37 Weeks: Packing The Hospital Bag

Packing the hospital bag was perhaps one of the most surreal things I’ve done! It’s a rare occasion that you know you’re going to be staying in a hospital for a few days. I have been IN the hospital for the day, but I haven’t stayed overnight before, so I’m not entirely sure what to expect – especially since I don’t know what my labor, delivery and recovery will be like.

After reading a handful of blog posts and websites about what to pack, I feel that we have a good base of things covered for different scenarios. I tend to overpack in general, so don’t be surprised if you see more than you might take. If I don’t use any of this, I don’t really care, but I’ll have a piece of mind that I brought it.



    1. Pretty burp cloth – unnecessary but fun
    2. 2 receiving blankets – also to add some pizzazz to the bland hospital
    3. A diaper – also probably not necessary, but I put it in for fun in case we need it on the way home or something random.
    4. Nursing cover – if we have guests visit and I need to nurse
    5. Baby mittens, socks and a paci (also in case of emergency)
    6. Spare newborn outfit
    7. Going home outfit!
    8. Big outfit in case he is 10 pounds : )


For me:


    1. Slippers and 2 pairs of fuzzy socks with grippers on the bottom
    2. Extra PJ bottoms – large size!
    3. Throw-away Hanes underwear from Target
    4. My new robe and bottoms!
    5. 3 nursing bras – the sleep kind
    6. Nursing bra – the sportier, more supportive kind – for going home outfit
    7. 4 nursing camis (in case I am there for more days than 2 or need costume changes – you never know)
    8. Going home outfit – a stretchy Five Bamboo skirt in a dark color and a nursing shirt from Motherhood
    9. Extra nursing shirt/tank

[I imagine I will labor in the hospital gown and/or naked and/or whatever I put on before we leave the house.]



        1. Make-up bag (empty) – to be packed before we leave for the hospital if possible
        2. Extra hair ties, clips and inexpensive jewelry, if needed
        3. Hair brush and headband
        4. Tooth care
        5. Nail file – for the baby’s nails if needed!
        6. Facial cleanser towels and shower cap
        7. Razor (more for underarms than legs : ) ), deodorant, my favorite facial lotion
        8. FANCY ROSE #31 set I’ve been saving!!!
        9. Lanolin (although I hear my hospital has this)
        10. Prenatal vitamins
        11. Lavender essential oil and lip balm
        12. Disposable nursing pads (3)
        13. Jumbo overnight ultra pads (although the thin style because I cannot stand the maxi kind)

Remember when I was obsessed with these Le Labo products I got at the Fairmont Olympic in Seattle? They sell for $65 a bottle! I knew I had to save them for the hospital – to create as spa like of an experience as possible : ) I can’t wait to use them!


For Matt:


    1. Change of clothes (that he won’t miss in the next month)
    2. Toiletries (also spare ones that he won’t miss) – I packed a new deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, a new toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and a mini cologne : )
    3. PJs and clean shirt to sleep in
    4. Swim suit, although I seriously doubt he will be getting in the tub

Sigh, men are so easy. I also suspect that he will pop back home at the end of the first full day for a few items, maybe a better shower, to deliver the placenta, etc.



    1. Reading material + reference book in case I have time during the day when baby naps
    2. Labor motivation stories to be read by my support team, if necessary
    3. Birth wishes plan and placenta encapsulation info
    4. Spare cell phone charger
    5. External speaker for computer/phone
    6. Snacks – bars, dates, a peanut butter (for hospital oatmeal breakfast!?)
    7. Tablet (by Samsung – I LOVE it for books and quick internet!!)
    8. Last-minute packing list
    9. Laptop

Don’t forget last minute items we can’t pack until it’s time:


I welcome your suggestions on anything I might have forgotten that you found especially helpful! I probably won’t be taking anything out though – just FYI!




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220 thoughts on “37 Weeks: Packing The Hospital Bag”

  1. Your bags look great! The only thing I would add would be spare change/cash for drinks and snacks. You might be in labor a long time and Matt will likely get really hungry! If it’s the middle of the night vending machines may be your only option. Just a thought.

  2. You are so organized! We threw stuff in a bag when I was in labor and I forgot clothes for myself. Ha.

    Things I wish we had brought? More snacks like nuts, granola bars, and fruit. And a bottle of champagne! I also would have brought my breastfeeding books. I really loved having a fleece blanket from home as well, just for comfort’s sake. Other than that i was mostly naked, even afterwards. It’s kind of hard to figure out how to latch and in the first few days you really don’t care who sees you in what state. We also wound up bringing him home in a diaper and one of the side snap shirts the hospital gives you because he was sleeping and I didn’t want to upset him by forcing his arms into real clothes. But he looked pretty cute regardless.

  3. Just a question (and this isn’t meant to be rude or judgmental) but is beer on your last minute packing list? If so…I’m just curious as to why?

    1. Yes, as a ceremonial celebration – a la champagne, which lots of people have included in their birthdays in the past. I’d pack a whole birthday cake too if I could!

      1. I was just going to come here and say that I LOVE that you’re taking beer to the hospital! Hadn’t thought of that but I’m sure my husband would be glad to see that in the bag 🙂

      2. I LOVE that you’re planning to take beer. My sister made me promise that I’d bring her a Woodchuck cider for her to drink after she had the baby!!!

      3. I delivered my twins in Germany and was given beer by my midwife after I gave birth in order for my milk to come in. 🙂

    2. I noticed the beer, too. Incidentally, an old wives tale says it actually increases milk production. I’m a NICU nurse and a lot of our hispanic moms swear by it (within reason, of course)!

  4. So exciting that it’s almost time! You are ready for anything 😉 I had packed a couple outfits and was really surprised they put Maya in a little kimono-style shirt and nightgown and swaddle each day/provided them for us. In fact, the only time she wore our clothes we brought for her was 1) the photo the hospital takes for their online album and 2) when we left. Good call bringing more than one size of clothes. I know most people wouldn’t care but I really did care about the coming-home outfit 🙂 And Maya wasn’t a preemie but was so tiny (she left the hospital at 5 lbs 7 oz) that the ONE newborn sleeper I had for her was literally SWIMMING on her … so it’s a smart move having more than one size option!!! Can you believe he is almost here?!

  5. So organized! And I love all your bags, so pretty 🙂

    The only thing I’d add is more food/snacks/calories. I read Caitlyn’s birth story and she mentioned having a cliff shot or a gu mid birth, as solids weren’t allowed, and how it gave her that extra boost she needed. I remember CRAVING a cola after having my LO, and not being allowed at that time coz they didn’t know if I’d need surgery. I also ate a hearty sandwich before active labor started, and that made a huge difference. SO yeah, easy to consume sugars & foods. And… have your camera set to settings you think will be best for right after birth. I remember being annoyed I still had mine set to “blog”size photos, meaning they weren’t full quality. It’s not been a problem – one does not tend to order blow-ups of post-birth photos 😉 – but just a thought.

    Birth playlist? I didn’t have this but have read a lot of people did/do have them, and it’s fun to work on, and another positive reinforcement. Also, a great memory-maker.

    1. I second the idea for a birth playlist! I’m not due until December but my husband is already having a ball with this. I have no idea if I’ll be in the mood to listen to anything, but I like the idea of having it just in case.

  6. I hate bulky pads too. I can’t tell from the picture but Always Infinity pads saved me after Lu was born. The normal pads won’t work-there’s too much :-/

    1. I second the Infinity pads. It had been so long since I’d even purchased pads, I didn’t know they existed, but they are ultra, ultra, ultra thin. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little skeeved out by how much they can hold, while being so thin, but the are the most comfortable.

        1. I also suggest the infinity pads..they smell a little weird, but they can hold a ridiculous amount and I have given birth three times and never leaked!

  7. Great post- I just delivered my littl boy 2weeks ago and would love to offer you my input on what was helpful! First off, though adorably cute… Until the babies cord stump falls off, kimono style shirts are much easier and more comfortable as they allow air flow to dry out stump. You don’t want to irritate the stump by pulling onesies off and on. Plus- it is insanely difficult to wrangle flailing baby limbs in those sleeves ! I just started using onesies this week after the cord fell off- and let me tell you- button ups and kimono style are SO much easier.
    Another thing, birth was A LOT messier than I expected! You bleed- A LOT in those first few days. The hospital will provide you with (no joke) wee-wee pad like sheets to fold up and use in your underwear, and that goes underneath 2 large maxi pads- the thin kind will not cut it, sorry!!
    Sorry if tmi, but all of hat was completely necessary the entire time I was in the hospital! I even took some home to be safe. They also provide you with endless maxi pads and stretchy mesh underwear. I brought “throw away” panties too but ended up saving them for going home outfit since I was so messy. Same goes for my clothes from home. I understand you want to put on a nice face and freshen up for visitors- I did too! But I couldnt imagine putting real clothes on and risking ruining them- or showing the huge diaper-esque thing going on downstairs!! I suggest your cute robe 🙂 I wasn’t really walking around much, we had the baby in the room with us and I didn’t need to go anywhere- especially with said diaper 😉 your stomach muscles are also insanely compromised immediately afterwards, regardless of my staying very active during pregnancy. Just a fact of baby stretching everything out! It was very hard for me to sit up from laying down, stay with your side and then pushing up- as you would while pregnant!
    They also generally don’t allow much fragrance in L&D and recovery. It’s very important for baby to establish your scent in the very beginning!
    All in all, we ended up using a whole lot of nothing in our bag- but it was comforting while I was pregnant to know I “had it all!” so I totally understand 🙂 we enjoyed having A deck of cards around at the hospital to play in our downtime. Nothing more stimulating than that- you just worked your butt off!!!
    I had a reeaaalllyy long (32 hr) labor and even in the beginning it was really hard for me to eat. I suggest butter toast, hard boiled eggs, watered down Gatorade (I would never have suggested it before but for me it was invaluable! Coconut water didn’t cut it after awhil!!) I thought PB too at first but it was far too hard for my stomach to digest the fat during contractions.
    BUT- definitely useful afterwards! Hospital food left little to be desired!! I didn’t touch any of it.

    Just suggestions based on MY experience- take it all with a grain of salt as I know it’s a very personal journey ! I totally understand the ABSOLUTE need to have all your ducks in a row- that nesting instinct is NO JOKE!! Just don’t fret too much about it, they have a million swaddle blankets at the hospital- we found the muslin ones to be far too large and difficult! Plus the nurses can swaddle like nobodIes business- so we let them! They will also put your little one in a kimono style long sleeve shirt most likely when transferring you to recovery. We kept him in that until we left, he seemed fine with it 🙂

    Anyways, sorry this is so long- hope it helps a bit! Good luck! Best advice? Drop any and ALL expectations 😉

    1. I have to agree with wearing the hospital’s gown. I have three kids and it was SO messy for the first several days after birth, I did not wear any of my own clothing in the hospital and it is a good thing-every gown/pajama pants/grippy socks/you name it they gave me got at least one spot of blood on it, no matter how careful I was. Yuck.

      1. Ditto!! I didn’t even tear and I had blood and miscellaneous birth goo everywhere you could imagine when I woke up the next morning. Yuck!

        1. I agree too!! The huge, ginormous pads the hospital gives you are a life-saver!! Ask for some to bring home with you if you have a short stay in the hospital. You will be so glad you did!! You are so organized Kath!! It won’t be long now. I am excited for you. 😉

        2. I had a [scheduled] C-section and I am SO glad they sent me home with a couple pairs of the cute boy-short mesh underwear (not the ugly granny panties everyone swore to me I’d get) b/c I agree with the others — I brought my own underwear and didn’t use it AT ALL. Childbirth–no matter the how — lends itself to a lot of bleeding. And I hated wearing a huge pad but you definitely need it.

        3. I’ll third everything as well! The A+A muslin blankets are great for swaddling (and a million other things) when your baby is bigger, but I really recommend the small, hospital-style receiving blankets at the beginning – the muslin ones were was too huge and stretchy and tough to use with a tiny newborn, for me at least.
          And I couldn’t agree more on the hospital maxi-pads. I also brought the ultra-thin Always pads, and DON’T USE THEM IF YOU GET STITCHES, the dry-weave can catch in the stitches (even a week later at home, when the bleeding has subsided some) and yank on on them. Ask me how I know. 🙁 I also didn’t realize just how much you bleed, and I ended up wearing a hospital gown the whole time I was in the hospital, as I didn’t want to get anything on any of my clothes (and the last thing either I or my I wanted to do when getting home from the hospital was deal with washing super bloody clothes).
          Our hospital also didn’t allow strongly fragranced toiletries- they said it was super important for the baby to get used to your scent, the scent of your milk, etc. and other strong scents could interfere with breastfeeding (and irritate the baby). I made sure before my baby was born to transition to all fragrance free everything (laundry detergent, soap, lotion, etc.) and I’m glad I did.
          Kimono-style oneises are essential for the first few weeks until the umbilical cord fell off. We also really loved zipper sleepers, especially if they are a little big, they won’t irritate the umbilical cord either. That’s what we brought my little girl home in, but we did make sure to have a super cute hat to put on her though. 🙂
          Good luck with everything! I also packed WAY too much stuff and used only a fraction of it.

        4. I agree with this too. You will not want to wear pants period..not only because of the mess, but the nurses will be in regularly to check your privates and you will NOT want to pull those down everytime..they may not even want you to wear them either? I have three kids and wore the gown the entire stay with all three. For one like previous posts have mentioned, you’re a mess, second of all all the nurses checks and third, you’re like a deflated balloon and real clothes are pretty constricting even if they’re larger sized. With nursing also, they have nursing friendly gowns and I don’t even wear a nursing bra while there…it’s best to have the baby have that easy access and your breasts not to be too confined (I usually am a 24/7 bra wearer). I would take a cardigan or something that you can throw on if you’ll feel more comfortable with guests..but embrace the gown! I only packed a going home outfit for myself and baby and toiletries… At my hospital you change rooms so it’s easier to have less.. and when you leave the less you have really is easier as people may bring gifts/flowers and well you’re lugging baby and car seat out!

    2. I couldn’t agree more with what Caroline said! I just gave birth to my daughter a little over a month ago and the biggest things for me were 1. I didn’t want to wear normal clothes at all because of nursing ease and it’s just so messy (!) and 2. It was a few days before I even considered wearing store bought pads. There is literally so much that you will be thankful for the hospital grade pads, even though they are hella bulky. Everyone is different though, it’s good to be prepared for anything! Good luck!

      1. I agree with all of the above. For the first couple of days I was incredibly thankful for the hospital grade “diaper” pads. I had tons of bleeding and stitches that required a large pad, an ice pack, and a special ointment for swelling and pain.
        Also, I am embarrassed to admit, my body was so weak that if I thought about needing to go potty I would leak and almost lose it. Not fun when you are in the nursery for shots and hearing tests and far away from the bathroom!
        So happy for you Kath. Little bear will be here before you know it!!

    3. Can I second (or third or however many other moms have “seconded” it already) Caroline’s comment? 🙂 Well put and spot on. Heading in Sunday morning for my 4th induction (not my plan, but as she said- drop any and all expectations!) Just thought I’d jump on pinterest and refresh my memory of what I should throw in my bag and baby’s bag. Personally, the mesh undies and gigantic pads were lifesavers for me!

  8. Chapstick! Maybe you already have some in your purse but I definitely needed this.

    A tube of Vasoline for the baby’s weiner. Especially if you have him curcumsized- you will need to apply this with every diaper change for quite awhile until it is well heeled.

    Yes, the hospital does have some stuff (like Lanolin and Vasoline) but it’s good that you bring your own because they charge you $$$ for anything and everything you ask for. I just thought the nurses were being nice and offered me stuff – then I got our bill and saw everything listed.

    1. It’s interesting how different each hospital is. The nurses at our hospital were insistent that we take anything we needed/wanted when we went home from the hospital for both the baby and myself……we left with nearly full packages of diapers that we had used during our stay, vaseline, special nipple ointment, extra pads, etc. They told us they need to throw out any items like that, that get used/opened by a specific patient…….AND we didn’t get charged for any of it!

  9. Great list, I think you covered everything important! How about the My Brest Friend pillow to nurse? I wish I had it for my 1st pregnancy, I brought the Boppy and it was very uncomfortable. I brought the Brest Friend with my 2nd pregnancy and it was great, so comfortable to nurse, since you can lay back in the bed and the baby can lay on the pillow. Just a suggestion. 🙂 Also def. take the lanolin and more nursing pads, you may need them. I didn’t leak at all, but some of my friends leaked a lot, so perhaps bring a few more.

  10. Your baby may be born with long nails, and the hospital does not have baby clippers. A baby file is recommended if the nails are not too soft for grooming. The hospital shirtsd do have pullovers for the hands. Bring your favorite snacks, and you may want to consider a small cooler. You will not be allowed to store things in the hospital fridge.

      1. I’m not quite sure, but I don’t think so. They did say we couldn’t put much in the group fridge, which is why cooler bag is on the last minute list

      2. If MJ… no fridge or micro (old hospital had fridges in room, not new). Nourishment room kitchens are strictly for food/snacks from hospital (ugh, regs!). So a cooler for some is a must!

  11. Thank you for this post! I need to pack my own bags soon, and hadn’t thought about packing one for my husband, LOL.

  12. Pack a sweatshirt for Matt, too. I wanted the room so cold when I was laboring because I was working and hot. My husband was freezing, but luckily had a sweatshirt because friends of ours had suggested it!

    1. Second the sweatshirt for Matt! I just had our daughter and at one point during labor I looked at my husband and noticed he was trying to keep wrapped up in a blanket while helping me through contractions. Later after delivery he said the room was freezing! I was sweating the whole time.

  13. I had no idea that you would be allowed to bring beer/champagne into a hospital! I’m sure it will be fun to celebrate the birth with more than just hospital cafeteria orange juice.

  14. I’m due just about the same time as you, so I have no experience (and am in the midst of packing my bag, too!). I did want to share that our hospital recommends bringing a labor bag and a recovery bag. That way you can have something small to “grab and go” when you arrive in labor, then your husband can run down to the car once you’re in the recovery room to get the big stuff. Our labor bag is a small tote bag and has comfort measures, snacks, the toiletries bag, camera and extra batteries, phone charger, and a folder with important docs (confirmation of pre-registration, list of phone numbers in case we don’t get cell phone reception inside, copies of the birth plan, etc.). The recovery bag is a small suitcase (like the one you show above) and has all our clothes, baby clothes, etc.

  15. I found that I over packed for myself and didn’t need nearly as much as I thought I would. I’m sure you’ll find that too! Only thing you left out that I would recommend is a pillow for you and one for Matt. Just be sure to use pillowcases that are not solid white so that the hospital doesn’t think you’re taking theirs home.

  16. Ahhh!!! So exciting! I think you’re covered, girlfriend. It’s amazing the things you DON’T need at the hospital, actually, because you’re too busy sleeping and nursing! 🙂

  17. Ok I have bag envy! your laptop bag with the typewriter on it and your toiletry bag – TOO CUTE!! If you got the toiletry bag recently or remember where you got it, I need a new one. And that one looks perfect! And your entertainment white bag – also awesome. You have GREAT BAGS! And the contents are so well-planned. Great job, Kath!

      1. thanks for the toiletry bag info – now that I’m ON my trip and used Ziplock gallon sized bags, I will be checking them out for the next trip. I swear, my Target sells out of the ‘good stuff’ like in a day!

        1. I just got that toiletry bag. Its Sonia Kashuk at Target and I just saw them on Clearance this week!! however I am in SoCal, But still check it out!

  18. Kath- way to go on the Baby 411. Can’t recommend that enough.

    You seem really prepared. I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you – and what you end up using after all!

    From my experience, I used several burp cloths those few days. And the fridge is not necessarily free for moms to use.

    Will you be pumping? If so, I HIGHLY recommend pumping when your milk comes in and you hit the engorgement stage. It builds up your supply like crazy before your milk supply evens out. No one told me this, and it took SO long to build up a supply later. You probably won’t get your milk till day 3, after you return home, but just something to think about. I have a Medela double pump you could borrow for the first few weeks, if you need!

    (forgot my website!)

  19. I think your bags look good. I am totally an over packer too, but it was amazing how much more stuff I had the husband go home and get. If I were you, I would pack a few (2-3) pairs of pj’s for the baby. The hospital will provide a onesie and a hat after the baby is born, but I wanted to put the baby in my own footie pajamas that I brought from home. You want a few extras in case of messy diapers or spit up. Plus, the hospital room can be cold (or hot, all depending on your hormones) so having some footie pajamas might be nice. I would also pack more than one burp cloth. I don’t think they offered us any and I luckily had packed about 4. They will be nice for nursing! A few other things I brought and am glad I did was her boppy and also my long body pillow. I was SO happy I decided to bring it with. It was so nice to have at my side for comfort when I gave birth, especially since I delivered without any pain meds. I would also pack one more extra shirt for Matt. My husband got some blood on his sweater he was wearing somehow. We all laughed about it, but luckily he had on a shirt under it he could wear until he ran home to get another sweater. Finally, do you listen to Pandora? They have a great station called Spa Suite (I believe), having really relaxing music while you are delivering is awesome! I think it helped to keep everyone calm and at peace! 🙂 You are going to do great! Oh and one more last thing! I would pack one of the swaddle me swaddles! They rock!

  20. I’m so surprised no one has asked where your bags are from! Totally not baby related, but I think they are all freakin’ adorable.
    Also, just a thought- what about a list of people to contact both as you are going in to labor, but also after the baby is born? I’m sure you have everyone’s contacts in your phone, but I bet a list to reference would be handy!

    1. Thanks! Toiletries from target, suitcase is Jessica simpson Tj Maxx, entertainment is former opensky

      I have contacts all saved in gmail groups!

  21. I agree with bringing your own pillow! It made all of the difference for me both laboring and sleeping in the hospital. I put a black/dark pillow case on in case of gross bodily fluids getting on it. 🙂

  22. First of all, AWESOME pick for the diaper bag! I have the same one but in a different print. It is my all-time favorite diaper bag (and I have used many over the past 10 years)! I think you’re set. Your organizing skills are very relaxing to me, LOL. I’m the type of person that can get in a better mood some days simply by tidying my house. 😉

  23. I would switch the toiletries to fragrance-free stuff, and nix Matt’s cologne. You want the baby to smell you, not chemicals. It definitely helps with breastfeeding.

    Have you considered leaving some stuff at home and having Matt pick it up if necessary? Like, having an A bag and a B bag? It sounds weird, but I started to feel a little claustrophobic in my recovery room with all of my stuff + baby + nurses popping in + visitors + gifts.

    1. I agree! We had a whole suitcase of “stuff” that was just annoying to have around and even MORE annoying to figure out how to get home!! I suggest either leaving some like said above, or having someone bring some home before you leave! You will acquire so much more while in the hospital, and you will have to leave in a wheelchair per regulation. Unless you have an octopus to help you to the car, less is more trust me! I was so stressed figuring out how to maneuver it all – esp since I was useless in a wheelchair and could only carry baby in my arms.

  24. Totally random things I was so grateful to have: (1) a folder/binder for paperwork–they will give you SO much stuff paperwork on everything from billing, hospital info, healthcare info, follow up appointments, etc; (2) an extra tote bag to fill with gifts/diapers/hospital gear the nurses tell you to stash in your bags; (3) your own pillow–the plasticky crinkly hospital pillow is dreadful.

    It’s funny how everyone’s experience is different. I didn’t find my recovery to be that “messy”. I had no ruined clothes!

  25. I know several people said don’t bother packing your own things and just wear the hospital gown but I totally disagree. Those things are itchy and so not attractive and I wanted it off as soon as possible!!!! You feel gross enough – a nice robe or pjs or gown sure did make a difference for me. And all of my births have been c-sections so it may be different but generally they encourage you to get up and get moving around as soon as possible to aid in recovery. It could be a surgery thing but I was doing laps around the maternity floor a few times a day on day two so having a pretty robe and comfy slippers was a total must. Good luck! I’m delivering in 8 days, assuming he holds on until then!!!

      1. Yes and I definitely suggest layers. Sometimes you are burning up, sometimes chilly so maybe some PJ shorts too. My favorite hospital “outfit” was maternity yoga pants, tank and this cute cotton short robe. Highly suggest more snacks too and some calories for while you are in labor. I was getting nauseous from a very empty tummy but couldn’t eat anything per hospital rules. I snuck a saltine but so not enough. I was also drinking sobe coconut water but wanted more cals! Also, my mom brought me lots of snacks from fresh market which was so helpful for middle of the night nursing. So excited for you Kath! It is an AMAZING experience!

  26. I would say more snacks for both of you, flip flops for the shower and I would leave the baby mittens out (highly recommended not to be use on babies due to the choking hazard) other than that your packing list is impeccable! You are ready and all that healthy food you are eating are clear sigs that the end is nearing!

  27. You might not want to use scented products for yourself (body wash, shampoo etc) with a newborn. It’s really recommended that they get used to your “scent” not artificial ones.

    Also you should bring your own pillow in a coloured pillow case so it can be distinguished from a hospital pillow.

  28. Do you have a baby book? I took mine and when they were doing her hand prints / foot prints after the birth they took a set for me since I had the book right there. Someone gave me this suggestion and I’m so happy I did it. Those little prints from the first hour are perfection.

  29. So organized! Very good. As far as “but I haven’t stayed overnight before, so I’m not entirely sure what to expect” … when my disk ruptured in my back and I stayed overnight in the hospital a couple times before and after surgery, I surprisingly found the experience to be very … peaceful. Is it home-like? haha no. But the lights are all dimmed, it’s surprisingly hush, and the nurses come check on you in the night – and my nurses were always lovely. I would obviously never say “woohoo, overnighter at the hospital!” But I don’t think it will be an unpleasant experience for you at all. 🙂

  30. Pack some chap stick! Seriously, my lips were so sore and dry through labor. I needed the chap stick like 3x per hour.

  31. I love this post. Will you share some of the other blogs you read with lists? Also any other blogs you love with baby to do lists or nursery photos or check lists? ( I really liked your posts re those too). Thanks and good luck!

    1. The Art of Making a Baby was very helpful. Plus I looked at a lot of Baby Center-type sites and their what-to-pack list.

  32. I way overpacked too but I don’t care! I’d rather overpack and not use it than underpack and need it! The only other things I am taking are a pillow from home an chapstick but I saw others mentioned that already. I think you’re set!! 9 days til my due date and the nerves are starting to kick in a little lol

  33. I’m due in Dec. so thanks for all the ideas! This is my first so I have no real experience but one thing I read somewhere is to pack a nicer shirt for dad – he will be in a lot of pictures with baby too! So a polo shirt for Matt to change into after delivery might be nice. Also, lots of people suggested bringing extra burp clothes which made me think of packing one of your wet bags – to tote dirty items home. Just some thoughts! You look very prepared!!

  34. This post made my heart melt. You are sooo cute! Just seeing all those items packed made ME excited for your birth, lol. I love your organization! I would totally pack all that and probably more. I also love your toiletry bag – so pretty!

  35. Yeah – I would pack more nursing pads – I kept soaking through them when the milk came in. I STILL soak through mine every day and need to replace them once and my baby’s 4 months old. But you may not be in the hospital so long – and I bet they have them. I gave birth in a German hospital, and they keep patients there a long time, so I needed a lot of stuff.

    You’ll be great – you’re WAY more prepared than I was!

  36. I will admit, when I was researching what to bring on various blogs, I had a hard time, becuase people have such opposite opinions! Some peope wanted all of THEIR things, and other people didnt’ want to ruin anything of theirs, and used everything the hospital provided.

    I will say these things:
    1) you will use almost nothing out of that diaper bag, BUT….it’s already packed and ready for your first outing, whenever that happens. I did the same thing. Of course, I now have a better grasp on what I actually use and don’t use, so it has slightly less stuff in it, but mine was very similar to yours.
    2) I also had a labor bag, and then a recovery bag. It was nice to not have to have everything all at once, making the room feel very small. If I were you, I would leave the diaper bag, and the clothing bag in the car, until you have delivered. If you want at least one set of your clothes at your disposal, throw that in your “entertainment” bag and only bring the entertainment bag and toiletry bag in for labor. Then matt can get the baby bag and clothes bag after labor. Yes, all the bags end up the room, but for a shorter amount of time.
    3) Bring at least a pillow and blanket for Matt.
    4) Leave the boppy at home. It just takes up space. THe hospital should have plent of pillows for you to use.

    Oh, and I had an almost 10 pounder, and he fit in his newborn going home outfit. BUT, it was a fleece sleeper by Carters, which I find run big. I wanted to dress him in it, because it was the first thing we ever bought for him. Until we went home, he stayed in the kimono shirt and swaddle blanket provided by the hospital. Wait, I’m mis-remembering, we did use our Aden and anais swaddles in the hospital, at least once.

  37. Good job packing! It really makes you feel better to get dressed, even if it is pj’s, it feels better than the hospital gown! I had a c section and was insanely swollen afterwards, plus I had some other issues with iron and blood pressure, but I encourage you to shower as soon as possible and get dressed if you feel like it 🙂 My advice has nothing to do with your packing, but with the lanolin-use it before you need it! It soothes and heals those sensitive nipples and hopefully will keep you from needing it! Good luck and congratulations! Can’t wait to see your sweet boy 🙂

  38. I would definitely pack some snacks for Matt. My water started breaking at 3 am and it was a while before my sister came with food for him.

  39. The Boppy came in handy when nursing and also when the baby was with me. Everything was so sore and it was nice to have that extra cushion 🙂

    1. I was also going to suggest the Boppy! It was one of the things I had my husband go home to get. Nursing was so much easier with it.

      I also ended up needing my breast pump. I know it’s generally frowned upon to pump so early but my baby lost an entire pound the first day and I was doing everything I could to get my milk in (my LC actually recommended it in my case.) And at any rate, she helped me get it set up and showed me how to use it properly, so it was good just for that.

  40. Hi! I’m a veteran labor/delivery mom (I have given birth to 5 kiddoes), and your bag looks good. Way more than you’ll need or use, but best to be prepared! I chose not to wear my own clothes until I was going home, because it’s messy. Plus, pants are inconvenient because they will be coming in and checking our pad and pressing on you for about 24 hours. It’s annoying to keep pulling your pants down…much easier just to have them flip up the blanket and look under your gown.

    2 things; Bring your own pillow. And bring money and/or food. You will be starving! And if Matt is staying over, oftentimes the hospital won’t provide food for dad. Yours might, but either check first or be prepared. Plus, the hospital food might suck..you never know.

    Best of luck to you both!

    1. Yes pants will be a pain. I brought an older dress that was a bit low cut: easy to breastfeed and a lot comfier than a hospital gown.

  41. From what I can tell in the picture, it looks like you only have 2 pairs of pants? I would actually pack 1-2 more, as previously mentioned, the first few days/weeks after-birth is messy! I had to send Ben home to bring me some extra comfy/loose pants. Do you have a baby book? I would bring that too, one of the nurses put Brantley’s hand/foot prints in it for us and I started to fill it out right away. the boppy was a MUST for us (But I see you have that on your list). I also brought my own pillow and my own blanket from home, you can never have aneough ‘comforts’ from home in my opinion! I would also pack some sleeper outfits for baby kerf, something with footies as they get kind of could easily in the beginning. Love that red top from maternity!! 🙂

  42. Hi Kath,
    Can I ask you to share how you selected a hospital? Was it due to your doctor being affiliated with it or was there some other criteria you were looking to meet? thanks!

    1. We only have two here – Martha Jeff and UVA. UVA is fantastic for NICU and Martha Jeff is the main hospital that people use here (and my OBs use).

  43. People here have great suggestions! I’ll second the need for flip-flops for the shower (ugh, hospital bathrooms are NASTY), a folder/binder for the massive amounts of paper-work you’ll have, and you absolutely need a nursing pillow – for the first several days you’ll basically be stuck sitting there with a baby on your breast. 🙂 And I agree, no cologne or perfume, it can totally interfere with breastfeeding.
    I would also recommend a big empty bag (like a blue Ikea bag) for all of the “swag” you’ll bring home with you. And another suggestion, try and recommend that people don’t bring you flowers. They are pretty, but a huge pain to deal with when you already have a million things to pack up and bring home with you (or else just leave them at the hospital, that’s what I wish we had done). Instead ask people to bring you FOOD! 🙂

  44. I thought I would hate those hospital pads too, but I ended up using those things because I had so much bleeding at first. Luckily the bleeding didn’t last too long and I probably switched back to the Always thin pads within a couple of days. If your hospital has the ice pack pads, use them!! Those things felt so good after birth, and I even took a few home to use for the next couple of days.

  45. I agree on more snacks for both of you, a playlist and chapstick. Even though I had an IV for hydration, my lips were still chapped! One thing that really helped with lower back pain was a homemade massager made by placing two tennis balls inside of a tube sock and tying it shut.

  46. Your checkbook! This will depend on your state, but when the woman came to fill out the birth certificate paperwork, we needed to submit a check with the form. Luckily I had a random check stuck in my wallet for emergencies. I’m guessing like most people, I don’t carry my checkbook with me on a regular basis and prefer to use debit cards, etc. Just a random thing I didn’t think we would need!

      1. Beware! You don’t have to pay for social security numbers. They will try to sell it to you though. The hospital usually fills out the paperwork and sends it to your county or state for the birth certificate portion. Once you get the birth certificate from the county or state (they mail it to you), you can apply for a SS # on your own. The only other thing I can think of that you’d have to pay for is photos they take at the hospital.
        You are going to do great!!!!

  47. This post might be helpful for you! http://prebabyblog.com/2012/01/hospital-bags

    You’ve probably seen this blog already – it seems pretty big – but Elena reminds me a lot of you (both super prepared!) and she’s already had her baby and I think did a post of what she actually used/wished she’d brought. Can’t find it but pretty sure it’s there somewhere! The KERF onesie is great! No one will get him mixed up in the nursery with your name right on him!


    Chapstick is there – #11 in toiletries!!
    Flip flops are being worn there (see last minute list 🙂 )
    Pandora/Playlist on laptop!
    Money comes with the wallet (on the last minute list)
    Boppy also on the last minute list
    I will happily wear the hospital pads if needed : )
    I’ll lay off the rose lotion

    Added to the list:
    Empty bag
    Baby shirts
    Wet bag
    More burping pads
    Nice shirt for Matt

  49. I think you should consider the gowns your mom suggested. Just get something inexpensive ftom Target or Walmart. So much easier to deal with than pants. Things can be messy. The gown will cover you better for walking around in the room etc. Gowns are easier to deal with with pads etc. if you happen to have a c section the pants will be hard to get on and off and painful around middle. Pants get all twisted in bed too! You know yourself, I’m sure you will be fine either way. Such a sweet time in your life. Precious memories are about to be made.

    1. If the hospital didn’t have gowns, I would. But if the pants turn out to not work, I’ll just wear the hospital gown.

      1. Eh, go with whatever you are comfortable with. I did black yoga pants! I am not a nightie fan myself and yoga pants and a tank were comfortable for the slow painful roll out of bed to hobble to the bathroom, appropriate for visitors of all kinds (um, yeah a priest stopped by? that was weird), and tight enough that they held the magical ice pack pads in place (some pressure actually felt kinda nice, to be honest).

      2. I took and wore a nursing gown from Aimee (you can Google it–I don’t know how you feel about commercial links). That was 7 years ago and I STILL wear that gown–it is beautiful on its own, and so well made.

  50. I am due just a few days after you are, so I haven’t got any experienced advice to give you. However, some things that my midwifes suggested:

    *Depends (yes, the elderly underwear) – they say these are way better than pads in underwear. I find it odd but decided to go with it.

    *High caloric drink. They said to NOT bring Gatorade because it doesn’t have enough calories and to bring things like cranberry juice or something similar that has a lot of calories. It would provide much needed calories. And they suggested orange juice after the labor to help with recovery and low blood sugar.

    That’s all I can think of right now. I haven’t packed my bag yet, but keep thinking of things to put in there. It’s hard because the birthing center doesn’t have any free stuff (mesh underwear, clothes for baby, etc.) so we have to bring everything we might need. And my husband doesn’t drive yet so he can’t run home and get stuff if we forget it (and the birthing center is an hour away). I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t forget something important – like the car seat!

  51. A couple more random things:
    1) Those pads most likely won’t cover it, but you will still end up using them. I fully recommend taking a few of them now, adding a bit of water so they swell, and freeze them. If you tear, it can be really nice (so I have been told).
    2) Yes, its a messy process. You may end up wearing hospital stuff the entire time. But it’s nice to have an option.
    3) Tell your friends/family NOW do NOTNOTNOT have flowers delivered or bring baby gifts with them to the hospital. You have enough to juggle with on your way home, thankyouverymuch, please don’t add to it. 🙂 Seriously, I’ve seen people bring entire Pack-n-Plays to the hospital. Dear loving family member, where do you suggest they put it in their 4 door compact car? In the backseat on top of the baby?

    1. I agree with the frozen pads! My doula suggested we have them on hand. I soaked mine in aloe witch hazel and had them in the freezer for afterwards… SO helpful!! A little shocking at first, but really helps swelling/pain and is antibacterial

      1. No real reason. I was just wondering why KERF and not Davidson or Great Harvest, since those two mean so much to you and Matt. Then again, KERF probably means a ton to the both of you and it must be hard to find such tiny little clothes. Does Great Harvest make any baby gear? Y’all have such cute slogans on your shirts, they would be adorable on a baby.

        1. We just wanted something personalized and meaningful – and this was lovingly handmade by a blog reader. I have Davidson clothes for when he’s bigger and hopefully GH too, but none yet.

  52. I thnk I may have left this comment before, but I really wish I had taken some two piece outfits for the kiddo. I truly hope this doesn’t happen to you, but after a long childbirth, I registered a temperature at the very very end, and my son ended up having a bit of difficulty adjusting to breathing a few hours after birth. He ended up being in the NICU for 2 days afterwards, wearing nothing but a diaper and then a lost and found newborn shirt, because he couldn’t wear onesies (IVs, heart monitor, breathing monitor, etc.) as they got in the way. An infant tee and pants would have really made me feel better. While we did have some at home, after my boy ended up being carted to the NICU, Daddy didn’t want to leave me or him and we kept on forgetting to ask family to bring us one. Just a thought!

    PS – I had a totally average uneventful pregnancy. There was absolutely no way to know this kid would end up going to the NICU.

  53. Great list! I know flowers can be a pain to transport but I loved having flowers in the room because generally they were sent from loved ones who couldn’t be there and it was a sweet reminder of their love for us. Just pack your envitote in your car and use it to transport them home. Dump all the water out of the vases right before you leave the hospital and refill them when you get home. This is such an exciting time in your life, enjoy it all!

  54. Definitely a pillow from home and chapstick, like others have said. I HATED the plastic pillows from the hospital, they made me so hot. Even a cheap 5 dollar Target pillow would have been so nice. I think you might want the big pads in the end too, but just see how it goes obviously!

  55. I’m afraid to suggest anything else as your hospital room might not have space for the baby, but I suggest a pair of pants for the baby. They get cold easily in the beginning.

    Also, “peace” of mind 🙂

  56. I would have a plan for visitors. It is difficult to know how you will feel afterwards. And you are likely to spend most of your hospital stay not fully-clothed. It seemed like every time the baby was finally settled and I had a few moments to rest myself, a visitor would arrive. I am not sure if each hospital is different, but in ours, they would just arrive at the door (nurses would buzz them in). With my first child I remember getting up to use the bathroom for the first time and being confronted by a bunch of well-meaning family members at the door to the room. You may want to ask the nurses ahead of time to give you some warning before admitting visitors or you may want to ask people to only visit during certain times. I also agree with asking them to not bring gifts to the hospital. You will have a ton of stuff to get home. I felt like such a grouch those first few days because I found it so difficult to deal with visitors. Perhaps having a plan ahead of time will make it easier.

  57. I had a nice gown made for me with my first baby and it got ruined. I was able to wear maternity clothes in the going home outfit, but I wouldn’t bring any clothes to wear that you aren’t okay with staining. I was shocked with how messy it is after birth. You will definitely need and appreciate the hospital pads and mesh undies. Extra padding is what you need to be comfortable at that time anyway, fluffy is good. I also buy the ultra thin ones at other times and hate the bulky ones, but didn’t use those until at least a week or so after birth.

  58. Ok, forgive me if this has been mentioned, but you might want to pack wipes into that diaper bag…..
    Especially if you think you are going to use that diaper.

  59. Definitely bring the nursing cover, but just so you know you will probably want to kick out guests when you need to nurse. I bet you don’t use it at the hospital. It is a bit complicated figuring out breastfeeding at first – even if it’s easy for you it’s a bit complicated in some ways – and you won’t want guests around or to have to use a cover. You also should call for a nurse for every single feeding so they can help you with latch and such. I didn’t have one every time, but when there was a nurse available she came. I credit that plus a home visit from a lactation consultant to my breastfeeding success. All the nurses had different tips and ideas of what to try.

    Also, think about splitting up your bags to before baby (during labor) and after baby. You won’t want to have to lug everything from the labor room to the other room, and you will want easy access to the things you need during labor.

  60. One of my favorite things my mom brought me was a fan – I used it during all 3 of my labors and it was sooooooooo nice because I was hot almost the whole time. Just a paper or woven reed fan works great – the more breeze the better!

  61. Great list! I had my baby two weeks ago and had a similarly comprehensive list of stuff… two packed bags, plus my body pillow. (Un)fortunately, I was already 7cm dilated when we got to the birth center and the only thing I ended up pulling out were our going home outfits and a single granola bar! We were also so busy hauling everything down to the car that we forgot to bring the car seat with us! (the base was installed, but we kept the seat in the house). Thank goodness the birth center is only 5 minutes away. 🙂

  62. Sounds like you have everything well thought out and planned. Everybody is different and has different preferences and I am sure you will figure out what works best for you when you get there. For me? I ditched the hospital gown pretty quickly after the boy was born. I needed to feel like “me” again and wearing my own clothes was a huge comfort. I was at the hospital for 5 days and my only regret was not having enough of my own clothes! Next time I am leaving extra of everything in the trunk of the car just in case. By the way the BEST nursing tank I have found is the cheapy long and lean tank top in the juniors department at Target. Inexpensive, stretchy and a boatload of colors. I have at least 15 and still wear them everyday. Great for layering pieces as well.

    Oh and baby stuff, yeah, the hospital has EVERYTHING and ours sent us home with so much free stuff.

  63. The hubs wants me to pack the bags now, even though I’m only 32.5 weeks. And I thought I was the only overplanner in this family, haha. One thing you might want to add to your clothing bag is a long (or short) dress nightgown on the very off-chance you wind up having an emergency c-section. From what I’ve read about the recovery the pj bottoms/yoga pants might rub on the incision and be uncomfortable. So I bought a super soft/stretchy nightgown from Target (Gillian O’Mally I think is the brand) that has adjustable straps and v neck, so it can easily be pushed aside for breastfeeding. I’ve been living in it these past few weeks and don’t want to pack it, so I might go buy a second, haha.

    Oh, and I love that beer is on the list. We did our hospital tour this weekend and noticed they had a mini-fridge in both the delivery and recovery room. So I asked my midwife if I could bring a pumpkin beer for after and she laughed and said as long as I kept it on the down low and brought one for her 😉 All in the name of milk production, right? 😉

    1. The Gillian O’Mally night gowns are SOOOOO comfy! And yes, long nightgown is great for after a C section or pants that have a very high waist band. You never know if you are going to need one. Best to be prepared. And hopefully, you have a C section Birth plan as well. Just in case! 🙂

  64. Kath, if I had even a fraction of your methodical nature, I would be superwoman. You amaze me. (and yes, I am kind of jealous.) 🙂 Sending positive thoughts your way.

  65. I am not sure if anyone has mentioned this but I found the towels at our hospital were really small. I really prefer to have a big comfy towel so I packed my towels for my second birth and I was SO glad I did! Maybe I am just fussy about towels. 😉

  66. If you are doing a baby book or want a memento for a shadow box bring pretty paper for nurses to stamp extra set of baby’s footprints.

  67. You probably will only want to wear the mesh underwear the hospital provides…it is so much lighter than any pair of cotton undies…esp if you have a c section u wont want even the slightest bit of elastic around your abdomen. Its nice just to throw the mesh ones away – i took some home from the hospital

  68. Please forgive me…I do not know what a placental encapsulation is. Are you going to consume the placenta? May I ask what that does please? Thank you. 🙂

  69. I LOVE that you have beer on the to pack list. My husband brought beer too (homebrew). I have a picture of him drinking one, while holding baby, only hours after he was born. Ha!

  70. Way to go! You seem to be super prepared, and I think youve done a great job packing 🙂 my only suggestion would be to maybe add a sweatshirt for matt. I had my little boy Sept. 16th last year, and while I was sweating bullets from the hormone changes and all the water retention prior to giving birth, my poor hubby was freezing!! Just my two cents 🙂

  71. Hi Kath! I just had a baby boy 2.5 months ago and I think your bags look good. I tend to overpack as well, but I think it’s better to have too much than need something!

    One thing I had packed that I ended up loving was a short sleeve button down pajama top in a fun print with bright colors (mine looked like Lilly Pulitzer, but I got it on super clearance at TJ Maxx – it was purple, yellow and green floral print). Since it was just the top, I wore it with the super comfy mesh boy short undies that the hospital provided because I didn’t want to put any bottoms on, due to the fact that I was wearing the huge pad/ice pack combo and I didn’t want to ruin any of the pants that I had brought. When we were alone in the hospital room, I just walked around in the undies and button down top and then when we had visitors, I would get in bed with the hospital blankets on so no one could see anything.

    The button down top was very convenient for breastfeeding and I liked wearing something bright and fun since you are so tired and out of it – it helped me feel pretty when there was so much craziness going on! Also, it looked good in pictures to wear something cute when you haven’t showered and aren’t wearing any makeup!

    And I second everyone who raves about the mesh undies from the hospital – they are AMAZING! Try to take home as many as you can. I got enough to last a week after we got home and I wish I had more. I had a very easy labor and no tear at all, but I still didn’t want anything tight touching me because you are sore and swollen, plus you are bleeding heavily. Good luck!!

  72. When the new MJH was built it was decided not to have mini fridges in the room (don’t know why). There is a group fridge, microwave, and a filtered ice/water dispenser. There are snacks available to patients as well…always check there first before using a vending machine 🙂 You can order from the visitor cafeteria (4th floor) and not the patient cafeteria. The showers are not gross. They are cleaned everyday. I’ve actually had patients complain about how often housekeeping cleans their room (once a day). Although, I will admit you get lost in time…postpartum time ;P

    I have to say I enjoyed my granny panties and big pads…the ultra thin things are good for some women, but they did not work for my egg sized clots and such of moderate postpartum bleeding ;P No worries, I didn’t feel like I was grossly bleeding. I wore loose fitting, cotton pants post-partum. Due to a second degree tear, probably secondary to my squatting “get him out now” mantra, benzocaine spray was my best friend for weeks.

      1. Yes I was told by the staff that anything the size of a lemon or smaller is normal. I did pass some big clots all 3 deliveries but not sure any were quite THAT big!

    1. It sucks not having a fridge at the new place, but just remember it is NOT a group fridge. So, your stuff might get thrown away by dietary. So, bring that mini cooler. Also, make sure your friends/fam know the visitation policy (hopefully, you do too). MJ… no children that are not siblings under the age of 14.

  73. If you have a baby book bring it so they can do the newborn foot and hand prints in there at the same time they do the ones for the hospital records. Otherwise its one of those things you’ll say you will do as soon as you get home, then six months later are like crap I forgot…then the baby feet arent as tiny anymore!

  74. I wore a nursing nightgown and was so happy to have it. It is easy access and cute. I have pictures of myself in the hospital gown and my gown and am much happer with the latter. I bought three and still wear all of them 10 months later. They have a built in bra and are comfy like a normal nightgown.
    Also, I don’t bother with nursing covers. My feeling is that it’s important for people to understand what goes into the process of breastfeeding, and that you have nothing to hide or feel ashamed of. I have a dear friend who took pictures of me throughout my pregnancy, and when he came to the hospital after the birth, it was time to nurse during his visit. I was still brand new to nursing, obviously, but I told him I didn’t mind him taking pictures and we just did our thing. There is a gorgeous shot of my husband watching me do my best, and I cherish that picture because I can see him, my daughter, and myself all working toward making breastfeeding work. It has been a long road for us, and seeing that moment is really important to me.

  75. The pads and underwear are unnecessary. Trust me. There will be a ton of blood and clots you will be passing for the first 48-72 hours after birth. Plain old Always pads are not going to cut it. They have jumbo size ones at the hospital that I know *sound* uncomfortable, but trust me, they will do the job. Same for the underwear. The hospital mesh undies are about as “cute” as they sound, lol. But they are SO comfy and stretch enough to hold the pad and ice packs if you need them.

    The hospital will provide diapers for the baby, but having an extra just in case is never a bad thing. Though I would add wipes, also just in case.

    And I never felt like putting on make up or jewelry. Pure exhaustion. But you may, so you never know.

    Good luck!

    1. Yea the mesh undies were definitely comfortable! Plus the stretch a lot, perfect for the ice fill diapers my hospital gave me (for the swelling and pain). But I took undies towear home.

  76. Definitely bring your own pillow and a pillow/blanket for Matt. I also liked having a little bottle of hand sanitizer on my bedside table for visitors/me when I couldn’t get out of bed to wash (c-sec -ugh) wish I would have brought facial wipes. Also, breath mints for when the nurses are right in your face at 2 am – I’m sure they didn’t mind my stinky breath, but I felt bad! Lastly, I brought my blank thank you notes so I could jot one down when I had a few spare minutes. So excited for you — becoming a mom is an amazing experience! Best of luck 🙂

  77. This may be a dumb question and as I type I have a guess of an answer- why prenatals after you deliver? Is it cause of breast feeding?

  78. I’d recommend packing something to wear in labor. Most gowns are made for women who will be laying in bed with an epidural–not ones who want to be mobile and walking around. A jogabra and a sarong usually work great as does a long tee shirt. I, personally, ended up totally naked after about 6cm and could have cared less but that’s just me 😉 I couldn’t stand anything restrictive on my belly during a contraction–which is why I recommend a sarong that can go under your belly.

    1. I’ve heard that some dont, so I’m just being extra prepared. Plus I’d rather take mine that I’m used to digesting : )

      1. Mine didn’t provide prenatals, you are smart to bring them! Looks like you packed perfectly, I wish I had brought my Boppy! Although looking back, everything is a blur. The only things I didn’t use we’re books, but I did use my iPad a lot. You are lucky Matt will be there with you. My hubby had to go home at night to be with our dogs!

      2. Some hospitals won’t let you even bring in medication from outside — much less take it — for liability reasons. What if you brought in a medication that interfered with something they had to give you? Bad news bears all around.

        Also, FWIW I brought one bag with about 15% of what you have packed and still didn’t use everything! Matt will be able to bring you things from home (and shower/change there; I think it’s good for the dad to go home at night and get some rest while he still can!), you really won’t have the energy postpartum to do much reading/web surfing on the tablet, and honestly the hospital gown is so much easier when you’ve got leads in and people need to keep checking your “swimsuit area.”

        If I had it to do over again I’d bring:
        – going home outfit for me + baby (one NB size and one 0-3 month)
        – chapstick
        – a bunch of hair ties
        – hairbrush/toothbrush
        – camera + charger
        – phone + charger

        That’s really all you need. Hospital has pads, blankets for baby, diapers, wipes, etc.

  79. Not sure about your hospital but at mine they had a boppy and at the breastfeeding class I took (through our hospital) they said don’t bother bringing one. Ours had a disposable cover on it but I can also see why you would want your own

  80. Looks great! I overpacked & was so glad to have what I wanted although I did have to be mindful as we live in NYC & had to carry everything with us in a cab to the hospital. Be glad you don’t have to do that while in labor! Thank god our doula was there to help.

    My two cents, only use unscented products for you & Matt for the first few months while you all bond together. Have extra hand soap at home, too. For you & visitors. I was surprised at how quickly we went through what we had on hand.

    Have so much fun! We have 3 & 1/2 mth old. It gets better & easier with each week.

  81. we also brought our baby book (the one we filled out from birth to 12 months)…at our hospital they take an ink foot print and the nurse was more than happy to make an extra foot stamp on our book before washing off our daughter’s foot.

  82. Thanks for sharing! It was great fun seeing your packing items all laid out and numbered and explained so meticulously!

    Wishing you a happy baby day 🙂

  83. How exciting, everything looks great! How about a washcloth? I really could have used one from home when I went into labor. My face got all flushed and hot with pushing with my first son and it felt good when they put a washcloth that was run under cold water and wrung out then placed on my face. I see you have lip balm…a must! I forgot mine and my lips got so dry during labor I just kept licking my lips, it was awful.
    As others mentioned, I hope your pj bottoms were not too pricey, I bled pretty heavy with one of my pregnancies, as soon as I stood up even with mega pads…TMI…but you can guess. God-willing you don’t need a c-section the waistband can be uncomfy.
    I had my babies footprints taken for ours and grandparent baby books too!
    Can’t wait for the blessed day, have been reading your blog everyday in anticipation! Best wishes for a smooth delivery Kath! 🙂

  84. The Lactation Consultant in our hospital provided gel nursing soothing pads for sore nipples – they were a lifesaver! With our 2nd I brought my own box. I used them for the first week or so and never had problems with dry/cracked nipples. These are similar: http://www.diapers.com/p/soothies-gel-pads-by-lansinoh-22632?site=CA&utm_source=cse&utm_medium=cpc_D&utm_term=LA-017&utm_campaign=Google&CAWELAID=1338722492&utm_content=pla&cagpspn=pla&ci_kw=%7Bkeyword%7D

    So excited for you – what an awesome time of anticipation!

  85. You pack like me;-)

    Personally the best tip I had was to get black grippy socks–that way blood drips on them people won’t notice.

  86. I delivered at MJH only 2 weeks ago so this is very fresh in my mind! Like you, I overpacked and packed mostly everything you have listed. I found that I ended up wearing the hospital gown, as like other comments, I didn’t want to ruin my own clothes BUT I liked knowing that I had them in case I changed my mind. Snacks and food for you and Matt, I ended up delivering at night so by the time I was transferred to the recovery room, I hadn’t eaten in a long time and they stopped serving food by then. Also, you will probably want Matt to bring you meals, probably from Whole Foods because the food is less to be desired. MJH will send you home with the large maxi pads, mesh underwear, and anything the baby used while there such as disposable diapers, wipes, shampoo/wash, etc. – the reason for this is that they cannot give anything opened or used to another patient due to sanitary reasons so for this alone, I took everything I could when I left or I knew they would throw it out. . Finally, the nurses are FABULOUS at MJH and I cannot say enough about them, along with the wonderful (new) accomodations. Definitely try the wonderful jacuzzi tub, it was a lifesaver! good luck and I can’t wait to hear everything!

  87. This is going to be such a helpful post once I need this. I am not pregnant but plan to become pregnant next year (can’t wait!! :-)) – once you and baby are all settled, it would be great if you could add an extra tab with such posts (a “tips” tab or something like that ;-)). I’d love to revisit such posts later on!
    I hardly ever comment but regularly visit and (since I have baby fever right now and my best friend is pregant) I especially love your babykerf site! Keeping the fingers crossed for you during the next weeks!!

  88. Great list! If you have one you should bring a sleep mask, I used mine a lot, especially since there were a lot of daytime naps, my husband even used it! We also used a white noise app on our phones to drown out the hospital noises while sleeping. I would check with your doc about the prenatals, mine had me hold off taking them while I was in the hospital to prevent any further problems with constipation. TMI! You’re going to do great!

  89. Hehe! I had so much fun packing our bags too! In the end we didn’t need half of it but thats part of the fun too and every experience is different. I had special bath products too! The first shower after after giving birth was possibly the BEST shower of my life! So having special products made it super indulgent. Wishing you all the best! PS LOVE LOVE LOVE your nappy/diaper bag.. I just looked and I cant get it in australia or even shipped here! Boo! 🙁

  90. If anyone reads this far down. One other thing we found helpful:

    Tylenol/pain relievers for y our husband. The hospital couldn’t give my husband anything and he had a major headache from the staying up etc.

    1. So true! My husband even went on a search down to the little gift shop and there wasn’t anything to be found. I think we ended up having someone run us a couple measly tylenol.

  91. Great list! I’m 37 weeks and planning to start my bag this weekend. My husband calls me a “bag lady” when I pack, so I cannot wait to show him all the stuff I actually “need” to pack 🙂
    I love that little bear hat and would LOVE to know where you got it!

      1. Thanks for responding!! Looks like they aren’t carrying the same one right now, but I am on a mission to find something similar.

  92. This blog is AMAZING!!! Thank you so much for your expertise! As a first time mom, I’ve been googling and trying to get ideas about my hospital bag as well as the whole birthing experience as a whole and this blog has helped A LOT. How much has it helped? I’ve forwarded this site to a friend of mine who is also expecting 🙂

  93. I am now a single mom about to have my forth baby. I am really going to need my 15 yr old daughters help more than ever. She is going to have to grab almost everything for the hospital and drive me to the hospital being that I am doing this alone this time. My exhusband would help me if I needed him even though he isn’t this babies daddy. I’m only 15 min from the hospital so if I need anything I can have my 18 yr old go to my house and get it when he gets off work. I really appreciate everything you all are putting on here. I shouldn’t forget anything now. Best wishes to all of you and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas !!!!!

  94. White Noise app, love it! Eyeshades and ear plugs always helped me but I’ll have to dl that. Thx v helpful list to review and good comments! Bc I had such a good experience with this and I *never* would have predicted it (I like to think of myself as pretty low maintenance), I have to add that I really loved having my curasanas gown a friend gifted me. My husband was sort of surprised I even packed it, but it was soooo nice. Went a long way in making a normally not-so-great experience so much more tolerable. Basically it’s a cozy gown with a closed back that is super accessible for breastfeeding (the staff was happy with it too) and nice for pics and visitors (clean & classy, great color, no cheesy prints). Oh and to the same concern I had, that a personal gown would be messy, it was actually not a big deal; I put in on right after delivery and simply didn’t sit on top of it, if that makes sense. I also ended up using my curasanas forever at home with nursing etc and now it’s my go-to hospital gift, not just mommies, my dad loved it and what do you get your dad!?! Anyway, proved really useful. I just ordered a new pajama type set of Curasanas for this time (they only have an online store I think) bcI can’t resist a new color&style and I know how much use I’ll get of it. GL all!

  95. I just looove the bag from the first picture! It’s just great! I love chevron so much lately, now I won’t slee until I have it, lol, I’m horrible during this pregnancy, I know 😀

  96. Hi i’m in love with the toiletry bag, where did you get it?
    I send this article to my best friend she’s 8 months and shes packing her hospital bag
    and we are trying to find a toiletry bag just like this one in you photos.

  97. I’m in my 37 weeks now… must say you have pinned it down to thd T.
    Must tell you I love your bags .. Especially your baby bag and entertainment bag.. I need to know the brand and where you got it from ? Is it available on Amazon.com ??

  98. Thanks and the Entertainment Bag ? Is it leather? What material is it… Seems handy and big enough to dump stuff in it.

  99. Hi!!! I know this is years later, but where did you get the darling black and white and teal cosmetic bag with all of the inserts?! I love it!

  100. Thank you so much for this! I realize it’s a few years old but your lists plus the comments are so helpful.

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