We’re at the 38 week mark, things “down there” are progressing and heading toward labor quick and we are just mere days (weeks?) away from meeting our little girl! Our hospital bags are finally all packed and stacked by the door and the car seat has been installed. It’s all starting to feel more and more real. It’s an interesting thing to be living through the “good old days” – when Adam and I are old and grey, these are the days we’ll look back on. Isn’t that a wild thought?
I started to plan out my hospital bag a couple of months ago. And one thing that really helped was reading other blog posts about it, which is why I decided to write my own! I scouted through several posts, determining what I thought were good ideas and not-so-good ideas, I listened to podcasts about birth and hospital bags, I talked to friends and family members and then I did a bunch of research on specific items. And this has all culminated in what I’m going to share with you here today; a well thought out, well researched, very intentional hospital bag packing list.
We are taking three separate bags: one for me, one for Adam and one for baby girl. I’ve heard of others packing it all together in one big suitcase and then being frustrated at the hospital when everything was tossed together and nothing could be found easily. Since a natural, unmedicated birth is our goal, the less fuss the better so we carefully planned our bags out and segmented them all into their own place which we’re hoping will help to reduce stress at the hospital when the time comes. So for this post, I’ll walk you through what’s in each bag and provide hyperlinks to exact items we’re taking in case you’re in the hospital-bag-packing phase yourself and are looking for recommendations!
P.s. – I’ve hyperlinked everything I could. Some are LTK links which earn me a small commission if you make a purchase through it. And some are not affiliated with LTK.
Hospital gown – You might not know this (I didn’t), but you actually don’t have to labor in the hospital gown provided to you. Ya know, that piece of tissue paper that’s for some reason missing its entire backside? You can bring in your own. Since I’m wanting to actively labor and be able to walk around and get into whatever position I want, this gown will help keep me nice and covered, comfortable and confident.
Robe – When I get cleaned up after birth, I will change into this comfy robe and baby girl’s first outfit matches it! We’re having a photographer come in to do a Fresh 48 session so a matching Mama/Mini set was an obvious! You might notice that her hospital bag is the same print too.
Comfortable outfit – I bought this Lurex jumpsuit at J.Crew several months ago in the navy blue color. It’s now sold out, but I love the wrap design and stretchy high waist. Wrap = easy for nursing. Stretchy high waist = easy on the abdomen or a c-section scar if that were to happen.
Going home outfit – It’s the end of May and her technical due date is June 3 so the temps are up in Oklahoma. This matching sweater/shorts set from Amazon will be comfy and also breezy for our first day leaving the hospital and going home as a family of three!
Non-slip house shoes – I got mine on our trip to Ireland back in October when I was just 9 weeks pregnant!
Non-slip socks – Not trying to slip and fall on that hospital floor! These are so buttery and comfy, but also serve a great purpose.
Travel size shower products – I didn’t want to pack full size items so I just went on a trip to Target and got some travel-sized shampoo and conditioner, body wash, deodorant, and dry shampoo.
Make up basics – Also on that Target run I grabbed some mascara, tinted moisturizer, concealer, a blush stick, and eyebrow pencil and lipstick. Labor might totally wreck me, but I’m going to put myself together a bit for our Fresh 48 session!
Toiletries – Ya know, the basics like your toothbrush and toothpaste. I actually packed some extras we had in a clutter drawer from past dentist appointments. Since I want that bag packed and ready to go at all times, I wanted something in there and didn’t want to have to worry about packing my actual toothbrush and toothpaste while I’m in labor. Same for those make up essentials above.
Hair bands + bobby pins
Towel wrap – I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but hospital towels are glorified paper towels. After the trauma of giving birth, I’m going to need something much bigger, fluffier and wearable. This towel wrap will wind up being one of the top five “thank goodness I packed that” items in my bag, guaranteed.
Nursing bra – Grabbed this nursing bra from Target. I have no expertise to offer on the subject of nursing bras so honestly, I just tried to judge which one would offer the best utility and this is the one I landed on. But, I definitely got it in black for any leaks/messes that may happen.
Nipple cream – Speaking of nursing, this is the nipple cream that’s in my bag. I’m leaning on this brand a lot for baby/nursing items for the high standards of clean ingredients and safety.
Gel pads – For relief, I went with this tried and true product that I’m pretty sure most women rely on.
Mesh postpartum undies – Postpartum recovery is the furthest thing from glamorous but with a little smart thinking ahead, it just might be bearable. Instead of relying on pre-pregnancy underwear that is not practical at all – especially for thick pads – I grabbed a few packs of these mesh undies. They’re re-wearable but also disposable. Love that they’re high waisted too. I’m planning on using the pads they supply at the hospital while there, but have stocked up on three different sizes to switch to when we get home.
Peri bottle – Newsflash: You actually have to use a little squirt bottle on your hooha after vaginal birth to clean up down there. The hospital supplies squeezable bottles (kinda like water bottles), but these peri bottles are angled for better/easier cleaning. Most people get the Frida brand peri bottle, but this one is the literal exact same thing and is cheaper on Amazon.
Dermaplast – A numbing spray for recovery. That’s it. That’s the explanation. This was one of the highest recommended items from other moms and is a medical grade way to help yourself out, sister friend. Get it.
Breast pump – No, I don’t plan on pumping for baby at the hospital. But I was told by so many women that it’s helpful to bring in your pump so that you can take advantage of having time with the lactation consultant who comes to visit after birth to go over every question you might have about pumping.
Portable fan – Apparently you turn into a human furnace while laboring/giving birth. And any bit of relief is welcome. Whether that’s eating ice chips or having a nice, cool fan. I grabbed this one off of Amazon and I love that I will be able to wrap it around the hospital bed rails and move/adjust it as needed but also that it will double as a stroller fan! We love a multipurpose purchase.
Prenatal vitamins – I’ve used a couple of brands throughout my pregnancy, but this is the one I’m currently using here at the end so it’s what I’m linking for you! I didn’t know this before, but you actually continue taking prenatal vitamins for a pretty good amount of time even after birth.
Pillow + colored pillowcase – Hospital pillows are often not great so I’d want my nice, fluffy one. But also, we use white pillowcases at home so just to be able to easily differentiate our own, Adam and I grabbed some pink pillowcases to use just for the hospital.
Camera – Packing my nice camera so we can grab a few shots here and there
Snacks + loose change – We packed some trail mix, protein bars and chocolate and the loose change is for any vending machine purchases we want to make.
Lavender spray – This was a last minute addition to my bag. Adam picked it up recently thinking it might provide moments of calm and peace while I’m laboring unmedicated. I thought it was a great idea!
Comfy clothes – Adam packed 2 or 3 days worth of sweatpants and t-shirts to stay comfy (and clean!) during our hospital stay
Light jacket/sweatshirt – Word to the wise: since women get so hot during labor, the labor and delivery floor is typically kept very very cold. So we packed him some layers to throw on.
Toiletries – We anticipate only staying one night, so this is the bare essentials.
Gum – Not sure this was recommended by anybody, but Adam is a big fan of gum and usually packs it to go anywhere haha
Cleansing wipes/shower sheets – Yes, the hospital room has a shower but Adam is also packing facial wipes and shower sheets. I’ve linked the shower sheets that we use and love.
Cozy socks – Make sure to not overlook all those comfort items for your partner!
House shoes – Same comment as above
Energy/vitamin packets – Adam typically takes energy/vitamin packets daily, but also we might be laboring overnight or for long long hours so he’ll definitely need some help in the energy department to be the best labor support partner he can be.
Pillow + colored pillowcase
Book/Crossword puzzles – These may or may not get used, but we packed “entertainment” just in case we/he would want it.
Tylenol – Ok this is a good tip for ya: your partner won’t be allowed to have any medication given to them by the hospital since they’re not a patient, even something simple like Tylenol. So bring your own just in case the odd headache or something pops up.
Computer + charger – Adam is the labor DJ so he’ll be taking a tablet and will be in charge of running (or stopping when I get annoyed lol) the music.
Going home outfit – We’re packing a newborn gown and hat that Adam’s aunts got her. I couldn’t find the exact link, but it is by The Beaufort Bonnet Co.
Extra onesies – Just in case she decides to be a little messy (she will lol), we threw some extra footed onesies in her bag.
Blanket – We packed a blanket made by her great grandmother
Socks – Babies are used to be nice and warm in your womb, so the outside world is a little too cold for their liking. Cozy socks for their little feet are a must!
Mittens – Since babies are used to being in a little wad in the womb and their hands have routinely been in their face (that inside the womb is protected from scratching) mittens to prevent facial scratching are also a must.
Pacifiers – I feel like this one is self explanatory – but also, her hospital pacifiers are stinking adorable.
Hello I’m New Here sign – For those cute newborn pictures with all of her stats (birth time, date, weight, length). I grabbed ours from Hobby Lobby so I don’t have an exact link.
Swaddle – This will double as a hospital bed blanket that I will want to be part of our Fresh 48 session. The message on it just gives me chills every time I look at it.
Burp cloths – Because ya know…spit up. I’ve linked the ones I’m using!
Newborn diapers – The hospital provides these, but I’m unsure what brand they’ll have and I’m using Pampers Pure so I’ve packed a stack of them just in case the ones at the hospital are not what we want to use.
Baby wipes – The hospital also provides this, but again…unsure on brand and we all know I’m specific on ingredients that go into products so I’m taking wipes that I know I trust.
Stuffed animal – On that trip to Ireland I talked about that we took when I was 9 weeks pregnant, we bought her a little stuffed lamb that we’re taking to the hospital. Mostly for the sake of cute pictures.
Car seat – And, finally, to cap it off – her car seat! We’re obsessed with this thing already. It comes highly recommended and honestly, I’m probably too excited about it. It’s already installed in the car and every time I see it I just get so happy!
Wow…whew! We’re done! I’m hoping this was helpful to anyone else going through this phase. My best final advice: keep it simple. Don’t overpack, get really good essentials, but most of all…make sure you take a whole lot of confidence and peace in those doors with you.