I initially wrote this post the day before having Elie, and I am so glad I didn’t hit the publish button. Reason being, half the stuff I packed in my hospital bag wasn’t used or needed. When Casey first saw my bag, he was like “really?!… you need allllll of this?!” and gave me the look he always does when I pack before going on a trip. Of course, I justified every little thing I brought, but at the end of the day he was 100% right [this time].
I’ve seen a ton of Hospital Bag posts, and to be honest, half the recommended items aren’t necessary. I get wanting to feel comfortable and as much as yourself as possible, but at the end of the day there is SO.MUCH.BLOOD, and I wasn’t willing to risk ruining my belongings. Sorry if this is TMI, but gotta keep it real with you guys.
I can only speak on my own personal experiences… I had two vaginal deliveries and was in the hospital three nights with my first and two nights with my second. So based on that, here’s my thoughts on what you really need in your hospital bag. . .
Okay, lets talk clothes for you Mommies…
Leggings: I’ve seen people recommend leggings, but I did not want ANYTHING tight against my tush and tummy. Keep in mind, after delivery, you will feel like you’re wearing a diaper. The hospital gives you mesh underwear and the thickest, bulkiest pads ever. Some women recommend bringing and wearing depends instead, which is probably a great idea. But even with depends, I can’t imagine being comfortable with super tight leggings. SO, if you do bring leggings, make sure they’re a comfy fabric with not too tight of a waistband. AND be sure to pair them with a long top, which let’s be honest… should ALWAYS be the case for leggings when not in obvious workout clothes!
Joggers or Sweatpants: Joggers were much better of an option for me than leggings. I brought a dark grey pair and black pair because again, SO.MUCH.BLOOD!
Nursing Bras & Tanks: If you plan on breastfeeding, bring at least two nursing bras and/or tanks.
Cardigan: Even if you deliver during the Summer months, hospitals can be really chilly. I suggest bringing a long, really comfy one. Cardigans are better than sweatshirts because you can keep them on while nursing. I lived in this one. Even wore it with my hospital gown!
Robe: DO NOT BRING A NICE ROBE TO THE HOSPITAL! I repeat. DO NOT BRING A NICE ROBE TO THE HOSPITAL! If you insist on bringing a robe, get a cheap one from Target. If you want to wear a pretty one for hospital photos, as I know some women do, just wear it for the photoshoot. I ended up wearing the hospital gown for the majority of my stay. While it isn’t the prettiest of things, it serves a purpose. Remember what I said about the blood?! Yeah, exactly. I paired it with sweats and a cardigan at times, making quite the fashion statement.
Pajamas: It’s your call if you want to bring a pjs set. If you do, just stick to my recommendations from above… pants that are loose, comfortable on your stomach, and dark in color. The top should be one with buttons. This is one of my favorite pj sets… the fabric is soooo soft!
Tops: I honestly only put on a regular top when I got dressed to leave the hospital. Actually I’m lying…I also wore that same top for the family pics we took in the hospital. It’s nothing fancy, but it happens to be one of my favorite tops ever, AND it’s nursing friendly! I own it in four colors, I love it so much.
Socks, Slippers, & Flip Flops: I brought these yummy socks and these slippers. Flip Flops are also good to bring, especially if you use the shower!
And don’t forget about the babe…
Swaddles: The hospital should have baby swaddle blankets you can use and keep to swaddle your new bundle of joy, but bring at least two from home.
Onesies and/or Gowns: Changing itty bitty babies can be a little challenging, especially for first time parents. The hospital will have plain white kimono looking tops, but bring three different outfits from home to have in addition to that. Gowns are great for newborns because it makes changing diapers super easy. If bringing onesies, I recommend ones that snap or zip up versus ones that go over baby’s head. They even have magnetic onesies which Casey was obsessed with when we had Harley. It was literally the only onesie he would put on her. I love this brand for going home outfits because their stuff is so soft.
Hats and Socks: With Harley, I bought the cutesttttttt hats for her here. For Elie, the two hats we had for him were way too big, but thankfully we got an adorable one from the hospital [they have a volunteer who knits baby hats] in addition to the standard blue/pink stripe one they have.
Bring the basics… face wash, moisturizer, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant. You may be saying to me, duh!! But I promise you, this stuff can be easy to forget. I did also bring a travel size shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and moisturizer.
Do yourself a favor and bring concealer!! You certainly don’t have to do a whole full face of makeup if you don’t want to, but if you do have any visitors and/or if you take any family pics at the hospital, you’ll want a little something on your face. Mascara, lipgloss, whatever makes you feel normal. If you are someone who suffers from bad bags underneath your eyes, I can’t recommend this product enough! That paired with my favorite concealer saves my life!
Bring a hair brush and whatever hair tools you want. I did bring my curling iron, but didn’t end up using it. If I had broken a sweat during Elie’s delivery, I may have wanted to touch up my hair, but fortunately he was good to me, and I didn’t have a hair out of place!
Long Extension Cord [for your phone charger]
Pillow & Blanket [if your hubby plans on staying the night]
Chapstick: my lips were sooooo dry in the hospital!
Personal Care: Feel free to call your hospital and ask what kind of supplies they’ll be providing for care “down there” post delivery. I had Harley and Elie at two different hospitals and in two different states, and both times the hospital provided me with everything I needed. I’ve heard not every hospital has Dermoplast and Witch Hazel Pads for their patients, so maybe call and ask. That Dermoplast spray is GOLD, so you’ll want that. Also, some women like to bring nipple cream. I did bring it, but didn’t need it at all while in the hospital.
Portable Speaker: If you’re getting induced, it can be a long day. With Harley, there was ZERO down time, but on Elie’s delivery day, Casey and I listened to Florida Georgia Line’s Greatest Hits on repeat from his Spotify. It honestly was so nice and relaxing.
Snacks: We didn’t go crazy, but it was helpful having some apples, almonds, and Perfect Bars. I was HUNGRY after delivering Elie and made my sister bring me a Caprese panini from Whole Foods, haha! That and Harmless Harvest Coconut Water. So random!
Empty Tote Bag: Take EVERYTHING you can from the hospital! My nurse gave me an entire package of newborn diapers, and wipes. I took home the sexy mesh underwear and thick maxi pads, Dermoplast, and pre-soaked Witch Hazel pads. If you tell the hospital you plan on formula feeding, they might give you a ton of formula. We also got pacifiers, baby blankets, nose sucker things.
Anddddd I think that is it! If you happen to forget something, it’s not the end of the world. Plenty of people deliver babies without bringing a pre-packed hospital bag with them.
Just breathe, relax, and enjoy the ride! You got this Mama!!