The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist

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My daughter arrived early at 37 weeks 3 days and I didn’t have my hospital bag packed yet! It was very ironic, because I am a total Type A planner.  She was breech so we had a c-section scheduled for a week and a half later.   When my water broke in the middle of the night unexpectely I was soooo not ready!  My husband basically threw in my toothbrush and grabbed our cameras and we were out the door.  This time around I want to be prepared!  EARLY. 🙂 

So mamas, I need YOUR help!   I want to compile the ultimate hospital bag checklist based on experience from mamas like YOU!   You will not only help me pack my bag, but other moms-to-be as well!

Can you leave a comment below with any essentials that you can think of that made your hospital experience more pleasant or something you wish you had but didn’t pack?  It is SUPER easy. Click on the comments link at the bottom of this post, put in your name (or alias) and comment, and click “Create Post.”  I will take all the items and then do another post with everything, the ultimate checklist! 

Starting list:

  • Spaghetti strap or nursing nightie that is easy to pull down for nursing (or one that buttons up)
  • Outfit for your trip home
  • Panties (granny style!)
  • Lightweight robe
  • Slippers 
  • Flip flops
  • Your own shampoo/conditioner, soap and lotion for your first shower (which is heaven!)
  • Make-up (optional, but I felt better putting on some lip gloss and blush before visitors sometimes)
  • Hair dryer (I was in 4 days for a c-section, so I liked being able to wash & dry my hair the 3rd day)
  • Sleep mask & ear plugs– Totally not necessary, but it helped me nap during the day
  • Couple change of clothes for baby (the smallest ones you have – “newborn” size worked best for us)
  • Baby socks & mittens
  • Cell phone
  • Manila folder for all the paperwork you will get
  • Lansinoh cream or some sort of nipple cream
  • Breastfeeding book
  • Breast pads
  • Camera!!!
  • Video camera!!

Incidentally, while looking online for cute hospital bags, I came across this great company featured on Cool Mom Picks.   Babytime Bags are chic maternity bags (pictured above) filled with both practical and indulgent items that you will need for your hospital stay.  They are even personalized with your flip flop size!   What a great baby shower gift to give!   

Thanks for your help everyone…keep an eye out for my post coming up with all your great ideas!  


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  1. 1

    I also had a C-section and had to stay a bit longer in the hospital and what I found to be a necessity for me was my pillow- The hospital pillow I had was uncomfortable as could be. I also would include a pair of fuzzy socks to wear because it can get a little cold in the room. I also had a couple of visitors and wish that I had a nursing cover with me so that I could breastfeed comfortably while I had visitors. I would also bring my ipod because there will probably be some time when the baby is sleeping and I might not be sleeping. One thing that I wish I had brought with me last time since the hospital I delivered had Wi-fi was my laptop so that I could email friends/family photos. I guess you could also do that with your smart phone.

  2. 2
    Jen says:

    GREAT GREAT GREAT ideas! Totally forgot about the pillow, but YES, that is a great one!

    I will add:

    * Own bed pillow
    * iPod
    * Nursing cover
    * Fuzzy socks

    Thank you!

  3. 3
    heather says:

    i noticed the nursing nightie and cover were listed… i would include a nursing bra. i didn’t bring one with my first and was so glad i brought one for my second. i also saw baby mittens… these are an excellent idea since babies are often born with long fingernails. with my first baby, we tried to keep his hands covered with the roll-down sleeves, but when his hands got out, he really scatched his little face 🙁 the second time around, i brought baby nail clippers. you could also bring a little nail file if you don’t have/bring mittens.
    when i had my second, i also packed a special bag for my older child to bring with him when dad brought him to visit… new crayons and paper, a couple of books, cars, a dvd and some snacks. he felt special reading books and watching a movie up on the bed with us.

  4. 4
    TS says:

    I brought my nursing pillow (boppy/brest friend) which I found to be invaluable for getting my little one in the right nursing position. I also think a nursing cover was a great help to be able to nurse without having visitors vacate!

    Also, I had a long delivery that went through the night. My hubby brought speakers for our iPod to play relaxing music, as well as little battery powered tea light "candles." They gave the room the right amount of light while I was trying to relax and rest between contractions, but we could still see to move about the room without turning on the bright room light.

    In addition, we packed and totally made use of peanut butter crackers, granola bars, power bars, mints, gum, etc. when Hubby and family got hungry in the middle of the night. Since I couldn’t eat that stuff, I packed some sugar free hard candy to suck on when I wasn’t allowed to have water. It helps keep your mouth moist.

  5. 5
    Lauren says:

    I second what has been added. Here are a few other things
    For hubby:
    -cash/quarters for my hubby for snacks
    For me:
    -my breast pump and was so glad I did because I needed to get my milk supply up so I was pumping right away
    -lotion & chapstick
    -phone charger
    -spare camera battery/memory card & charger
    For baby:
    -baby wipes because some hospitals just give you those things you have to wet and cleaning meconium in the middle of the night without wipes, no thanks.
    -a couple of sizes of baby clothes – they thought my baby was going to be too big for newborn stuff but then he wasn’t so I was glad we had options.

  6. 6
    Jen says:

    You guys are awesome! Fabulous suggestions! Keep ’em coming everyone!

  7. 7

    I wanted to be sure my daughter didn’t get left out. I packed a special gift to give her in the hospital from her new baby brother. He gave her a ‘kitty blanket’ which she has with her in college now.

  8. 8
    Jen says:

    Donna, that is the cutest idea! Thanks for sharing!

  9. 9
    mm says:

    Glamourmom nursing tank top!!!

  10. 10
    mom2three says:

    When I had my second I brought little games/toys that my son could play with while the adults where hanging out because that hospital room gets small fast! I remember books, Mr Potatohead, matchbox cars, etc. Oh and some good magazines! After the first baby you are alone a lot more in the room because your husband is off taking care of the older ones, and you have the nursing thing kind of down – and are not totally freaking about every grunt the baby makes – so there is some good US Magazine/mindless reading time!

  11. 11

    A sexy nursing bra is a must! In all seriousness, the magazines and your favorite snacks are a great idea. I also packed some toys and my daughters favorite snacks. This time around my friend brought me the most recent season of Scrubs on DVD and a couple water bottles. I had never really gotten into it before, but it is hilarious in a hospital setting.

  12. 12
    Dru says:

    *Tennis ball (my husband pressed this into my lower back and it helped with the back pain)
    *Power Bar or Snickers or something for hubby to eat if it’s like 4AM and nothing is happening yet
    *Glasses/Contacts/Case/Saline Solution
    *BFF-With my second son, I had my BFF spend the night with me in the hospital so hubby could go home with my oldest son…didn’t want him to be neglected.

    The same thing happened to me with the first one…water broke at 1AM, no bag, grabbed a bottle of water, a tennis ball and a Snickers on the way out the door! Unfortunately, forgot the camera 🙁 But, the tennis ball really helped for the few hours BEFORE the epidural kicked in…didn’t matter…12 hours later I still had to have a C-section.

  13. 16
    Gerri says:

    It was dark when I woke. This is a ray of susnihne.

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