What Should Be in My Hospital Bag?

Updated on March 16, 2011
S.A. asks from Spokane, WA
24 answers

Need to make a hospital for me and my baby when I deliver. What do I need to bring?

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answers from Chicago on

socks, granny panties, and a hair brush with a TON of bands and a hand mirror. Those are the things I WISH I had brough enough of, I had the hair brush but only one hair band and no mirror ... grrr!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntsville on

snacks. :) I remembered clothes, etc... but wish I had brought some of my favorite snacks for post labor.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Simple answer. Don't pack a bag. Hire a midwife and stay at home. So much safer and healthier for you and the baby.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Charlotte on


3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Night gown
Toiletries *1st shower after delivering is like heaven*
Pillow/blankets for your husband if he's staying
Outfit for you to go home
Outfit for baby to go home
List of people (incl #'s) who need to be called
Magazines or books (you may be "in labor" for a while)
Notepad for hubs to write down anything you may want to remember
Snacks and water for you and hubs
Announcements to address/stamp (if you have an epidural)
Hair ties & blow dryer (if you use one)
**Our hospital food was actually pretty good and it was "buffet style", so we didn't load-up on snacks**

Just remember that we're talking about less clothing than you would need for a long weekend b/c most of the time you will be in "hospital undies" and a robe!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

A must for me is/was:

My OWN jammies,
Ear plugs,
some type of heating device for cramps,
extra clothing for baby, mine has been a puker from day one and we ran out of clothing :(
Extra clothes for you and Daddy just in case you have to spend an extra day there.
Flip flops for the shower
New undies (I choose black and a size bigger)
My OWN pads the ones they gave me were HUGE. LOL
Babybook for prints we got the feet, but not the hands
Mittens or nail clippers (they won't do this any more)
Take out menus for local places that deliver
I took my fav pillow wish I would have had my old blankie and I will take this next time
Outfit for pictures (do what you want with pictures and don't let them push you into poses that you do not want!)
Phone charger
O and a list of who can call and get information about your status.
I packed my bathroom stuff and stuff for hubby he didn't leave until I did.
Install carseat way ahead of time (your hospital may even check to see if you properly installed it)

I got a big goofy smile on my face right now just thinking about packing my bag last time. O how I want another baby. I am jealous.

Edit to Megan: If it goes in your room the hospital charges it for you because then they can't reuse it. We took everything from wipes, to diapers, to the nose sucker because if we didn't they would just throw it away.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

After two babies, here are some suggestions:

- Baby powder: if you have any type of pain medication, you sometimes itch after so I suggest this to help alleviate the itch. Just have someone rub it on you.
- Tooth brush, paste, hairbrush, hair bands, contacts/glasses (if needed)
- Socks
- Loose pajama tops: Those hospital ones are not always very soft so one with buttons, especially if you are nursing.
- A change of clothes for after the baby. Anything that stretches because you'll still have a baby bump!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Go-home clothes for you and baby (do yourself a favor and do not take your favorite pre-pregnancy jeans or something that much smaller or you will likely be sorely disappointed with how it fits -- I think I wore sweats home both times- ha); magazines and things to do while bored in the hospital and baby is sleeping; toiletries or yourself; camera/videocamera and laptop if you have one; snacks. I think that is pretty much about it. And of course make sure the infant car seat is properly installed in the vehicle in advance :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Birmingham on

Snacks for both during and after labor! Just snacks for your support person if you don't feel comfortable eating things during labor. I did btw, and it helped me get through. I suggest light, healthy ones- fruit is an awesome choice. Suckers and popsicles are supposed to good to, but I forgot mine.

Don't forget your hair brush, tooth brush etc, all the stuff you'd want if staying at a hotel. Extra socks are nice too, though slip-on shoes (Crocs, flip-flops etc) are good for walking around your room, to the bathroom etc.

Bring the baby book if you want to get Baby's footprints put in there too btw, it's easy to do it as the nurses already take the foot and hand prints.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Clothes for you: A comfy maternity dress and slip on shoes
Your own Overnight hygene items. NO TAMPONS. (the hospital charges for each package opened)

LOTS of socks and undies.

If you are bottle feeding, keep the little rights from the disposable nipples. These can be reused on the ready-made bottles at home.

Once an item is opened for you or your child you are charged for it, so be sure to take all open packages of diapers, boxes of formula bottles, wipes, etc. home.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Your own overnight maxi pads. Get the best out there (Always are good). The ones provided by the hospital look like relics from the 50s and don't work well. You'll be glad to have your own modern ones.

Ugly granny panties you don't mind getting ruined. You'll want big ones to hold the big maxi pads. Expect some leaks, especially on day one.

Toiletries. Just the basics.

Big, loose clothes to go home in. Stick with maternity ones because you'll still need them.

Snacks that are fiber-rich, including fruits. Your body will need some help moving things along, if you know what I mean.

Tech gadgets, such as your cell phone and camera.

Your wallet/ID. You'll likely need info from this re: insurance coverage.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Eye cover, earplugs, robe, nursing pillows, healthy snacks and fresh fruit. anything you would normally want in your toiletries bag for weekend. Stretchy, roomy comfortable going home clothes, nursing pillow.

You will want to get some sleep and the hospital is a noisy intrusive place so even if you don't normally use eye cover or earplugs, I recommend them for hospital stay.



answers from Seattle on

several things i really like to bring of my own.. is extra maternity underwear.. even though they give you these mese type underwear that are disposible.. they made me itch so bad.. also i brought a long sleeve shirt.. to throw on when i knew vistors were coming.. I felt more comfortable. my own brand tooth paste and mouth wash/ deoderant.. hair bands/ brush.. face lotion..socks or slipper socks.. own night gown if u want.. camera extra batteries.. cell phone and charger. baby blanket, going home outfit. your going home out fit. comy bra.. diaper bag.. maybe i pod. gum... magazines.
I hope you have a wonderful delievery!


answers from New York on

I didn't read all of your replies. But I read in another post to bring your own washclothes. I thought that was great idea. I know that after my C-section those harsh towels hurt really bad. Make sure you have a camera and batteries, cell phone charger, maxi pads, comfortable clothes, jammies, robe, slippers or slipper socks, going home outfits for both you and baby, onesie, baby blanket and all the toiletries that you would normally use day to day. And something to snack on. Gum or mints to keep your mouth moist. Make sure to bring all paperwork and insurance cards.
Good Luck and best wishes for you and your baby!


answers from Lincoln on

This question always makes me laugh - only because when I had my first daughter I went to the hospital thinking I was going to be monitored and go home...I went with my keys and insurance card!!! You really can have a baby with nothing!!! My second I packed comb, shampoo, conditioner, deoderant, toothbrush/paste, makeup (although I don't think I ever used it!), brand new pack of socks (those I did use and did have my sister get me some the first time!), did NOT use the robe I brought (just the hospital gowns), comfy clothes to go home in (actually I take that back I'm pretty sure I wore the same clothes home cuz I had only worn them for 15 minutes on way to hospital!),camera (which again I did not think I was having a baby quite yet so didn't have it for delivery!), baby book, 4 baby outfits (1 boy, 1 girl, 1 preemie & 1 newborn of each - used the preemie girl!) ...my sister went home and washed the baby blankets I would need and brought back the carseat a few days later. I don't know what else I would have packed if I would have finished but I had everything I needed! Oh someone said snacks - check your hospital. The one I delivered at had a wonderful hospitality room with all kinds of fresh fruit, yogurt, crackers, cookies, frozen meals, juice, pop, soup bagels...you name it!



answers from Chicago on

i didnt get a chance to read all of the responses so not sure if anyone brought this up......have lots of singles in your bag for vending machine for whomever is in room with you. they will get thirsty/hungry for snacks and might not want to go all the way to the cafeteria just for drinks when they have vending machines right down the hallway.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Comfy nightie & robe, slippers, toiletries and SNACKS!
Baby's going home outfit (will be used for pictures too!).
I brought my own pillow, too.
The hospital food was awful and I never got what I ordered. I had my husband bring me a sandwich from home O. night!



answers from Dallas on

Good question! Bring warm socks just in case, but I think they will give you warm booty-socks. Bring shamoo and conditioner for your very much needed shower on day 2, bring makeup so you will feel somewhat normal again, bring a comfortable change of clothes to wear home from the hospital - don't forget undies and bra, bring an outfit for your newborn to wear home (make sure it's warm), make sure you have your baby's caseat and carrier all set up in your car, and most of all, BRING SNACKS!!! Giving birth makes you hungry!! The hospital meals were never enough for me. Bring food bars, raisins, crackers, etc., or, have your husband go out and get you something. Definately have back-up food! Good luck!



answers from Miami on

I'm going to be packing my bag in a few weeks too. I'm 33 weeks along with my 4th!!

Everyone has given great suggestions. One other thing to consider is IF you end up having a c-section and it's very late, you won't get any food. Consider packing some crackers. When I had my third baby, I had missed breakfast and lunch and once dinner rolled around, I was too drugged to eat so I basically missed the whole day for eating. By the time I could eat, the cafe was closed and I was starving. Luckily a nurse found me some graham crackers to munch on to get me through the night.

Also, I might suggest bringing your own pillow. Those hospital pillows are worthless. Bring your own diapers as well, and wipes. You wouldn't believe what the hospital charges you (your insurance) for diapers and wipes and make sure you tell the nurses as soon as you deliver that you have your own stuff...that way they don't "sneak" a package into your room and scan it to your account. If you can, bring your own water bottle, preferably if one has lines on it to show ounces or CC's. My hospital charged me something like $22 for a stupid water bottle. Crazy, they can get away with it. This time around I'm bringing my own water bottle...I've had the same one for years.

Congrats and good luck!



answers from Portland on

Bring a few copies of your birthing plan so your nurses and staff have one on hand, especially helpful for shift change. Bring your cameras and chargers, baby book for foot prints, wallet and ID stuff. Leave your jewelry and other valuables at home. I did wear my wedding ring.

I took a ton of stuff for my labor too, a CD of music for distraction, lotions, a birthing ball etc. I am one of those people who wants to be prepared for anything. Even after taking Lamaze classes I DIDN'T USE ANY OF IT! I just walked the hospital hallways and did my deep breathing. After about 20 hours of labor I did have an epidural, which wasn't in my birthing plan but I needed one because I was exhausted. I ended up having an emergency c-section at the 30 hour mark anyways.

Make sure you have some comfy pajamas for the hospital for yourself. Nursing ones are great, keep in mind you will be bleeding so you want ones that are cheap that you can ruin. And slippers! The hospital floors were freezing and when I was laboring they were so much better! And I wore them after birth too.

You need to bring some sanitary pads to get you home if you don't like the HUGE ones the hospital gives you. Bring some sweats to wear home, you will still be to big for your clothes but maternity pants can be uncomfortable and may be too large. I would pick 3-4 pairs of high waisted underware (not bikini cut) in case you have an emergency sea section. Again some that are cheap you can throw out because of staining. They are way more comfortable the the hospital NET panties, lol. Lip moisturizer you like, your own lotion, and your overnight stuff, toothbrush, face wash, shower soaps etc.

Baby needs some onsies to wear and a few receiving blankets for during his/her stay. The hospital may provide these for your use, mine did. Bring a small outfit appropriate for the climate to take baby home in and bring a special onsie or outfit for in hospital newborn pictures if you like. We had onsies embroidered with our son's names for their newborn pics. Baby needs a newborn cap to wear home as well to help retain heat. The hospitals generally provide those as well. If it's cold be sure to bring a thick blanket to throw over the carseat.

Don't forget the carseat, many hospitals now make you do a safety check in the vehicle with the seat before you can be discharged. I recommend installing a few weeks before birth so your hubby isn't trying to figure it out alone at the last minute.

Congrats and best wishes!


answers from Rochester on

I just came home Saturday. I think I over-packed, but if you've got the space, no harm done. What I actually used:

My hygiene/shower items (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion/moisturizer, deodorant, Lanolin cream).
I brought nursing pads but didn't need them until yesterday (and now REALLY need them).
A nursing tank and pajamas (I just wore the hospital robe with my first, but it was nice having people in wearing nicer pajamas). I finally splurged on some La Leche League nursing jammies for my third baby and really liked them--the bottoms were comfy and you feel better having people in and out when you are a little more "dressed."

I brought a few bags of my own teas (only ended up having one cup of tea) and a piece of dark chocolate, which was nice in the middle of the night since you get dinner so early in the evening.

Water bottle (didn't pack it, just carried it in) although I mostly ate the ice. I am an ice eater. :)

CD player with ear buds and some death metal to relax me during labor. The batteries (which my husband assured me were new) died an hour or so before the baby was born. :(

Baby nail clippers (I had to send my husband home for them) since he came out with long scratchy nails and my first baby came home with a scratched up face from the one day before I could cut them.

Going home outfit for baby.

Something comfy for you to wear home--if you have something that you liked halfway through your pregnancy, like a shirred/gathered maternity top or lower waisted/underbelly pants, that would be nice. I usually pack an "optimistic" outfit and a more realistic one and wear the realistic one home.

Spit cloths for baby. They have blankets and baby t-shirts there, but my newest was a bit of a spitter from the start so I had to have my husband bring me some extra cloths--they just seemed better for us.

Congratulations!! :)



answers from Seattle on

What everyone is saying is great! I brought my own blanket because it brought me comfort.

The one thing I wished I remembered was my hair product! I totally forgot my hair styling cream. My hair tends to get frizzy so I was sad I forgot it after I took a shower. Lol!


answers from Kalamazoo on

and good smelling lotion!


answers from San Antonio on

didn't read other responses, but I am addicted to my lip balm. So make sure if you're OCD about something like that -- make sure it's packed in your bag already.

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