Hospital Bag Checklist

Another week and another post saying I’m still pregnant! Seriously, I’m not at my due date so I guess I should be patient. I just didn’t think I’d go this far past 37 weeks without having a baby, especially with all my symptoms. Alas, I am. So I’m doing my best to keep living every day and making the most of things. It is getting more difficult to do some things (like pick stuff up off the ground), but I know I’m almost done! I can’t be pregnant forever. It’s October and sometime this month we will have another baby.

I find I’m having a mix of good and “bad” days. We went for another big hike over the weekend. Another 2.5 miles on a local favorite with a steep incline at the beginning. As always, the view was worth the work.


But, clearly it didn’t help this baby come any faster. The rest of my workouts have been more found exercise, with a couple 20 minute workouts on two days of the week, either first thing in the morning or during naptime. Plus, at least one walk per day.

Generally, keeping up with Isla who is an incredibly active 14 month old is a lot of work and feels like enough of a workout if I’m honest. She has wanted to be carried a lot. Thankfully, prodromal labor seems to have stopped, but carrying Isla around often causes lots of braxton hicks. I have been doing squats while she plays, push ups on the side of the couch, tricep dips, rows, walking lunges around the yard. I’m always moving and trying to make the most of my time. That being said, I do look forward to my stronger workouts once the new baby has settled in and my body is feeling better.

Thinking about having the baby, I’m sharing some info about my hospital bag. I know there are a ton of these hospital bag packing lists on the internet, but having had a baby last year, I’m adding my list to the masses. I used a lot of the lists I had seen on Pinterest and I’ll be honest, I brought way too much stuff! So, I’m putting my short term memory to use (one of the perks of having had a baby 14 months ago) and sharing what I packed in my hospital bag this time around.

I guess I should preface this by saying I am a pretty minimal packer. I like to bring just the essentials, plus maybe a few conveniences. I have a ton of minimal packing lists how-to’s on my Pinterest travel board. A couple years ago, my husband and I backpacked through Europe for two and a half weeks, each with one backpack (mine weighed 19 pounds fully packed, his weighed 40 pounds).

Earlier this year, we traveled as a family of three to California (with our then nine month old) living out of one backpack, a diaper bag and a stroller. Our main bag weighed almost 50 pounds, but it sustained us for a week of enjoyment. I would want to do the same thing for our soon to be family of four too. Even if it means I have to wash some socks in the sink.

So yes, my hospital bag is fairly minimal. Some people include things like comfy towels from home for the shower at the hospital and you won’t find that here. I don’t want to do any more laundry when I get home after having a baby than I have to. So a scratchier hospital grade towel is a-okay in my book. Though if it’s not in yours, that’s okay too.

For baby: 

  1. Little brother/little sister outfit – We don’t know if we’re having a boy or girl, but we want to have a cute photo op when our big girl and the new baby meet. Isla has a sweet big sister outfit to match one of these options.
  2. Hats – Our baby can wear a lot of the hospital supplied onesies for the little time we will spend at the hospital. Again, it makes clean up and laundry at home a ton easier! However, I like to be able to distinguish the baby’s gender with a couple sweet hats. We packed two for a boy and two for a girl.
  3. Formula – When I had Isla, I didn’t bring this item. While I was able to breastfeed, her glucose got very low at one point and I needed to give her a little formula. As a mom who eats a lot of organic food, I was really upset to use a conventional formula from the hospital. So this time, I’m bringing my own, just in case!
  4. Going home outfit – Again, since we don’t know if we’re having a boy or girl, we have a gender neutral going home outfit, complete with a onesie, pants with feeties, and little hat. I know moms say it all the time, but I seriously can’t believe how tiny these clothes are!
  5. Car seat
  6. Pacifier – This is something I want to have just in case. We didn’t use one until Isla was really comfortable breast feeding (after about one week), but that can come at a different time for all babies. So, we’ll have our pacifier with us.
  7. Swaddle blanket – This is great to not only swaddle the baby, but I can use it as a breastfeeding cover up too if I need it. Another gender neutral pattern!

For mom: 

  1. Robe – I love having a comfortable robe for at the hospital. It makes feeding the baby easy and layers easily over my nightgown or other clothes.
  2. Nightgown – since I had a c-section last time, I wanted to make sure I had something that didn’t have a waistband to wear at the hospital. This nightgown has a built in bra top that cuts right under the bust. So, it provides some support for my filling boobs, and it’s not terribly old ladyish. I can actually wear this 9 months pregnant, or normally. Win, win!
  3. Going home outfit – Living in New England, the weather has been cool in the mornings and warm in the afternoons. So, I packed a skirt and tank top to go home in. I can always layer a jacket over this for the ride home (I’ll have one stashed in the car).
  4. Socks – I like to bring two pairs of socks I don’t mind getting dirty and throwing away if need be. Hospitals are clean because they’re hospitals, but how many people have seen white socks turn black? So, I bring a couple pairs of thick Hanes socks and call it a day.
  5. Sweat pants and long sleeved shirt – I like to be comfortable in the hospital. I can also use this as my going home outfit if it’s a cooler or rainy day.
  6. Nursing bras – an essential item!
  7. Depends – This was just more convenient. A recommendation many people made online and I’m glad I followed.
  8. Underwear – Just some inexpensive Hanes granny panties. I pack these, but also take full advantage of the disposable underwear from the hospital. I still have some of those stashed at home from last year too. Isn’t postpartum life so glamorous?
  9. Overnight pads – Eventually I wanted to use pads and I didn’t want to use the ginormous hospital grade ones. Seriously, have they ever updated those?
  10. Special Toiletries – A client gifted this toiletries set to me last year. She said it’s nice to have some nice soaps and shampoos at the hospital and I loved having this last year. This is one of those extra amenities I really enjoyed and made sure to pack again this year.
  11.  Stretch oil – I have been using this stretch oil throughout my entire pregnancy and I know it’s important to also keep my skin hydrated after I have this baby too. I love that I can actually use this oil as a full body oil. It’s light, but hydrating.
  12. Boob butter – I used this after I breastfed every time at the hospital last year and I’m glad I did. Isla was a serious cluster feeder and I felt like this saved my boobs.
  13. The Stick – I didn’t bring this last year, but since I’m trying for a VBAC, I thought this might be a helpful tool if I’m having a lot of back labor. This is one of my favorite tools for self myofascial stretching at home, and it’s also a great massage tool. It might save Chris’s hands.
  14. Belly wrap – This was a life saver at the hospital and when I went home last year. I’m wondering if I’ll be as interested if I have a VBAC, but after a csection, I loved how it helped support my shredded (literally) stomach.

Last, but not least, we pack so many snacks.


Our hospital food is not very good. It’s full of preservatives and pesticides and when I’m trying to refuel my body either after a surgery or delivery, I’d like to have some tastes from home that are a little more nutritious. I certainly don’t pack the healthiest snacks, but it’s comforting to have food that I know I like. Some of our favorites include beef jerky, veggie sticks (something salty for after labor), Tate’s Bake Shop cookies (something sweet), Kind bars, Annas’s Swedish Thins (I love these with cheese or with tea), some juice boxes, trail mix, gum, and raspberry leaf tea (to help my uterus recover). Also not pictured are some instant oatmeal cups with chia and flax. I love that all I need is some hot water to enjoy this healthier breakfast or snack. And last, but not least, seltzer! It’s nice to have something other than water.

What do you pack in your hospital bag? Share in the comments below. 

3 thoughts on “Hospital Bag Checklist

    1. Thank you! I think it’s worth it since it’s not possible to leave until discharged. Plus I don’t have to worry about these little things while at the hospital.

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