EP 34: What you actually need in your hospital bag!

EP 34 on the podcast

Many women show up to the hospital looking ready to stay for two weeks. There is so much unknown and you don’t want to forget ANYTHING you might need, so they bring it all. 

From a nurses’ standpoint, I am gonna tell you the things you need to bring and will actually use, versus the things that you can probably leave at home. This will help make packing your hospital bag so much easier and faster! These are the things I always make sure my moms have, the things I see them use the most, and the things they always end up wishing they would’ve brought.

  1. Toiletries - I cannot stress this enough. We only carry baby soap and on occasion a few bottles of cheap shampoo and conditioner. You don’t want to use what we have, so please bring your things! Specifically anything you use in the shower or after the shower, bring! Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, tooth brush, tooth paste, hair brush, face cream, dry shampoo, anything in your beauty routine!

  1.  Electronics and chargers. Mainly an extra long phone charger, our outlets are not close to the beds so this is a must. I do have a lot of patients who bring tablets or laptops in case they wanna watch Netflix, I highly recommend this especially if you’re having an induction because they can be long!

  1. Snacks! Bring a few of your favorites, you will of course be provided 3 meals a day (while not in labor) but it’s always good to have something quick that you know you’ll like! You can also always have anything delivered. Think granola bars, protein bars, fruit, gatorade & coconut water (great while in labor), and trail mix!

  1. Your nursing pillow or boppy! I could’ve make this #1 honestly. After delivery you’re sore and tired, your mobility is not good for a few days so moving and positioning can be hard. Not to mention hospital beds are never comfortable. I truly think this is so important and I always sing praises when my moms actually bring theirs. Your boppy will make feedings so much easier in hospital beds because they provide the perfect support, without them we can manage by basically building a pillow tower around you but the boppy makes it much easier!

  1. Pads, diapers, and pad-sicles. Yes, we have all of these so don’t freak if you forget. BUT let me tell you how much nicer the ones you can buy are. We give you huge mesh underwear, pads, and pad ice packs. They work, but mainly its the mesh underwear that just are not functional. They’re not supportive and pads just slip out of them all the time. My favorite brand I have seen moms use is Frida off of amazon and just the amazon brand diapers. They have anything and everything from pads, diapers, pad-sicles, and an entire postpartum recovery kit! I am gonna link some of the best below, again 100% worth the cost.

Amazon diapers - 60 count for $29

Postpartum recovery kit - $49

Postpartum ice packs - $20 for 8 (in my opinion this is expensive and I’d probably just use the hospitals for this cost)

  1. Your car seat! We do not discharge you without it, so please please bring it with you! You can totally leave it in your car until the day of discharge then send you significant other to grab it.

  1. Comfortable blanket / pillow. Again, something the hospital provides for both you and your husband, but it’s totally worth it to bring your pillow from home. Our pillows and blankets are flat and thin. If you forget, no big deal at all. But if you remember it will make you much more comfortable.

  1. Comfy clothes and slippers for after delivery, things that are easy to nurse in (if that's what you plan to do!). Slippers for the floors, they’re clean, but still I do not recommend walking around barefoot. Nurse gowns or tops are great to make nursing easier and keep the rest of you covered! Also remember a cute going home outfit for you and baby.

Nursing top - $39 for 3 tops

3 in 1 labor, delivery, and nursing gown - $23 (solid)

3 in one labor, delivery, and nursing gown - $29 (pattern)

  1. Your pump. We have pumps we can provide you with while you're at the hospital, but it is always best to bring and use your own because then we can show you exactly how to use it if you plan on pumping! You may not need it at all but in the chance you do I always recommend having it especially if you’re having twins or have been told they expect your baby to be extra big or small. Sometimes these babies need help with supplemental feedings and if we can get some colostrum through pumping we can use that!

  1. Some random things such as: your birth plan, a cord blood kit if you’re banking (EP 22) a reusable water bottle, chapstick, a portable bluetooth speaker to play a labor podcast over or for white noise, a fan / white noise machine, and nipple cream (lanolin).


  • tons of baby clothes! You will not use them, we provide swaddles and tee shirts, which are about all baby will wear those first two days (especially before the bath). I’d recommend only bringing 1-2 outfits and swaddles.

  • Tons of clothes for yourself or normal underwear. I’ll be honest, you're basically naked for the first week and you won’t be in normal undies for a little bit.

  • Towels, we have tons and it's an extra thing you won't use.

  • Diapers and wipes! We provide all of that while you’re at the hospital!

  • Makeup, you just won't need it I promise.