What Should I Pack for the Hospital?

As I lay in bed the other night, husband out of town for work, contractions at level pathetic, I had the sudden thought, what if, what IF these don’t stop? My “worst case scenario” mind ran rampant. I envisioned my husband unable to get a flight while I, the mayor of pregnant-ville, drove to the hospital in my chonies, toddler in tow, because I didn’t have the presence of mind to pack a few bags and make a few calls before the big L.

It would make a good story…

I don’t really remember a lot of what I packed the first time. I mean, I’ve got the baby in my belly and my lady bits are always packed so what else does a girl need?

Since I couldn’t sleep, I decided to google the necessities of  a “hospital bag” because I am a vision of forgetfulness and lack of preparation these days. After reviewing a slew of suggestions, I decided to create a one-stop-shop here for all your hospital bag quandaries.

For the record, I still have not packed my bag. At least I know what I want to put in it? Any points for that? No? Tough crowd.

Whatever, apparently, I like to live life on the edge and I’m not above chonies at the hospital. Let’s be honest, that’s much more covered and straight up nunning it compared to the booty flashing that is birth. I digress.

Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin…

1. A giant, empty bag. Say what? You heard me, bring an extra bag for all of the paraphernalia you are going to acquire, demand, and/or steal from the hospital. This second go round I know my priority numero uno is to load up on all the newborn diapers, mesh panties, nipple cream, nipple shields, and thunder down under maxi pad diapers they give you. Do not leave the hospital without a bag of fresh goodies. Do not stand for a half empty pack of diapers. Get those lovely nurses to load you up. If you don’t need a cart and an extra set of hands to take all of your stuff to your car, you’re doing it wrong.

2. Camera, memory card, charger. You’re going to want to remember that baby in all of his/her newborn, adorable, old man wrinkly glory. If ever there was a moment to document this is it. Don’t fail yourself now by forgetting the batteries, charger, memory card.

3. Cell phone and charger. The people are going to want to see that baby. Bring it. Charge it. Snap it. Send those picture texts and post regularly to let social media do what it does best, ogle a fresh little baby.

4. Makeup. Pictures are going to happen. Be in them. Maybe makeup is vain, but if vanity is not wanting to look like the puffiest, under-eyed baggiest, corpsiest person that lived to tell their birth tale, I’m okay with that. Heck, the other night I was wearing the fattiest, fakest, diamond earrings and I told the husband, “I want to give birth in these earrings.” Apparently, my vanity runs deep.

5. Toiletries. Brush, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, deodorant, contact lens solution (for us blind folk), chapstick, whatever you’d pack for an overnight stay at a hotel. It’s nice to feel like a human being with some of the comforts of home. Also, post birth is a bit gnarly. Don’t let your BO and stanky breathe add to the gnarly.

6. Comfy clothes. I packed a going home outfit for myself the first go round and it sat, tags attached, in my bag until I unpacked it at back at home. While the hospital gown is convenient, I got tired of my full moon being constantly on display.  This go round I’m bringing my coziest (outside of just chonies), prettiest, don’t mind if they get a little post-birthified pajamas and lounge wear.

7. Nursing bras and panties. I tend to go sans bra when first nursing, but sometimes the girls have a mind of their own and they need a little support and reminder to not leak every ten seconds. I added panties to the list because some women are not a fan of the mesh tighties supplied by the hospital. Just remember you’ll be wearing a diaper post birth so packing dem thongs is not in your best interest.

8. Treats. My motto is treats all around! Treats for you, treats for the husband, treats for your toddler, treats for guests. Birth makes you ravenous and in case you can’t get that hospital food fast enough, it’s always nice to have something stowed away to avoid getting hangry.

9. Footwear (slippers, socks, sandals). Pack whatever footwear you fancy but keep in mind that if there were ever a fashion moment that permitted shower sandals or aqua socks, this is probably it. This ain’t NY fashion week. It’s a hospital. Keep those feet germ free.

10. I.D. and insurance. They maybe just kind of want you to prove that you’re indeed who you say you are and that somebody is bankrolling this baby.

12. Baby clothes. Whether it be a going home outfit, receiving blanket, or a hair bow the size of the kid’s face, it’s sweet to have a little something something to “ooh and ahh” and bawl over when you’re feeling nostalgic. And because baby clothes are teeny tiny, pack a spare set in case your teeny tiny decides to pee all over their formerly adorable coming home outfit.

13. A “thank you.” I didn’t do this with my first baby, but I heard through the grapevine that it’s nice to give a little thank you treat to the nurses. When I think of the bed sheets I peed, the blood they mopped up, and the bathroom trips they cheered me through like a potty training toddler, I’d say a thank you is in order.

14. First meal. Okay, okay, I know I can’t really pack a first meal but I daydream about my first meal post labor. Maybe I’ve already perused the hospital menu. Maybe I’ve made my post labor meal known. Panda Express. I know it’s disgusting but it’s all I’ve wanted this entire pregnancy. At least I’m waiting until the baby has left the building before stuffing my face with crap? Mother of the year. The only push present I care about is food and I am looking forward to some serious chowing down. I have a strict, “if you want to see the baby, I’m going to need a treat first” policy. Bring on the treats, visitors. Bring on the treats!

Is there anything I’m missing?

Image: Lady packing a hospital bag via salpics32/Shutterstock.com

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  1. by Jana

    On February 1, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Dying over “the lady bits are always packed” and “pack it up, pack it in, let me begin” – that’s my era, Bekka, mine.

    I was awful about packing. I hurried up and shoved a couple items in right before we left, figuring anything else, Art could bring me later.

    Very considerate to think of treats for the guests and prizes for the nurses.

  2. by Kim

    On February 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Seems to include the necessities and not a bunch of extra unnecessary crap I`ve seen on other lists. There are a few things on here I wouldn`t need, but I a) HATE hospitals. I`m not calm enough to do make-up ect. Before I go home. And b) ban visitors until I get home due to my mothers lack of discretion with her bloody camera in the past. When I have more privacy before the birth than after, something is wrong.

  3. by Tragic Sandwich

    On February 1, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Hand lotion. The air in hospitals can be really dry, and you’re going to be washing your hands a lot–and that will continue once you’re home!

  4. by Diahann

    On February 1, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Peppermints or any type of mint. Tea bags of the flavors you like. Button-up pj’s instead of pull-overs.

  5. by Kit

    On February 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    In case u have older kids, bring a lil treat / toy for them. Also , in my case, my MIl brought my DD to meet lil brother wearing dirty pajama’s and messy hair … Their first pics together are cute , but not what My daughter regularly looks like … This time around I will be either bringing the clothes with me or spelling out that they should look presentable whenever in public! Gggrrrr

  6. by Bekka Besich

    On February 1, 2013 at 9:47 pm


    Ah! I did forget to mention the treat/toy for the bigger kids. I do have that ready to go. I’m wrapping it up and saying it’s a gift from the new baby. And good call on thinking about what I want her to wear. It hadn’t even crossed my mind. Funny though because with our first child I did pick out what I wanted my husband to wear:)

  7. by Kelly

    On February 1, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    As I was sitting in the hospital bed at midnight after going through a natural delivery with my first, a 9.5 pound fella, nothing was more exciting than the sight of the hubs bringing me food. Filaberto’s never tasted so good.

    Love the list, especially the little thank you gifts for the nurses. Those ladies certainly earn their money!

  8. by Bekka Besich

    On February 1, 2013 at 9:50 pm


    Thank you for letting me borrow from your era.

    Also, I can’t take credit for the idea of treats and thank yous for other people but as someone who will be visiting, get ready to enjoy some treats! If posting on the Internet that you want treats doesn’t rake it in then I don’t know what will! Cough, frozen hot chocolate, cough, blizzards, cough french fries.

  9. by Marissa

    On February 2, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Ok this long but…Bringing some pampering products/toiletries to the hospital was really nice for during labor & after delivery—just made me feel good… I just hit up sephora’s travel size products
    · During labor I had some lavender & eucalyptus essential oils in the room—it was a nice calming smell.
    · I also used Origins peace of mind on-the-spot relief on pressure points during labor
    · And I had an Evian spritz bottle to use/refresh (These all probably sound silly but it was nice to have things to bring you any comfort or relief while you’re in labor…

  10. by Heidi

    On February 4, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Hey Becca!
    Great post! So funny! I was over prepared for my first, and under prepared for my second. With my first I brought all the papers I received from my birthing class so I could be ready and aware of all the stages of labor. :) HA! So funny to look back on. Anyways, you are such a fabulous writer and I wish you all the best with the labor, delivery, and post partum. It really was quite a bit less stressful the 2nd time around for me, because you have some concept of what you are in for. :) TAKE CARE!!! Can’t wait to see your new babe!

  11. by Staci Gieber

    On February 7, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Tiny nail files. Both my kids were born with long, tiny, razor-sharp fingernails and scratched themselves up, and the hospital didn’t have scissors, clippers, or files of any kind. I never mastered the clippers, myself. I clipped off the tips of their fingers. Therefore, I recommend a file. Those onesies that fold over their hands are useful, too.