11 Things to Pack In Your Hospital Bag: According To A Postpartum Nurse

One of the most exciting parts about pregnancy is the nesting that comes in FULL force.  Packing a hospital bag for you and baby can seem like a daunting task; but this list will take the guess work out of it so you can just enjoy dreaming about what it will be like to finally bring that cute babe home.

We’ll start with the “must haves” and end with the “nice to haves” for mama’s hospital bag.  Make sure your support person knows in advance to have a bag ready to go too in case labor comes unexpectedly (as it usually does!).  They’ll probably want some snacks, toiletries, and a change of clothes.

For your bag:

  1. A robe:  you’ll be able to wear the hospital gown throughout your stay, but you’ll want something to cover up your back/bum for walking the halls.  The hospital gowns tie in the back and don’t offer much in the way of coverage! (Hello booty!) Consider a darker color robe if you plan to wear it throughout your hospital stay-as you may get blood on it.  A robe is also ideal for breastfeeding since it opens easily in the front.
  2. Nursing bra or camisole: you’ll just want something that’s easy to throw on when visitors come.  You may prefer sticking to the hospital gown (most hospitals carry breastfeeding friendly gowns) while your figuring out nursing.  But again; as you can imagine the hospital nursing gowns don’t offer much in the coverage department. They are pretty much just some fabric with slits in the front for easy nursing access.
  3. Slippers or flip flops: you’ll want something to be able to easily put on for walking the halls.  Don’t go barefoot!  The hospital floors are FULL of germs.  And not to put an unpleasant picture in your head, but birth isn’t usually “clean” so fluids gets splashed onto the floor ALL THE TIME.
  4. Toiletries: this is pretty straight forward.  You’ll want to pack deodorant, makeup, a brush, hair elastics, etc. and may even want your own shampoo and conditioner.  A typical stay for a vaginal delivery is 24-48hrs and for a c-section 3-4 days.
  5. Camera: you’ll definitely want to document those first few days of your baby’s life….and likely every milestone after that!  Make sure you have your camera or phone charged.
  6. Clothes to go home in.  Bring something stretchy; you won’t be fitting into your pre-pregnancy clothes just yet!  Something with an elastic waistband, or leggings and a loose fitting top.
  7. Lip Balm: the air in the hospital is SO incredibly dry.  I recommend bringing your favorite chapstick.  Another life hack is using lanolin cream on your lips.  Lanolin is actually a nipple balm that helps protect your nipples from chaffing and cracking; something that’s super common when you start breastfeeding. It has the same hydrating effect as chapstick and also be used on the lips!  Your hospital will probably stock it but it does go through a pharmacy charge, so to avoid a charge for a sample size lanolin cream you can bring your own.
  8. A journal: you may find you’ll want to write down this life changing experience while it’s fresh in your memory! Consider packing a journal or using your phone to journal the highlights of your baby’s birth.
  9. An extra long iPhone cord: this one is a “nice to have”.  You never know where the outlets will be and it may sound silly but you’ll want to be able to send pictures and keep family in the loop from the comfort of your bed.
  10. Dry shampoo: also a “nice to have” if you’re not ready to shower yet or can’t because of a c-section incision.  I personally didn’t want to have to worry about wet hair in the hospital; so dry shampoo came in handy after I showered the rest of my body.
  11. Music; a book or a movie: another “nice to have” you may have a playlist already set up on your phone for labor.  There’s a lot of “waiting” that can happen in the hospital; so you might want a book or a favorite movie to help pass the time. Nerd alert! I loved having Harry Potter on in the background while I was soaking up the newborn snuggles.

And there you have it!  My 11 items to back in your hospital bag! Be on the lookout for a post that’s dedicated on what you should bring for baby; and let us know in the comments what you would add to this list!

Products Mentioned in This Post

Womens Bathrobe Kimono



Lamaze Cotton Spandex Bra


UGG Womens Coquette Chestnut Slipper


Lanolin Cream


Batiste Dry Shampoo Tropical Count


Kinps Certified Lighning iPhone Charger