Ultimate Hospital Bag Essentials

Oh the hospital bag— it’s the crucial go-bag and you want to make sure you’ve covered your bases. But at this late in your pregnancy, if it’s not written down, it’s not happening! Here’s my list of essentials to make packing a little easier!

  • Bag: First things first! Figure out what bag you’ll be taking and make sure it can hold everything. We heard a great tip and had separate bags for the three of us while only using one gym bag. Since I had the most stuff, all of my things were in the main compartment and then Rob and Jackson both had their own drawstring track bags with their items in the bag as well. Talk about genius— it made it so much easier to find things!
  • Robe: I loved having my Posh Peanut robe! It made me feel put together and like myself during our short stay. All of the nurses loved it too!
  • Underwear: don’t bother taking normal underwear, you won’t need them. Instead, take a package of Silhouette depends. They’re honestly essential. Birth is messy and you’ll be bleeding for weeks afterwards. The hospital will give you giant maxi-pads and awkward underwear, but I was much more comfortable in these. I ended up using the maxis in the Silhouette too so I wasn’t throwing away the Silhouette every time I went to the bathroom. The hospital will also give you ice packs to put in your underwear—DO IT! You’ll thank me later.
  • Barre socks: you’ll want these non-slip socks once you’re in your recovery room because they’re your own and will keep your tootsies warm while making sure you’re not slipping on hospital floors
  • Sports bras: I took the Daisity ones and was glad I had them. They were comfortable and I wore them with my robe and on the way home too.
  • Flip-flops for the shower: I bought a fun pair from Old Navy that were navy blue with palm trees, flamingos and suns on them. I knew they’d make me happy every time I looked at them—and they did!
  • Toilet paper: another essential! Hospital toilet paper is one-ply and awful—and as I mentioned above, there’s a lot going on down there post-partum. We brought 3 rolls and I couldn’t have been happier. I know it sounds stupid, but it was a lifesaver.
  • All toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion, razor, nipple cream and even chapstick. (Before you leave for the hospital, shave your armpits, legs and your bikini lines– just don’t shave the area under your belly button should you have to have an emergency C-section. Also, make sure your eyebrows are in check!) You’ll want a shower before you’re discharged from the hospital and this definitely helps you feel more put together! Bring a towel too!
  • Makeup: again, helping you feel put together on the way home. Or for photos. Either way, you’ll be happy to have it on hand.
  • Going home clothes: you’ll look about 36 weeks pregnant on your way home, so bring maternity clothes that fit and are comfortable. I gave birth in May, so I had a maxi dress and sandals for the way home and loved it. If possible, forget the leggings or pants of any kind—it’s seriously the last thing you want to try and tackle. Your body is sore, you’re still moving slowly and lifting your legs is difficult.
  • Extra clothes: I brought a few other comfortable t-shirts and a pair of sleep shorts, but honestly, I was in my Posh Peanut robe most of the time. It was nice knowing I had them, but I didn’t end up wearing them.
  • Your own pillow: simple as that, the more things you can take to make you comfortable and feel like home, the better!
  • Pillows and blankets for your husband: don’t forget these! His bed situation isn’t as comfortable as yours and he’ll be needing these. Bring an eye-mask and ear plugs too—who knows what time of day you’ll be recovering and it may be bright in the room! He’ll need comfy clothes too.
  • Onesies: I took a few pairs in different sizes, newborn to 3 months, because we didn’t know what would fit him once he was born. Pick a cute one for your little one to go home in!
  • Swaddles: I brought the Milkmaid Goods and Posh Peanut swaddle and cap sets for photos. I loved having these cute options instead of the hospital blanket! We got so many compliments on them too!
  • Food and drinks: we took a ton of snacks and drinks, but once you get that epidural, you can’t have any of it, so keep that in mind! Dad will need all of this though because the hospital will feed you, but not him. And honestly, once I was in the recovery room and could eat again, I ate our food instead of the hospital food. Again, the more you can do to make things normal for yourself, the better.
  • Music: while we originally brought our ipad and speaker for ourselves, we ended up using it to soothe Jackson once he was born too. We made “chill” and “push” playlists, but opted for more soothing music during delivery once in the moment—totally Rob’s call and it was perfection. Once Jackson was born, we played “ocean waves” on Amazon Prime Music and it would knock him out. He stills calms down and falls asleep to it today. We have a small bluetooth speaker to stream music from and it works like a charm!
  • Chargers: for phones and cameras
  • Camera: your phone is good, but if you have a DSLR, take it. Rob took photos once Jackson was on my chest and the nurses will be happy to snap a couple photos of all of you.
  • Baby nail clippers: it sounds weird and pre-mature, but those little nails grow quickly! You’ll totally have time to cut them during your stay and will most likely need to so he’s not scratching his face or your boobs during feedings.
  • Baby book: I wanted his footprints in the book and was so happy that I took it! I also brought my own ink pad because I wanted them in navy blue—surprising, I know! The hospital will do footprints of their own for you too, so don’t stress if you don’t want a baby book, you’ll still have those adorable feet inked!
  • Car seat: that’s a given. They won’t let you leave the hospital without one.
  • Extra empty bag: bring this for all of the things you’ll get at the hospital. They’ll supply you with diapers, wipes and more during your stay in the recovery room—take it all home with you! If you have a boy who gets circumcised, take the Vaseline too—you’ll be using it every diaper change for the first two weeks.
  • Folder: you’re given a lot of paperwork when they send you home. This way it doesn’t get lost or damaged.
  • Towel: I had this in case my water broke while in the car. I didn’t need it though since it broke right after we got to the hospital.
  • Gifts for the nurses: I had my mom, Sweet Celebrations, make me the most adorable cookies to give as thank-yous to our doctors and nurses! Each set was packaged with a bottle and footprint cookie in a clear bag tied with ribbon and tag saying thank you from the Braziers. Our staff was absolutely amazing and I was thrilled to have something thoughtful to give them. They all loved them and appreciated the gesture!