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This “Hospital Bag Checklist” post was sponsored by Posh Peanut who compensated me for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
When I was preparing for my first labor and delivery, I had no idea what I should be taking to the hospital. So, I decided to share my experience in hopes that this hospital bag checklist will help another mom-to-be pack the right things!
Although I took everything that I could think of when I was induced with my daughter, Graci, in 2017, I ended up not having a few items that I really needed. Plus, I had way too many items that I never once reached for. It was definitely a learning experience!
Hospital Bag Items For Mom
While the hospital where I delivered my daughter provided basic toiletries, and I’m sure most hospitals can provide the basics if you forget, I highly recommend taking travel-size versions of your favorites.
- Soap or body wash
- Hair accessories (if applicable)
- Lip balm (you may want this during labor!)
A note about makeup – I took makeup in my hospital bag. However, I NEVER used it. If you are having photography done right after birth or feel like you’d like to have makeup for potential visitors, pack those essentials, too.
Once I got through labor and delivery, I was pretty much able to wear what I wanted. It felt incredibly liberating to put “real” clothes back on after Graci was born.
You’ll want to pack your most comfortable clothes for after delivery and for going home. Keep in mind that while your baby is now in your arms, you’re still going to look… kinda pregnant. I opted to bring maternity clothes to wear because I was sure they would fit.
If you are planning on breastfeeding, pack nursing-friendly tops and bras! In addition, make sure to pack a comfortable robe (see my suggestion below) to keep you warm.
I would recommend having at least 3 sets of clothes (just in case you need to stay in the hospital for an extra day due to a c-section or a minor complication).
A note about underwear – don’t pack it! You’re going to be given a HUGE pad and mesh underwear to wear instead!
Breastfeeding Supplies (If Applicable)
If you’re planning on breastfeeding, you may want to bring your own breastfeeding supplies.
While your hospital is likely to have breast pumps that you can use, definitely check before the delivery day! When I had Graci, the hospital that we delivered at didn’t have a breast pump available and I wished that I had brought mine from home.
Here are other some other breastfeeding items you might want to consider bringing:
- Nursing bras
- Tops that are nursing-friendly
- Breastfeeding pillow (I highly suggest bringing this even if you are formula feeding!)
- Nipple balm
During labor, you may opt to walk around. Make sure to pack some easy to slip on shoes for walking around! You can also bring some socks with grippers on the bottom for trekking around the hospital and for when your feet get cold. (The hospital may provide some of theirs for you to use, but you may want to pick out your own!)
In addition, you may want to also bring shower-friendly shoes because hospital showers are kinda gross.
Pillow With A Bright Case
When I had Graci, I was induced on Wednesday night and she wasn’t born until Saturday morning. Then, we didn’t get to leave the hospital until Monday afternoon.
That was A LOT of time spent in an uncomfortable bed. The one thing that I brought that I was most thankful for was my favorite pillow from home. It brought me a little comfort during the hours of labor and afterward.
Unfortunately, I brought my pillow to the hospital in a white pillowcase, and in the hustle and bustle of getting a new baby ready to leave the hospital, it got left behind.
So… Make sure to put your favorite pillow in a bright, hard-to-miss pillowcase!
Pretty much from the time that I got to the hospital until the time that I went home, I didn’t want my phone. But I’m pretty sure I’m the oddball on that one.
In general, I was pretty overwhelmed by my labor experience and then by figuring out the new mom thing that I didn’t feel like I needed too many electronics.
However, here are the essentials you’ll want to have:
- Phone charger
*If you have a birth partner going through labor and delivery with you, you may suggest that they also bring electronics, chargers and other entertainment with them, just in case they get bored!
Snacks & Drinks
Hospital food often leaves a lot to be desired! You may consider packing some of your favorite snacks and drinks to have on hand during your hospital stay. If you have a birth partner coming along, make sure you pack some change for the vending machines!
Hospital Bag Items For Baby
When it comes to your baby, the hospital will provide most of the things that you need. However, I liked having my own clothing and blankets for Graci. We were cleared to use our items from home pretty quickly after her birth.
Here’s what I’d opt to bring from home:
- 2-3 outfits (go for onesies or other simple, comfortable pieces)
- Mittens to protect the baby’s face from their uber sharp little nails
- A special outfit for going home!
- Swaddle blankets
- Pacifiers if you are choosing to use them
The most important item to make sure that you bring for your baby is the car seat! Without it, the hospital likely won’t let you leave. Make sure the car seat is installed properly and that you’ve brought in the carrier portion if you have one.
Items That Your Hospital Will Likely Provide
At this point, you may be thinking that I’ve left out a BUNCH of necessary items for your hospital bag. Well, rest assured, I haven’t forgotten important items like diapers or wipes! When I went to the hospital for Graci’s birth, I had no idea that the hospital would actually provide a ton of supplies for
*Please make sure to ask what items your hospital provides prior to delivery, as all hospitals are different.
Here are the items that your hospital is likely to provide:
- Formula (if you end up needing to formula feed)
- Breast pumps (even though my hospital did not have a pump available, I don’t think that is the norm)
- Postpartum care supplies (check out my article here about postpartum recovery)
If you check with your hospital prior to delivery and are happy with the supplies they provide, don’t worry about packing these items! Of course, if you would rather use different brands for your baby, you’ll need to pack these additional items.
Make Sure To Pack Items For Any Special Photos
One of my biggest regrets about my hospital stay with Graci was that I didn’t plan any special photo opportunities in advance. I have a ton of photos from our stay in the hospital that I absolutely cherish, but I wish that I planned out a cute photo opp.
When Posh Peanut reached out to me to collaborate, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to check out their mommy robes and matching swaddles. These matching sets would make for an adorable photo opp in the hospital!
I was able to choose my pattern to review and I opted for a “sailor blue” robe, swaddle and hat. Since I’m not currently expecting but hope to be in the future, I chose a gender-neutral matching set. However, there are a ton of patterns to choose from, and if you’re having a little girl and prefer to have a bow headband, they are also available in select patterns!
As I mentioned above, I would definitely pack a robe for your hospital stay, and this would work perfectly! Since it was designed to work during pregnancy and beyond, it will be roomy and comfortable.
Make sure to check out all of Posh Peanut’s products on their website!
If you’ve had a baby, what were your labor and delivery must-haves? And if you’ve never had a baby before, were there any items discussed that you were surprised by? Let me know in the comments below!
Make sure to grab your “Hospital Bag Checklist” now!