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What was in my hospital bag?

September 16, 2015

Labor and Delivery Hospital Bag

I have several friends who are weeks/months from giving birth to their first child. Needless to say, I’m getting plenty of texts, emails, and Facebook messages, asking a variety of questions – one of which is simple to answer:

What was in my hospital bag?

Lord knows I looked up SO many different Pinterest posts on the topic, and packed everything anyone told me I might need. Girl, I didn’t need half of it and it just cluttered up my hospital room! SO. Instead of telling you what I actually packed in our bags, I’m going to tell you what we actually needed and used during our stay in the hospital. You’re welcome 😉

In My Bag:

Normal bathroom toiletries. I don’t wash my hair every day, but I do like to wash my face and rinse my body off – you bleed a lot from your nether region. Sitting in bed for most of the day will also make you feel like you want to shave your legs. I didn’t fuss with makeup or my hair (ponytail for the win) but it’s important to some people.
Nightgowns and loose fitting PJs. You have to wear these adult diapers with extra padding (trust me, you’ll want to) so loose fitting attire is a must. Something you can nurse in easily and won’t rub on your c-section incision, if you have one.
THESE briefs instead of the ones the hospital provides you. For real, they are so much more comfortable and cover you better. I used these at home for the remaining weeks that I bled. They even look normal under jeans!
Slippers or flip flops. Because you won’t want to mess with taking sock off and on getting in and out of bed. And shoes? No way.
Body lotion. Hospitals are DRY, for good reason, and it’s just one more way to be more comfortable.
A night light. You think I’m joking – I’m not. With the lights off at night, it’s almost too dark and the nurses need to be able to see to walk around. But the light in the bathroom on and the door cracked is too much light and tends to shine RIGHT in your eyes, which makes it hard to sleep well. A night light is just the right amount for the nurses and for you to be able to change and nurse baby.
A book or Kindle to read. Light reading only because you really don’t have too much time for anything other than BABY. Which is how it should be, but just incase you get bored. Haha. I brought my laptop, thinking I’d have time to get some work done. WRONG. In the 3 days that we were there, I think I got it out once and typed on it for all of 5 minutes.
Phone charge. For obvious reasons!
A going-home outfit. It’s kind of tradition that you have a picture taken of your little family as you’re on your way out of the hospital so you might want to wear something a little more like REAL clothes. For me, I upgraded to a pair of maternity leggings, a tunic, and the only pair of shoes that fit me – flats. Don’t kid yourself, you’ll still look 6 months pregnant and feel sore. No One Is Kate Middleton.

In Neil’s Bag:

Something to sleep in the first night and his phone charger. We live about 10 minutes from the hospital so Neil went home once a day to shower, change, and take care of the dogs (my parents took care of them at night) so he didn’t need much else. Otherwise, he would have treated our hospital stay as a weekend vacation of sitting in one room 😉

In Graeme’s Bag:

A hand full of convertible gowns. Boy or girl, you don’t need any other kind of outfit to the first couple weeks. They are the easiest for changing diapers and most have hand cover flap things to protect baby from scratching themselves. The convertible gowns are the best because you don’t have to pull them over their little heads – they snap from top to bottom! And I say a handful because baby might spit up. It happens.
A couple baby sock hats.
Burp rags.
Swaddle blankets. I blogged before about not using these and going straight to swaddle wraps, however, wraps are difficult to get newborns in a out of, plus nurses don’t love them as much as moms love them. These work best in the hospital – newborns are Houdini’s yet.
His going home outfit. Pick something sentimental. Graeme went home in the exact same outfit that Neil went home in when he was a newborn. Shout out to Nana for keeping that for him!

Extra Stuff:

Boppy pillow. Good for so many things besides breastfeeding! But definitely for breastfeeding! Newborns are SO tiny, they’re kind of hard to handle, especially when you’re learning how to handle them and nurse them. Boppy pillows, your breast friends, are a live saver!
A pillow for myself. Hospital pillows do as good of a job as they can. But you know, nothing beats your own pillow!
Pillows and blankets for Neil.
Bottled water. You should have been drinking water like it’s going out of style when you were pregnant – at least double the normal amount you’d drink. Now that you’re breastfeeding, it should be triple the amount. No joke. Add a flavor packet to the water if you have to!

Things you do NOT need to bother yourself with:

Diapers and wipes. The hospital gives you all the diapers, wipes, and A and D ointment you need. In fact, we had some left over so we took it home with us!
Anything else you think baby will need. Hospital has it covered.

I love love love being a to-go for questions like these so if YOU have a question regarding pregnancy, labor and deliver, c-sections, breastfeeding, baby, new to mommy-hood, etc, PLEASE feel free to email me (rachaelhouser(at)gmail(dot)com)! I just might answer your questions on the blog!


  1. Emily Suhrheinrich-Weeks says:

    Good stuff!