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What I Packed in My Hospital Bag and What Was Actually Helpful

There is no shortage of hospital bag lists on Pinterest and blogs. After comparing several and seeing many of the same items on the “must bring” lists, I packed my hospital bag 5 weeks in advance of my due date.

I was ready to go! I tend to pack light but this seemed like a time when having a few more convenience items would be worth the extra baggage. I didn’t have to carry any of it so, why not?

hospital bag

Here is a complete list of what we packed in our hospital bag for dad, baby and myself and more importantly, was it helpful?


  • Toothbrush + toothpaste
  • Slippers
    • For Mom & Dad, no baby slippers needed.
  • A few printed copies of our Birth Plan/Preferences
  • Headphones
    • These were great for walking the halls during labor.
  • Phone chargers
  • Camera
  • Water bottle with a straw
  • Toiletries – face lotion, shampoo, conditioner, soap, body lotion, deodorant, contacts and solution
  • Robe
  • Nursing bra
  • Loose fitting dress to wear home
  • Sweatpants (for Dad)
  • Nightgown
  • Non-slip socks (for Dad)
  • Snacks for us, our nurses and midwife
    • Especially lactaction bars/cookies to help bring your milk in sooner.
  • Dirty clothes bag
  • 40 Blinks eye mask
    • I wore this on the car ride to the hospital and while walking the halls during labor.
  • 2 Outfits for baby
    • He only wore a onesie for a photo and for the car ride home.
  • Headbands
  • Hair clips
  • Chapstick
  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Special instructions from the birth center on where to go, numbers to call, etc.


  • Charged wireless speaker + charger
    • The birth center had a speaker in room we used instead.
  • Yoga pants
    • I wore a nightgown and robe the entire time. On the day of discharge I wore a loose fitting dress home.
  • Nursing top
    • I recommend the nursing bra and a nightgown since the nurses will be checking you often.
  • Hand massage tool
    • Counter pressure all the way!
  • Board shorts for Dad
    • I wanted all the space in the birth tub to myself. If I had labored in the shower these would have been useful.


Our San Diego Mom’s Blog Contributors agreed on these must haves as well:

  • Chargers (phone/laptop)
  • Chapstick
  • Toiletries
  • Bags for other kids (to keep them busy if necessary)
  • Water bottle
  • Nursing pillow
  • Non-slip socks
  • Robe
  • Nipple cream
  • Nursing top
  • Yoga pants/sweats
  • Music
  • Camera
  • Cell phone
  • Pillow from home
  • Essential oils
  • Granny panties
  • Birth plan
  • Snacks, pillow and blanket for Dad

Don’t be shy about taking home as many mesh disposable undies and ice packs as possible for use during recovery.

It’s wise to take a tour of the hospital/birth center beforehand and note what the rooms have. Having less to pack up and tote will prove helpful when you have your hands full as you head home.

hospital bag

What was in your hospital bag that saved the day? Obviously, I really enjoyed my snacks.

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4 Responses to What I Packed in My Hospital Bag and What Was Actually Helpful

  1. Lori C.
    Lori C. July 5, 2016 at 8:43 am #

    Great post! Don’t remember what I packed in my hospital bag 20+ years ago as it was in a frenzy because my baby was early. But, I do remember I left my favorite maternity shirt behind in the closet. When I called back to the hospital it was no where to be found.

    SOOOOOOO, on top of what to bring…. make sure you have all you came in with when you leave.

  2. Ashly
    Ashly July 5, 2016 at 9:50 am #

    Love it!!! Awesome list, Rachael!

  3. Christelle July 5, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

    Awesome list Rachel!!

  4. Felicia
    Felicia July 5, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    Mesh Undies All the Way!! Hehe!

    An Rachel…..YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR!!! You make Labor look fun! 🙂

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