Hospital Bag essentials for having a baby, from a 3 time Mama. (Some I’m sure you’ve never thought of!). Including c-section necessities!
Going home outfit:
We’re going to start backward with what to wear while leaving the hospital.
- Joggers or comfy pants (These very affordable ones have a higher waist to help hold everything in.)
- Loose shirt (I did a Henley so it unbuttons so you can nurse before you get discharged if needed, there’s a short sleeve version also here.)
- Slip on shoes (especially if you end up with a c-section you don’t have to bend over to put them on)
- Baby going home outfit plus hat (even in summer their heads get cold when they’re newborn)
- Clothes for Hubby (I just do t-shirts and sweatpants or mesh shorts for mine during the hospital stay and he wears the same pair of jeans to and from the hospital)
For You and Dad:
- Toothbrush & paste
- Shower flip flops (in summer you could just bring flip flops and skip the other shoes above)
- Toiletries for shower
- Extra long phone chargers or external battery chargers for phone
- Snacks (otherwise you have to have Hubby go to the cafeteria if you are hungry between meal times or vending machines, our hospital has a fridge in the hallway with a few sandwiches you can get any time, but trail mix is much tastier!)
- A robe (for walking the halls)
What I skip…
The non- essentials I skip in my Hospital bag are some items I see on many other lists…but to be honest I’ve brought them before and never ever touch them. I don’t do any makeup or hair stuff for photos, I also skip fancy robes or pjs that some people do, I usually just wear the hospital gown while I’m there but brought a robe to throw over it to wear walking the hallways. You’ll want to get up to walk and they also make you get up a little bit.
Some people also bring their own pillows and blankets, I just use the hospital ones because I don’t want to have to wash a bunch more stuff when we get home. I do bring a boppy pillow for nursing.
- Nursing sleep bras: (I just found the softest most comfortable ones at only $14 for a 2 pack, and they are wayyyy softer than my name brand nursing bras, also picked up this style)
- Chapstick: (I have a favorite brand of everything…including lip balms)
- Hair ties: (my favorites are here!)
- Large water bottle: (These are the best because they don’t leak and have a one-hand flip-out straw so you can keep on the couch with you while nursing)
- Clip on battery fan: (they keep the rooms super warm for the babies so this can you can clip right on the side of the bed or tray to keep you cool while sleeping) * This is my must-have that I’ve used with every kiddo, and every nurse commented how they need to get those for the rooms. I’ve also seen this style that wraps around anything that’s very versatile too!
- Stool softener: (ask your nurses because sometimes they’ll give it to you so you don’t want to double up, but definitely take it so you don’t have to push much going to the bathroom the first time)
- Nipple cream: (I like earth mama brand the best)
- Nursing pads: (I use bamboobies reusable ones)
- Pads: (hospital gives you them but they are the huge 1980’s style ones, so I bring my own overnight ones) Some women use depends underwear for the first few days because they are basically the mesh underwear the hospital gives you with a built-in pad. I’ve never tried them before but bringing a few of those also for this baby to see how they are. Make sure you have a good stash at home…you will need them for quite a few weeks! * (Postpartum Note: I ended up using the depends for bedtime while home the first few days. They are perfect for nighttime when your bleeding is still heavy and you are moving around in the night to nurse baby, then you don’t have to worry about a shifting pad or leaks.)
- Boppy nursing pillow with cover
- Belly wrap: (I didn’t end up wearing mine until a few days after birth while home…but a lot of women feel comfortable wearing theirs right away at the hospital, especially if you have a vaginal birth. I personally don’t like it against my c-section incision until a few days later.)
Our hospital provides almost everything. While you’re there..diapers, wipes, blankets, hats, onesies, so you really only need an outfit, hat, and blanket for the ride home.
- Pacifier: if you want to use one (our hospital doesn’t provide these) *Pro-tip…Don’t stock up on a lot of one style before baby is born, a lot of babies end up having a style preference so you may have to try a few styles to find one they like.
- Baby scratch mittens: (I didn’t have these with my 2nd kiddo and by the time we got home she had already scratched her face up with those tiny sharp baby nails.)
- Diaper cream: (we had to ask for this and they didn’t have it so I’m bringing my own this time)
- Velcro or zipper swaddle: (if you want to swaddle baby and have it be easier than folding the blankets)
- Baby car seat: (This one is an upgrade from the one I had with my previous kiddos for less $$$. It’s much easier to tighten the base straps and to release the car seat from the base, plus the profile is smaller to fit 3 car seats in our backseat!!) *I also strongly considered this one…it’s pricey, but there are definitely times I wish I had gotten this one instead.