In 2012, when I was in the prime of my labor nurse life, I wrote a post about “What to take to the hospital” for my sister in law who was having her first babe. To this day it is one of my most “pinned” blog posts on Pinterest.
SO, naturally I had to repost it because I had to reference it when I was packing my hospital bag and I figured you all could use it too!
SO…here’s the run down, word for word, from my post in 2012, but below I added some pictures and a bit more info with CURRENT LINKS and INFO!!
 People bring all sorts of different things to the hospital. I’ve seen moms come in carrying huge luggage bags, pillows, and blankets and I’ve seen moms that simply have a cell phone in hand. The thing but people don’t realize is the hospital really does provide everything you ‘need’.
So you can take virtually anything you want or anything you don’t want with you…well unless it’s drugs or firearms…I would recommend not bringing those!
Oh but beers OK…I’ve had some patients bust out the beer after the delivery to celebrate.
The options are endless…after having 2 babies (now 3!) and working in the unit for years this list pretty much sums up what I think is necessary and essential.
*Travel size toiletries (including: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, deodorant, hairspray, toothpaste, toothbrush) most hospitals carry some kind of soap but I always liked having my own because more than likely the hospitals will be ghetto and cheap!
*Chapstick and gum: for labor…if you’re going natural you can eat whatever your heart desires but if you have an epidural they restrict you to ice chips only so it’s nice to have something to chew on. Some moms will bring mints or lifesavers to suck on too.
*Razor: Obviously if you have had a c-section or an intense vaginal delivery your not going to want to shave and that’s OK!! I’ve had a lot of patients that don’t shave anywhere…it’s up to you. But I can’t handle stubble on my legs or my armpits so I like to throw it in just in case.
*Lotion: I have a specific lotion that I use on myself and my babies that I can’t live without. Most hospitals provide the yummy smelling Johnson and Johnson baby lotion but I don’t like it at all. After Baylor’s bath they put it all over his body and although he smelt great it irritated his face and made his baby acne worse. So I reapplied my own lotion and he cleared up the next day. I always bring a big bottle for me and the baby. (I HAVE GOTTEN A LOAD OF EMAILS AND COMMENTS ABOUT WHAT LOTION I USE ON MY BABIES! It’s not sold in stores but here is a link to the company I buy it from…it’s called RENEW! Email me for further questions!)
*Brush, comb, hair ties (hair dryer, straightener and make up bag) there is a lot more down time then I think anyone expects in the hospital…most newborns sleep a lot so I loved being able to take a warm shower and get ready. It always makes me feel better if I’m able to put a little makeup on and dry my hair. Some hospitals have jacuzzi’s available to postpartum moms as well…the hospital I work at has one in every room (including postpartum) and it’s nice to use them often (it helps heal and relax).
*Light weight zip-up hoodie, 2 piece pajama set or sweats: Most moms are fine with wearing the hospital gowns during their stay. I’ve had moms wear their own gown during labor and their own clothes after. Really it’s all about what makes you the most comfortable. The postpartum gowns are great because they have breast feeding slits but they can be more reveling then we want so a light jacket is nice to throw on while having visitors. Also if your planning on wearing the hospital gown it’s nice to have sweats to thrown on while walking the halls or going to the nursery. For me…after I have my baby I like to wear really comfortable pajamas. The best kind are matching flannel or cotton sets with a button down top. Easy to breast feed in but comfortable, lose and modest.
*Breast feeding bra and/or sports bra: Whether you plan on breast feeding or bottle feeding it’s important to wear the right bra during your stay. During labor it’s nice to simply wear a sports bra but if you do you run the risk of getting baby birthing goodness on you once you deliver. But we all know how awesomely huge are boobs are so it’s not the most comfortable thing to labor without a bra on. After I would switch right over to a breast feeding bra that way you can start getting the hang of it.
*Breast pads: make sure to bring a few…some moms leak even before their milk comes in and some after. It’s good to have them just in case. My favorite brand is Lansinoh.
*Extra large underwear: You don’t really need them but if you don’t like the mesh panties then buy a package of extra large granny panties…use them after you have a baby and store them away for your next baby or throw them away.
I would only take 1 or 2 pairs (just in case) to the hospital. The hospital has amazing mesh underwear they give you that is GINORMOUS and amazingly comfortable!! They only give you a couple pair so make sure you ask for more if you run out! You can wash them and reuse if you want. I would wear those for the first week or so!
*Pads: The hospital will provide diaper size pads that are awesome but some mothers don’t bleed very much so it’s nice to have a few of your own just in case. Even if you don’t think you’ll need them I’d buy the amazing super plus ones! Remember no tampons for 6 weeks…so you will need a lot of them when you get home! It will be like your in 7th grade again! Oh the joys!
*Flip Flops: I see a lot of mothers walk around the halls with no shoes on…don’t do it!! The hospital floor is crusty and disgusting (no matter how often they clean it). Just wear flip flops there and keep them by your bed. Or you can bust out some comfy slippers!
*The FUN STUFF: Like I said before…you usually have more time in the hospital than you think you will, so I would bring a good book or magazine or laptop (gotta blog about your baby right away!!) Make sure to not forget your camera and video camera! Snacks snacks snacks!!! If you go natural, you should be able to eat what you would like (even if you throw it up) #cringe so bring snacks for every scenario possible. At least for the hubby! Some snacks we love to bring: nuts, jerky, caffeine for the hubs, fruits and veggies, and chips!! After labor send your hubby out for some yummy treats and even meals…we all know hospital food sucks! They should have drinks and snacks available but it’s nice to have some other things too…even if it’s apples and grapes.
If you’re being induced the labor process can take a while…so you might want to bring a movie or 2. I have a lot of mothers that will bring their Ipods or laptops and play music in their room during labor. It’s your room and your labor and as long as it’s not against medical advice you can do whatever you want while in labor. People bring candle warmers (no candles though…open flames!), or essential oils or their own birthing balls or blankets, pillows or soothing music. Labor is an amazing, beautiful thing and whatever makes you feel more comfortable the better.
*The BABY STUFF: Honestly you don’t really need to bring much for your baby. The hospital will provide everything for you unless you want your newborn to use a specific type of diaper or wipe but most (if not all) hospitals use Pampers SWADDLERS. All you need is an outfit that the little pumpkin will go home in! Unless your babe is more small or more large than average…bring a couple outfits in that case! I always bring a couple baby blankets and swaddle them up in them but they have all the blankets you need so it’s up to you. When you get ready to come home make sure you have your car seat (the nurse will want to make sure you know how to properly buckle the babe in)
*The HUBBY STUFF: Let him pack his own stuff…you have enough to worry about! Frankly he should only need PJs, a change of clothes and a toothbrush.
1. Nursing bras and other under goods! Some women like wearing a bra during labor, I don’t wear one but I throw one on right after since the milk goodness comes in so quickly and those sisters are seriously huge right now! (I linked to some below)
2. ROBE! Even if you decide to wear the hospital gown, it’s nice to be able to wrap up in something when visitors come or when you walk to halls! This floral one is from Poppy and Dot! I also linked another robe that I have loved for being at home and having visitors this last week. I also brought more of a long cardigan as well, I wore this home from the hospital.
3. My “going home” outfit! Tight black leggings to hold everything in and a lose maternity vneck tshirt! (Both linked below)
4. The BEST house dress AROUND!!! From Dwell and Slumber! I wore this instead of a gown during my hospital stay and it was the absolute best!
The BEST makeup wipes in all of the land (I linked them below) And then I put my moisturizers and makeup in a small Ziploc bag just in case I felt well enough to put some makeup on the next day!
2. ALL the toiletries. ESPECIALLY chapstick and NIPPLE CREAM! Don’t forget the NIPPLE CREAM! (I linked my favorites below)
3. The under goodness. Okay, so the hospital will have TUCKS for you but while you are out and about buying your other toiletries, grab some of those! You will WANT them when you come home. SO soothing on the bottom. This time around I bought depends thinking I would like them more but honestly, they were WAY too much for me. A small pad was all I needed even when I left the hospital. I think I bought the wrong size #amateur
The breast pads are a great thing to buy beforehand as well. That way you can throw them in your diaper bag and have them when you really need it.
I don’t love to wash my hair in the hospital but I bring travel size shampoo and conditioner just in case, AND ALWAYS dry shampoo (but NOT the one pictured!) that is my “last resort” dry shampoo, Living Proof and Batiste are my favorite. I linked them below as well. AND hair ties, bobby pins, clips, or claws…you just never know what your going to need to calm your mane. Oh, and that WET BRUSH is LIFE! The best brush for dangles and such. (That is linked as well)
1. Nursing Covering/Car Seat Cover. This one is from Covered Goods but I linked to a similar one below!
2. Booty goods. I linked my favorite diapers and wipes below. AND my NEW favorite diaper rash cream (Desitin worked with my other but not with baby Henry)
3. Pacifiers! I am such a fan of pacifiers. I think it is so important to self sooth, so I always bring a couple options to the hospital to try out! Babes like particular ones so I try to make sure I have options. (I linked both of those pictured below)
4. I brought two outfits, but only used one to go home in! (linked below) and the beanies are from KB CUTE DESIGNS
5. I brought a big blanket to snuggle him in to take him home and a couple swaddle blankets that I really only used for when the kids came to see him!

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I think that about does it!
I would LOVE to hear what YOU took to the hospital!
Comment below and let’s share all the tips and tricks together!
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