What Should I Pack for Hospital Stay?

Updated on June 04, 2011
L.L. asks from Granby, CT
23 answers

Almost 35 weeks and thinking I should start putting together a bag to take with me when I deliver. I am a scheduled c-section, but things don't always go as planned :) I can't remember what I brought last time, it was so long ago. My OB said to plan on being in the hospital 3 nights if all goes well. I'm sure I'll need a light weight robe, clean underwear, my toothbrush and a change of clothes to go home in. What else should I include? Did most of you wear the hospital gowns or bring nightgowns? I'm sure I'll have plenty of visitors so I guess I should look somewhat presentable, lol. So please let me know the essentials and what not to bother with. Thanks in advance :)

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answers from Houston on

Here is what I bought:

Plenty of heavy sanitary napkins
Nice pajamas, underwear, robe, and socks, and slippers
hair supplies

I didn't have time to read magazines, watch television, or notice how bad the food was...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

After delivery I was really cold, bring some soft warm socks. Also , at night the cafeteria may. Be closed. Pack some snacks for dh

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answers from Kansas City on

Well since you're having a c-section, I actually would pack your own underwear and some of your own pads. I wore the stretchy stuff and used the giant pads for the first day, maybe two, but after that I wore my own stuff and used a much lighter pad. I don't know if you had a c-section last time but with both mine they suck out all the gunk while they are in there so you have very little bleeding...it rocks! I only bled for a total of about 5-6 days and even then it was very light. Those giant pads were only comfortable that first day.

Other than that, I did take a nightgown and a robe but didn't change into my nightie until probably day 3, maybe late on day 2. For sure bring loose pants, probably maternity pants or pajama pants to come home in b/c your incision will be sore! I brought shower stuff and my toothbrush cuz as soon as that catheter came out I jumped in there and cleaned up!

Of course you'll need a take home outfit for baby but I didn't bring any other clothes. If you're going to breastfeed you might consider your boppy, but they usually have some there. You should also be sure to bring your cell phone charger especially if you have a smart phone! Most people brought snacks for my husband but it wouldn't hurt to take a few too!

Good luck and congrats!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

make sure to bring some comfy pants. You will not want to wear jeans. I would say some yoga type or exercise pants. Maybe some tank tops with the built in bra. I would also bring one of my own pillows. bring some books to read or magazines. The first day youwill probably be sleeping a lot. I would also bring some sandals or flip flops you can slide on your feet. Think that you will not want to bend down or over very much after the c section. Remember, a hairbrush too and may be some makeup.
good luck and congrats.

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answers from Washington DC on

For my c-sections I packed, underwear(loose fitting you don't want them rubbing against your incision) socks, extra pillow, tooth brush, tooth paste, travel sizes of soap, and shampoo, robe, something comfortable to wear home, camera, and baby coming home outfit. I just stayed in the hospital gowns the whole time. You will have bleeding, and I didn't want to risk getting blood on my own clothes.

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answers from New York on

essentials - lip balm, lip balm, lip balm..... and the other obvious things, also, its really nice to have some mints, a headband, a little hand mirror, and some astringent pads by the bed to freshen up. you can bring stuff to do, but i would be worried about my laptop vanishing. for the few moments i wasnt with the baby, all i wanted to do was sleep anyway. the things most people dont tell you - some lightweight comfy clothes, no whites! dark colors are good. things might be messy and then you have a room full of visitors and have to get up to go to the bathroom, you know? a black robe is wonderful. bring some shorts and tanks too, you might be ridiculously hot. a sleep bra is nice to have, esp a nursing one if you will be nursing. the hospital gown is ok, but it sure is nice to change into your own clean clothes after you can shower. *** and... be sure that you or someone else who isnt completely sleep deprived and overwhelmed with emotion checks out the photos before hubby posts them online and sends them out to everyone you know with your hooha right there in the background. thats right...... sigh...... :) lol... best of luck to you

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answers from Seattle on

I brought my favorite blanket to sleep with too.

Also pack shower stuff, dont forget hair product!
Make sure your "home" clothes are comfortable and have room, like nice sweatpants.

I wore the hospital gown for the first 24 hours then I changed into my own comfy clothes.

Bring a book just in case you need it.

Also bring some snacks and things to drink, they come in handy, if not for you, for your husband :)

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answers from Chicago on

I didn't have a c-section, but I would imagine the list is pretty much the same as far as stuff you'll need to pack. I brought a couple changes of pajamas, socks, underwear to come home in, hairbrush, makeup, travel size shower stuff, nursing bras, my own pillow in a colored pillowcase so I wouldn't mix it up with the hospital ones, an extra pillow and blanket for my husband, lots of snacks. I was STARVING in the middle of the night, even after scarfing everything they brought for the meals, so that was essential. Camera, phone with charger, outfit to bring home baby in - next time I will take 2 sizes, my son looked like a clown in his 0-3 mth outfit because he was so tiny, wish I'd considered that and also brought a newborn size outfit.
Also, an outfit for you to come home in that is loose fitting, and appropriate size for about 6 months pregnant. That's about all I can think of right now. Good luck with the remainder of your pregnancy, and Congratulations on the new baby!

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answers from Harrisburg on

Don't forget to pack clothes for the baby :-))

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answers from Boston on

Ditto the snacks, especially if you are nursing. My first two babies I got the glamourmom nursing tanks and wore those in the hospital and loved them. I would also recommend a pair of FLIP FLOPS. I'm not a slipper girl and I swear my bare feet never hit the hospital floor once! My hospital has a fridge for patients on the floor so you can bring whatever you want and leave it there as long as you put your name on it. Good luck!

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answers from Hartford on

These were my essentials that I brought both times:
Soothing music (CDs back in the "old days", playlist on my mp3 now) with headphones to drown out hospital noise.
Nice lotions for your hands and legs.
For underwear- our hospital provided disposable stretchy ones to fit over the post partum pads. I didnt use what i brought. Bring a going home outfit for baby. Bring a couple magazines and snacks that you like.
one last thing I brought was a good pacifier because the ones the hospital provided were not great. I know it is a "no no" if you are bfing but I was desperate for sleep and she did not have any nipple confusion or anything.


answers from Los Angeles on

ear plugs and eye mask. The hospital it the worst place on the planet to try and catch sleep.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I brought my own pillow--but I'm weird like that! :)

And pack some snacks! The hospital food was pretty bad and I would have killed for a few granola bars or something.

Pack now. My water broke 2.5 wks before my due date and I had NOTHING ready to go.



answers from Boston on

Unless you just want to watch TV, bring some stuff to read. I remember the babies sleep a lot and there's not much to do at the hospital! Plus something for the baby to wear...although my son turned out to be 10.5 lbs and I had to stuff him into the outfit we brought! :)

And I did have him 'that way' ;)



answers from Chicago on

Pack as little as possible because remember, you gotta haul all that stuff out as well as the baby!

I'd skip the underwear and use the stretchy stuff they give you so you don't ruin yours. Ruin theirs! I wore the hospital gown because I honestly didn't care. It was easy for the nurses and doctor to check things out, plus it made going to the bathroom easier.

I also made sure to pack all my 'bathroom essentials' as well as a hair tie and lip balm.

Since my first child loved the swaddleme and I can never get the hospital blankets right, I brought one to use in the hospital.

And yes, pack now. With my last child I was at school teaching and just up and left in the middle of the day due to some health issues which led me to my induction and delivery less than 24 hours later. We had nothing packed and no car seat base ready. I had to make a list for my husband who had to go home and get things for me.


answers from Los Angeles on

Slippers, movies, laptop, camera, baby clothes and blankets!

Congrats girl!



answers from Pittsfield on

I brought my own nightgown, robe, and a pair of easy to slip on slippers. Usually they give you those mesh panties to wear- I kept those on until I was discharged because they held the giant pad in place pretty well. You'll also need clothes to go home in- remember to pack something that fit you when you were 3 or 4 mo. pregnant because you won't have sprung back completely in 3 days.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner. Last time I forgot to bring conditioner and I looked horrible.
I also brought some small snacks because sometimes I get hungry in the middle of the night.
You'll also need something to bring baby home in =o)



answers from St. Louis on

Use the stretchy underwear stuff that they give you, don't bring your own. They are probably the best ones and you don't have to worry about getting them messed up. I took extra ones home.

Also, I brought some comfy clothes for my stay (t-shirt and stretchy basketball shorts). I would suggest the same. I wore the hospital robe till I got a shower. Then I felt like a whole new person and wanted a whole new outfit to wear! Also, you MAY want to bring something to do. I tried to sleep when baby was sleeping and no one was bugging me, but honestly, I still couldn't sleep all the time so I had a book to read and such. I also brought my own shampoo and conditioner and face wash cause I wasn't a big fan of the hospital stuff.

Oh, and don't forget the "going home" outfit for baby, nursing bra and possibly pads in case your milk comes in during that time (if you plan to breastfeed) . . . . . I know there are other things but I just can't think of them.



answers from Burlington on

First I would find out what your hospital provided. Some provide more than others.
I personally brought: toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, slippers, hair brush, and some snacks I thought I may want. Didn't end up eating any of them. Although I did send my husband out afterward for other drinks. The water and ginger ale they serve at the hosptial gets old fast. I just wore the hospital gowns and bathrobes since there are a lot of bodily fluids that could get all over your nice clothing. And I used the disposible undies and HUGE pads the hospital provided. My thought on the looking presentable for visitors is, you just had a baby. Does it really matter?! But that is just me. As long as my teeth were brushed and my hair brushed I didn't care that I was in a hospital gown. I didn't bother with a going home outfit for me. I just wore the outfit that I wore to the hospital home. I didn't spend much time in them anyway. I didn't have any time or desire to read any books or anything. If you are one that music is relaxing to then maybe your own mp3 player or something.
Good luck to you. Enjoy holding your sweet baby soon.


answers from New York on

Two things that I really missed was lip balm and a blanket.


answers from Redding on

Dont forget the camera and charger, extra memory card too. Batteries and film if it isnt digital. MR said it right ,,, you have to haul it all home too so dont get too carried away.
When my daughter had her baby she had to spend over 3 weeks in the hospital first. Strict bedrest made her crazy and by the time she went home, she had 2 scrap books full and all the stuff to make about 3 more. You know, the papers, the ribbons, the letters, her cricut paper cutting machine, and books to read, magazines, movies, crocheting, and stuff to write letters. We took in games to play and friends kept sending her stuffed animals and cute stuff. OhMan, we needed a UHAUL to get it out of the room! And of course a few days later she took the baby home so there was the outfit, and blanket, and car seat and extra recieving blankets to roll up to hold her head right, and all the paperwork and samples they send you home with too.



answers from Boston on

Lots of good suggestions here... I would add if you have an mp3 player and a docking station, bring that. A white noise machine is wonderful to drown out hospital noises. Any favorite comfort items. Your pillow. Your address book or phone number list and cell phone/charger. Books if you're a reader. A deck of cards maybe? Definitely a diary/blank book and a pen. I've written a letter to each baby the day after they were born. I might even bring the laptop these days. And yes, I did bring my own clothes... I had bought new cheap ones that I didn't really care about getting stained.

I don't remember what else I had in my bag when I had my first... my second was born at home, and my third in my car, so I didn't really pack anything with them. Since you've scheduled a cesarean birth, I don't think the things I have in my doula bag would be of much use to you as they are almost all comfort things for labor, so I won't go into that unless you ask.


answers from Dallas on

I wore my own robe and nightgown in the hospital. I also brought my boppy pillow for feedings. We love a white noise so we packed a mini fan. It was wonderful for drowning out all the little noises in the hospital at night while trying to sleep. I had a vaginal birth so I needed some adult diapers to help contain the bleeding and excessive fluid loss. I'm not sure if that would apply to a C-section. It's such an exciting time! Congratulations. : )

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