Saturday, November 16, 2013

Must Haves {Hospital Bags}

Must Haves {Hospital Bags}

There are so many things to 'get ready' when you're preparing for a baby.  The list is never-ending and it can get overwhelming.  I remember when Hogan's due date was slowly approaching and I still felt extremely unprepared.  I was thankful to have my two best friends, my twin sister and Jordan, to help me prepare.  They have both been through childbirth and knew what to expect.  My sister helped me prepare for what I was not expecting (everything that happened in the labor and delivery room, but I'll leave that story for another blog post).  Jordan helped me prepare for after I had the baby.  She made me a detailed list of everything I would need after birth.  If it weren't for both of their advice, I don't think I'd have survived.  

I was completely clueless about what to pack for the hospital stay.  I was a first-time mom and needed all of the help I could get.  I am going to give you my list of must haves to pack for you, your spouse, and your new baby so that your hospital stay will be as smooth as possible.  I'm sure there are things on my list that you will omit and there are things you will add, but hopefully this will help get you pointed in the right direction.

Mom's List


Shampoo, Conditioner, & Soap - I recommend the travel size just because they are a lot more convenient when you are packing.

Toothbrush & Toothpaste - I remember one of the first things I wanted to do after giving birth was brush my teeth.  I had been in labor all night and I just wanted to get that awful taste out of my mouth!

Razors - You might think this is ridiculous because you're not going to care about shaving your legs after having a baby, but I am strange about this.  I can't stand the feeling of prickly legs so I shave my legs everyday, even after giving birth.  I shaved during my very first shower when I could barely stand up and still had a catheter attached to me.  So this is one that is definitely on my list, but may very well be left off of your list.

Lotion - I use lotion everyday, but if you don't typically use lotion this may not be on your list.

Deodorant - Don't forget your deo!

Hairbrush - I bought a small, cheap hairbrush to stick in my bag so it didn't matter if it got left behind or not.

Hairdryer - I didn't take a hairdryer because I usually let my hair air dry, but I know several girls that took their dryers so they didn't have to wait hours for their hair to dry.  

Ponytail Holders - Whatever you usually pull your hair back with, take it.

Chapstick - Even if you don't use Chapstick or never need it, pack some just in case you do need it.  For some reason, lips seem to automatically become chapped during labor.  I guess it's because you can't really have anything to eat or drink for hours.  I always put this in gift baskets when I'm visiting friends that have just had their baby and they always thank me later.  Do yourself a favor and pack it.

Makeup - My sister is the one that told me to take makeup.  We all know that Dee loves her makeup!  She said, "You're going to be in so many pictures while you're there and you don't want to look awful."  She was right.  I don't think I put any makeup on the first day because I'd been up all night giving birth, but the next two days I had it on and it does make you feel a lot better, even if you just put on a little like I did.


Pajamas - I sleep in a t-shirt every night.  I don't wear cute pjs.  So when I was packing my clothes for the hospital, I packed over-sized t-shirts and pajama pants.  I discovered later that I needed button-up pjs.  This is really only if you're nursing.  It just makes it so much easier to nurse if you can just undo a couple of buttons rather than taking off your shirt.  I sent Wes to the store to get me button-up pjs while we were in the hospital.  Just make sure you pack enough for 3 or 4 days in case you stay longer than usual.

Socks - Take several pair of socks.  The hospital is always cold and you'll need them.

House shoes - You'll definitely want to take a pair of house shoes because you won't want to walk around barefoot while you're there and you also won't want to have to put on regular shoes.  Take a comfy pair of house shoes.

Bras & Nursing Bras - Whether you are going to nurse or not, take a few bras.  They recommend keeping one on while you're there because it helps when your milk starts to come in.  The nursing bras are super convenient for when you're nursing, so don't forget to pack them for the hospital.

Panties - You'll need several pair of panties.  Don't take good panties, take ones that you won't mind ruining because they will get ruined more than likely.  I went to Wal-Mart and bought a pack of those cheap, cotton panties that had about 8 pair in the pack.  I got a size up from what I usually wear just so they wouldn't be too tight on me after giving birth.  I packed all of them for the hospital.  They will have panties for you to wear, but they aren't comfortable and as soon as they tell you it's ok to put your regular panties on, you will want to do so.  

Cheap Flip-Flops - This is in case you don't want to shower barefoot.  Buy a cheap pair of flip-flops to take with you for showering.

Going Home Outfit - You'll still be bloated when you leave the hospital and you won't want to wear anything tight around your stomach, but pack whatever you think you want to wear when you leave the hospital.  I went home in pjs because I didn't feel like changing into regular clothes, but you may not want all of your 'going home' pictures to be of you wearing pjs.

Nursing & Baby

Boppy or Mombo - If you have either one of these, take it to the hospital.  It is a lifesaver while you're nursing and you'll want to have it with you.  Even if you're bottle feeding, this is still great to have.

Nursing Cover - After you've been through labor and delivery and you feel like everyone in the world has seen everything you never wanted anyone to see, you really won't care who sees you nurse.  You will have to deal with people coming in your room to visit while you're nursing.  There's just no way around it.  Take your nursing cover and it will make things a lot more comfortable for you and your baby.

Burp Cloths & Receiving Blankets - You can always use the blankets at the hospital for burping your baby, but if you want to bring your cute ones, go for it.  I never used burp cloths, I found it a lot easier for me to use receiving blankets when I was feeding Hogan.

Breast Pump - The hospital will give you a hand-held breast pump, but if you have one that you want to use, take it with you.  I used the hand-held one and it was fine, but you may want to use the one you bought or received as a gift.

Nursing Pads, Nipple Shields, Cream - I am pretty sure that all hospitals provide you with these things while you're there, but my mind has chosen not to remember this part.  I know they provide the Lansinoh cream and the shields, but I can't remember about the pads.  You might want to check about this if you're planning on nursing.


Camera & Video Camera - Don't forget these, you'll take so many pictures and videos on those first few days so make sure you have plenty of available memory on those memory cards.

Phone - This is a no-brainer, but I'll put it on the list.  You'll want to be able to call and text everyone you know after you've had your baby.  You'll also want to take pictures with your phone and post them on your social media sites.  Just don't forget your phone.

Chargers - Don't forget to pack your chargers for whatever digital devices you take with you!

Snacks - Candy, chips, gum, cookies, etc., whatever you like to snack on, pack it!  You'll be there for a few days and you'll want to snack.  Your appetite doesn't just magically disappear, at least mine didn't!

Pillow - If you have a certain pillow you have to sleep with, pack it.  I still sleep with my baby blanky and you better believe it was with me the whole time!

ID - Don't forget to take your wallet with your information.  You'll need your ID, insurance card, etc., so be sure you have it packed!

Towel or Old Blanket - I recommend packing this in your car because you will be bleeding heavily after delivery and you may want to sit on a towel on the ride home so nothing gets on your seats.

The Spouse

I really should let Wes be writing this or at least giving me his input, but he's napping so I will try to remember everything he took with him.

Pajamas - Wes wore athletic clothes the whole time we were in the hospital, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, sweatpants.  Nothing special, just comfortable clothes.

House Shoes - I recommend taking house shoes for the spouse too because they are usually the ones going to get whatever it is you need.

Socks & Underwear - Take enough for a few days.

Bathroom Necessities - Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shaving stuff, etc.  Whatever it is that guys need, be sure to take it.

iPad - Wes wouldn't have survived without his iPad.  There are lots of times when the baby will be asleep or in the nursery and the mom is just trying to get some rest, so the iPad is a diversion from everything and will give him something to do so he's not bored out of his mind.

Going Home Outfit - Yes, the spouse will need an outfit to go home in.  Just don't forget to pack it!

The Baby


Baby Wipes - I'm only adding this to my list because I know the hospital I delivered at gives you dry wipes to use.  It's a lot more convenient to use regular wipes, so I would take some just in case.

Vaseline - I read this on a blog when I was preparing for birth.  The poopy diapers for the first, few days will be awful.  They are basically like tar and it's almost impossible to get off of the skin.  I read that Vaseline will help you to get it off if it's a really bad diaper and it worked for us.  Although, Wes changed all of the diapers in the hospital so you'll have to ask him!  They make a Vaseline in a baby scent, it smells great!

Lotion - I took lotion, but I can't remember if we used it or not.  You might want to pack a small tube of it just in case you need it.  They may provide you with some, but I can't remember.

Diapers - The hospital will provide you with diapers while you're there, but if you're using cloth diapers, be sure to take those if you're going to start using them right away.

Hairbrush - If you're planning on having a baby with a lot of hair, pack a hairbrush just in case!

Bottles - If you're bottle feeding, they will provide you with bottles and formula while you are there.  I don't think there's any need to take any with you, but you might want to check just to be safe.

Clothes & Stuff

You will want to take plenty of clothes for your baby because you never know what kind of accidents may happen.  You will be there anywhere from two to four days depending on what type of delivery you have.  Pack enough stuff for that many days and maybe even a few extra just in case.

Hats - They will usually make you keep a hat on the baby until he or she can regulate his own body temperature.  If you don't want your baby to wear the hospital hat in all of the pictures he or she is in, take some hats.

Socks - You'll need to keep socks on their feet to keep them warm!

Sleepers - I recommend taking sleepers with the footed pjs.  They're just an easy. all-in-one outfit.  

Gowns - I loved putting gowns on Hogan.  They were so cute and so easy!

Going Home Outfit - Whatever you decide to take your baby home in, don't forget to pack it!  Don't forget the bows, baby bracelet, shoes, etc.

Blankets - Take a couple of your own blankets.  You may or may not use them in the hospital, but you'll use them on the way home for sure.

Sleep Sack or Swaddler - You will learn how to swaddle while you're there, but you may have a sleep sack or swaddler that you want to take.  We took Hogan's swaddler and he loved it from day one.

Mittens - I forgot to pack my mittens and Hogan had to wear ugly socks on his hands to keep himself from scratching his face!  Their fingernails are really thin and brittle and you can't really cut them at first, so take mittens in case they start scratching themselves.


Baby Book - Take your baby book.  They will do a footprint in the book for you while you're there.  You will also want to make a list of everyone that visits you and brings gifts while you're in the hospital.

Favors - We had golf tees with Hogan's name printed on them and gave those to our visitors.  Don't forget to pack whatever it is you want to give to visitors if you're planning on doing that!

Door Hanger / Decoration - Don't forget to pack whatever you plan on hanging on the door of your hospital room!

Carseat - Don't forget the carseat!  You'll want to have this installed already.


I think this is everything on my list, but I am pregnant and definitely have the pregnancy fog so my memory is not very sharp right now.  I will add things as I think of them.   I think the best thing to remember is don't over pack.  I know this list seems long, but most of it is small stuff.  Just take what you think you will need and if you need something while you're there, you will have plenty of people willing to go get what you need!  I hope this helps you prepare and good luck with your new baby!

Thanks for stopping by!

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