No one knows when your baby is going to decide to come. So in the weeks leading up to your due date you’ll want to pack a hospital bag. That way, when you do go into labor, you can grab your bag and head to the hospital rather than run around trying to find everything you need.
But what exactly needs to be in your hospital bag? This is a list of my top 10 things you need. And a few more that I am bringing with, just in case. Don’t forget to bring your birth plan! Stop by the Resource Library to get your FREE printable Birth Plan!
10 Things You Need In Your Hospital Bag
Some people like to over pack and have everything they could possibly think of with them. But I’ll be honest. With my first baby, I had a bag packed. And I ended up not touching it until we were getting ready to head home.
Personally, I want to have as little as possible. Only things that I am actually going to use or need. So I decided what my top 10 things you need in a hospital bag are. And then a few more that are just for comfort if they will make you feel better.
1. Yoga or Sweat Pants – Yoga Pants
This is for you to go home in. Pushing a baby out makes you very sore. You are going to be wanting loose clothes to wear home. Don’t buy into the fact that you are going to pop the baby out and magically fit back into your pre-pregnancy jeans. It took your body 40 weeks to be what it is now, give it time to get back to what it was before. Wear comfy pants home and rest.
2. Nursing Tank – Caramel Cantina 3 Pack Women’s Nursing Cami
I was happy to get out of the hospital gown as soon as I was able with my first. That’s when I put on my comfy pants and a nursing tank. Not only is it comfortable, but you really don’t need anything making nursing more difficult than it already is. Read about My Experience Beginning Breastfeeding with my son.
I am brining a few with because having several is really important. You’ll leak. Baby will spit up. And you’ll have to change. I had 3 tanks total with my first and it was not enough. I have twice that now and 4 Nursing Bra. Hopefully that will be enough. Bring at least 2 to the hospital just in case!
3. Nursing Pillow – Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner
If you plan on nursing, bring a nursing pillow to the hospital with you! It makes it so much more comfortable for you and baby. Like I said before, nursing is hard enough without it being made anymore difficult.
Make it as easy as possible on yourself. You can even ask the lactation consultant to help you position baby in a way that works best for you using your pillow. It should help get you a little bit of a start on how to nurse.
No matter what pillow you have, make sure you have at least 2 if not more covers for it. They will get dirty when baby leaks from a diaper, or spits up. And you’ll have to change it. And usually baby will want to nurse again before you manage to finish a load of laundry.
Grab a Boppy Pillow Slipcover to go with your boppy.
4. Phone Charger – Micro USB for Android or AmazonBasics Lightning to USB
You’ll be in the hospital for a couple days after delivery. You’re going to want to take pictures. And tell people about the baby. People will call and text. All those things can wait if you want them to.
But you may want to call someone to bring you food too. Especially if you deliver after the kitchen is closed at the hospital. You’ll be starving and they will have jell-o, apple sauce, a granola bar, nothing that you actually want. So make sure you have your phone charger to call people and ask them to bring you things you may decide you need in the moment!
5. Big Comfy Underwear – Fruit of the Loom Women’s Bikini Panties
At the hospital they will give you giant mesh underwear. And frozen diapers/pads to put inside them. And a little squirt bottle to rinse off after going to the bathroom. It’s all wonderful. If they let you take home extra of everything, do it.
I am still bringing my big comfy underwear for if I need it. Not wearing your own underwear right away is a good idea though, because theirs you can just throw away.
Make sure you buy soft underwear. And something that is a little high cut. Especially if you end up with a C-section. You also will want them to be 1-2 sizes larger than what you usually wear. To leave room for comfort as well as a large pad and any ice packs you may need.
6. Baby Coming Home Outfit – Carter’s Sleep & Play
Baby will need something to wear home. Have fun picking it out. Just remember that you need to get baby into the car seat, and all baby wants is to be comfortable. I love the sleep n plays from carter’s for this reason.
But pick clothes according to the season and weather in the area around your due date. And I bring them in 2 sizes. Newborn and 0-3 months. That way baby will fit in one or the other to go home.
7. Blanket – Fleece Throw Lightweight Blanket and Fleece Blanket
Hospital rooms can be cold. And they can feel very unwelcoming. So even though it really wasn’t necessary, I liked having a fleece throw from home to make sleeping more comfortable for me.
I’d also have a blanket for baby. They will give you receiving blankets and things like that. But it really can’t hurt to bring something that you got for baby too.
8. Baby Mittens – Gerber Newborn 4 Pack Mittens
Babies come out with sharp nails. Having mittens to cover them up is a good idea. Some little ones, like my son, will be able to get them off very quickly. And that’s okay.
But my son also always scratched up his face and his ears. Later his thighs during warmer weather. It’s still sometimes an ongoing battle with him. So do what you can to prevent it, but don’t feel overly guilty if it happens.
9. Baby Nail Clippers – Nail Clippers
If you want to try it, you can also cut baby’s nails. It can be very intimidating so if you are nervous it’s okay to hold off for a few days.
I cut my son’s nails for the first time before we left the hospital because he was scratching his nails so much. It was not a great experience. And he did have a couple little red marks on his finger tips. But it was more my nerves than him pulling away or being hurt.
Having them with you can’t hurt. It’s okay if you don’t use them.
10. Baby Hat – Baby Caps
You’ll want something to keep baby’s head covered. If it is cold, to keep the warmth in. If it is warm, to keep it out of the sun. There’s always a reason to have a baby hat.
The hospital will likely give the baby a hat, but you may want to pick out a cute one of your own. There are loads to choose from. So have fun looking at them all. Check out the cable knit kind if it’s winter time.
A few other things that I will have in my hospital but may not be as important:
- chap stick
- breast pads
- tooth brush/paste
- shampoo and conditioner
- body wash
- birth plan from the Resource Library
I used all those things with my first. Most of them are available at the hospital but it is just nice to have a few things from home. The other thing is that I have never delivered a baby at this hospital. So I don’t know exactly what they will have. So I am bringing some things that I assume they will be able to give me, but I don’t want to be without them.
What items did you use? What about things you brought with and didn’t touch? What will you bring the second time around?
PS check out Why You Need A Birth Plan To Be Prepared