What Do You Really NEED in the Hospital Bag for Birth for Mama and Baby?

Updated on March 20, 2013
A.E. asks from Waukee, IA
23 answers

I was going to start to think about packing the bag, last time I only remember using my robe, my slippers and undies, toothbrush and toothpaste.

Also what are some after birth supplies that I should get and have around..

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answers from Chicago on

Hair brush, and if you have long hair, hair ties
Cell phone & charger
Going home outfit for you and baby

After birth to have at home - Maxi pads

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't think any hospital will let you leave without a car seat.
Weather appropriate clothing for the baby (hat if under a certain temp, etc.)
SNACKS for you. My hospital food was in edible!
Basic toiletries for you, clothes for you upon discharge.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Tulsa on

I had a bunch of stuff in my bag. The only things I used: Change of clothes, underwear, pads, hair brush, toothbrush/paste, deodorant, cell phone/charger, camera, and outfit for the baby. Car seat was in the car. Everything else the hospital had. Between people coming in to visit and the nurses and doctors, I didn't have much down time and if I did, I slept.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I brought my boppy pillow for nursing and a small fan (to drown out noise at night).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

If you are on any prescription meds, take them with you in their original container. I had just pulled the pills out and packed them in a generic holder, and they wouldn't let me take them, had to order them from their pharmacy. ( I take meds for thyroid and blood pressure) This costs several $ per pill and although it didn't add up to much after being there only 2 nights, it was the principle of the whole thing.
All the other suggestions below are good. The hospital does provide you with lots of things, but if you have your favorites, I would pack them.



answers from Miami on

I way over packed the first time! I had a huge suitcase with 3 days worth of clothing for me, the baby and my husband. I brought my blow dryer, all of my makeup, books, magazines, food... literally packed for a weekend vacation.

Second time around:
- Robe and warm socks
- Going home outfit for me and the baby
- One set of jammies for me (just in case I felt like getting dressed)
- Clean shirt for my husband for after delivery
- mini toiletries and only my make up "essentials"
- Kindle with charger (preloaded with books and magazines)
- Cell with charger
- Camera with charger
- Pocketed folder (lots of paperwork after birth)

**My husband stayed at home with our son for those three days so he could bring things, if needed. The only thing he needed to bring was the checkbook! Our hospital offered a reduced copay option if you paid the balance before leaving.

At home I had:
- pads
- Motrin
- Stool softeners (seriously recommended by my OBGYN)

Stole from the hospital (with permission from the nurses)
- box of mesh undies
- bag of pads
- diapers
- wipes
- formula
- breast pump accessories



answers from Los Angeles on

You really don't need much. If you want a robe, bring one. I was happy to just wear a second hospital gown, open in the front, over the regular one. I had a c-section both times, so I didn't want to wear pants with a waistband that would sit right on the incision. I didn't even need underwear - I just wore those weird gauzy ones they give you.

Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush. If you really like your shampoo or conditioner, bring those. I stayed 4 nights, so I did wash my hair while I was there.

A book to read, phone charger, camera + charger, laptop if you want one. I think that's about it. For the baby, I just brought their going home outfits.



answers from Seattle on

I packed EVERYTHING recommended on my take-to-hospital list. By pass it all really! I wore my sports bra, socks, and chapstick most the time. My hospital even gave me underwear to wear after birth. Bring a camera, laptop, book..its boring!! Carseat, clothes for baby...duh. See what the hospital provides. I received, diapers, lanolin cream for nipples, sprays, tucks pads..just about everything lol


answers from Grand Forks on

I didn't need too much for the hospital, they supplied everything (diapers, pads, underwear, hospital gowns for mom and baby, hats for baby). We just needed clothes to go home in and a few toiletries. Also a few snacks to keep in the mini-fridge.



answers from Chicago on

Hair bands, socks (I hate sleeping without socks!), your own makeup and deodorant. Camera and cell charger. PJs/nightgown - I didn't wear the hospital gown this last time and instead packed something more comfy that was also easier to nurse in. So much better!

Outfits for both of you to come home in. They'll send you home with some thick pads, but some regular maxipads at home for later.

Good luck!



answers from Detroit on

you need clothes for the baby to wear home and clothes for you to wear home. a blanket to cover baby if it is cold.

the hospital will give you toothbrush, paste, comb brush..

they will give you diapers adn wipes..

at home you need diapers clothes adn a crib for baby. car seat to go home in.

mom needs lots of sanitary napkins adn stool softeners. your bottom will be sore. prune juice helps tool.



answers from Phoenix on

Make sure your husband has something warm to wear. My husband was FREEZING (it was April) in the room with me. Our next time, he's definitely bringing more layers.



answers from Seattle on

I took everything I thought I needed with me. What I ended up with was most things but I forgot body soap and shampoo! I delivered my last 5 weeks early so I thought I still had time to pack. I took tons of heavy duty pads, a change of clothes, some books(this was before I had a Kindle)my slippers, hair brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, camera, my cell phone and of course all the things I needed for my baby.

I am not good for hospital stays so I was up walking around not even an hour after I gave birth and I spent all the time I was allowed to in the NICU. Needless to say take everything you think you'll need and don't forget little things from home if you're like me and don't find being in a hospital easy.



answers from Minneapolis on

Food! An outfit for both to come home in. The usual basic toiletries. Car seat and a warm blankie for over. I stayed for 24 hours, that's all I took. Phone/books/Kindle if you're staying longer.

Make-up?!? you're kidding...

(Babies are not supposed to have lotion on them until they are 6 months old.)



answers from Madison on

I regretted not packing my make up after the first one. Needless to say, the only hospital pictures with my son that are still around do not include me.



answers from New York on

I didn't pack, and my hospital didn't provide a hairbrush. Thankfully, one of the other mom's in our post labor suite was nice enough to lend me one.

Happy birthing,
F. B.



answers from Chicago on

Baby picture outfit
baby take home outfit (can be the same for the hospital picture)
Comfy pajamas for you (so you don't have to keep adjusting that open back...ugh)
socks or slippers
Clothing to wear home

I did not bring much outside of this. Diapers and wipes are provided from the hospital. So you are able to leave those things home and organized for babies arrival. As soon as you get home you want to get right to the baby. If he/she is your first, even faster. So bringing a bunch of things in the thought of being prepared means someone spends unnecessary time unpacking most of the things you did not use while in the hospital.

Bring the things you know you need. I didn't bring any gadgets, I held her the entire time unless they took her for a bath or test. But....that time is important to relax so that you are ready to take your baby home. It will be just family help then. So bring a gadget or two as well, if it helps you unwind.




answers from San Antonio on

I always needed chapstick and hair bands to keep my hair out of my face.



answers from Chicago on

for the baby a onsie and a sleeper and a little hat, blanket to wrap baby in. if your driving then you have to have a car seat. if your leaving via a bus you can just carry baby out.

for you (myself) I had to have nursing bra's as my breasts were so heavy and hurt. so the support was needed. after that first few days I needed my own underwear. never used my robe at all. just stayed in the hospital nighty. toothbrush and paste, hairbrush and a good book which I read while baby was asleep.

now days you might also need a cell phone / ipod/ computer charger also



answers from Detroit on

Some snacks, chapstick and hard candies. I took my own pillow. A camera, baby book if you do that (for hand and foot prints). Diaper cream and coming home outfit. I took makeup the second time. Don't think I thought about it the first time. I also took my own conditioner as well. Your favorite hand cream or lotion. And lotion for the baby, too! :)

Oh - a nursing bra and nursing pads if you are nursing. And the Lansinoh cream (I am sure I am spelling it wrong) in the purple tube.

I needed the long overnight pads for at home after. Also some stool softeners ( I had stitches and needed them for a few days).


answers from Los Angeles on

Pack your toiletries as you would for a weekend. Ear plugs, eye mask, nursing pillow, robe, healthy snacks like fresh fruit.
clothes to wear home.



answers from Columbus on

You have the important stuff already but I would add makeup and hair supplies. An outfit for you and the baby to go home and that's about all you need.

Just be sure you have the car seat - some hospitals won't even let you take the baby home if you don't have one. I remember with my first, the nurse actually went out to the car with us to make sure we had the car seat and also made sure we knew how to use it. I thot it was wonderful because I was so nervous!!

Good luck!!!


answers from Austin on

FYI, I was 3 weeks early and had just returned from a business trip a few days before, so I had not totally unpacked, but I was in such a rush, I forgot lots of things.

Car seat.. already strapped in the car.

A receiving blanket, an outfit or 2 (just in case different sex or sizes)for the baby, an outfit for you to leave the hospital in.

Take your hair care products, toiletries including the maxi pads you like. , any medications you take

A camera phone or video camera any chargers that will be needed.

I had to have my music.

Make sure your partner also has his or her bag ready.. They will also need a change of clothing.. toiletries, electronics.. or whatever they will want in the hospital.

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