What's in my Hospital Bag

We are 3 weeks away from meeting this sweet babe. I’m beyond excited to find out if we will welcome another girl or a sweet boy into our family.

I’m honestly a little shocked that we actually waited to find out the gender. I’m a huge planner and the last few weeks have been torture not knowing. Mostly because I want to buy all the fun baby things.

what to pack in your hospital bag

But alas, I’m holding off until we find out who this sweet babe is!

I can’t believe we’re already packing a hospital bag. It seems like this pregnancy completely flew by. We’re soaking up these last few weeks before our world changes and a new season begins.

We will be driving almost 2 hours to the hospital (I know, most of you freak out when you hear this!) so it’s really important that I have everything packed and ready to go.

If you’re new here or haven’t been following my journey, I’m planning to have a VBAC after two C-sections. Unfortunately, our local doctors and hospitals wouldn’t allow this. So we’re driving the distance to make my dream come true of experiencing a natural birth.

I’m beyond grateful to have found a supportive doctor who is willing to help make this dream a reality.

What to put in your hospital bag

If you’re currently pregnant I hope my hospital bag list helps you easily pack your own bag for your hospital stay. I’ve packed two hospital bags and yet I still had to do a little research to see what I truly needed. It’s funny how we can forget what we need.

If you aren’t pregnant yet, you might want to save, bookmark, or pin this list so you can use it when your time comes.

I plan on updating this post after baby arrives so I can let you know what we actually used so you can get an even better picture of what to bring in your own hospital bag.

What to put in your hospital bag for Mama

Nursing Bra & Nursing tank:

I love this nursing bra from Bravado. I’m also bringing a nursing tank from Target that I bought with my second babe.

I ended up just wearing my nursing bra but not the nursing tank!

Comfy Jammies:

Snagged some that button up so that I can easily nurse!

I’m glad I brought my own pj’s because I wore them the whole time!

Socks/Slippers:  

Bringing these for comfort – I tend to run colder.

I definitely wore my own socks (with stickies on the bottom—think pure barre socks) but didn’t wear my slippers. They do have sticky socks at the hospital but they are huge—Noah actually wore them instead.

Robe:

I remember wearing this a lot in the hospital with my first two so I’m packing it again.

I did wear my robe and I’m glad I brought it.

Phone charger:

Obviously, a must so I can be sure to tell everyone the good news!

Yes, used this often!!!

Chapstick:

The hospital air is so dry so I’m making sure this is packed to avoid dry lips.

I actually didn’t end up needing chapstick which I’m a little surprised about!

Bath towel:

I never brought one with my other babes but honestly, the towels are thin and scratchy so I’m definitely bringing one this time around.

So glad I brought our own towels! Definitely recommend.

Hair ties:

I know I’ll want my hair up at some point during labor!

I did end up putting my hair up when I got in the tub to labor.

Swimsuit:

I plan to labor at some point in the birthing tub so I will bring a two-piece swimsuit in case I want to be a little more modest!

I actually didn’t use my swimsuit for the tub. At that point all modesty had gone out the window and I was just wanting some relief from the brutal contractions. ;)

snacks to pack in your hospital bag

Snacks:

Okay, for me this is a must! I don’t like the hospital snacks (and not even sure what their gluten-free choices are or if they have any!). So bringing lots of food will be important. Plus, I’m always starving after the baby arrives and nursing hunger is real.

Here are the snacks I’m packing:

  • Homemade energy bites

  • RXBars

  • Purely Elizabeth granola

  • Apples

  • Unreal almond butter cups

  • Wow gluten free chocolate chip cookies

  • Made in Nature dried mango slices

  • RXBars peanut butter packets

  • Mixed nuts

I’m a little surprised by this but we didn’t end up eating as much of the snacks as I thought we would. Noah ate some while I was laboring but other than that we just ordered food from the hospital. Our hospital didn’t care how much food we ordered (some hospitals do though—the hospital I delivered Iylee in was very strict about how much food I could order) so I ordered food for the both of us each meal.

An outfit to go home in:

I plan on being super comfortable when I head home, especially since we have a 2-hour drive home! I’m bringing these cute sweats from the Loft and a henley tee.

I was so glad I brought comfy clothes for the long ride home.

Laptop:

Just in case I want to watch something!

We did use my laptop while I was in early labor and during our stay in the hospital to watch some Netflix.

Toiletries:

Shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, lotion, contact solution

Used all of the above! :)

Nipple cream:

I’m using Cocokind Baby Organic Soothing Salve. This is a new to me product so I will definitely update you with what I think.

I did use this in the hospital but I am now currently using coconut oil as my “nipple cream” and it’s working so well. I went to a lactation consultant to make sure everything was going smoothly with Shepherd and she recommended coconut oil to heal some of my milk blisters that I had and it cleared up within a day!

Boppy:

I remember this coming in handy when I was figuring out nursing Iylee in the hospital!

A must if you’re nursing! Makes it so much easier to get baby in the right position.


What to put in your hospital bag for Dad:

Change of clothes

Swimsuit:

In case I want him to sit in the birthing tub with me.

Didn’t need…Noah just sat next to the tub while I was in there.

Toiletries

Socks/Slippers

Snacks:

I will obviously share what I’m bringing with Noah but I’m bringing some snacks that I know he’ll love munching on.

  • Chocolate covered coffee beans: he’ll eat these during labor to keep his energy up!

  • Homemade trail mix

  • Popcorn

  • La Colombe Draft Lattes: bringing these to hopefully keep him awake ;)

Noah was glad that I brought the lattes and chocolate covered coffee beans for him. I wish I would have brought even more of the lattes! Although the floor did have a keurig which he loved. ;)

Book & Laptop:

For any downtime during labor or after the baby arrives and we are just chilling in the hospital.

He did do some writing for work while we had some down time during early labor.

What to put in your hospital bag for Baby:

A going home outfit:

packing for the hospital

I’m bringing a girl outfit and a boy outfit! I never dressed my girls during the hospital stay. They just wore what the hospital put them in and stayed swaddled the majority of the time.

Just needed the boy outfit for home and kept Shepherd in what the hospital provided.

Diaper & Wipes:

I know the hospital provides this but I’m a bit picky about what diapers we use – especially on that cute newborn booty. So I will be bringing my own diapers and wipes that are free from toxic chemicals and fragrances which have been linked to asthma, hormonal problems, developmental delays, and even cancer.

I was so tired and caught up in just having a baby that I totally forgot that I had my own diapers and wipes. Shep survived. ;)

A swaddle:

Just in case we don’t use the hospital’s swaddle blankets. I’ll also want one for the way home if it’s chilly.

We just used his own blanket for the ride home.

Car seat:

Obviously a must! ;)  

Yup, definitely used!

I sure hope I’m not missing anything essential but here is my list for what’s in my hospital bag. I feel much more prepared now that I have everything all packed and ready to go for when baby decides to make his/her appearance.

What would you add?! Comment below if you absolutely loved something while you were in the hospital that I’m missing on my list!


P.S. I’ve never had a vaginal birth before so if you have any tips/products I might need for recovery let me know!


About the author:

Kara Swanson is a certified nutritionist and founder of Life Well Lived. She is married to her best friend and the proud mother of three. Her passion is to make nutrition simple+easy+delicious!