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31 Aug

what I’m packing in my hospital bag

Bag by India Hicks

around 35 weeks, my hospital bag was packed. the last remaining item were some scratch mitts for the baby, which I was waiting to arrive in the mail. once they arrived, I zipped the bag up and put it in the corner of the nursery, by the door, ready to be grabbed at a moment’s notice! just like in the movies, right?

what’s in my hospital bag

  • Photo ID & Insurance card
  • Printed birth plan
  • Wireless speaker
  • Protein bars & raw nut mix for post-partum recovery,Β so Lu doesn’t have to leave to grab me something (although NYC has things like Postmates and anything can be delivered!)
  • Blanket & pillow – I’ve just heard that hospitals have the most uncomfortable bedding and I have extra blankets and pillows in the nursery, so I’m going to bring one of each.
  • Nursing gown & robe – I bought this robe and this nursing gown so I have something nice for the hospital – and post-hospital, of course.
  • Newborn scratch mittens – I love these by Goumikids.
  • Nursing top & comfy sweatpants – for while I’m at the hospital, if I feel like I need to feel more human, I have a super comfy lounge outfit. This top and these pants.
  • Going home outfit – I packed high-waisted maternity leggings, my Boob nursing tank, and a sweater cardigan.
  • 2 Nursing bras – I’m loving Bravado Designs, and I am bringing them in two different sizes, in case my milk supply comes in early and my boobs grow another cup size (ugh!)
  • Nursing pads
  • Diapers – I’d like the nurses to teach me how to change a diaper using the diapers I’ll be using, so I brought a few. I have a few different brands, but am bringing Bamboo Nature.
  • iPhone charger with extra long cord – this one, thanks to Julia for the recommendation!
  • Dirty laundry ‘bag’ – I had this lying around, so I packed it.
  • Frida Mom Washer – I’ve heard that this is much easier to use than the one they give you in the hospital, so it’s packed.
  • Personal hand fan – I get super cranky when I’m overheated, so I’m sure I’ll be having Lu use this on me, Cleopatra style.
  • Sleep mask
  • Grip socks – to walk around during delivery and post-partum.
  • Flip flops for the shower
  • Swaddle blanket – I know they provide everything, but I’d like to take the baby’s first picture in the hospital in a swaddle of my choice!
  • 1 Newborn short sleeve onesie – if it’s a warm September day!
  • 1 newborn long-sleeve onesie with footies – in case it’s a freakishly cold September day!
  • Baby cap – to cover his head.

And in my toiletries bag/dopp kit, I’m bringing:

  • ACURE travel pack – face wash, body moisturizer, shampoo, & conditioner
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Bar of soap
  • Belly butter
  • Mints
  • Hair ties
  • My glasses (fun fact: I have bad vision!)
  • Nipple cream
  • Contact lenses
  • Razor
  • Facial wipes – these ones, for cleaning my face while I’m laying in bed and don’t want to take a shower.
  • Q-tips (I can’t live without them!)
  • Lip balm
  • Hair band to keep the hair out of my face – I love these.

UPDATE: also bringing the following, based on suggestions from all of you (thank you!):

Lu’s hospital bag

Lu wants to pack his hospital bag! He’ll be bringing:

  • A sweatshirt
  • 2 changes of clothes
  • Pajamas
  • Flip flops for the shower
  • Snacks

is there anything you think I should add/I don’t need? I love hearing experiences from mamas who have been through it!

54 Comments
  • Christine English

    Def bring your nursing pillow otherwise you will have to use a regular bed pillow. Trust me, I have been nursing my daughter for 8mo now and wish someone had told me to bring one with us to the hospital. Makes positioning the baby at the breast much easier and comfortable.

    Thu August 31 at 1:26 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      I’ve heard mixed reviews about bringing the pillow or not, so I decided against it! We may just leave it in the car just in case and my husband can grab it if I decide I need it.

      Thu August 31 at 1:35 pm Reply
  • Colleen

    Sounds like you have all the essentials and then some! This is super random but I loved having it, I brought rose water facial mist with me. The hospital rooms sometimes get really dry and this just helped add some moisture to my face and felt really refreshing. Best of luck!!

    -Colleen

    Thu August 31 at 1:33 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      Love that idea! I hate the smell of rose water, it makes me nauseous, but I like the idea of a water facial mist!

      Thu August 31 at 1:35 pm Reply
  • Meaghan

    I second the nursing pillow, desitin (for some reason my hospital didn’t provide it), and I also brought a pair of slip on slippers. I had two c-sections so I also brought a postpartum support band. Since I was in the hospital longer, I also brought my iPad and headphones to watch sometime. Hospital TV was pretty bad.
    Also, the hospital "beds" for dad are supposedly very uncomfortable so you might want to have some extra options ready to go for dad. When my husband told me he wasn’t sleeping well, I told him to join the club. You’ll need humor!
    I can’t believe he’s almost here, best of luck!!

    Thu August 31 at 1:37 pm Reply
  • Erin

    Sounds like you are all set! It sounds unnecessary, but I wish I had brought my own bath towels-the hospital ones were tiny and scratchy, and that first shower postpartum is everything πŸ™‚
    xx
    Erin

    Thu August 31 at 1:44 pm Reply
  • Bridget

    Definitely bring a boppy/nursing pillow- not only for nursing, but holding the baby in your lap. You’ll be tired and you won’t want to put him down so it gives you the best of both worlds! (Also good to have for visitors who are nervous about holding a tiny baby). Also- it sounds gross (but, so much of it will be, haha), but I bought a pack of giant, mesh granny panties/hanes. You’ll likely wear the hospital mesh undies (don’t fear them- they are the best-and ask for some to take home!), but the bigger the better, haha. Trust me! πŸ˜‰
    Wishing you a wonderful labor and delivery!!

    Thu August 31 at 1:45 pm Reply
  • Amy

    This feels like TMI, but I wish someone had given me the idea the first time around, so here goes! They will provide you with the disposable undies and the big pads that go inside for after the baby arrives, and they will probably give you extras for home. With my first I used them because I didn’t want to ruin other panties/clothes. I was exhausted and it still seemed like an ordeal to change everything and the mesh undies were less than nice looking. The second time around I got a pack of the "sleek" Depends (I think they are called Silhouettes πŸ˜€ They are black). It made that department a bit less cumbersome and better looking. I was glad to have them at home.

    Thu August 31 at 1:47 pm Reply
    • Sus

      Hahah! You must have posted as I was composing mine! Totally agree, wish someone had told me before I went to the hospital!!

      Thu August 31 at 2:08 pm Reply
  • Sus

    Fun fact no one tells you-the lochia post birth can be pretty horrific (not painful, don’t worry!) The hospital provides pads and adult diapers…but I found they were really uncomfortable and bulky. Always Discreet panties are amazing and fit great-bring a pack and have them at home too.

    Thu August 31 at 2:06 pm Reply
  • Anne

    I agree with a refreshing facial spray! I used one while in labor and it made me feel just a little more human. Also a big, dark colored bath towel (we use white towels at home and made sure not to bring those). Bring your favorite shampoo, body wash, and conditioner. Or even splurge! The shower in the hospital after Labor was the best I’ve ever had.
    Oh and my husband ate all of my healthy snacks before the baby was born because he didn’t want to leave and was so nervous. Luckily we live in a city and could order out for meals. Make sure to pack enough snacks for both of you!

    Thu August 31 at 2:07 pm Reply
  • Emily Tyler

    You forgot granny panties!! πŸ˜‰

    Thu August 31 at 2:16 pm Reply
  • Jouj

    Try to not wear anything new/you are about getting dirty when you’re in labor. You will most likely throw those clothes out as there might be blood etc. I wouldeven go for disposable underwear too

    Thu August 31 at 2:18 pm Reply
  • Tracey

    You should pack disposable underwear and "overnight" pads. Always and Depends make them. Sounds crazy but believe me you will not want to wear your nice underwear. Make sure you have lots for at home too – heavy bleeding for a couple of weeks. Also you may want to have a sitz bath and epsom salts handy at home – hemmoroids are common after vaginal births. A hemmoroid ring for sitting on is also handy. Sorry but these items are not the glamourous part of having a baby ????

    Thu August 31 at 2:43 pm Reply
  • Claire

    I have two boys and my hospital bag looked a lot like yours for my first! I thought I would want to be comfortable in the hospital, but the reality is that with a vaginal birth there’s a lot of bleeding in the days after giving birth. I didn’t want to ruin any of my clothes and stuck to hospital gowns!

    Thu August 31 at 2:44 pm Reply
  • Ashl

    Maybe bring a nice towel? It can be such a little thing, but it’s so nice to use your own towel after you shower at the hospital.

    Thu August 31 at 3:14 pm Reply
  • Jacki

    I used to work as a post partum nurse + I’m now in NICU. Desitin is spot on. We won’t provide it. If you’re worried about a diaper rash (you really don’t need to be when they’re so little), bring it just in case. Also, your breastmilk may take days to come in. We all joke that we’ll never not have ‘backup’ formula in your bag or car – just in case. My girlfriend gets organic, non-gmo from Europe somewhere; if that’s important to you. Getting it from nurses is a b* and a half in a baby friendly hospital. LOVE the diaper idea – learning how we do it is pretty genius. Especially with your own. And the mesh panties. EVERY smart woman, my girlfriends included, ask for extras for home. They’re supposedly quite comfortable though horrendously unfashionable. There is a lot of blood, like everyone’s telling you. Also, the AAP which is the Assoc. of Pediatricians actually now recommends swaddle sacks. I personally loathe them; that being said, HALO sacks are what we put all premies in at discharge. They’re safest for sleep. No bumpers. No stuffed animals. No extra blankets in the crib. And every single mother with a fussy babe I’ve worked with recommends the swing that goes side-to-side for at home. It’s supposedly invaluable. HAVE FUN, remember to laugh and your body is made to do this. Remember that πŸ™‚

    Thu August 31 at 4:14 pm Reply
  • Phoebe

    Not sure if this is something your doula will have (if you have a doula!) but mine had some essential oils that she added to a wet washcloth and had my husband put on my face during labor and it was a lifesaver! Never would have thought of it but it was so refreshing and relaxing and made me feel better in between contractions. She asked my husband which types of sent I preferred…it was amazing!

    Thu August 31 at 4:40 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      I’m not a big essential oils person, they tend to make me nauseous – but I like the idea of bringing my own washcloths! And no, I’m not having a doula!

      Fri September 1 at 1:16 pm Reply
  • Erin

    Great list! Make sure you use the hospital’s supply of pads, mesh underwear, and witch hazel pads/hydrocortisone cream (ask for more to bring home!). They should also give you nipple cream and nursing pads, so I wouldn’t worry about that! The only thing I would add is tea (my hospital had a horrible selection!), a nursing pillow (it’s hard to move around and adjust so it was nice to have the babe fully supported on the pillow), headphones, a real thick headband to tame fly aways and wick sweat (!!!) during labor, and a sound machine (only if you plan on using it)! Oh, and a bar of chocolate wouldn’t be a bad idea either πŸ˜‰ Best wishes, Ali! I have no doubt you will be a rockstar!

    Thu August 31 at 5:31 pm Reply
  • Nat

    Bring you breast pump if you’re not borrowing one from the hospital – if you baby has latching issues, it is critical to start pumping asap to ensure your supply comes in. Having mine on hand after my twins were born was a life save. Much of your milk supply is determined in the first 72 hours post partum.

    Thu August 31 at 7:56 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      No need for a breast pump – they have them at our hospital!

      Fri September 1 at 1:16 pm Reply
  • Kim Leister

    I took vaseline for the babies bottom. It really helps make those first new diaper changes easier. I also brought my own nighttime pads. They aren’t as bulk. Do you have any recommendations on pregnancy leggings? I have searched and searched.

    Thu August 31 at 8:19 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      I have been wearing GAP’s maternity line leggings and I love them, they’re super comfortable.

      Fri September 1 at 1:16 pm Reply
  • Amber

    I would say definitely bring a boppy or nursing pillow for nursing and holding baby or family holding baby. Also a phone charger cord that is extra long. Amazon has a 6 foot one that is amazing!

    Thu August 31 at 8:58 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      Did you see the list? The phone charger is on there!

      Fri September 1 at 1:15 pm Reply
  • Alexandra Choyce

    I delivered almost 2 weeks ago and brought plenty stuff, much of which I didn’t really need. Prior to leaving for the hospital, take a shower if you’re able. I’m so glad I did. Eat something too bc once you get to the hospital, chances are they won’t let you eat much. I would make 2 copies of your birth plan (and be sure to give it to the nurses/mention it to each one or else some might not bother even checking it) and then plan on nothing in your birth plan going how you want (what happened to me). The hospital will provide you and baby boy with everything. I would pack a maxi dress in case it’s really warm bc I had no desire to put on pants or anything tight. The hospital clothes were super comfy so I just wore a nursing tank and the shorts they provided (you’ll be bleeding a lot and won’t want personal stuff getting stained, trust me). Your boobs will be out so much and you’ll be doing skin to skin a lot so I wouldn’t even bother with a nursing bra LOL Bring a couple outfits for baby in case he doesn’t fit the newborn ones. A blanket for dad is a must. My fiancΓ© was grateful I packed one for him. Slippers for Dad too. The towels at the hospital are little, but you can request more. Taking a shower the next day and putting on some make-up made me feel a billion times better. The pillows were kinda thin, but they give you as much as you want so I never even brought my pillows in from the car. We brought a birthing ball too in case the hospital’s ones were all being used (they weren’t, so ours stayed in the van). Bring snacks for the nursing staff. I bought 2 plastic boxes (shoebox size) and filed them with Snickers, Reese’s, Starburst, fruit snacks, granola bars, energy drink mix packets, and gum. I made 2 signs thanking the labor and delivery staff and postpartum staff. They were really appreciative. I brought an essential oil diffuser and lavender oil which was really nice during labor and postpartum. The diffuser changed colors and created a nice atmosphere. All the nurses commented how calming an environment my room was. I would bring a sleep mask too. Don’t bother with Desitin, they’ll have Vaseline for you because the meconium they poop out is so thick the Vaseline helps it come off better. I suggest something bringing something sweet. You worked hard during labor and deserve a treat! Sorry, that’s a lot. But it’s all fresh in my head

    Thu August 31 at 9:53 pm Reply
    • Alexandra Choyce

      Sorry, one more thing, we brought our Amazon Fire Stick which was great since we were pretty much up most of the night with her (we didn’t have her in the nursery at all) and there’s not much on TV at that time. Our iPad was helpful too.

      Thu August 31 at 10:36 pm Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      Thanks, Alexandra! Great suggestions. I don’t eat food like that (Reese’s, Starbursts, etc) , but I am bringing my own healthy treats/snacks! The last thing I want is to feel even worse after labor by eating sugary foods!

      Fri September 1 at 1:19 pm Reply
      • Alexandra Choyce

        The Reese’s/Snickers/Starburst, etc were a thank you gift for the nursing staff, not me. Although I did eat a Reese’s cup lol You won’t believe how hungry you get though after delivery…well, it was the following morning for me bc I was so juiced on endorphins and love from the delivery and after, haha

        Tue September 5 at 2:16 am Reply
  • Caroline

    We brought our Amazon Fire! All of the tvs at the hospital had an HDMI port, so we were able to watch Netflix. Such a nice distraction during labor (and after baby was born). Also, I needed saline spray because the hospital air made me stuffy-not ideal while trying to breathe during labor!

    Thu August 31 at 10:23 pm Reply
  • Katie

    I was induced so we were waiting a long time. I was really glad I brought a coloring page of a mama giving birth, it gave me tons of positive vibes. Also I agree about bringing clothes you don’t mind getting bloody. Lastly, the hospital didn’t have big enough flanges for the breast pump for my huuuuge boobs. I ordered the biggest size Medela had, but it was weeks later, which I regret. You might consider consulting someone about size then bringing your own.

    Thu August 31 at 10:55 pm Reply
  • Krista

    You have a great list. One thing I was glad to bring was a small hair dryer. The hospital room did not have one and I at least wanted to dry my bangs a bit. Along the same lines, as someone mentioned, a towel for showering. It was nice to have…

    Other than that, the hospital will really have everything you need and then some. A side comment about the nipple cream you mentioned bringing- it is VERY greasy. Make sure you are wearing a nursing pad in your nursing bra otherwise the oil/grease will stain your new nursing tops with a nice nipple side mark! ????

    Fri September 1 at 12:19 am Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      I’m not planning on doing my hair while in the hospital, but great tip for others who are reading this! As for the nipple cream, my nipple cream isn’t greasy, not sure which one you used?

      Fri September 1 at 1:25 pm Reply
  • hayley

    I love this bag! Any idea how to get it? It doesn’t seem to be for sale on the website!

    Fri September 1 at 1:15 am Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      I linked to it at the top of the post, right under the photo.

      Fri September 1 at 1:25 pm Reply
      • Hayley

        Yah I went to it, and it isn’t for sale ????There was no "add to basket" option like other products. Hopefully I’ll figure it out. I’m a sucker for palm print.

        Sun September 3 at 1:09 pm Reply
  • SES

    I would recco Advil/pain reliever for Lu since the hospital usually won’t give your husband anything because he isn’t a patient… I know from experience when mine got a headache!!!

    Fri September 1 at 2:03 am Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      Great tip!

      Fri September 1 at 1:25 pm Reply
  • Sabrina

    I loved the new mama bottom spray, it sprays upside down!

    Also facial spray and nursing pillow!
    And sweet treats, you deserve it!!

    Fri September 1 at 6:42 am Reply
    • Ali Maffucci

      I don’t want to overload my body with sugar, especially when I’m trying to feel my best and stay energized and healthy for this new baby boy who needs to breastfeed. I don’t recommend anyone do it either, who’s reading this – the last thing you’ll want to feel is gross and in a sugar crash while your body is trying to recover. I plan on bringing some healthy snacks, though!

      Fri September 1 at 1:27 pm Reply
  • Kat

    I brought my own lamp because hospital lighting can be so harsh and uninviting! Also, there was a florescent light directly over my head, so having the soft light of a desk lamp was much more relaxing!

    Fri September 1 at 1:50 pm Reply
  • jessey

    I would definitely bring extra pillows – even if they stay in the car – especially if you end up having to have a c-section, they are really invaluable. the 1st time I suffered with the hospital pillows. the second time I brought my own to hold the baby and it was so much easier.

    Take as many grannie panties and pads as you can from the hospital. You bleed like crazy after, and for a long time. I even put towels down on the couches (and 2 times I am glad I did).

    A lot of people just wear the hospital clothes – you are bleeding, they are checking you – if you want a shirt for pictures, but don’t worry about a bra, but don’t think about pants. If you want a robe to wear, don’t make it a nice one. If you bring a towel, make it a dark, not good one.

    I can’t believe you are so close!

    Fri September 1 at 5:47 pm Reply
  • Debbi Herman

    In my day Ali, moms brought baby home in a cute outfit fitting of the sex, in your case a boy. I guess because you will be taking lots of pictures.

    Fri September 1 at 7:01 pm Reply
  • Susie:o)

    Dear Ali and Lu,
    You are so extraordinarily well-organized that I can’t think of another thing to pack — which is great because you can both just relax and enjoy the wonder of your new little one once he arrives — you’ve got this covered!
    Here’s one thought — take a look around your new place and the nursery now — is everything at home ready for when you all come home as a family of three? (Groceries, etc.)
    One of my favorite sayings (especially now with all the flooding going on) is "A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on."
    You’re ready — just b-r-e-a-t-h-e — it’s all gonna be fine!
    Bless all three of you!
    Susie:o)

    Fri September 1 at 9:36 pm Reply
  • Elena

    I would agree with the vote for your own towel. When you shower, you’re going to want one of your own soft towels.

    If your hospital doesn’t offer something like Depends (mine only gave heavy duty maxi pads), bring them! Adult diapers were a godsend!

    I was going to make padsicles ahead of time for recovery, but never got around to it. Fortunately, I had a great birth and didn’t need them, but maybe something to consider!

    Personally, I brought way too much! I brought my own hospital gown, too. In the words of my doula, "You don’t want to give birth in something someone might have died in…" Um…as it turned out, by the time I got to the hospital (at nearly 9cm) what I was wearing was the last thing on my mind!!! I wore the hospital gown…

    Fri September 1 at 11:18 pm Reply
    • Steph

      I bought 1 pack of depends on Amazon because I was too embarrassed to go into a store. I used every last 1 of them and it was the perfect amount for me. Best purchase ever!

      Fri September 1 at 11:34 pm Reply
  • Lucy

    Great list – good luck! I’m personally with everyone who mentioned delicious sweet treats – that’s 100% me! But, I’m not sensitive to feeling a ‘sugar crash’ in the way some others are, so I can just enjoy the treat πŸ™‚ But I think this really highlights the important of always knowing your body, doesn’t it? You know that sugar makes you crash and feel bad, which is the last thing you want after having a baby! Good luck xx

    Sun September 3 at 4:29 pm Reply
  • Nicole

    I brought a small collapsible cooler and wash cloths..you can fill up the cooler with hospital ice and use the wash cloths to cool you down. It was recommended to me since I get super hot too (hot flashes were so intense during my last trimester!) l ended up progressing SO quickly that I didn’t get to use it, or anything else I brought lol…but I’d recommend it for laboring since you said you get cranky!

    Wed September 6 at 12:46 pm Reply
  • Summer

    I got out of the hospital this Sunday after delivering on Friday. Honestly, the most helpful thing I brought were Depends, at my doula’s suggestion. I don’t think I brought any of my own underwear other than what I was wearing; the mesh panties from the hospital wouldn’t have been enough the first night. I was glad I brought a dress as my going-home outfit bc of how bulky everything was.

    You probably won’t need nursing pads because your milk won’t come in right away. I brought my nursing pillow but would have been ok without. And it’s just one more thing to carry.

    I really wish I’d brought something nice (healthy or otherwise) for the nurses and staff; the staff at New York Presbyterian were amazing. They made my delivery and recovery positive one and it would have been nice to thank them with a small gift.

    Wed September 6 at 2:05 pm Reply
  • Nikki

    You are well covered and comments are great, 1 thing I didn’t see mentioned by the commenters (maybe I just had a bigger baby, not huge – 8 lbs 2 oz – but she was long) is to bring a 0-3 mo outfit to go home in addition to the Newborn size just in case – we only washed and brought newborn onesie/PJs, and when we put her in it we could not get the snaps under her diaper closed lol πŸ™‚ Some baby clothes shrink slightly, sometimes it’s just a tall baby like ours, but also it’s a little stressful to be stuffing this new very fragile person into clothes that JUST fit! Though either way whatever he’s wearing he’ll be fine, it’s September and you’ll likely just go from hospital to car and car into apartment building. Lots of luck!!

    Mon September 11 at 4:34 pm Reply
  • J.K.A

    Hello & congrats! My hospital gave me a sitz bath. Very easy to use and very comfy to sit while using it. I highly recommend checking it out! If the hospital doesn’t have them you can buy them many places and online. WORTH IT!

    Thu September 14 at 10:13 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    Congratulations! Luca is so handsome! Is there anything on this list that you ended up not needing or wishing that you had? Also, did you already post in regards to what your birth plan was like?

    Sun October 1 at 10:19 pm Reply
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