Hospital Bag Must Haves? — The Bump
3rd Trimester

Hospital Bag Must Haves?

So I am in the home stretch and have begun trying to pack a hospital bag! I have been super calm throughout my whole pregnancy about everything but for some reason packing the hospital bag has got me STRESSED out! I'm a FTM and just want to know what all is actually needed. I have read a lot of articles and blogs about what to pack but thought I would ask everyone on here what they would say?! Help please :)

Tre Nichol

Re: Hospital Bag Must Haves?

  • The only things I ended up using last time were a few outfits for the baby, nipple cream,and personal items for me (shampoo, toothbrush, etc) this time I'm bringing something comfortable for afterwards too I was not comfortable in the hospital gown after baby was there. They have diapers and everything else for baby
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  • Abcollins57Abcollins57 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited February 2014
    Socks, preferably the kind that have the nonslip pads on the bottom so you don't have to put on shoes everytime you walk around the room.

    Comfortable clothes, if you do gowns, make them long enough that you aren't flashing people when getting in and out of bed.

    All necessary electronic chargers (don't forget the camera!).

    Toiletries, and your own pads cause the ones at the hospital feel like diapers!

    Lotion and Chapstick cause the air is very dry.

    That's really all you will use. If you are in dire need of anything else, you could ask a relative to bring it!
    And don't forget an outfit for baby's hospital pictures!
  • The hospital was really good about supplying almost everything I needed-nipple cream, pads, dermoplast, mesh undies, soothies for my nipples, diapers, colace, etc. My hospital doesn't have a 24 hr cafeteria on the weekend, so bringing snacks was a big thing for us, as I gave birth on a Sunday after dinner last time. Pack toiletries to take a shower, clothes to go home in (maternity, as you'll probably still look pregnant), nursing bra, nursing pads, an outfit for baby to go home in, cameras/phones/etc and their chargers, and a change of clothes/toiletries for DH.
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  • Extra pillows for me (I need at least 2-3 to sleep and the hospital gives 1) and pillows for DH (I don't think they gave any for his bed in the postpartum room). Boppy. Toiletries. Going home outfits for baby and me. The hospital provided everything else (including nipple cream for me and  diapers and clothes for baby while we were there), but I hear it varies by hospital. Does your hospital have a suggested list or did they say anything on the tour?
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  • I was really happy I brought a nursing tank. It made learning to BF so much easier w the quick access and all.


  • Honestly, I didn't need much more than what I'd normally pack for a night away.

    Clean lounge clothes. My own toiletries. Chargers. I always bring book/kindle. Sitting there gets old fast.

    A throw blanket because it was so cold.

    Other than that the hospital had it. I sent H out for snacks/food. We weren't that far from a store and he needed air anyways.

  • I brought alot more than I needed the first time, LOL. I really only needed toiletries, hair stuff, going home outfit for me and baby, cell phone charger, camera with charger, money and such. For us the hospital isn't that far so if I really need anything else I can send the hubby. 

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  • Thank you all so much for the input!

    I am just going to pack the necessities and if need be my husband or family can run out and get other things as needed since we live so close! Again I appreciate all the help!

    Tre Nichol
  • Sugar free mints! My labour was over 24 hours and the air is super dry it's nice to have a mint and not a super dry mouth!!
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  • jazzyexpo said:
    Must have- Chapstick
    So true. I forgot this each time and stole from family members.

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  • I would google a few hospital bag ideas.  They even have a list on this website.  There will be items on the lists that you don't use or need, and other items that you couldn't imagine not having.  

    Personally, my list is:
    underwear (no thongs)
    nursing bra x 2 (one for labor and one for afterwards to change into)
    flip flops (for the shower)
    hair ties, hair clips
    flat iron
    toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, facial wash, moisturizer, hair styling product(s), soap, make-up, toothpaste, dental floss)
    deck of cards
    iPad and charger
    camera and charger
    nursing pillow
    breast cream
    nursing pads for bra
    receiving blanket
    going home outfit for baby
    hospital photo outfit for baby (if hospital offers photos)
    going home outfit for myself

    *We live about 5 minutes away from the hospital so I will pack three bags.  One will be for the baby.  One will be for the labor, and one will be for after the labor.  We have a cat so DH will need to come home to feed the cat.  He will pack a few items for the labor, and then once it's over come home to pick up the after the labor bag and whatever items he may need.  If you live farther away or won't be able to have someone go to your home and pick up needed items, then I would make sure to pack everything all together.

  • Do you need to have panty liners after you have the baby? Are you still secreting stuff? I need to know what I need to bring for my girl after the birth. Any non obvious suggestions
  • All I know is she hates the hospital pads. So I wanted her to be comfortable after the baby is born. 
  • I was really glad I had a robe - I could unsnap the hospital gown at the shoulder and pull it down to nurse but then cover up with my robe to stay warm and to be covered while people were in the room.

    I would also recommend, unless you KNOW you are having a super tiny or super giant baby, one newborn outfit and one 0-3 months outfit for going home. DD was smaller than they'd predicted and all the outfits we brought just swallowed her.

    I second the snacks for the room as well as vending machine money, depending on what the meal service is like at your hospital.

    I remember the towels were incredibly tiny and scratchy (for showering), especially for my DH, so if you care about that you might want to bring your own, or just tough it out with their towels. I'm definitely a fan of letting the hospital be responsible for all laundry!


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  • jennish11 said:
    @mashedpotatoes - the hospital has pad to use - I've heard they are like diapers.
    I'm not bringing any to the hospital, but I'm going to get some huge pads, put some witch hazel and tucks on them, and then freeze them - I've heard it does wonders on swollen lady parts.
    OMG! I can not second this enough. Also using the dermoblast was a must for me after DS. I had an episiotomy so the Tucks and dermoblast were huge reliefs for my poor bottom. I think I saw someone on here call the pads soaked in witch hazel "padsicles". lol! Anyway, warn your DH before you stick those in the freezer. Nasty shock for mine when he opened the freezer door. :)
    [Deleted User]flyinmommyJanellelynn87
  • Everything that all of the PPs mentioned, plus scratch mittens! I don't know about your hospital, but mine does not provide scratch mittens, and you definitely don't want LO scratching up their poor little face.


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  • While I only took a small carry-on sized bag the first time, I felt like I way overpacked. I didn't even use the half the items in my bag last time. With this pergnancy I am planning on packing light. I am taking my toiletries and everything I need to feel human, an outfit to take the baby home in (I packed multiple outfits last time and ended up just using the adorable onesies the hospital provided), a pair of pj pants to lounge in since I hate hospital robes, and my camera. That it is. I found that I packed a lot of stuff the first time that the hospital supplies. I would highly reccommend talking to the doctor before hand to see what they provide. They gave us a pack of diapers and told us that they billed for the entire package so we should take the rest home. They also provided 4-5 onesies, baby wraps, a boppy pillow, and all the misc items needed for baby and myself.

  • Hospital towels suck. You might want to bring your own ( that you don't mind throwing away after).
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  • This post was helpful.  I have seen some suggest to bring your breast pump and then others say not to.  What is your ladies opinions on that?

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  • I've never heard of anyone saying to bring breast pump? I would say ask your doctor!


    Tre Nichol
  • I asked in our birthing class about a pump and the nurse said no need.
  • Also a suggestion, bring an extra bag (like a reusable shopping bag or such) because some hospitals will send you home with extra goodies and samples and stuff and sometimes people bring presents so having a bag that's just empty to help carry all that helps. 
  • cerafina205cerafina205 member
    100 Comments Third Anniversary 25 Love Its Photogenic
    edited February 2014
    I didnt use half the stuff I packed. I would say I was definately glad I brought comfy cute clothes to wear - yoga pants, nursing tank tops, socks and anything that makes you feel like you. Your own pillow.
  • The hospital has pumps. No need to bring yours. Plus it is easier to hand express colostrum. Your milk will not come in until after you get home from the hospital.
  • on top of a bag, you might throw a cardboard box in the car - we got several flower arrangements and those were not so easy to get home! Also, get VERY familiar with your carseat - we thought we had it all figured out but then realized that, while it was immaculately installed in the car, we had no clue how to loosen the straps and get an actual human baby into it.
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  • I plan to bring my breast pump just so they can show me how to use mine. I know they use a different brand. At our hosp tour i totally forgot to ask what other items they provide, but i guess it's going on my list of questions for doctor. 

    Isabella & Julian & and now #3!
  • I hate to overpack.... But with my 1st lo we stayed longer then anticipated and I didn't have enough... So now I feel like I'm overpacking, but would rather have too much then not enough like last time. IMO
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  • Do you need to have panty liners after you have the baby? Are you still secreting stuff? I need to know what I need to bring for my girl after the birth. Any non obvious suggestions

    she'll need pads, she'll be bleeding as if she has her period. 





  • I wouldn't take a pump unless you'll be there more than 3 days. It takes that long for your milk to even come in.
  • One thing I packed that I was glad I had was a little fan that I clipped on the bed. I got so hot during labor and it was nice to have some air blowing on my face. 
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  • I've also been warned to pack something to wear after delivery/going home that is not even remotely tight/clingy on your abdomen in case your have a c section. So some really loose low slung sweats/yoga pants or even a maxi dress. I had minor abdominal surgery awhile back and there was no way I could have stood for anything touching that area right after.



  • Our hospital provided only one outfit for baby.l  I found I didn't have enough sleepers in my bag with my first - so this time I will definitely be bringing a lot of them.  You never know how long you are going to be at the hospital - and you never know how many times the baby is going to spit up, or poop, or whatever. 
    Also - our hospital only provides a limited number of diapers and maxi pads, so I brought my own newborn diapers, and I brought adult diapers for me.  
    I would highly recommend doing that.  Then you aren't fighting with an oversized pad that doesn't have wings, and shifts all over the place.  Plus you don't have to worry about ruining any of your underwear - just toss the diapers when you are done with them.

    A few things for your own comfort (toothbrush, hair brush, your own lotion, chapstick, etc is nice).  I didn't shower at the hospital because I was only there for 24 hours.  
    I really overpacked though, and didn't use the magazines or other random stuff I brought for myself, 
  • I found that I really only used a few things... my own pillow, from the time I checked in to the hospital until I checked out. It was nice during labor. I brought a few newborn onesies with the little mittens attached because the hospital didn't have them and he was scratching his face. A really comfy nightshirt for the day I gave birth because of the checks.. The next day I changed into nice soft pants. A robe! Also I had little shampoo and conditioner bottles for that first glorious shower. Any other toiletries are helpful too.. such as toothbrushes and toothpaste. And going home clothes for you and baby.
    One piece of advice.. keep it to a minimum! I way over packed because I always do and it was more of a pain than if I slightly underpacked!
    Like other posters have said, I didn't use any form of entertainment I brought except my phone. Labor and baby kept me pretty busy!
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  • when I had my son I took,for my self 
    1 pair of slippers,
    1 pjama set ( some thing with a button up top for easy nursing if you plan on nursing)
    3 pairs of under where ( i went out and go some that i wouldn't care if i through away) 
    hair tie's to tie my hair back ( I would say not clips but that is me i preferably don't like them)
    hair brush 
    camera or cell phone for pictures 
    for the baby the hospital has almost everything dippers wipes but i took 
    1 dipper bag,
    3 pairs of pajamas 
    dippers and wipes 
    4 hats and the gloves ( so he doesn't scratch his face)
    1 baby journal ( to journal about him and all that happened)
    things  the extincting father  packed 
    1 pair of boxers
      1 out fit for himself 
    there are things now that i wish i would have brought with me things like 
      a few extra bags for things that family and friends brought me 
    my own shampoo and conditioner and maybe body wash 

  • my hospital provided nearly everything. All I brought was toothbrush/toothpaste and leaving outfit for me and baby.
    At home have colace (and any other natural bowel softening drinks or foods like pear juice, prune juice etc), dermoplast, ice packs for inside underpants, tucks and sitz bath.

  • I way over packed with DS 4 years ago. I'm only bringing the necessities this time around.

    For me: my own shampoo, hair brush, hair ties, my bath robe, tank tops, socks, my own pillow, outfit for going home in, phone charger, camera, baby journal.

    For DH: change of clothes, change for vending machine, snacks.

    For baby: two outfits, baby wipes since they only provide cheesecloth to do diaper changes with and the Boopy pillow. They provide everything else for baby.

    I bled heavily after having DS so I hung out in the hospital gown and used the mesh underwear. I used all of their post partum supplies they provided: dermo plast, peri bottle, tucks, pads, etc.

    I will probably have two bags packed - one for the three of us in the hospital and another for DS when he stays with my parents.

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  • I had 2 bags. The hospital bag then at home I also had the just-in-case-I-have-to-stay-for-days bag with extra clothes and baby stuff in.

    If you need it, you send someone to get the 2nd bag from the house or the car. Leaving it with the people who are likely to visit you first is a great option and it can stay in their car if you don't need it. This saves you over or under-packing.

    Needs vary by person but stuff you may forget- hair ties. snacks (cereal bars are great). chapstick. Gentle/sensitive/unscented toiletries - if there's a place you do not want scented soap, it's your downstairs right after a baby has wandered through it. COMFORTABLE, LOOSE clothing to go home in. A dress or skirt may look/feel a little silly but it's infinitely easier and more comfortable than trying to get into pants, especially if you have stitches because bending won't be an option straight away.

    I took pads in with me (extra-long ones) and my midwife advised getting the cheap, cotton-wool-filled kind if I could find them because the fancy brands like Always can tug at stitches and make everything more uncomfortable. I'm glad I did, I attempted Always once and didn't do it again.

    Well, that's that then.
  • We just got home yesterday -- we were admitted on Monday evening and discharged on Friday.  A few things I appreciated having:

    - My camelback water bottle.  They did not have a cool water mug/straw thing for me to drink from, so the camelback bottle was amazing because you can drink from it one-handed and it's spill-proof.  H kept refilling it with water and ice.  

    - My own nightgown, light robe, and slippers.  The slippers got bloody, and we threw them out before being discharged.  If you take some, make sure you don't mind if they get ruined.

    - Super-loose sweats, nursing tank, and cardigan for going home, plus REALLY loose slip-on shoes (crocs, adidas sandals, something like that).  

    - Boppy, and we had one of our own pillows from home in a patterned pillow case to make sure it was distinguishable from hospital pillows.  Again, make sure the pillow/pillow case are ones you don't mind getting ruined.

    - Small bottle of hand lotion (like a travel-sized bottle) to keep near my bed.  You'll be washing your hands obsessively, and it's dry in the hospital anyway

    - Pacifier -- our hospital does not supply them, and they will tell you not to introduce one until 4 weeks or until breast-feeding is "well-established."  However, when we pulled ours of out the bag, the nurses were all like, "Oh awesome, I'm so glad you brought that, we're not supposed to promote using them, but most people are glad they brought them, and if you wait too long to introduce them, then the baby might not take one at all."
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  • On our hospital tour, they stated that they only provide Medela breast pumps so if you need to use theirs, then you need to purchase the attachment for your use.  If you don't use Medela the part purchased is not interchangeable so bring your own breast pump if that is the case
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