March 2021 Moms

Product Spotlight: Hospital Bag Essentials

This is a place for FTMs to ask questions about, S+TMs to share their prior experience with, and everyone to share what they're eyeing in the world of maternity, baby and postpartum products. Each week we'll spotlight a new category of product to help streamline and make it easier to refer back. This week we're discussing hospital bag essentials!  

Please use the prompts below to try to share as much relevant info as you can in a format that is easy for those reading to navigate and respond to.

For S+TMs: 

  • Individual (e.g., lifestyle) factors that might influence your choice:
  • Favorite hospital bag essentials:
  • Link/picture:
  • Cost (either actual dollar amount, or just $, $$, $$$, etc.):
  • What you like and don't like about it: are there hospital bag essentialsyou don't have but are considering? Why?:
  • Are there hospital bag essentials  you've tried that you absolutely hate? Why?: 
  • Additional thoughts on hospital bag essentials ?:

For FTMs:

  • Hospital bag essentials you're interested in:
  • Link/picture:
  • Cost (either actual dollar amount, or just $, $$, $$$, etc.):
  • Any questions for S+TMs?:
To view past Product Spotlights or the upcoming schedule, see
Pregnancy Ticker

Re: Product Spotlight: Hospital Bag Essentials

  • juliebeannnjuliebeannn member
    edited January 2021
    This is the list I've got going on my phone.  I'm keeping things pretty minimal.

    *my own pillow 
    *maternity pants, t-shirt and hoodie for trip home
    *baby going home outfit
    *toiletry bag (toothbrush, toothpaste, contacts, contact case with solution, glasses, q-tips, lip balm, hair ties)
    *flip flops for shower
    *nursing bra
    *long phone charger, power bank
    *breastfeeding pillow
    *portable sound machine
    *1 swaddle
    *1 footed sleeper
    *extra masks

    *I'm also taking a small bag/wristlet to keep loose items that I'll want to keep by my bed but don't want spilling all over - I'll keep the airpods, lip balm, power bank, charger, extra hair ties in there

    *I really liked having my own pillow last time. Their pillow aren't soft and are super flat.  Just make sure to have a pillow cover that's not white so that housekeeping doesn't get confused.

    *I'm barely taking anything for the baby.  DS pretty much stayed in the little kimono style top they provide and a diaper.  
    Together 2007 | Married 2011 | Me: 36 | DH: 38
    Adopted Furbaby: 2014
    TTC#1 : 1/2016 | IUI #2 - BFP 12/24/16 -- born 9/8/17
    TTC#2: 11/2019 | Dx DOR (AMH 0.3), AMA
    IUI #2 - BFP 7/1/20 -- EDD 3/14/21
  • This is the official from the hospital I’m going to give birth at. I brought the same things last time with additions like Dermoplast spray, thank you box of chocolates for midwives, and essential oils. I had two bags: a birthing room bag and the hospital room bag. 

    For your stay in the birthing room

    Preparing a separate suitcase - with a few items - allows you to quickly dispose of it:

    For the mother:

     1 large T-shirt or nightgown

     1 dressing gown

     1 pair of slippers

     1 wide brief

     1 bath towel

     1 washcloth

     Optional :

    fatty lipstick 





    For the baby:

    1 body

     1 pajamas


     1 beanie 

    For your hospital stay and that of your baby

     For the mother:


     comfortable clothes

     large briefs or disposable briefs

     if you want to breastfeed 2 nursing bras

     nursing pads

     towels and washcloths

     hair dryer

     your toiletries and beauty items

     breastfeeding pillow if you have one

     For the baby:

    small size sleeping bag

     pajamas or onesies

     small double-breasted shirts or bodysuits • socks

     1 beanie

     Take advantage of your stay to test your childcare equipment, bring your thermometer / bottles / nursing pillow ...

    Pregnancy Ticker
  • Loading the player...
  • I learned you won’t need as much as you might think. I didn’t change into anything other than putting a robe on, then what I wore going home. You’ll be examined a number of times after birth so I wouldn’t go for anything with bottoms/pants, just something open with easy access.  I also didn’t shower there (24 ish hour stay), which may be slightly gross but whatever...they do wipe you down pretty good haha. I didn’t bring my nursing pillow last time but will this time. And a pillow for your partner for sure - they were short on pillows so weren’t giving them to anyone other than the moms, which made for an uncomfortable night for DH. The baby was swaddled most of the time while there so didn’t need much more than pjs and a going home outfit. 

    Bring your car seat. They won’t let you leave without it (if you’re going in a car) and they need to check that you’ve strapped them in properly (not sure how it works for those using convertible car seats). They will not strap the baby in for you for liability reasons, so practice ahead of time with a doll, it actually helps!
  • last time around I brought some comfy clothes for the day after delivery and discharge day. They had someone going around taking pictures so I had a cute outfit for the baby packed for that. I don't know if they'll offer that this time around but I'm assuming not. Other than that I had the baby's going home outfit and otherwise she stayed in the hospital wrap-top and swaddle the whole time. I also brought the baby book so I could get her footprints and stats in there.

    Other things for myself- charger with long cord, snacks, flip flops, hair ties, toiletries (lotion, deodorant, etc- I think the hospital gave me a toothbrush and toothpaste, but this time it's on their list of "what to bring"), lip balm, nursing bras...I also got socks and a robe for this time around. I don't remember what else.

    Like @finnflan said, definitely don't forget your car seat! If you're using an infant "bucket" seat, install the base soon-ish, and then leave the seat by the door with your hospital bag to bring with you. 

    Also, don't forget to leave room for all the stuff you'll take home from the hospital! I took wipes, diapers, formula, mesh underwear (I ended up with enough until I was ready to wear regular underwear lol), ice pack pads, tucks pads, the peri-bottle (that's a must, btw),  dermoplast... it was great. Especially the ice pack pads and mesh underwear. I basically asked for a new supply from each nurse after they changed shifts and came by to check on me and hoarded most of them.
    TTC history in spoiler
    Me: 31 Him: 37
    Married: Oct 2015
    Baby G born June 2017
    TTC#2: July 2018
    BFP #2: 2/6/19 MC 3/14/19
    BFP#3 from IUI #2: 6/30/20 EDD 3/9/21

    Babysizer Cravings Pregnancy  Baby Tracker

  • Things for me:
    EVA Slides (Birki knock offs)
    1 pair of socks
    2 nursing bras
    Nursing pads
    Maxi nursing dress to go home in
    Denim jacket to go home in
    Slip on ballet flats
    Pack of 'always discreet'
    An extra tote bag folded up for any hospital freebies we might aquire lol

    Things for Teddy:
    Going home outfits(I packed a few styles in different sizes because I don't know how big he'll be and they fold up small anyway)
    Car seat
    Boppy pillow
    Birth announcement wooden disc lol

    Things for H:
    Toiletries(travel kit)
    Whatever else he packs for himself lol

    DD1 - 2010 TTC v2.0
  • What @manillabar said- girl, stock up on those hospital items! Especially the mesh undies and ice packs. I also asked multiple nurses for them - plus, I was told to take everything because they throw everything out anyways to be sanitary. Those mesh underwear tho....❤️
  •  Since im having a c section i bought high waisted  cotton underwear.  .  .  And thats pretty much as far as ive gotten 🤦‍♀️
  • Is it extra to pack a small suitcase and a diaper bag? 
  • Wow, I can believe the hospital gives away all those freebies! All I got was the mesh underwear and pad that I was wearing. 😂
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • @bcashaw - I use a small carry on rolling suitcase and used luggage cubes to separate my stuff from the baby stuff. So it was all on 1 place but still easy to sort out. 

    @redselig - I think it’s a US hospital thing for the freebies! I got 2 pairs of mesh underwear and like 3 pads haha. Trade off is not paying for the hospital stay so there’s that. 

    I also totally rocked the depends for about 2 weeks. Way more comfy than the giant pads for me. 
  • @finnflan  Thought Canadians get fteebies too but I guess not! And I totally wore Depends on the way to the hospital and at home for the first couple days. 

    A question for the American ladies - if I were to give birth at an American hospital without insurance, how much would it cost? 
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • @redselig it depends on the hospital and the region. Some hospitals nickel and dime everyone, some don't. All are for-profit and sometimes you can have insurance that covers everything in-network and you get a surprise bill that one part of the team wasn't covered and that will cost thousands. 
  • @kloe818 A friend had asked me how much it would cost to give birth where I live. I had to look up because I really didn’t know. If you aren’t a resident it could cost between 6k to 8k. I thought it was expensive but the friend I was talking to said it was cheap. 😅
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • @redselig this article apparently breaks it down by state. Of course NJ is one of the highest at $29K 😳
    TTC history in spoiler
    Me: 31 Him: 37
    Married: Oct 2015
    Baby G born June 2017
    TTC#2: July 2018
    BFP #2: 2/6/19 MC 3/14/19
    BFP#3 from IUI #2: 6/30/20 EDD 3/9/21

    Babysizer Cravings Pregnancy  Baby Tracker

  • I'll be keeping it fairly simple. Change of clothes for myself and husband, some clothes for baby, phones and chargers, toiletries. I may pack snacks this time because my husband won't be allowed to leave the room for food due to Covid. I need to check but I've heard that our birth center is providing meal trays for fathers since they aren't permitted to leave the room. Other than that my hospital provided everything we needed for my first baby - diapers, wipes, pacifiers, nipple shields and even formula when we had to supplement due to weight loss. I also got to take home a bunch of mesh undies and instant heat packs for my c section incision. We too were told if you don't take any extra stuff home it just gets thrown out.
  • @redselig in my experience payinf for canadian healthcare is still ALOT more affordable than American healthcare without  insurance. In Canada you can ask for more mesh panties  and stuff, just try to ask different nurses to work up your stash 😂
     Due to covid i thought id mention that im also bringing a cooler. I might be there for 3 days (c section) ans my partner isnt allowed to leave the room and re enter. 
  • With my first pregnancy all prenatal care and delivery was 100% covered by my insurance through my previous job. This time around I paid 6k+ upfront to go through a water birth center with midwives. I believe I'll get about 1/3 reimbursement from my current insurance. 
  • @manillabar Wow, it varies greatly. No wonder my travel insurance premiums go up when I say I will visit any part of the United States! 

    @bcashaw I gave up my public health insurance in Canada when I moved away and declared non-residency. I remember visiting and feeling ill one time and really wanted a consultation with a doctor. It didn’t cost much! 
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • And the wait to see a specialist is like weeks or months depending on what the concern is outside of pregnancy. I read one article about healthcare in Iceland or Greenland where they got to see a specialist for cancer THAT DAY and started treatment same day. Here, insurance has to approve the specialist first and then you can get an appointment depending on their schedule and then they run tests. Could be several weeks before you can get back in to see them and then they'll talk to other doctors about care. It's ridiculous. 
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