What to Pack In Your Hospital Bag

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning!

On Sunday afternoon, Mal and I (successfully) toured the maternity ward of the hospital where I am going to deliver Baby H. in just a few weeks. (We didn’t miss the tour this time! Hooray!) The tour was really helpful and made me feel a little bit more prepared about what to expect when we arrive at the hospital. And, hey, I’m just glad we know where to go now! Haha!

On the tour, one of the nurses discussed some of the things we might want to bring with us since we’ll likely be at the hospital for 2-3 days. It still might be a little too early to pack my overnight bag, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to at least start thinking about it, right?

Here’s what I have on my list so far, but if the moms out there have suggestions, I’d love to hear them, especially the things that really made a difference in labor and your time at the hospital.

  • Installed car seat
  • A going-home outfit for Baby H.
  • A going-home outfit for me
  • Pajamas/sweats
  • Nursing bras and tanks
  • Flip flops
  • iPhone and charger
  • Camera
  • Undies (I need granny panties, right?)
  • Headband
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, Chapstick, face wipes)
  • Meds
  • Magazines
  • GU <— genius idea from my friend Caitlin!
  • Laptop (if Baby H. decides to come the weekend of the NE CrossFit Regionals)

Question of the Day

Anything else I should add to the list?

P.S. I heard a rumor it is Teacher Appreciation Day at Chipotle!



  1. If you are planning on nursing, bring your breast pump as well as a BOPPY pillow!!! I lived with my babies on mine :)))

  2. Slippers and warm socks.
    Two different sized outfits for baby – some babies don’t fit in newborn size.
    Extra bags to carry all your gifts home in.

    Really you don’t need that much – you are only there a short time and can get by with very little for that time. Like a Boppy – love it at home but a pillow worked just fine for a few days and it was one less thing to haul around.

  3. Remember to take your Boppy! I forgot mine and it would’ve made nursing so much better, and I would’ve had less back ache. I also brought a pillow from home to make myself more comfortable.

    I also took slippers. I took the baby book so they could also do a set of foot prints in the book.

  4. Bring your own towel! The towels at my hospital were about the size of a hand towel and were rough. That’s the only thing I regret not bringing. I brought pajamas, but didn’t use them. I didn’t want to get them all messy, I left that to the hospital gown. But, really think about what you will want after delivery. That’s when you’ll be tired and sore and just want the comforts of home. During labor, I couldn’t think of anything but the contractions and then once I finally got an epi, I just slept. It was after he was born when I really got into the bag we’d packed. Also, don’t forget to remind your husband to pack a bag for himself 🙂 with snacks.

  5. I brought my boppy – but didn’t use it. But, a pillow from home was the best. I brought one that I could throw away… hospital germs.

    Also, baby’s book. They’ll put the footprints in there for you, which is great. Only bring one pair of undies – you’ll want to wear the big hospital ones otherwise. Toiletries for you, and for baby, a few outifits, plus wipes. The hospital doesn’t give you wipes – just diapers.

  6. I wore a short nightgown and robe the whole time until I dressed to go home. To be frank, you need to keep the “birth area” iced and padded, so that was easier than pulling pants up and down. Def bring the granny panties, bc you do NOT want to wear the hospital-issued ones! I did not bring snacks and I regretted that. Bring a little speaker for your iPhone to play music. I had music in the delivery room and it was wonderful.

  7. Great list!

    I would definitely recommend some Lanolin & Soothies for the pain that usually accompanies breastfeeding the first few weeks. Those saved me in the hospital!

    Granny Panties are the best choice 😉

    I drank a few Emergen-C while I was in labor and that was great too.

  8. Don’t bring too many clothes…I was there 4 days and only wore my own clothes for 2 days. An eye mask – our hospital made us keep a light on bc DS had mild jaundice. Soothie pads if you are BFing. An extra going home outfit bc he will poop on the first one lol.

  9. When packing clothes for yourself afterwards, ensure you bring your maternity clothes. I’m sure you’ll bounced back quickly, but you’ll still want to be in your mat clothes. This is especially true if you have a C-section.

    Oh, yes, to the beer! It tastes so good when it hits your lips (after 9 long months!). Best of luck!

  10. my husband brought a plain white t shirt and they put my daughters foot prints on it, he wore it on her birthday the following year as a keepsake, and camera

  11. Pillow from home, at least one for you. Hospital pillows are terrible ( I know I take call in house for anesthesia, when I do sleep, those things are gross and hard!)

    Hand lotion/body lotion-so dry in the hospital

    hair dryer- felt so good to get cleaned up and dry my hair! Towels-bring some you won’t want a problem with parting, hospital towels cover little.

    Snacks- I had plenty and ordered extra with each meal, but at 10pm the kitchen closed. The only problem is that you are up at 2,4,6am with a baby and may be starving then. I had a pile of rice krispy treats, fruit, graham crackers.

    I had my boppy but used a pillow instead in the early days, later on I couldn’t live without it.

    Most hospitals have lanolin for nipple cream, tucks pads for down there and mesh panties. I would use those over yours until you go home, you don’t want to mess up your stuff.

  12. Your list plus the comments definitely cover it! I agree with those who did you’ll want the boppy pillow. And you will def need the granny panties – fruit of the looms finest! – but not until you’re home. Make sure the pjs you bring have easy access tops, like button down shirts, or wear a comfy cardigan or zip-up over your tanks. Good luck! And don’t forget, Malneeds his own bag!

  13. I agree with the Boppy. The nurses can help you learn how to use it. Keep soothies in the fridge, you will be glad you have them. I liked having music in the delivery room. Warm socks that you don’t care about throwing away. The delivery room was freezing! Snacks! I was insanely hungry a few hours after labor and in the middle of the night when I woke up to nurse. They let me order one thing from every category on the menu so I made sure to order all that I could and then shared with my husband (I was at the Brigham).

  14. Not sure if your hospital will give you one or not, but bring an extra large water bottle. You will probably be pretty thirsty and it saves a million trips to the fountain!

  15. you should pack snacks for Mal, coaching is hard work 🙂 I also packed snacks for me for afterwards and before if you’re allowed to eat (if you aren’t on any meds, induced etc.) Massage tools were really great for us so my hub could massage my neck back through the delivery

  16. Like others said, slippers and/or socks for sure…I hauled a bunch of magazines and my laptop to stay entertained and never even pulled any of it out if my bag bc all i could focus on was the contractions. I packed snack bags for myself & my husband (oatmeal cups, protein bars, coconut water, etc) and that turned out to be really handy. Good luck! Can’t wait to see your little guy!!

  17. 2 words…mesh undies. They are the best invention ever and when I left the hospital I took a bag of 40 home w me. The fact that I could just throw them away were awesome. Plus they’re so comfy. I also loved my maxi dresses. I lived in them from 3 hours post labor to the day I arrived home. I also brought my own baby toiletries be the hospital supplied Johnson and Johnson and that had weird stuff in it

  18. definitely slippers! you don’t want to walk around the hospital without them! also a comfy robe. I used both. ssome moms also bring there boppy to help with nursing, or you can leave it and just use a pillow in the hospital. hope this helps a bit 🙂

  19. Check with your hospital, some already have nursing pillows in the room. One less big thing to bring!!

    I second the mesh undies! Wear them and bring them home!

    Again, check with your hospital, some don’t allow you to bring in meds. They take them and submit them to the pharmacy.

  20. The one thing I really wished I’d packed was a towel. The ones at the hospital are small & scratchy-not fun!

  21. i honestly only wore the hospital panties and they’re not as bad as everyone says… actually i thought they were comfortable because they were one size fits all boy shorts lol plus they put so much stuff down there (a huge ice pack – you’ll definitely want!) that my regular underwear wouldn’t have fit anyway! i really didn’t use half of what i brought to the hospital – honestly, just bring comfy (loose!) clothes!

  22. Lotion! I had an emergency c-section at 35 weeks, and had not packed a bag at all. Other than a toothbrush and my glasses, really good lotion was the one thing I made my husband get for me. The hospital was so dry (and I think the c-section meds made everything worse), I just itched and itched. So bring a GOOD lotion with you!

  23. You’ve probably heard this before, but bring very comfortable (large) clothes to come home in. Seriously! The clothes I brought to the hospital after my first were too small–I thought without the baby bump I’d be smaller than I was. It just takes time for your belly to go down. I learned with my second and brought loose stretchy clothing to come home in–yoga pants and a maternity shirt. Someone told me–you wear the same clothes out the hospital that you wore in–it’s good advice!

  24. SNACKS!!!! Your hubby will definitely need them and as soon as you have the baby you will be starving. Bring lots, and lots of snacks! And the baby’s baby book – if you are going to have one. The nurses will take stamps of his hand and feet for your baby book. Best of luck to you!

  25. I used my boppy everyday I was there! And I didn’t bring snacks but wished I did. By the time I delivered and was sent to postpartum, the cafeteria was closed so I had to send my husband out to get me food. I was starving!

  26. Lotion and chapstick – and start using them immediately! My lips and skin were dry for months after having my son. Also forget granny panties and use the mesh ones the hospital provides then toss them. Definitely get nipple pads for leakage and nipple cream because those first few weeks are TOUGH! Pack at least 1 or 2 empty canvas bags in your bag to bring home the random stuff the hospital gives you.

    OH and maybe bring an empty vase or two. Everyone brought flowers and the cups at the hospital weren’t sturdy enough to hold them upright.

  27. You don’t need to bring much! I just used their disposable underwear and I wore the gown the whole time I was there. I just brought my nursing bras and an outfit for me to wear home. For the baby, I agree on the baby book so they can put his footprints in there and all you need is a going home outfit for him. Just don’t forget your toiletries (glasses, small shampoo, tbrush/paste) and a camera. Don’t overpack! 🙂

  28. Not sure if anyone mentioned this but you will need large maxi pads and you may not like the ones the hospital supplies. You will bleed for a couple days.

  29. I definitely second the night gown idea… it is so much easier to wear a dress instead of pants and they are generally really easy to adjust to nurse as well. Good luck! I would suggest packing light, hopefully you won’t be in the hospital more than a day or so anyway.

  30. You have a great list! You are going to rock your labor! I would suggest adding snacks to your list. It looks like a few people already said that but also bring snacks for the nursing staff- I hooked up my nurses with lots of chocolate. They are in and out of your room so much and do a lot for you so mind as well have them on your good side 🙂 I treated labor like running a marathon and fueled with Shotblocks. Especially while I was pushing which ended up being 2.5 hours. Also bring an extra bag. Chances are you will have lots of visitors who will want to shower your baby boy with lots of gifts.

  31. I ate shotblocks during my labor (especially while i was pushing). They were a bit easier to get down than gus for me. I honestly wouldn’t over think what to bring. Like toiletries for you and baby – the hospital supplies them and in all honesty, you give the baby one bath at the hospital so it’s just one less thing to bring with you. Same with nursing pillow. My hospital supplied a nursing pillow so you should check with them if they didn’t say anything during the tour. And with chapstick – make sure it’s somewhere accessible to your husband while you are laboring. I had some packed but my husband couldn’t find it digging through my bag. This time I’m putting a plastic baggie together with chapstick, shotblocks, and a headband/hairtie in a front pocket of my bag. So I can easily give my husband directions on where to locate such things.

  32. Everyone suggested everything you need and your list is great (do NOT overpack – laptop is probably unnecessary). Make sure to bring a spare empty duffel bag because you end up leaving with alot more than you came with — all the diapers, pads, undies, lansinoh, numbing spray that you will take (make sure to take them!) and all the papers the hospital will give you as well. So bring a spare bag to throw it all because when it’s time to go it is very hectic and overwhelming.

  33. I brought some treats for the nurses. While they are just doing their jobs they enjoyed me showing my appreciation! Labor and deliver can be a long process..

  34. What about an iPad for netflix or Amazon Prime? Chargers for these things. Snacks that you like.

  35. PENS!

    Apparently, nurses are always short on them and don’t like giving them out. Our hospital suggested we pack a few for the many forms needing to ne fill out!

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