Packing the Hospital Bag: When and What?

Updated on August 09, 2010
E.B. asks from Miami, FL
16 answers

What should you pack in your hospital bag when you deliver? I will be c-section so i'll be there for 3 nights. And how soon? Both my boys were 3 and half weeks early. Possibly expecting this one to be early too and each time i always forget something. I'm 30 weeks so i want to be prepared!

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answers from Tampa on

Sounds like everyone has given you a list of things to pack - my only advice would be to pack sooner rather than later. Both my children were vaginal births but were early as my water broke in the night. The first we hadn't even packed yet so were doing that before leaving - LOL! The second I packed earlier and still had a a few things I wish I had thought of.
Anyway, I know you are having a C-Section. I would pack early anyway. I had a friend of a friend who was scheduled for a c-section and ended up having a VBAC as her baby came 2 weeks early and was almost born in the car on the way to the hospital. There was no time for anything! They were all fine, so not telling you this to worry you. I just think the earlier you pack the more likely you will be ready for whatever comes at you ! Best of Luck!



answers from Austin on

take 2 outfits for baby... one newborn size and one 0-3 month size! I only took newborn outfits, and had a big baby. she didn't fit! :( I had to take her home in the t-shirt the hospital gave us.

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answers from Austin on

I would bring my own blanket. Also some slippers that you can slip on easily. Magazines. A book. Snacks. Good underwear and pads. Cell phone.
I can't think of anything else except clothes. I found that I didn't want for anything while I was there. I didn't bf, though, so maybe there are things that you need for that.

Added: When you are there for three days, the baby is asleep more than not, your husband is at work and there aren't any visitors......yes, I had time to read. You know, I think it was the last "free time" I've had for almost 4 years!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I didn't know I was going to have a c-section with my 1st and brought a bag of stuff to the birth center I started out at. When you birth there, you only stay 4-10 hours afterwards and then head home, so I didn't have a ton of stuff. I ended up having my parents bring stuff from home every time they came to visit me. Here's what I found helpful:

Pillows! I was so uncomfortable with the hospital issued pillows. And maybe a favorite blanket if you get cold.
Breastfeeding pillow. If you're planning to breastfeed, a huge help.
My hair got all tangled up from being in the bed for a while with all the sliding up and down, and I didn't bring a good (or enough) conditioner to work that out when I finally got up to shower. So obviously your fave toiletries are good.
Clothes. After the first day, you can easily wear your own stuff, so might as well bring comfy nursing pajamas to wear.

Also, just a thought, but if you know you are having a c-section, won't they give you a date? That would obviously make it easier to be prepared. :-) Hope it all goes well.



answers from Springfield on

Our hospital website has a list of everything the hospital provides as well as a list of suggestions for to bring. You might see if your hospital has something on their website.



answers from Mayaguez on

Check with the hospital to find out what they provide. If you have a favorite pillow, bring it and a warm blanket. It gets quite cold in hospitals. Then make a list by following what you normally do every morning: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, moisturizer, hairbrush, lipstick,etc. You'll also need a robe, slippers of flats. And whatever you forgot the last time! Good luck and God bless



answers from Melbourne on


Not sure about the bag, had a c-section the first time; husband forgot the bag the second time. (SMILES)

A pair of slippers; something simpler for you hair; a comfortable easy to manage outfit to come home in; your camera and batteries; depending on how long you will be in there - your charger for your cell phone; a journal for you to write down somethings to remember.

Hope that helps. I remember packing a bag for the first one, not even sure if I used anything in it.



answers from New York on

what I did was go through my daily routine. What I used to get ready for the day. Or pack as if you were going on vacation. Also make sure that you have slippers or slippersocks, pads, snacks, going home outfit for baby, and a lightweight robe. If you would like pack pictures of your boys to have with you when they are not there to visit you. Congrats!



answers from Portland on

The one thing I forgot both times...chapstick! My lips got horribly chapped.



answers from Phoenix on

The things I was super-glad to have thought of were:
1. A baggie of dried apricots (or prunes) to get things moving after delivery.
2. A travel kit of shampoo, conditioner, facial wash, face lotion, etc. so I didn't have to remember to pack that stuff and could use it while there and then toss it.
3. Pre-moistened, no rinse facial wipes for quick face washes before visitors/photos.
4. Long socks and mule-style slippers.
5. Phone and camera charger.
You can never be packed too early, in my opinion. I would pack now, so you have time to go over your packing, rething some items, remember to add others and not have to rush doing it.


answers from Williamsport on

Things I wished I had all three times were: WATER-the nurses were not on top of bringing me water all the time, and to be fair, I needed tons to drink. PRUNE JUICE!!! It's so important to not get constipated in recovery, but there you are, with starchy hospital meals, hardly any water and no big salads!!!! Get a big bottle of prune juice and put it in your bag. And CAMERA! Congrats!


answers from Los Angeles on

Well when I actually went in to deliver, all I had was my phone, my makeup case, a change of outfit for the baby and a camera. LOL. I didn't know I was actually going to deliver right then, so just threw stuff in a bag. The stuff my boyfriend had to bring me later that day was:
Travel essentials (shampoo, soap, brush, toothbrush, body wash, etc)
Phone charger
An outfit to go home in (for me)
Pajamas (for the stay in the hosp)
Tote bag for all the hospital free-bee's (they gave us a ton of diapers, formula, blankets, etc).
That was pretty much it. The hospital I stayed in gave me plenty of snacks, water, ice, socks and so on. My biggest complaint was the stupid soap and stuff they give doesnt get you clean, so I was happy when my boyfriend showed up with my travel bag! Good Luck! Have a happy and safe delivery!



answers from Miami on

Check the website of the hospital you plan to deliver. If they don't have a list, call the maternity department and ask for one - you should have gotten one during your maternity tour. I'm planning on delivering at Broward General Medical Center in the next 2 weeks. Here is what their website says - keep in mind that it is VERY different than the list I was given for Memorial West, 4 years ago....

What to bring to the hospital
Plan ahead: Have all items available and packed four to six weeks before due date.
(Expect a two to three day hospital stay, depending on whether you have a vaginal birth or a Cesarean birth)

•For the mother and her coach
◦Lip balm
◦Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash
◦Mother’s eyeglasses (case for contact lenses)
◦Warm socks
◦Rubber band/barrette for long hair
◦Pad and pencil
◦Music (soothing tapes)
◦Focal point (photograph, stuffed animal, etc.)
◦Diversions for mother and coach: cards, light reading material, games, videotapes
◦Lotion, massage oil, baby powder for massage
◦Notes from childbirth class / birth plan
◦List of phone numbers (physicians, relatives and friends)
◦Light snack for coach
◦Any other items which might make you feel comfortable and at home in the hospital
◦Two to three nightgowns (front-opening if breastfeeding)
◦Two to three nursing bras
◦Three to four pairs of underwear
◦Loose-fitting outfit to wear home
◦Stationery/thank you notes
•For the baby
◦Infant outfit to go home in
◦Car seat properly secured in back seat of car (rear-facing)
◦Light blanket for cool weather



answers from Kansas City on

First off I'd like to say that I'm super impressed that Christina had the time to read magazines and books! Wow. Those didn't make the cut on my list! ;) Have you had a c-section before? If not, there are some the doctor will clean you out before sewing you up and you will have very little bleeding. So, you should bring some regular sized pads from home. I only used the gigantic hopsital pads for 1-2 days (and I only bled for about 4 -5 days total...awesome!). I would bring a nightie or sweats and a robe. Maternity clothes can be hard to wear post surgery b/c they can dig into your incision, so bring super comfy, drawstring pants. Prunes or bran muffins are a good idea. My hospital offered prunes in the 'daddy room' so my husband brought them to me a lot (he also filled my water all the time b/c nurses can get busy!)! I'm not sure if it's the same with vaginal delivery, I've only had c sections, but (and this is a little TMI probably) but the post surgery bowel movement is maybe the worst experience of your life. It will take about 4 days for things to happen again and it's pretty awful, not to mention that when you try and push your incision hurts like the dickens! You can take a pillow into the bathroom with you and use that to push against your abdomen to relieve some of the pain. Cell phone charger, camera charger, camera, clothes for the baby to come home, snacks for your husband, and definitely some small size shampoos etc. You will be able to shower after they take your cath out the following day. It was nice for me to shower and put on some fresh clothes!

Congrats and good luck!



answers from Oklahoma City on

Toothbrush, toothpaste, comb/brush, outfit for baby, camera.
The hospital has tons of stuff they give you to take home, so the less you bring yourself the easier on trying to get everything home plus the baby.



answers from Tampa on

i just read a really good article on this on just type "hospital bag" in the search box. they even had a link specific to c-sections. good luck and congrats!! :)

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