For a complete and personalized hospital bag checklist look no further. I’ve got ya covered for both labor and postpartum!
For a while I debated whether or not to create another hospital bag checklist. I wasn’t sure it was necessary after already having such a similar post that was written a couple of years ago. After the mistakes of kid number one you think you have it all figured out by the next, however there’s always room for more knowledge and preferences do change over the years. For this reason I thought well of course I have to write yet ANOTHER post 😉
If you’d like to check out or download the original checklist you can read all about it HERE.
This post contains affiliated links which means if you make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure HERE.
When To Start Packing Your Hospital Bag
You’ll get all sorts of answers if you Google this or ask other moms so personally I say whatever works for you! If you are a type A organized person (not me) then you may want to start early on. If this makes you feel better prepared then by all means go ahead and create your list from the day you pee on that stick. Okay, I don’t think anyone has ACTUALLY started that early but you get the picture.
If you are a major procrastinator then you may not want to even think about a hospital bag until the day you go into labor. That’s okay too because guess what? Even if you pack absolutely nothing chances are the hospital is going to provide everything you need. You are a patient after all as well as baby so they are required to take care of you and this means providing all the truly needed items.
Now me? I’m personally somewhere in the middle here. I feel like it’s a good idea to have bags packed and ready to go by 37 weeks. I started typing up a few ideas on what to bring right around when third trimester started. As a not so organized person this was basically just a matter of jotting down random items in the notes section of my iPhone.
Now that my list is complete I have rearranged a few things to make the list easier to read but it is very much personalized to my liking.
Before I talk about what to put into the bag I thought I’d go over the bag itself. If you all came here expecting to see a super expensive designer bag then prepare for disappointment. Ya girl is sporting a JanSport backpack from my sophomore year in high school. If they are well taken care of these backpacks really do last a lifetime.
Inside the bag I am organizing a bit with gallon sized zip lock bags since this backpack does not have many pockets for separating. I am totally fine though with zip lock because of a few points here.
1.) It’s cheap
2.) It’s waterproof
3.) If it gets stained no harm done
For me, 3 zip locks are working well for a bit of organization. I have one assigned to toiletries, another for meds/small misc and the last devoted to things for baby.
What’s In My Hospital Bag?
Let’s Start With The Maybe Items
I left a few boxes blank on the checklist because like me I thought others may have some “maybe” items. In the notes section of my phone I’ve put question marks beside these because I’m not sure if I’ll bring them or not.
1.) Boppy Pillow
2.) My personal pillow
3.) Birth ball for laboring
All of these would be helpful but I’m not for certain if it’s worth lugging up there for only 2 days. I’ll leave the birth ball off if I can get confirmation that the labor and delivery unit has them available.
Personally I’d rather wear a hospital gown & mesh panties for the first 24 hours while things are extra messy. Because of this I don’t pack many clothes.
One tank top and a nursing bra will be good enough for day two although I may or may not even wear the bra. I’ve got both high waisted sweatpants and shorts on my list because being hot or cold could go either way for me.
Also a couple pair of old underwear and fuzzy socks because A.) stains and B.) comfort
I just plan on wearing home what I showed up in. If my water breaks on the way there though I may regret this haha!
In my toiletries bag I have filled it with a few breast pads as well as overnight postpartum pads. Neither of these are necessary because the hospital will provide both but I’ve found that my own are less messy. The hospital’s postpartum pads do not have wings and are not as comfortable.
Also in the same bag I’ve thrown in a brush, shampoo, deodorant, chapstick, one scrunchie and a travel sized toothbrush plus toothpaste.
Something new I’ve added that I’ve never brought before is fine tooth combs. I’ve heard from multiple people that if you squeeze one in each hand while having a contraction it considerably helps with pain. I guess we will see!
I’ve tried to keep things pretty minimal for baby. I have included a mustard Caden Lane gown with a matching hat and headwrap to take photos in. I suppose this could also be doubled as a going home outfit. However, I thought a sleeper would be easier with the car seat so I’ve added that as well. In addition I have packed a nipple shield, swaddle blanket and a starter kit of pacifiers from Ryan and Rose.
Something I ALWAYS recommend to new moms is to bring a portable fan. Labor is well known for making you hot and your partner will greatly appreciate not having to fan you with a folder for hours. Ask my husband how he knows 😉
I’ve never brought a heat pad before but giving it a go for this time because of how horrible my postpartum cramps were. I was in so much pain that I told the nurses I’d rather give birth again. Instead of taking so much Tylenol I’m going to give the heat pad a try.
Something else I’m bringing to help with cramps is red raspberry leaf tea. I recently started drinking this a couple of weeks ago to help tone my uterus for labor. I’m not sure if it’s doing anything at all but it sure tastes good and a nice glass of hot tea is always relaxing.
Also on my list I have my DSLR camera, wallet and extra long phone chargers.
Download The Hospital Bag Checklist
I have both my own personalized checklist as well as a blank copy to download if you’d rather fill in for yourself. You can download and print both checklists as a PDF HERE.