Baby: What to pack in your Hospital Bag



It’s GO time // What to pack in that hospital bag

Hey you guys!  Sorry I’ve been MIA for a few weeks. Baby Jax made his debut a little early on 01.15.15 at 6:16am, weighing in at 7.3 oz and 21” long!  So as you could imagine, it’s been a busy time adjusting to babe life.

My husband and I were a little unprepared when I went into labor this time around.  The car seat wasn’t installed and my bags weren’t packed.  Sounds awesome, right?  Frantically, I ended up tossing a little bit of anything and everything in arms reach that the baby, the hubby, myself included, might possibly need over the next 24-48 hours.

During my bedridden, newborn rockin’, cat nappin’ 3 day stay-cation at SWEDISH Hospital, I created a Hospital Bag Pack List for all you baby bumps out there to help make your stay a little more pleasant.  Feel free to add, delete, and share your thoughts below.

Step 1: Install the car seat beforehand.  Seriously… just do it.


During Labor:

• Games + Entertainment // Tick, tock, tick, tock.  Seconds feel like hours, and minutes feel like days.  During the early stages of labor, time can definitely drag on.  Thankfully, my lifesaving Doula Julienne Baconkept us entertained with Ellen DeGeneres’ iPhone app Heads Up and an epic iTunes playlist.  Are you a card shark? I highly recommend bringing a deck.  It’s something I wish I had.

• Headphones // They’ll help you focus

• Books and Magazines

• Leg warmers, socks, flip-flops and Uggs // Hospitals are usually pretty chilly, so I was really happy about bringing my thigh-highs!  I wore them for several hours pre-tub.  Keeps your legs warm and you feel cute, too.

• Bring a few bras (nursing / sports) // I actually wore a strappy back bra from Free People // Super comfy, easy to nurse in and doubles as a swim top in the birthing tub.

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• Chapstick and hair clips // More than one ladies…definitely more than one.  You will somehow lose both of these items time after time after time…. so bring backups.  Dads – you will be blamed for losing these things.  Just go with it.

•Say cheese! // DEFINITELY bring a camera.  You’ll want someone to capture your whole experience… from ouch to awwwww.  Julie {doula} secretly snapped breathtakingly beautiful photos throughout my entire labor, and I am thrilled she did.  I highly recommend you having a 3rd party snap a few shots throughout the entire process.


• Pillow

• Pack a robe // Or you can look your sexiest in the hospital gown 😉

• Siri… set the reminder // CELL PHONE CHARGER!  I repeat.  Do not forget your CELL.  PHONE.  CHARGER!

• Swim trunks for your partner if you decide on tub time.

• Splish-Splash // Towels, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, face wash, dry shampoo, a razor (just in case you forgot to shave those legs before you left the house).  The hospital can provide you with some of these things, but bring your own stuff.  You (and your hair) will be happy you did.

• Get your grub on // Bring some healthy snack options.  You may or may not be allowed to eat, but your partner is definitely allowed and will want to mow down something.  Stuff some crackers, nuts and granola bars in that bag just in case.

• Don’t forget your photo ID, insurance card, birth plan and any hospital paperwork you’ll need.


Post Baby!

In addition to the list above, you may also want to bring:

• Undies – I have these on the list, however, you be the judge on that one.  I didn’t dare wear anything other than those hideous mesh “shorts” they give you at the hospital. Those are probably the ugliest things ever, but who really cares.  You won’t!

• Nip Cream // I’ve never used it myself, but I have several girlfriends who say it is a must!

Breastfeeding pillow // You don’t really neeeeed this, but it’s definitely nice to have.

• A love note // Grab a card or write a little note to your partner congratulating them on your new little babe.  You’ll both be beyond exhausted, but sharing a sweet and romantic moment (more like nanosecond) between the two of you is something you’ll remember forever.

• Make-up + Blow dryer // Just in case.  You may have some extra time (and by time, I mean 8-12 minutes at the most) to apply a little bronzer.  You’ll thank yourself when you see all the photos your family posted on Facebook after their hospital baby visit!

• Got furry friends? // Be sure to pack extra baby blankets to bring home prior to baby’s arrival.  This allows your pet a few extra moments to adjust before bringing your new little one home!

• And last but not least, a {few} comfy going-home outfits for you and for baby!

Okay you guys – there you have it!  Let me know if there’s anything you don’t see on this list that you think other mama’s shouldn’t be hospital bound without!

Happy packing + good luck!



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  • Renee Harris Phillips

    From a labor and delivery nurse…..this is probably the best list of things to bring I have ever seen. I get overwhelmed by the amount people bring for labor. Ummm, hello, you’re having a baby not taking a trip around the world. Just in addition, some women may want to bring their own pads. I usually recommend using the hospital stuff for the first 24 hours then changing to her own, more comfortable (if that’s possible), overnight pads. Definitely the pillow and some extra socks. Many don’t realize the first time up how blood may run down the legs. It’s quite messy. It’s good to have a spare pair you can toss. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy 🙂

  • Karly Smaciarz

    I love Swedish! From a second time around mother delivering both at Swedish, most recently 10 months ago – I was unable to have a partner with me there post baby – my husband had to go back home to care for our two year old leaving me alone with the baby and a c-section incision trying to heal (aka: little ability to move around)… My baby was a champ nurser but also just wanted to suck but wasn’t doing it to eat and I needed a break… the nurses wouldn’t provide me with a pacifier (I left mine at home) and I had to fight with them to give one to me because they were so concerned with it ruining nursing. (I nursed my first for a year – I knew what I was doing)… SO long story – bring a paci (soothie or gumdrop kind)- my first NEVER took one but I wasn’t prepared for my second wanting to have a paci all the time. You just never know what kind of kid you’ll get.

    OH and we brought lots and lots of movies – comedies that I’ve seen before and was ok with missing parts if I had a doc or nurse come in or was working through labor.

  • Donna

    Des, as always you posts are full of class, respect and consideration of others that may be struggling to have a child. I had my son 32 yrs ago, but it did not come easy. I had a miscarriage a few months prior to getting pregnant again, and at 19 you cannot understand why.(Yes, I was married) for those of you who may want to judge. I know how it feels on both ends,and I just want to thank you for being so sweet about this blog. I absolutely adore you and Chris. Enjoy that feeling, and include Frankie as much as you can.. 🙂 they will grow up together.. Such an awesome feeling.xo