What's in my Hospital Bag

Posted by Katie Grabner on

What’s in my hospital bag?

I’m excited to share what I am putting in my hospital bag for my third delivery. Keep in mind, while I am one to over-prepare rather than under-prepare, I’m cutting out some items I probably would have thought to bring the first few times that I don’t feel like I would need. 

I’m going to start with some of the less obvious ones. I know there are a lot of lists out there so I’ll bring the random things that were important to us to your attention first :) 

-- My number one item: 10 ft+ phone cords for you and your husband or significant other. Someone suggested this to us before our first son was born and what a genius idea. When you are in labor and delivery, this will be for an unknown amount of time. You may drain your phone battery completely. You’ll have people checking in on you often as well. Once you’re in your recovery room, you can expect that once you share the news, your phone will be constantly buzzing with friends and family reaching out. Of course, you can choose how much time you want to be on your phone, but it is very nice to have your phone reach your bedside and be plugged in at the same time. You never know where the plugs in the room will be. I buy them on amazon prime. And I also love having them for my normal bedside table at home too!

-- Rubber Shower shoes for you and significant other. At some point, you will want to to rinse off. Shower shoes are a must. Trust me. 

-- Purell Wipes/disinfecting. Wipe down the surfaces you will be touching the most or that a cleaning crew might miss when you land in your recovery room -- for example: the little table that rolls over your bed, your remotes for your bed and TV, the phone in the room.. Maybe even the lightswitch in your hospital bathroom.  New babies and germs don’t go together!

-- Gatorade/Electrolyte drink: I drink a lot of water. I mean a lot. And I’m not a juice person and I don’t really have a whole lot to drink other than water and coffee. Wine will be part of my list once I get to a certain point of no longer being pregnant. But labor is trying on you. It was extremely nice to have gatorade during my delivery with Charlotte. It kept me hydrated. I didn’t have to have my husband wonder to a hospital store looking for something and leave me alone and it was nice to have after labor too. It’s a comfort item for me when I have the flu. So I definitely recommend packing any comfort drink you enjoy when you’re not feeling your absolute best. I may add a gingerale in my bag too. Your hospital should have this, but I definitely needed it during my mostly painless labor with Charlotte (I was pumped with some fluids to help with the process that made me feel sick). Having comfort items on hand just makes the process easier and less stressful. I suggest bringing two for you and one for your hubby! 

-- Ace bandage or postpartum belly wrap. Ok, let’s just be perfectly clear. You’re not going to have your same old figure the day or two after delivery. Your stomach is going to feel, well, odd, squishy, bloated. Take time to heal in the ways that best suits you. For me, having a visitor come by at the hospital, I just feel more myself wearing something to help with this very odd feeling or not feeling yourself! I have some sort of snazzy postpartum belly wrap made from bamboo type material.. And it really makes your stomach flat/flatter while you wear it and also for the hour following taking it off.. It’s amazing. (Get a nude color so you can wear it under white shirts too). But it’s honestly not that comfortable. It has a large velcro piece that goes all the way down the side. It’s awkward to sit in, especially when you’re breastfeeding, because it sort of folds over in some places to adjust to your sitting position and digs into your side. Let me tell you about ace bandages. Buy a new one from amazon prime or Dicks and don’t forget a safety pin just in case too! (Don’t rely on the 5 year old one that your husband once wrapped around his ankle in your medicine cabinet). It is LOVELY being able to wrap one around your stomach at the tightness you are most comfortable with. Maybe in the hospital that’s a little looser. Maybe after a week postpartum or off to see friends, it’s a tad more snug. For me, it’s all about feeling yourself. Having this wrap makes ME feel myself and that makes me happy. I can sacrifice total comfort for that. I discovered this trick after having Parker. I felt like an ace bandage was more forgiving and allowed you to be more comfortable while you sit. So I mixed my use between my legitimate one and my ace bandage and found myself always turning to the ace bandage for comfort. 

-- Some of your favorite snacks. I’ll be the first person to admit that I’m just more pleasant when I’m not starving. Being in a hospital limits your food choices, so think about a few items you like on the daily. I’ve packed a few things in my hospital bag like my favorite Kind Bars, and some other little things I don’t usually eat like goldfish and some TATE cookies. I know my hubby will enjoy those at the 9th hour and maybe my visitors will too. 

-- $5 Starbucks Gift Cards. You’ll have a handful of people helping you in the hospital. I’ve usually put a bowl of candy out for all of the nurses that are on duty through the stay and hand out a gift card too. I’m feeling like being a little more creative this time around so maybe I’ll think of something different before this round. Some people I really only saw briefly once. So a little item and a bigger one for those that go above and beyond is nice.

-- A cute/cozy set of PJ’s. I’m not huge on bathrobes, although I’ll probably pack one too. I think it’s something about the idea of wrapping something around my waist when I still have extra stomach squish and drawing attention to that. This time around, I ordered a cute pair of PJs and sized up. They fit me now while 34 weeks pregnant, which is a sign they’ll be perfect post delivery. I was going for a baggy shirt in some pastel blues for baby boys arrival. Honestly, don’t spend a ton on these either.. There’s always the chance of blood happening and you wouldn’t want to be too bummed about that just in case it does. But find something cozy that you can wear for visitors that isn’t a hospital gown. You’ll spend most of your day in a hospital bed but a hospital gown just won’t give you the coverage you may want. 

These are the ones I ordered.

-- A going home outfit, for you. For me, this will consist of maternity leggings or maternity jeans and a loose fitting button down shirt or sweater I sized up in just for this moment. Remember for the first few weeks you probably won’t want to wear a whole lot of things that cling to your stomach and remind you that you just gave birth. 

-- A blowdryer and round brush. I like to do a quick style of my hair in the morning with my blow dryer. I like my own blow dryer best so I will be packing mine for sure. Your hospital will likely have a wall one in the recovery bathroom - don’t take my word for it though.

-- Toiletries. Ok, here is one you don’t want to miss! There are things that I will just have to pack as the time comes.. Like my makeup etc. But when it comes to my toothbrush, deodorant, toothpaste and face wash.. I bought my favorite full size new versions for my hospital bag. I figure I can use these post baby anyway at some point or another. These were all items under $10, so I didn’t mind purchasing them to have them ready to feel prepared. Now here is my favorite tip!! When I’m pregnant and I notice that my favorite everyday face lotion and eye cream are getting low, I take the bottle that is perhaps 10-15 uses away from being all gone and set aside for my hospital bag. I really like having these ready in my bag because I am just the type of person that would rather have everything ready if I can, but I also do not feel the need to spend a ton investing in brand new bottles for my bag either. At this point, I purchase new ones for my everyday home use, and then I have my favorite face lotion and eye cream in my hospital bag with enough to hold me over at the hospital. You could totally do this for your toothpaste, deodorant, etc. too, but having new ones for these items packed away in my bag for weeks felt a little more sanitary for me. 

-- Flip flops or slippers. Just pack a pair of shoes you can easily slip on when you get in and out of your bed. I don’t really wear slippers at home, so I may just opt for flip flops, but I have brought slippers with me in the past. Whatever the case, make sure you have something that is easy to slide on over potentially swollen feet that does not require bending over to get up out of your hospital bed. The hospital floors just feel yucky to me, so I recommend bringing a pair of shoes you can wash or scrub down after your visit. 

-- A pillow. I can’t sleep when I don’t have a great pillow. I’ll probably grab mine if I can remember. Just make sure you can wash it when you’re back home. Also, this may sound crazy, but if you are sleeping with a maternity pillow of some sort, you should consider putting it in the trunk of your car when leaving for the hospital. You don’t need to bring it in to the hospital (and please don’t) when you are in labor, but you may decide you want it when you are in recovery. And that’s a good time to send hubby down to the car to get it (same for your pillow etc). Just keep in mind that if you have been sleeping with a maternity pillow for 10 weeks or so, you may find it hard to get rest without it right after delivery if you are a side sleeper. You get so little sleep in the hospital with all of the nurse rounds coming in your room that you don’t want hospital pillows to be the one thing that prevents you from getting any sleep at all!! And hospitals probably use pillows that can stay more sanitary so they may not be like you’d expect in a hotel or at home. 

-- A Sound Machine or Sound Machine App. I am such a light sleeper. I can not drown out noises easily when I’m trying to fall asleep. I will for sure bring a sound machine or use a white noise app on my phone to help with this! You won’t need one if you can fall asleep easily. But having a little background white noise can really make all of the difference in drowning out all of the strange sounds in a hospital. 

-- Underwear. Ok this one feels like TMI for me to be sharing but you’ll need to pack some with some coverage (aka bye-bye thongs). Unfortunately, you will need to use pads.. for a while. (insert crying emoji here). Get some in some darker colors if you can and definitely think about I sizing up. You might also want to consider bringing some medium sized pads with you too. The ones from the hospital are a little large and thick. Regardless, you’ll be happier if you have some ready when you’re home anyway. 

-- A book. One of my best friends started a text with book recommendations recently. I haven’t picked up a book in agessssss.. But this totally motivated me to buy one and to start reading it. I love how I don’t always go to my phone in my free time at night now. I’m really not a reader though and this is all new for me again. There gets to be a point where being in the hospital gets a little boring. I’ll probably pack a book with me. I might not read it but I’ll have it just in case!


Sports Bra. Comfort for delivery.


Belly Oil/Lotion. This is something that will be so helpful to be using daily. While pregnant. Keep it up after delivery as you recover.


--  Hubbies/significant others things and necessities. 


-- Going home outfit. Think a cute little set with a matching hat. We (I) cannot wait to put our little man in our TBBC outfit! The first two weeks for both of my kids we needed only Newborn sizes. So think small.

-- Swaddles. I’m just saying that you may end up being handed your little baby in a bright aqua fleece swaddle. While this didn’t bother me the first day, I was so happy to put something on my little ones that was more my style after they got their first bath.

-- Newborn PJ’s. You may not even get a chance to use them, but bring a pair just in case. 

-- Pacifiers. This is obviously a personal choice. The first car ride home can be really intimidating. You might just want to have one on hand! Make sure you wash it and then boil it too.

-- Stroller blanket. They say that a newborn should always be wearing an extra layer than you are. I’ll bring a blanket to put over our little mans body on the car ride home. Mid October could be pretty chilly here. You never know. 

-- Bibs. I’m packing a few just in case. Spit up happens. 

-- Burp Clothes. I’m also brining a few. The hospital will have some and send you home with a few too though. But some of mine match my bibs.. And well you know. 

-- CAR SEAT. This may seem like a no brainer, but do not forget your infant carseat. You are required to have it to leave the hospital! 

Other items that some people pack: 

-- Lip balm

-- Baby diapers (your hospital will have plenty but it doesn’t hurt to pack a few)

-- Shower Towel. The hospital towels are small and thin. Like better suited for a toddler small. Maybe I should bring one..

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