What I Actually Used in My Hospital Bag

(Also see my Amazon List for Baby Item suggestions in the First Year)

One of my favorite things to do when I was pregnant was read blogger’s posts about what they packed in their hospital bag. I knew I didn’t need half of what they said they were bringing but I still wasn’t sure what I would need and what I wouldn’t. It’s hard when you have no idea what to expect, no clue what kind of delivery you’re going to have, and no sense of how you’re going to feel!

(Note: the Covid Pandemic adds a whole extra layer to the question, “what to pack for the hospital” but this is based on my experience with Maddie in 2019 pre-pandemic.)

I had an induction and my doctor told me to prepare to be in the hospital for 72 hours before even having the baby LOL. So needless to say I was anticipating >5 days in the hospital and WAY over packed. Luckily the induction took less than 24 hours in the end and we only spent 3 nights in the hospital. Here’s what I’ll be bringing next time:

In my Vera Bradley Weekender Duffel Bag

For Delivery Room:

iPhone and 10 ft long iPhone Charger

2 Yeti Rambler 30oz Tumblers and lid with straw (to save your husband or nurse from having to fill up your water bottle every two seconds)

Your own pillow and an extra pillow case

Hair ties

Mini Fan

10-12 hours of tv shows/movies downloaded onto your iPhone or iPad (in case WiFi sucks) – I recommend something super light that you don’t have to pay much attention to, like Friends

Lots of snacks! I packed 3 peanut butter sandwiches and ate all 3 over the course of those 72 hours

Face & body moisturizer and chapstick (Hospitals are SO dry)

For Recovery Room:

2 PJ sets from All Stars Above Target (If you’re not a nightgown and robe person normally you won’t magically become one after giving birth. Lesson learned!)

2-3 Nursing Bras (Auden brand from Target are my favorite)

Hands Free Pumping Bra

Disposable Flip Flops for Shower (Old Navy)

Disposable Towel for Shower (Home Goods)

Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, soap, face wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, brush/comb

Portable sound machine

Going Home Outfit for You (I wore a loose fitting maternity dress because it was legit 95 degrees out but if it was any other time of year I would have worn black LOFT Lou & Grey Sweatpants and a cozy sweatshirt or t-shirt)

Sneakers or slip on shoes to go home in (socks if needed)

Try to leave room in your bag to fit supplies from the hospital and any gifts people bring you

For Baby:

2 newborn long sleeve side-snapping kimono onesies (If there’s a chance you’re having a small babe bring a preemie outfit, nothing we had fit Maddie! She just wore the hospital diapers and swaddles the entire time, which was totally fine too!)

1 swaddle (I love Copper & Pearl’s swaddles and burp cloths)

Baby’s Coming Home Outfit (include hat if it’s winter)

For Dad:

Have your hubby pack everything in a backpack so he has his hands free to carry your bag and baby/car seat

2-3 cozy outfits (sweatpants, gym shorts, t-shirts)


Shower Flip Flops


Phone Charger

Leave in Car:

Car Seat (If it’s winter get the JJ Cole Car Seat Cover and bring a blanket)

Boppy to sit on on the way home (I didn’t need it but good to have just in case)

Put some dark/old bath towels and a trash bag in your car the weeks leading up to your due date just in case your water breaks

You’ll most likely pack a million other things too but that’s really all I grabbed from my bag. If you’re worried you “might” need certain things, I recommend packing them in a different bag and leaving them in the car so you have them just in case. The less stuff you have to carry around the better!


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December 1, 2019



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