks. I put a big Thank You sign, “From the (my last name) Family”. This made me feel a little better about being high maintenance, if so meritted.

A take home outfit for baby & an outfit for you. I would bring a maternity dress to leave the hospital with, just in case you have an emergency c-section. My girlfriend gave me that advice & sure enough I had an emergency c-section. I'm so glad I followed her advice because you do not want to have anything rubbing against the stomach. The dress also came in handy for my second childs birth even though I had a v-back. My "Who Ha" was a disaster; I could barely stand to wear underwear let alone a pair of pants. I would also bring a robe, slippers, hairbrush/comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, favorite face & body soap, face cream, deodorant, chap stick (lips can get dry & cracked), ear plugs (hospitals are noisey at night, even when your door is closed) & some snacks (crackers, granola bars, etc.). The pain medication I received after my c-section made me sick to my stomach when I took it on an empty stomach. Check with the hospital & see if they have a DVD player. If they do it's nice to have some movies or music. I brought a book, but I was either to tired or sick to read.

Just an addition to the lists.......My daughter took her laptop, and used it while she was waiting!!! I'd check with the hospital to see if they have wireless. Congrats!!

Bring your favorite shampoo, conditioner and bath soap. I wish you an easy, fabulous delivery, but no matter what, you will be sweaty and your first shower after will be like heaven. Make it a chance to pamper yourself, showers may be hard to come by soon. Good luck and congrats!

Put together a shower bag - get travel sized toiletries of shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, lotion, etc. Stash it all in a travel bag or a ziplock bag for easy and minimal storage in a bag. I also packed a hair dryer and comb/brush.

I did not pack an extra set of clothing. I wore out of the hospital what I wore into the hospital. Sure it was the same outfit as before, but I didn't want to lug in more junk than I had to plus I was going home so I really didn't care what I was wearing. I just wanted to go home. And yes, you'll need to wear maternity clothes home. Do bring a clean pair of underwear though.

You may want to pack a few bottles of water/drinks and some snacks. If you think you're going to get bored (this one makes me laugh...I didn't have time to get bored!) then throw in a few magazines, books, or iPods.

In the hospital I pretty much lived in my hospital gown but packed a lightweight robe because those things can get breezy. I didn't bring a nice robe in case it got ruined.

For the baby, I brought a going-home outfit (including socks, hat, and blanket). If you haven't done so already, install the car seat and/or base so that is one less thing you have to deal with. If you've never installed one...trust me, do it now because doing it in the hospital parking garage can be VERY frustrating! (You will come to learn that assembling infant/baby products can be a major undertaking *laugh*).

And finally, stash an extra duffel bag in the car in case you have stuff from the hospital to take home with you. People may bring gifts, toys, flowers, etc. Also, our child-birth class instructor (who is a nurse at the hospital where we all delivered) told us to go ahead and take diapers, pads, the compression pants, etc.

I read through your responses, and the one thing you might want to bring is your baby book, if you are going to have one. When they take the baby's footprint at the hospital, they'll stamp your page, too. Good luck!

Hi K. You don't have to pack that much. Because you'll be wearing the hospital gowns, most hospital will supply with toothpaste and tooth brush and mouthwash. Bring your own deodorant and clothes you'll be wearing home and clothes for the baby and houseshoes. If you're delivering your baby naturally, than you'll only be in there three days at the most.

The number one thing I recommend that you bring is old, full-coverage underwear and loose-fitting leggings. You'll bleed a lot and the underwear and leggings help hold the pads in place. You'll also feel better being a little more dressed than in the hospital gown, so bring a couple of comfy (long - to cover the thick pads)shirts.

Other than that - I didn't have any down time, so didn't need any books or anything like that. Some food was helpful to have with. Camera and video camera. I liked having my own music for when I as in labor. Clothes for my husband (he stayed the whole time). Going home outfit for me and baby. That's pretty much it. Don't over-pack.

Congratulations! I agree with the others and their lists. I would add video camera, camera, phones and ALL chargers.

Karen gave an excellent list and I recommend everything she listed. I wanted to add this though, check with the hospital to see what items they will supply for your baby. The hospital I delivered at didn't supply any clothing for newborns. I packed around 8 onesies, 2 gowns, a one piece outfit, socks, and her going home outfit. I thought it might be too much but we ending up being in the hospital for 5 days so I was glad I had extra clothing for our daughter.

Congrats and best wishes!

I agree with Karen's list. The only thing I will add is my computer. Good luck!

Well, that is a good question and all the best to you! ...and your baby and family...pack a lose fitting outfit to go home in...You do not lose as much as you think when the baby is delivered and I was embarrassed to ask my husband to bring me different clothes...Bring a few phone numbers of best friends to call and chat unless the hospital charges extra for using their phone or has restrictions on cell phone use...More than anything, I wish that I had started a journal of thoughts..."letters' to my newborn that I could update on each birthday or at special milestone times in each of their lives...My 3 grown kids are awesome but I so wish I had done that from the start! Those first feelings of AWE are fleeting when the sleepless nights start...Hugs & smiles, MOM J

You've already gotten great advise. I like reading this even though I've done it 3 times and pretty much know what I need. A couple things that may have been mentioned, (not sure though), I would get a cozy cover to go over the carrier if you don't already have one. It is so nice for winter days. It is just a cover with 2 zippers and slips over the top of the carseat. You set baby in, cover with a blanket,(not too heavy b/c they are warm) and zip up. It has always kept my baby very warm. I have never used any kind of big coat or snowsuit/bodysuit for baby. Too much hassle and problems. It's easier to not have it. Also, get a head/body suporter for the carseat/carrier. We didn't think to get one of those with my first and I rode the whole way home in the back next to baby (which by the way I ALWAYS do on the way home for the hospital), but with #1 I had to hold her head up because it kept falling forward/to the side.
As far as packing for the hospital... most hospitals will provide what you need for you and baby. When I had #1 I was in labor for 36 hours. On the second morning there (after about 24 hours of labor) my nurse helped me get into a shower. It may sound funny, but I brought a swimsuit for my hubby. It helped him be able to get in the shower with me and things without having to worry about the nurse also coming to help me and things. I would definatly recommend Lansinoh cream if you are nursing, because it is hard and you may get sore in the beginning. After your milk comes in it helps to rub some of that into your nipples and area around to help, but it may be a couple days until your milk comes in if you are breastfeeding. For my first I brought more cloths than I needed for baby. If you are looking to consolidate I would only bring 1 outfit for pictures/coming home, as well as onsie, and socks (although alot of times socks don't stay on baby's feet-if the outfit isn't a sleeper type thing. If it is a sleeper socks will stay on the baby's feet and help keep feet warm inside the sleeper.) And also a hat since it will be winter. With my kids the hopital always provided a shirt for baby. With my first 2 that's pretty much all they were allowed to wear in the hopital except during pictures. the nurses kept taking off the outfir and putting the shirt on, so that's why I say I would only bring 1 outfit for baby. Baby will be swaddled all in the hospital, so it won't really matter. With my first I used the hospital gown the entire time I was there and rested in bed, with my next two I brought pjs. It really helped me be more comfy and encouraged me to get up and walk around.
One last thing that I don't think was mentioned. When you pack your going home cloths (it's already been said they should be maternity srill), but make sure it isn't blue jean type pants. They tend to be tighter and rub more which you really don't want especially if you end up getting stitches "down there" or for c-section. I would recommed sweat type pants, or something loose with a fabric kinda close to sweat pants.

After reading the lists of pads and baby clothes-check with your hospital and see what they have. I didn't need either of those things.

I recommend taking a tour and asking what they provide.

I wanted books and magazines with me, I got tired of watching TV and was bored the first time. (brought books the second and third time).

Another thing to ask about is snacks-you will be quite hungry if you are nursing, are you limited with what you order for meals? I would keep a bagel around for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.

Check if they provide shampoo, etc. I've been to a hospital that does and one that doesn't.

Definitely have maternity clothes to wear home, toiletries, clothes for baby to wear home, but that's about it. The hospital gave us so much stuff (formula, diapers, papers...) we took multiple trips to the car.

Good luck and congrats!

Hi K., Congrats on your new baby!! I didn't read the responses so sorry if this is redundant, but I doubt it will be...bring a rolling pin!! I know that sounds weird, I don't mean to beat your hubby but it helps if, God forbid, you should have back labor. My coach told me & I thought it was weird but I did it anyway and with my first baby I got back labor. It saved me!! God-willing you won't need it but it's good to have if you do.

Good luck!


The item I that I was most happy to have from home was my nice comfy soft robe.

CONGRATS!!! Don't forget the camera,video camera,chargers and batteries!!! For you a set of clothes to go home in,chapstick,brush,shampoo, conditioner, deodarant, toothbrush, toothpaste, an outfit for the baby to come home in,blanket to wrap the baby, numbers that you want your hubby to call, and put the car seat together and in the car. GOOD LUCK and CONGRATS!!
Also find out if the hospital has a dvd player and/or cd player and then you can bring your own.

if its vaginal bring a donut. my hemroids were horrendous.

I would bring everything on Karen's list. Bring the boppy even if you plan to formula feed. Your tummy is sore and these are great to rest the baby on while feeding bottles or boob. I would bring your own pads (the hospital has some, but I am kinda particular) and several pairs of clean underwear to change when you have some accidents. Definitely all your cameras/phones chargers. A list of people/numbers for dad to call when the baby makes its grand entrance. The carseat with the base already strapped in the car. I had magazines and we also played scrabble to pass the time while I was in labor. A pillow/blanket for hubbie if you want him to spend the night. Your insurance cards/info....don't forget to pre-certify if your insurance requires it! Good luck!

The only things I would add is slippers (I found these very useful) and some light makeup. You will probably have lots of visitors and be in lots of pictures. I didn't care so much in the beginning but by the third day I was feeling a little drab and wished I would have at least had some blush and lipstick. Good luck to you!!

One piece of advice that I got and ended up needing was to bring a piece of maternity clothing you can wear home that has a very high or no waistband (like a dress) just in case you end up needing a c-section. It turns out the incision is in the exact spot that the seam of your standard maternity pants hits you: uncomfortable!

Also, I bought some Always super crazy absorbent pads and am glad I brought those with me. Obviously the hospital provides you with whatever you need, but the Always ones are less bulky and have wings which is super nice. Also bring pairs of underwear you can bear to part with ;-)


I wish I would have brought a robe. Everything else I bought with me.

Slippers, super important if you want to walk around.
books, magazines
snacks, after I gave birth I was so hungry
nursing bra and pads and soothie gel pads(only if you are nursing)
A pad of paper, for questions and directions, also if you are nursing you want to write down the times of nursing
and baby book(if you ask they will ink your babys footprints in the book)
little bottle of shampoo, lotion, etc.
Bring stuff for hubby to do. Books, games, money for vending machine.
I also brought a piece of paper with numbers of family/friends to call, just in case my cell phone reception was bad.

1 outfit(for picture and to bring home in)
nail clippers, yup you will need to trim them.
car seat
pacifer, only if you want.

The hospital is great at providing almost everything you need. I am glad I didn't bring my nightgown. I bled a lot after I delievered and it got all over the hosiptal gown. So I was happy I didn't have to wash that.

Good luck.

Ok, here's what I had (and it worked: I also only stayed 24 hours as I would rather be at home. I also had a short list of birth requests: Low lights, no epidural (just/haha remember to breathe a LOT), and baby by my side or my husbands--no "whisking" out of the room.)

1st off: a snack for immediate post birth!! fruit, juice, cliff bar. You'll need it. I ate 3 meals/dinner-size that day!

2 nightgowns (glad no pants to pull up--also wore: stretchy skirt over my head, hub's boxers, cloth diaper, big shirt, slip on shoes)
underwear that can hold a HUGE pad
shirts I could nurse with
nursing bra
nursing drip pads
stretchy pullon pants or skirt
slip on shoes
soft socks
bathroom stuff

2 baby outfits, blankets, hat
And your husband will love you if you pack for him! I did and he was grateful since he got all messed up in the birth too--
boxers, pants, shirt, socks, whatever for sleeping, toothbrush etc.

phone & chargers
best to you!!

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