What’s in my Hospital Bag

*Hey guys!  I’ve updated this post after having Kennedy and have put all my thoughts on what I would/wouldn’t bring in italics at the bottom of each section!*

We are just a few days out from my due date, and our bags are all packed up for the hospital. Like WHAAAT! It’s mind-boggling to me that we are actually about to meet our baby. My emotions have been at an all-time high the past week, and I seriously tear up every time I think about holding her in my arms. I have to keep a box of tissues five feet away at all times. But, back to the topic at hand 🙂 I think everyone stresses out about what to pack in your hospital bag, but I’ve heard from so many people that the hospital provides ALL the necessities you need and all of the things you bring from home are purely for comfort. So don’t stress too much about bringing the “perfect” items! Who knows if I will even use half of the items I’m bringing.

I am pretty proud of myself, though: I packed every single item into two bags, a rolling suitcase and this baby backpack (except for my pillow and blanket, since we will grab those on the way out the door). As a chronic over-packer, I think this is quite an achievement, haha. Here are a few photos of what’s in my bags, but read on for the specifics!

My Bag

Clothes & Shoes

  • Pajamas (A lot of you guys said to bring dark-colored pajamas. I got this sleepshirt and this pajama set in the black color, and they’re SO soft. I’m also bringing a pink and white pajama set that I already owned.) *used
  • Robe (a short robe that doesn’t take up too much space in my bag) *used
  • Going home outfit (I heard that you don’t feel like wearing ANYTHING tight-fitting on your way home from the hospital, so I’ve packed a loose black dress for the ride home. It is January and freezing outside, so I’ll probably wear a big coat on top. I’m not too concerned about looking “cute” for the 15 minute drive home!) *used
  • Underwear *did not use
  • UGG slippers *did not bring but wished I had
  • Shower sandals *used
  • Four sets of fuzzy socks with grippers (so that you don’t slip or fall in the hospital!) *used

I ended up wearing ALL the clothes and pajamas I had packed, but did not wear the underwear. After birth, the hospital gives you disposable underwear and, trust me, you will want to wear those! The fuzzy socks with grippers were a lifesaver because my feet were constantly cold, but I really wished I had brought my slippers with me after all! I felt gross walking around in the fuzzy socks and then getting back into the hospital bed afterwards. Another tip: bring an extra “going home” outfit. I had mine on and was all dressed and ready to leave the hospital, and then PEED MYSELF!!! (You have no bladder control after birth.) I ended up wearing my pajamas home from the hospital since I hadn’t packed any other “real” clothes. I know no one else probably cared, but it was embarrassing to walk out like that!

Postpartum Items

Okay, you guys were right, the hospital gives you ALL the postpartum items you need so you really don’t need to bring much. I left with an entire bag full of goodies including disposable undies, pads, Tucks pad liners (LOVE these), Dermoplast spray, etc. I would definitely bring nipple butter because your nipples will be really sore at first (mine bled) and I ended up using the nursing breast pads inside of my nursing bras because they felt soft on my sore nipples!


  • Makeup bag (I think if you want to bring makeup to the hospital, then do it! I’m bringing my makeup bag cause I know I’ll want to take pictures with the baby after birth.) *used
  • Lip balm (Heard this was so important because your lips dry out in the hospital!) *used
  • Prenatal Vitamins *used
  • Hair brush *used
  • Body wash *used
  • Toothpaste & toothbrush *used
  • Eyeglasses, contact solution & contact case *used
  • Mini micellar water *used
  • Cotton swabs & cotton pads *used
  • Mini razor *did not use
  • Shower cap *used
  • Silk hair ties *used

I used all of the toiletries I brought except for my mini razor (you will not feel like shaving your legs after birth, trust me lol). I did take a shower in the hospital (using my shower cap) and it was sooo nice to feel clean and use my normal toiletries like my own body wash – it really made me feel human again.

Miscellaneous Items

  • Drivers license and insurance card *used
  • Extra-long phone cord (This was your #1 recommendation for the hospital! Chris and I found 10-foot iPhone cables at Target, so we have those packed in our bag!) *used
  • Blanket and Pillow (We are going to grab our own blankets and pillows on the way out the door. Our doula told us that this was a necessity because the hospital’s blankets and pillows are tissue thin!) *used
  • Boppy pillow *used
  • Larabars *used
  • Organic hard candy *used
  • Water bottle *used
  • Mini bluetooth speaker *did not use
  • Treats for the nurses *used

The only thing we did not use from this list was the mini bluetooth speaker! Chris had made a “birth playlist” that we planned to play while I was delivering, but things moved so quickly after the epidural that music was THE LAST thing on our minds. As for the other items, we loved having our own blankets and pillows (the hospital pillows really are tissue thin) and it reminded me of home even though we were in a hospital setting. And finally, the extra-long phone charger was absolutely clutch, because I was pretty much confined to my hospital bed and it ended up being pretty far from an outlet!

Baby’s Bag

  • Diaper bag *used
  • Going home outfit (in a few different sizes because we don’t know how big or small she’ll be!) *used
  • Barefoot Dreams baby blanket *used
  • Two swaddles (an Ollie swaddle and one with her name on it) *did not use
  • Burp cloths *did not use
  • Onesies (we’re bringing three plain white onesies and one cute one) *did not use
  • Baby wipes *did not use
  • Mittens (so she doesn’t scratch herself if her nails are long) *used
  • Socks *used
  • Headbands/bows *used

To be honest, for the entire hospital visit Kennedy was dressed in a diaper and swaddled in hospital blankets. We were constantly unswaddling her to do skin-to-skin or breastfeed, and then swaddling her back up. She spit up a lot on the hospital blankets and they always had a fresh one ready to go, which was nice. It wasn’t until our last day in the hospital that I really needed the outfit/accessories I brought her – we dressed her in a onesie with mittens and socks and then used the Barefoot Dreams blanket to cover her in the car on the way home.

I think that’s about it! 😀

I’d love to hear from you mamas what you actually used in your hospital bag, and if there’s anything important I’m forgetting!!

Leave a Comment


  1. Alex Belfield

    Congratulations!! Up here in freezing Minneapolis, Minnesota I’m so excited for you & your husband! There’s nothing like the first experience of having your first baby. I had my three sons in the 1990’s (1994, 1995 & 1998) & I wish I had been as organized as you but truth be told, I wasn’t. Hahaha. I’m looking forward to shopping your new clothes line as your taste & vision in style mimics mine. So happy for you!

    • Brittany

      Formula in case your milk doesn’t come in. I had complications and was forced to pump and dump because of that. I’d also recommend a pump and preferred bottles. They’ll support you at the hospital as you learn and you’ll have everything you need,

      By the way, love the nipple butter you chose. That’s what I used 5 months ago when my baby was born!

      • Lindsay

        I second the breast pump! My nurse showed me how to use it so it wasn’t totally foreign when we got home. We had to supplement and my hospital did provide as many 2 oz bottles of formulas as we needed, but if you have your heart set on a certain type (most hospitals use Similac I think) you can bring it. They do recommend ready to feed for newborns as it’s sterile, unlike powder. I ended up ordering 48 mini bottles of organic ready to feed to have on hand while I was figuring it out!

        My other recommendation is one pair of looser fit pants just in case you have to have a c-section. I wasn’t planning on it and my doctor said the pants I brought to wear home were too tight on my incision.

        Finally, yes to hospital underwear and pads! They give you plenty to take home too if you want!

        So glad you had an amazing experience with your birth!

  2. Ashton

    If you have a breastfeeding pillow (boppy or my brest friend) I’d recommend bringing it! I didn’t bring mine and wish I’d had it after trying to make do with hospital pillows.

    • Ohh this is a good idea!!! I hadn’t thought of bringing mine!

      • Fanny

        Yes I second that breastfeeding pillow was a life saver. We used the Boppy and I loved it I used it when I nursed my daughter for 15month( you can buy separate cases cute one) for tummy time session and to help in sitting position learning.
        I also recommend if you don’t have one maybe later at home the Hakka the best breastfeeding stuff ever seriously every mom should have one really! You will save milk when your baby is feeding on the opposite side without any effort! 🙂
        And to finish for your baby I use La Petite Crème products instead of baby wipes the nurses were impressed how efficient and gentle it was plus certify organic(6 ingredients) never got a rash since 😉
        Good luck and be prepared to meet the love of your life! Wish you an amazing and peaceful birth.

    • Madeleine

      I second this! Stacking a million flat hospital pillows is less than ideal. So excited for you!!

      • Alex

        Ok two REALLY important things no one mentioned: A HEATING PAD for any pain you have from contractions or your breasts from breastfeeding. And a twin AIR MATTRESS for your husband! There is really nowhere comfortable for him to sleep unless they have roll in cots for spouses. He will either have to sleep on a padded window seat or a chair. Doubt that’s really comfy. Oh and I second bringing your own bath towels…theirs are tiny and feel like sand paper 🙂

  3. Laura Leigh

    oh my goodness how real is it getting! cannot believe you’re just days from your due date – so excited for y’all to meet your little one!

    xo Laura Leigh

  4. Kathryn

    Baby and I only wore clothes to come home. The swaddles are a great idea – I added those and a pacifier to the list for next baby. I didn’t intend to use a pacifier, but once I met my son, I realized we needed one 🙂 it made the first month much easier and didn’t cause any issues with breastfeeding. The hospital won’t give you a pacifier and the swaddle blankets they used were too difficult for us – Velcro swaddle helped a lot! I did appreciate having my own pillow, a long phone cord, and coconut oil for lips and nipples. Best wishes!!

    • Okay definitely going to include a pacifier in our hospital bag now!!

    • Amanda

      So exciting, congrats!! Do you have any thing else from the Frida line? Their disposal undies and peri bottle are life-saving!!! The hospital will give you both but Frida’s are just nicer and comfier – and you’ll deserve some comfort!! Also, use a pillowcase that you don’t mind getting stained/dirty… who knows what could get on it 🙂 You got this, mama!

      P.S. look up a song called “Mom” by Gary Brooks (even if you’re not a country person!). It was on a random Apple baby playlist I found when I was expecting and ohhh myyy cue the tears!

      • Amanda

        *Garth (thanks, autocorrect)

  5. Annaliza R

    How exciting!! I do have a couple of suggestions. A Boppy pillow would be nice to help hold the baby while nursing. I used this at home with both of my babies and it made nursing so much more comfortable. I would also consider a hat for the baby. The hospitals provide them but if you want one to match her outfits, I would pack one.

  6. I’m currently putting together my hospital bag too! I’m still contemplating on what to bring because from what I heard the hospital has all the necessities. For sure will be coming back to check out what everyone says.


  7. Wow this is so amazing, baby girl could be here any second now! Wishing you aaall the best for the birth Caitlin 😊
    Xx Janine

  8. Sarah

    It’s almost time! How exciting!

    I remember the two things I most wanted but didn’t really pack, a cozy blanket from home and 1-2 lounge outfits for the couple days spent at the hospital.
    For me, the blanket was just comforting and after hubby ran home to get it quick I was SO much happier. My favorite item I had! He wished he had gotten one for him as well.
    The lounge outfit I wish I had was a cross between pjs and yoga pants. The second day I wanted to feel more human and alive. Pjs just don’t do that for me. If that’s you, consider an outfit for that as well.

    Also, I wish I had had snacks for the birthing process, so jello or something else clear with a little energy boost. My water broke as the first sign of labor. Because we weren’t 100% sure my water broke (instead of just peeing myself), we went to the hospital where (to my surprise) they admitted me for laboring. It was strongly recommended against going home to labor because the risk of injection is higher. When that happens and with it being a first labor, many docs don’t allow you to eat anything, even if you desire too. Birth plans out the window! My doc said pre-labor she is pro-eating while in labor but apparently there are exceptions. And the pain became so intense I threw up while laboring. So, I wish I had had snacks on the way to the hospital and clear sugary things at the hospital.

    Good luck mama! You’ve got this!

    • Kim

      I was very, very cold after labor (your body loses a lot of fluid, fast!) so I was happy to have a loose fitting lounge outfit to keep warm, without feeling restricted. I wore loose fitting joggers and a zip up sweatshirt (easy BFing access!) when I needed to stay warm.
      For the delivery room I brought my favorite essential oil pillow spray! It was refreshing and helped settle my nausea before labor.
      Wishing you the best!

    • Eileen

      Hi labor nurse here! I agree with the clear fluid type snacks! If you get an epidural that’s all you’re allowed to have. The hospital will most likely have jello and maybe popsicles for you but if you want your own brand or can think of anything else that would work – just has to be something that when melted down you can see through it, nothing thick. If you don’t get an epidural then you do tend to get nauseous/vomit, and thinner things may be better anyway.

  9. Grace

    I know your big on eating healthy so I’ll say this. I’m always ravenously hungry after birth and all the hospital had to offer in the middle of the night was a bunch of carb loaded snacks and juices with sugar. I was so thankful for the healthy trail mix my doula happened to have in her purse. So if you’re wanting to avoid preservative, sugar laden foods, I’d suggest packing lots of healthy snacks/foods from home.

    • Hey Grace, this is SUCH a good idea and I had not thought about this/planned for this!! And judging how my pregnancy has been, I am ravenous every day so I’m sure I will be after birth as well. Definitely going to pack more healthy snacks now!

      • Jess

        I will add to this… does it matter? I was SO happy to eat that cheeseburger after giving birth. It was delicious and I enjoyed every bite. I’m sure I burned more than enough calories during labor and delivery 🙄

      • Pa

        I agreed. I was extra hungry after having my baby so I ate a lot and the hospital food that they offered weren’t enough. definitely pack extra snacks!

    • Holly

      Yes!! Adding on to this!! I was induced with my first baby early in the morning but he didn’t end up being born until midnight. I couldn’t eat all day and was starving. As soon as he came out all I wanted to do was eat but all local restaurants were closed and the cafeteria was closed. Pack food!

  10. Addie

    I highly recommend bringing a small fan…it gets hot in the delivery room! I didn’t realize how excited I would be that my nurses found one in a supply closet! You honestly will not need to bring disposable underwear (or any of the postpartum things for you) and the burp cloths as the hospital provides everything that you will need for both you and baby! Plus, ours gave me so many extra things to then bring home with us!

    I hope you have a smooth delivery! There is nothing quite as wonderful as holding your baby for the first time 🙂

  11. Katie C

    All great stuff! I used my water bottle, bathrobe, and chapstick the most. Wishing you a happy and healthy delivery Mama!

  12. Ashton

    If you have room, the only thing I would add is bring your breast pump! The lactation nurses can show you how to use it, and starting pumping from birth starts increasing your milk supply which baby will appreciate.

  13. LB

    I brought next to nothing and used next to nothing! Haha! I only stayed a little over 24 hours which is exactly what I wanted. I wanted to go home as quickly as possible. I had zero desire to shower in a hospital shower or use hospital towels so I showered when I got home. I showered at home while I was in labor prior to leaving for the hospital and never got sweaty…epidural…haha. I used a hospital gown as a gown and a second one as a robe which worked just fine because it was easy to unsnap or untie as needed and I didn’t have to worry about it getting bloody. The mesh underwear the hospital provides are awesome so I used those. I also used the hospital socks and then just left them when I went home. One less hospital infected thing to bring home with us! With my second baby I packed even less! I would suggest a non-white pillow case for your pillow so there is no confusion on which pillow is yours and you’ll be less likely to forget it. Good luck!

  14. Jeni

    After having my first baby I learned I overpacked so much! Lol! With my 2nd child I ended up not bringing any underwear because they give u these big stretchy granny panty style ones that are so ugly but honestly they are great for after birth! I even wore them once I got home the first week! The hospital also provides non slip socks as well if you don’t want to have to bring your own. And your dr can actually get a belly band for you there too I just had to request one! I also recommend bringing a boppy pillow/my breast friend one that is even more supportive for breastfeeding they are so helpful! The hospital also provides diapers, cream, wipes & pacifiers for babies! Wishing you the best of luck with everything! It’s so exciting!

  15. Keli

    Lots of good ideas in the comments here! Will second the ones that you won’t need your own underwear, and to bring your boppy/nursing pillow if you have space – it helps so so much with not having to use your (exhausted) muscles to support the baby while you feed her. I personally loved having the belly band for the extra back support – endless hours of sitting/laying in hospital beds is rough.

    The second night is the hardest, but you guys will all make it through 🙂 Good luck and praying for your family!

  16. Margaret Jevic

    Not sure if someone has already said – but highly recommend squeezie applesauce pouches for labor! We also brought bananas and gatorade (not a drink I have regularly in life but was so glad I had it in labor!) Larabars will be perfect for after birth, but squeezie pouches and gatorade was all I had while actually in labor since I didn’t really want to eat but certainly needed the energy. Congratulations! Meeting your baby is the most wonderful experience of a lifetime 🙂 I also wore my maternity leggings home since I totally still needed the “belly band” feature and it helped hold things in. The tightness actually felt good holding my stomach and pads in place..!

    • Molly

      I liked wearing my leggings home too!

  17. Anne Knapp

    Bring some snacks – both salty and sweet. My water broke right before dinner time with my first and went until 5 am and I was starving afterwards.

  18. Annie

    Soooo exciting!!!! Enjoy the last few days of SLEEP and relaxing with your husband!
    I second the boppy/nursing pillow! I don’t know if you’re planning to bathe baby in the hospital or delay it til home, but if you are, bring a baby wash that has ingredients you know/like/feel safe with. Something I forgot and regretted! Also, don’t know if you’re going to use an app or good old fashioned journal to track nursing times, pee, poop, and then your own pain med intake, but having a little journal in the hospital, then using it even after we were home was so helpful to stay on top of everything. I’d write down the times I took Tylenol or ibuprofen so I’d know when I could take the next dose. Same with nursing! Time I nursed on each side, which side I started with, etc. Also, the pediatrician is likely going to ask you the frequency the baby eats, pees, and poops, so it’s helpful to have it all down!
    Oh my gosh, you’re going to be amazing and I’m so excited for you to hold your little girl!!

  19. Kyndol Castrilli

    Don’t forget your masks 😷 unfortunately this is the times we live in but hopefully not for much longer.
    I ditto the snacks bc you can’t control what the hospital brings you to eat and def bc you’ll get so hungry in the night if you deliver then. Something salty and something sweet and something substantial. No matter what your bring you might still end up craving something else Lol isn’t that the life-story of pregnancy. 🤭 My hubby went and got a healthy sandwich from a nearby restaurant for me after our first daughter. 🥰🥇
    I would definitely, DEFINITELY bring a big water bottle, and don’t be afraid to keep asking for more iced H2O as needed, people don’t realize how much staying hydrated helps with breast milk production. 😉And every time you start breastfeeding you’ll get super thirsty- so drink lots of water then for sure!
    The hospital does provide most of your necessities (esp those fabulous disposable panties🤦🏼‍♀️) And they provide baby’s diapers (although my girls could only use pampers, their tush would get super red(but not exactly a rash) with any other diapers😉) fortunately our hospitals with both girls provided pampers. 🙏🏼💕👌🏼
    Yay so exciting— almost time for your own birthing story to start!🙏🏼💕Just keep telling yourself during delivery- the Lord is my strength!😉

    • Madeleine

      I’ve had 3 vaginal births so can’t speak to csection (I know the abdominal wound is a very different recovery) but I really liked having yoga pants/joggers/sweatpants to wear with a nursing tank after birth instead of a dress or sleep shirt. You’re wearing your mesh undies that are usually packed with ice packs, pads, etc. and it just feels good to have all that “locked in” to minimize leaks and keep it all in place…especially when you’re sleeping. Just a personal preference! Thinking of you!

  20. Kyndol Castrilli

    Hi! Yay YOUR labor story is almost here! 🙏🏼💕I ditto the rest but will add a suggestion for you to bring a big water bottle, and don’t be afraid to ask for more iced H2O as much as you need it! People don’t realize how much staying hydrated helps with milk production. 😉Not to mention, every time you start breastfeeding baby, you get super thirsty- so it’s the perfect time to sit and hydrate. 💧
    And don’t forget your masks, not sure labor and delivery protocols for this but you’ll def want to wear it on your way in and departing. 😉😷Hopefully not for much longer will we be wearing them but for now. 💁🏼‍♀️
    Just remember through labor -the Lord is with you always, and he is your strength. 😉🙏🏼You’ve got this!🙌🏻

  21. Sarah

    The belly band is soooooo helpful! I wore mine after both my births and wow, it really does help you feel better, all “pulled in”, and it helps you heal properly too! Keeps all the guts in place, heehee! I wore it for a few weeks after the births, but very religiously the first 3-4 days for sure. It’s an excellent addition to your bag.

    Can’t wait to see your little love!!!

    • Amanda

      What kind of belly band did you use?

  22. Erin

    Definitely your own towels, the hospital towels are tiny and not soft. I purchased 2 to bring as well as small sizes of all my normal bath products and just threw it all out when we left. Also bring a nursing pillow, the breastfriend was my favorite.

  23. Amanda

    I’m not a mother so I wouldn’t provide a lot of assistance with your bag, but I’ve been following you for years and am excited for you and your husband! Congrats and can’t wait to see her!

  24. Catherine

    So exciting! Love your list and it’s pretty close to mine. Huge recommendation and something I did with my first: I had a “bedside” bag that contained hair ties, chap stick, lotion, germx, Kleenex, medicine (including prenatals), portable charger, gum/mints, nipple cream, etc. It was so helpful to have anything I might *need* easily accessible and ready for me without getting up. Best of luck mama!

  25. Whitney

    Your list is great! Make sure Chris brings a jacket/hoodie and socks for himself as well. They keep the rooms really cool for mom (you’ll be so warm from the hormones!) and my husband was freezing! He was much happier after he had sweats to wear.

    • Eileen

      I second this!

  26. eia

    i actually hated the feeling of super loose clothes after birth – with all 3 babies I packed roomy tunic-type nursing tops but I personally felt so much more comfortable with a fitted pair of yoga pants on – it’s all preference but also felt much better “held in” – nothing too tight, think lululemon aligns – best of luck!

  27. Meg

    Don’t forget your car seat 😉

    A must pack for me, was a huge water bottle/cup. You get super dehydrated afterwards, & it’s a pain to go fill your water, especially if your hubby can’t stay overnight. Speaking of overnights- a meal replacement shake is also handy in the hospital bag.

    Hospitals are freezing, so make sure you have layers for you + baby. However many outfits you think baby needs- pack double. And baby sleepers (with feet) & hats are very important while you are there.

    Make sure you bring any special photo props or gifts for baby! It was important to me that my kids get their special stuffy from mom & dad as their very first gift, so I brought it to the hospital.

  28. Taylor

    Congratulations again!! Can’t wait until you’re ready for us to meet your darling girl (and she’s ready to arrive!)

  29. Kerri

    I would love to know more about the treats you are bringing for the nurses! Thank you! Congratulations and so exciting baby girl is almost here!

    • Grace

      With my first baby we had a basket with chapsticks, little hand lotions, tons of snacks, and candy to put at the nurse station. My second came earlier than we were expecting (and during Covid so no leaving) so we just ordered a few platters from Chick-fil-A and had it delivered and put it up at the nurses station. Both times the nurses loved it and were so thankful!

    • Kaitlin

      Pre-packaged (not homemade) things are great- along with small giftcards ($5 increments). I work at a hospital on a cardiac floor and I wish regular sick people brought staff gifts!!! Instead it’s the gift of being yelled at- hahahaha. Covid regulations limit any “potluck” style foods so a catered lunch may or may not be an option- just call the unit you’ll be in to ask what is approved to give. I would avoid pizza- it gets ordered in a lot. Handmade thank you cards are always great, especially if you specify your RN by name in them versus “thanks for all you do everyone” generalities.

      Also just being generally polite is a gift often overlooked- when patients say please and thank you – WOW! Incredible. (It’s rarer than you would think).

  30. Amber

    Oatmeal!!! It’s a great post birth snack and is so good for milk production! You can make little baggies of your own with nuts, chia, and protein powder if you’re feeling fancy.

    Wishing you the birth experience you are hoping for!

  31. Leigha

    I recommend a baby frida nail file in case her nails are long when she is born (I think this is typical). Using a file is easier when they are newborns than clipping them 🙂

    Great list!! Thanks for sharing!!

  32. Tara

    Hi!! What did you get for the nurses and how many?

  33. Kaylee D

    Thank you so much for this post!! I’m due in 13 weeks and have no idea where to start with packing for the hospital! You’ll have to update after you give birth and let us all know if there is anything else you thought of or needed!! Good luck mama!! You’ve got this!!💕

  34. Jacqueline Rizzo

    Phone charger!!!!!!

  35. Kristan Tiedeman

    I think you pretty much nailed it! One thing I had with all 3 of my babies was the My Breast Friend nursing pillow! I found it much more comfortable than the boppy. I like the boppy for baby lounging when they are a bit bigger and a seat support while learning to sit up and great for tummy time to prop up. But hands down for nursing especially in the early days was the Breast Friend! Also, Medela makes these little nipple gel pads you can put in fridge and they feel soo good on sore nipples (you can cut them bc they are pretty big to last longer)! Last, Medela’s sore nipple shields they are plastic domes that fit inside your nursing bra and help air flow as well as keep the nipple cream from rubbing off on bra! Live savers!! Best of luck Mama!!! 💗

  36. Katie Crisp

    I had my second little mister in May, because of Covid, our experience was definitely different than with my first. Our hospital’s policy was that only my husband could come in with me and he couldn’t leave the building until baby and I left. So if we were to forget anything, we couldn’t go back home to grab it. We could have sent a family member to our house to get it and then a nurse could meet them at the door and bring it up to us…but that would have been so much trouble, so we definitely overpacked but I didn’t care! And you shouldn’t either! If you think there is a possibility you might use it, then pack it! And honestly you never know how long you will have to stay in the hospital, every mama’s delivery is so different so being prepared gives you peace of mind!

    And I know so many moms rave about the mesh undies that the hospital provides…but I hated them! I tried them both times after giving birth but they just didn’t give me the coverage I wanted…I honestly wore depends for a few weeks postpartum.

    Also don’t forget anything you want to pack for the birth announcement pictures! Felt board, name sign, door hanger (and paint pen to write birth stats on it).
    Have cash just in case you or hubs need need anything from the vending machine in the middle of the night. Don’t forget camera and camera battery charger! You will do great! Prayers! 💕

  37. Teresa Murphy

    Sooo exciting! I had my first baby in June of this year. She came 8 weeks early, and i was in the hospital for 9 days with next to nothing (we hadnt packed our bags at that point), so i can safely say that you dont NEED much! One item i would suggest is a nourishing body lotion. The gel that they use on the belly monitor before delivery was very drying in my skin, and made it very itchy and uncomfortable!

  38. Sam

    I am at the hospital right now, my baby girl was born Sunday morning (I was only 36+6 and my contractions started at home at midnight and by 5:33 a.m. we were at the hospital and she was here!) .. my packing list was very similar and one thing I didn’t bring but wish I did was a pumping bra. My milk isn’t in yet so every feeding I try to get her to latch for a bit but then my husband gives her supplement formula while I pump for stimulation and it is so annoying not having a pumping bra here. Cant wait to hear your birth story! Are you planning on sharing your birthing plan (or have you already)? Sending you so many quick and easy labor vibes!

  39. Grace

    Sleep mask and ear plugs! When I was induced with my first it ended up being a very long labor and I couldn’t sleep well with the constant sound of the monitors (babies heart beat, the beeping of the machines, codes over intercoms) or the lights. By the time my baby arrived I had been up 36 hours straight and then it’s just naps with how often you have to nurse. I brought earplugs and an eye mask to my second delivery and was SO HAPPY that I did! Also with Covid make sure to bring a few comfortable masks for both of you.

  40. Caitlin

    I went for my regular check up and ended up going to the hospital to be induced due to preeclampsia. I was glad that we kept our hospital bags in my car because we didn’t have to try to run home and grab them. We ended up staying three days in the hospital, and I managed to way overpack my bag and underpack my husbands bag. I wish I had packed more snacks. I was induced right before dinner and didn’t deliver until 3:00AM. I was so hungry, and I ended up throwing up twice while pushing. Also everyone kept telling me that you’ll always remember the first thing you ate after delivery, and it’s true. That cinnamon roll tasted so good. This is such a special time. You got this mama.

  41. Megan McLindon

    One thing that I loved having was a diffuser with lavender essential oils while laboring. It took the “hospital feel” out of the room and made it a little more like home. It can be a little bulky to pack, but it’s the thing I always make space for!

  42. Ana Keele

    Make up is my number one recommendation for all moms to bring. After labor and delivery and the craziness of birth, being able to take a quick shower and put even a little bit of makeup on lets you feel human again.

  43. Stephanie

    I dm’d you on IG but I guess you probably don’t read those or get too many msgs. A little container of olive oil is a must. You use it on little ones bum so when those merconium poops come they are super easy to wipe off, otherwise it’s very sticky. I don’t really like the boppy pillows people suggest, but I’ve read fantastic things about the breastfriend it’s much more sturdy for nursing and supporting baby.

  44. Nicole

    All these items are so cute!! Honestly though- you won’t need underwear (you’ll use the disposable- yours will just get ruined) and the hospital usually provides all of the postpartum stuff, except the belly band. I WAY over packed! You have to feed baby so often it’s almost pointless to wear clothes- especially pants! I just used a blanket and robe (easy access) most of the time- didn’t even put a nursing bra on until we were leaving 😅
    And I will say for water bottle I enjoyed using a reusable cup with lid and straw- this SAVED me during labor. Oh and a sleep mask- it can be bright in that room and nurses are in and out at all hours of the day and night. Enjoy the hardest but BEST DAY of your life!

  45. Francesca

    I had a baby 3 months ago and the frida peri bottle was my best friend once I got home for at least 6 weeks after. It’s great you’re bringing the frida liners but I started using those when I got home as well since the hospital gives you huge pads with ice you’ll most likely just wanna use that the first few days! Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle for Postpartum Care | The Original Fridababy MomWasher for Perineal Recovery and Cleansing After Birth https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TXLZ8MR/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_Qex.FbZGM1HY4

  46. Mckenzie

    Water wipes are great! Just make sure you don’t put in a wipe warmer. Since they’re just water, bacteria grows. Also would recommend tossing your socks post hospital, the floors are gross!

  47. Alyssa

    Congratulations!! I’m about 1-2 weeks away from delivery! I have so many of the same items packed so it’s nice to feel like we are doing something right!!

    The only item my momma friends have told me that I don’t see on your list is to bring a large nice towel if you plan on showering at the hospital because the ones there are small, thin, and itchy!

    Best wishes in delivery and I can’t wait to see your adorable babe ❤️

  48. Beth C

    Highly recommend a travel sound machine & night light!! The lights are so harsh & the nurses will keep them off during the night & use the nightlight if you ask. And the sound machine was great at night to block out noise for us & babe. I used at home in the bassinet / next to the bed for night nursing once we got home too!! Also, baby wash you want to use + hairbrush in case she has a ton of hair 🙂

  49. Kristen Shaw

    The hospital will probably give you these, but I looooooved the ice pack pads for the first 24 hours or so after birth. And then I lived for those witch hazel pads you got for like 3 weeks. So make sure you’re stocked there!

    And just a heads up, if you want an epidural, sometime afterwards you will get the serious shakes. It looks like you’re prepared there for comfort but just wanted to give a heads up.

    I also second the person who said to bring your pump you plan to use so you can have it there with you and any questions you might have. Take advantage of the knowledge while you’re there.

    Best of luck! You got this momma!! And just trust those nurses, they know what they’re doing!

  50. Tori

    I’d take your own breast pump. Just in case for whatever reason you cannot breast feed, you will have your pump to use immediately. At a lot of hospitals, it can take a while to get a pump to you.

  51. Kristin

    Something i didnt think of was a hands free pumping bra.. my little one was too sleepy the first 48 hours after birth and wasnt latching.. they had me pump in the hospital (they will provide one for you). If your nursing bra is only that and not a “hands free pumping bra” you will be holding those pumps up to your breasts for 15-20 mins at a time. Look on amazon and there are a bunch of hands free pumping bras that also snap down to nursing bras as well. TOTAL lifesaver whether you use in hospital or months down the road if needing to pump! 🙂

  52. Emily Johnson

    Can you please send an update of what you used / didn’t use and the last minute suggestions you threw in please? I’m three months behind you and these posts have been life saving for me! Thank you so much!! You and Chris are going to be such great parents!!

  53. Laura

    Mints! And snacks!

  54. KS

    OBGYN here… Use the disposable mesh underwear they give you! They will be ruined and I’ve heard they are pretty comfortable!

    • Alex

      I actually think depends are way better than the mesh undies. The pads move around and get all scrunched up and gross. Easier to just toss the depends than remove and reapply a pad each time 🙂

  55. Taylor

    Nipple shields saved nursing for me with my first born. He was having a hard time latching and even though the nurse wasn’t too big on them, but I trusted my gut and I’m so glad I did. It didn’t take long for him to not need it, but without using one, he would have only nursed on one side which wouldn’t have been best for either of us. I ordered 2 different sizes to take to the hospital and as soon as I figured out which one worked best, I ordered more. It’s something I hope you don’t need, but would hate for you to need and not have. (When I had my second baby, she latched fine and we didn’t need one, but I had it just in case!)
    Best of luck! You’re in for THE MOST incredible blessing and journey!

  56. Leann

    Congratulations to you both!! You’re obviously great planners – a few things I’ll add that I was SO glad I did: tons of extra/healthy snacks (I didn’t get to our room until 11PM and the kitchen was closed), tons of Gatorade (or any drink that will replace your electrolytes), and dry shampoo. (I was honestly too afraid to shower in the hospital when all was said and done). Very best wishes….You’ve got this!!

  57. Jen

    I honestly wouldn’t worry about over packing. If you have the room, that’s fine. For my two births, it made me feel more at ease to be over prepared rather than wishing I would have packed something. The number one thing I would think about (in addition to the great list you already posted!) is Chris. What does he need in order to not have to leave the room for 24 hours if need be? For my husband, we packed drinks, snacks, a change of clothes, glasses, vending machine money, a toothbrush, etc. My labor ended up being over 24 hours and packing for him made it easier for him to stay with me. We also packed a deck of cards and a deck of trivial pursuit cards, which helped me stay focused and helped us pass the time. I also did my makeup while laboring. It was a nice distraction and I did want to prepare for photos. I didn’t consider it a waste! Bring a manual pump and breast shield for the first few feedings to help you prep for breastfeeding. The Modela Harmony helped me a lot, and I was able to breastfeed after leaving the hospital. Thinking of you and your family. 🙂

  58. Gigi

    I packed only a duffel bag for myself and my baby’s diaper bag and I STILL overpacked. The #1 thing I wish I would have done was sanitized my pump parts before I got to the hospital— my son had trouble latching. So I pumped on the second day — however bc my pump parts weren’t sanitized (they were still in the plastic bags) I had to dump out my colostrum that I was producing. Which led us to have glucose scares and eventually supplement with formula. All that to say although we wish for the best, I should have prepared more!

  59. Dakota

    I’d suggest bringing an iPad that has movies and shows downloaded to it. It can get antsy being in the hospital room. An ipad, book, or card game for you and hubby to play would help pass the time.

  60. Lexi

    I highly recommend packing a zipper swaddle. My girl hated arms down and we used Love to Dream Swaddle Up, but there are tons of options and they are SO much easier to use than traditional, especially when you are handling your first newborn and feel like you’re going to break them.

  61. Melissa

    Most hospitals will not let you change into your own pajamas. If you deliver and have an IV placed this is more likely. It’s easier for the staff to get to you to check on things in the gown.! Also the hospital will provide little shirts with mitten cuffs for baby girl. These are the best because you really don’t want a full onesie or bottoms because it makes it easier to diaper change since you’ll be new at it! I would highly suggest one premie outfit for going home both of my babies were premie when we left the hospital and their outfits were huge on them because all I had were newborn sizes! Good luck you will do amazing – remember women having been doing this for millennia which means whatever happens as a gender were prepared for it!!

  62. Deana

    I highly recommend bringing a heating pad! Your uterus contracts after birth and the cramps were so insanely painful once the epidural wore off. Wish I had mine and the hospital didn’t have. Good luck and wishing you a safe and healthy delivery!

    • Alex

      I second this! I just posted a comment before I saw yours, a heating pad is a must have. My contractions after birth were INSANE. So bad I literally passed out. It was awful. No one tells you about that.

    • Oh wow. I have not heard of this before. Thanks for sharing!

  63. Macy

    Bring an extra bag to take home all of the stuff they give you (diapers, wipes, etc.) I brought the cheapest pair of pjs, slippers, etc. because I felt icky after the hospital and wanted things that I could toss if I wanted to. Extra long phone charger, and lots of snacks incase you can’t leave due to COVID. Good luck momma!!

  64. I definitely second bringing your own pillow! Make sure to bring a colored or patterned pillowcase for it though- if it’s white, sometimes the housekeeping staff might accidentally take it when they’re changing out linens.

    Also the biggest lifesaver for me was bringing a little personal fan (like 6in or so) with a clip to mount it on the tray table or hospital bed! A lot of women get major hot flashes during labor and for a few days postpartum and that fan saved me.

    Face wipes were also so nice to have if I wanted to freshen up quickly but didn’t have the energy to spend in the bathroom or if it hurt too much.

    The only outfit my babies wore in the hospital was when it was time to go home. Otherwise, I was always holding them skin to skin! I left extra changes of clothes for the baby at home the second time around and it was nice because it was less to unpack when we got home and were sleep deprived 😉

    Oh and hair ties, chapstick, and gum. Make sure you have them! Lifesavers!

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to hear about your sweet baby girl!

  65. Kelley

    So soon!!

    The one thing no one has mentioned: baby book or blank notecard for the baby’s footprint.

    My first, they asked if we wanted to stamp anything else while they had the ink on her. I had no idea! My others we brought 3 by 5 blank white notecards and have them in a teeny frame in their room.

  66. Anon Reader

    Haha this is sooo much stuff!! But better to be over prepared than not have things you want. I mostly relied on hospital stuff (TMI but I bled a lot during and after both my labors and didn’t want to worry about getting blood on my own slippers, pjs, blankets, etc!).

    Agree for sure w snacks though. My second labor ended in the middle of the night and all they had was fruit juice and a sandwich I didn’t want (I’m vegetarian and it was turkey). Was so happy to have the protein bars and fruit I brought from home! Water bottle is also a must, to avoid having to ask for water over and over (although my hospital provided a sports bottle with a straw, which I actually love for breastfeeding and am still using two months later).

  67. Alicia Keller

    Don’t forget to be prepared for a csection as well. When you’re a smaller woman, the chances of needing one can be higher :). My first baby literally wouldn’t fit. Make sure you’re prepared to stay 4 days – shampoo and conditioner and hairbrush etc. and anything that would be comforting after surgery.

  68. Gibson

    Such an exciting time! One thing I would have never thought to pack but read on another blog was to bring your own bath towels. I opted for something oversized, dark navy and ultra soft. It seems silly, but I’m so glad we threw them in the bag! After giving birth via c-section I was very aware of everything happening in my body – it felt like everything hurt. Even something minuscule, like soft cotton against my skin, made me feel more at ease. If it will make you feel more comfortable, toss it in the bag! Best wishes!

  69. Andrea

    Congratulations – you’re so close to meeting your little love! I overpacked my hospital bag and barely used any of it. (I had a c-section with emergency anesthesia, so I was groggy and much slower to get up and around.)

    Healthy snacks were the #1 thing my husband and I used from our bag 🙂 The Frida Mom disposable underwear were great – so much more comfortable than what the hospital provides! I also brought 5-6 soft sleep shirts with buttons in the front – great for breastfeeding, a Kindred Bravely nursing/pumping bra, My Brest Friend nursing pillow, cozy socks with grip, and hair ties. (I brought a make up bag, too, and didn’t even touch it.)

    If needed, the hospital will provide a breast pump to help your milk come in, and they’ll show you how to use it. I was SO glad I packed my pumping bra – it makes it much easier so you’re hands-free. (At one point I was holding the baby and pumping bc my husband was sleeping.)

    I am very particular about organic and clean products, and we brought all of our own clean diapers and wipes…but we didn’t end up using them at the hospital. The hospital will have everything you need for baby. We used our own soft sleepers, hats, muslin blanket for swaddling, and pacifier. We also brought a letter board to make baby’s announcement sign with his name, height, weight, etc. for his announcement photo. (We had an email drafted with everyone’s email addresses – all my husband had to do was fill in the birth details & attach a photo!)

    My hubby packed comfy sweats, warm clothes (it’s cold!) slippers, and casual button-down shirts for easy skin-to-skin with the baby. (He can bring a zip up hoodie, but make sure it doesn’t have a metal zipper. It can be cold and/or sharp against baby’s delicate skin.) My husband also recommends AirPods or headphones – super helpful so he didn’t wake the baby and I while listening to podcasts or music.

    Good luck and best wishes for a smooth delivery!

  70. Taylor

    I brought size newborn diapers. Yes the hospital does provide them but typically they are a size 1. Lots of snacks and water.

  71. I’d absolutely love to see a post on what you actually used from your hospital bag, to compare! 🙂

    Still not pregnant yet, but am loving all of your pregnancy-related posts to be able to use as reference in the future. And it’s just fun to feel somewhat knowledgeable and prepared on this stuff. 🙂

    I am loving all of your cozy finds in this post. Thanks for sharing! <3


  72. Kaeli

    This was so helpful!!! 💛

  73. Stephanie

    I brought way too much to the hospital and didn’t use most of it BUT I’d rather be prepared than not prepared at all! I brought the Depends underwear/diapers and liked them way more than the mesh underwear the hospital supplied. I felt like it kept everything in and had less leaks. I placed a pad inside the Depends and layered the pad with Tucks cooling liners. It was great! I also used the Frida mom peri bottle. This is a MUST to keep everything clean after using the bathroom. Also, having 2-3 black nursing dresses (long sleeve and short sleeve) to wear after birth. This is all I wore and felt comfortable in it! I wore my belly bandit after birth and everyday for the first month. This helps with healing and feeling more secure in your mid section. Remember to bring a comfy blanket and pillow for you and your spouse. I brought a cooler with drinks and a bunch of snacks Bc you will be there for a few days until they release you. I wish I had brought my boppy pillow but didn’t. I will next time!

    Hope this helps! Xoxo

  74. Kelly

    Thank you for updating your post on what you used and didn’t use during the birth of your child. It’s so good to hear what are must haves and what you can leave at home. My husband and I just found out we’re pregnant after struggling to conceive for 2 1/2 years. We had failed medicated IUIs and were about to start IVF, when we got a huge surprise! Miracles do happen! I will definitely be using some of your suggestions and some in the comments below. Bringing your own pillows was smart, hospital ones are flat and well…just terrible! Congrats on your beautiful baby girl and many blessings to you and your adorable family.

  75. Darling Yanes

    This was extremely helpful!!!

  76. Jenny A

    I packed the silverette cups for in between breastfeeding, they were and are my most used item! Also the target button down pjs with shorts from stars and above, comfortable, easy to breast feed in and very cute.

  77. Cait

    Can you please link the white hat with bow that Kennedy wore home from the hospital?

  78. Leanna

    This post is so helpful to all the soon to be mothers out there! Thank you for all the details about what you used versus what wasn’t needed. My husband and I are still in the “trying” phase so fingers crossed! Congrats on your little peanut!

  79. Alexandra Dickison

    I didn’t know people would give their nurses and doctors goodies! Would you mind sharing what you gave them?

  80. Hi Caitlin!
    I’m currently halfway through my pregnancy and already doing my research and writing out my “What’s In My Hospital Bag” list to prepare for the delivery process. It’s been so helpful to read your blog post on the things you brought and loved the fact that you went back to this post after delivery and updated us on the items that were and weren’t used. I’m the kind of person that always over packs but that’s because I like to be prepared for everything but the update on your items have helped with making sure I pack what’s necessary and maybe exclude items I thought were important to bring but aren’t. Though, I agree with moms out there who say “Bring whatever you’d like because if you don’t bring it and you really wanted to, you could be quite disappointed. And just because someone else doesn’t recommend that you bring a certain product, doesn’t mean you necessarily don’t need it, that person just might not have needed it during their experience.”
    It’s also been very helpful to read the comments below of many women that have already went through the delivery process and have some recommendations. I definitely took a lot of them into mind and have already added them to my Hospital Bag list.
    Thank you for creating this post and thank you to all of the amazing women who have supported you and who also support many women out there going through similar life experiences and willing to lend a helping hand. I’m excited and nervous about the delivery process of my own baby but it helps to have advice and recommendations from many amazing women and be comfortable with my own hospital bag and what I’m bringing.

  81. Alyssa

    Where’s the rack from that you are hanging up baby clothes on?

  82. Jackie

    What would your husband suggest for the new dads to bring? My son and daughter-in-law are expecting their first. Needless to say it’s been along time since I went through this, lol. Thank you for making this blog. Great info and suggestions