As your due date becomes closer and closer, your excitement, fear and stress begin to build up!
Just because your due date is approaching doesn’t mean you can put off packing your hospital bag till the last-minute.
A due date is not a set date. It’s all about your baby’s timing.
Did you know your little bundle can come anytime after 35 weeks?
Don’t wait to pack your hospital bag must haves! Ease your stress and fear by prepping for yourself and baby early.
Once your baby chooses the big day to arrive, you’ll be ready!
Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you click on them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
When it comes to packing your hospital bag, always pack more than you need!
I know it sounds a little excessive, but I say pack more than you need because you never know what could happen. I promise I’m not trying to scare you.
My own labor experience was not the best. While my son was born full-term, my water broke at 2 cm!
After 28 hours of labor with my water broken the entire time, my son and I ended up having an infection.
After a little delivery scare of my son being resuscitated, we then spent an extra 5 days in the hospital. 5 DAYS!
While the odds of you and baby spending 5 days in the hospital is unlikely, you still need to be prepared.
Looking back now on my hospital stay, I forgot a lot of essential items both baby and myself needed for comfort and necessity.
10 Hospital Bag Must Haves
1. A Hospital Labor Gown
Before giving birth, I was convinced that labor gowns were completely useless and unnecessary. After all the hospital provides gowns free of charge!
Well, guess what? I was wrong!
A hospital gown is at the top of this essential items list because this is the number one thing I wish I had packed in my hospital bag.
Yes, the hospital provides a gown for you. But, they are disgusting for the following reasons…
They are uncomfortable
The gowns never fit right
They are ugly
They’re horrible for skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding
When I go to have another baby, I’m not making this mistake again. After so many hours in labor, plus recovery time in the hospital, I will happily buy a hospital gown.
Yes, this is simply for your momma comfort. But you deserve it! You just birthed a human being. That’s pretty amazing and you deserve to feel comfortable and look stylish at the same time.
Labor gowns are available in a multitude of different patters and sizes. You won’t have to worry about an extra loose gown you’ll be swimming in. Pick the perfect size to accommodate your body type and a pattern to match your personality.
The most important feature to look for in a labor gown is functionality.
-Does the gown allow easy access for breastfeeding and skin-to-skin?
-Is it loose enough to allow for different birthing positions?
-Does it allow for easy access in the back if your receiving an epidural?
-Is the material comfortable?
Stick to these questions about a labor gowns functionality and you won’t go wrong!
2. Non-Slip Socks
Again, the hospital provides them. But, as with the hospital gowns, they’re horrible.
During and especially after birth, you don’t want to wear shoes to walk around your room.
Spending 5 days in the hospital, I had to wear my sneakers and socks I walked in the hospital with that got covered with amniotic fluid. EWWW!
Doing it all over again, I would buy multiple pairs of non-slip socks to put into my hospital bag.
The plus side to your own non-slip socks is they can be washed and worn again, either around the house or with the birth of your next baby!
Related Articles: 10 Essential Oils For Labor
8 Ways To Heal After A Traumatic Birth Experience
3. A Cooling Wrap
By the time I reached 10 cm and began pushing, I had a 103 F fever. Pushing a baby out is hard work. Between breathing exercises, pushing and sweating, you’ll be exhausted afterwards.
To help keep the sweating to a minimum and feel like you’re at a comfortable temperature, try a cooling towel.
A cooling towel can be worn around your head or neck and can stay cool for around 4 hours.
The next time I pack my hospital bag, a cooling towel is going in it, simply for my own comfort.
If you are unfamiliar with what Tucks are… They’re magic little pads filled with witch hazel to ease irritation and burning down there…
Believe me when I tell you they’re magic! My postpartum healing of my lady parts was way better with Tucks. I honestly can’t imagine life without them!
Although they’re technically for hemorrhoids, they work perfectly for vaginal birth as well. They soothe the discomfort that goes along with tearing during birth.
I did receive Tucks at the hospital (and got charged twice what they actually cost). However, I did not receive enough. I went through the pack of Tucks way to quickly.
My best suggestion is to bring your own pack of Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads in your hospital bag must haves. Trust me, your lady bits will thank you!
5. A Lotion/Massage Oil
Not a necessity, but definitely a luxury. I would have loved to have a lotion or massage oil with relaxing essential oils like lavender.
I had complete back labor. Pray to everything holy you don’t have back labor!
If you’re wondering what back labor feels like… It’s like a hot vice has been placed on your lower back squeezing with each contraction. It’s the worst.
I wish I had packed a message oil with stress relief properties just so my husband could massage my shoulders and lower back. That would have been a huge stress relief during labor.
To assist with sleep every night I use a Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Oil. This massage oil has lavender and chamomile.
While it says to use for sleep right on the bottle, I find it works for stress relief as well. Before bed I massage my shoulders and neck.
But I plan on packing this incredible massage oil in my next hospital bag.
6. Depends Underwear
After birth I was given maxi pads and a thin pair of mesh underwear. The mesh underwear the hospital gave me ripped in multiple places and were just gross.
The second time around I will be adding a maximum absorbency Depends underwear to my hospital bag must haves list.
While you can still get the mesh booty shorts from the hospital and take your chances with them… I’d personally just bring a good amount of Depends with you to hospital.
Look at it this way…
Whether you wear them at the hospital or wear them when you get home, you will still need an extra protective pad regardless for postpartum bleeding.
7. Baby Nail Clippers
I admit it. I forgot to pack these in my baby’s hospital bag. Before giving birth, I thought I could just wait till I got home.
Of course I only thought I’d be in the hospital overnight. Not 5 days!
I found out soon enough that baby’s nails grow incredibly fast. Soon enough my son’s fingernails looked like Wolverine’s.
Thankfully, I did bring baby mittens to keep the accidental scratching at bay. However, I would rather have had baby nail clippers with me in our extended hospital stay.
Important Items To Stock Up On Before Going Into Labor
6 Reasons A C-Section Is Not The Easy Way Out
8. Better Snacks
Let’s face it. Vending machine snacks suck. Not only are they overpriced, but also unhealthy.
Plus, your husband doesn’t need to leave your side during labor to be running to the vending machine all the time.
While my husband and I did pack snacks with us, it wasn’t nearly enough. The cafeteria at our hospital wasn’t the best and seemed to never be open. My husband was starving all the time after watching over me through 28 hours of labor.
But what are some healthy to add to your hospital bag must haves?
-Vegetables (celery with peanut butter, carrot sticks, etc.)
-Small sandwiches made to your liking
-Apple slices with cheese
-Granola or Protein bars
9. Travel Size Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash
If you have to stay longer than expected at the hospital, chances are you’ll want to shower at some point. The hospital is gracious enough to provide you with shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
I’d simply pass on these and bring your own with you in your hospital bag.
After showering with the provided hospital shampoo/conditioner/body wash combo, I smelt like a lovely scent of pine tree air freshener.
Travel size bottles of your favorite shampoo and conditioner can be found at any local store or here.
10. Nipple Cream
If this is your first baby, know now that breastfeeding is hard work. There’s nothing you can do to prepare for it.
To provide you with the honest truth: Your breasts are going to be in a lot of pain for a while. Between the swelling and an endlessly hungry baby, you will be sore.
Nipple cream will be your new best friend. The best nipple cream will provide you with relief from cracking and soreness.
Always make sure that it is safe for baby as well.
My extended hospital stay was not the best experience for my little family. It was plain miserable. Mainly because we were stuck in the hospital for a lot longer than we expected.
However, our stay was also miserable because I forgot a lot of essential items. Many of the items listed above are simply for comfort measures.
But, every momma deserves to be comfortable.
It’s not only a big day for your baby whose making his or her way into the world. But, it’s a big day for you too. You’re becoming a mother!
The title of being a mother will never change for the rest of your life.
So make your hospital stay enjoyable and as comfy as possible by not forgetting to pack these 10 hospital bag must haves. And always remember to pack more than you need.
Although the chances are slim that you will need to stay longer. It is always best to be prepared for anything!
Did I miss anything? What other important items did you forget to pack in your hospital bag? Comment below!
Sunday 22nd of July 2018
I've seen a few "must-have" hospital bag lists, but not from this perspective! I love it. Better snacks FOR SURE. I love Kind bars! I have to say, I never did master the baby nail clippers. I learned from a friend to use adult clippers, and it's so much easier for me!
Tuesday 24th of July 2018
I definitely have a different perspective. I wanted to write about must-have hospital bag items for when you have to stay longer than expected at the hospital because of complications. Looking back on my own experience I will be adding all these things to my hospital bag when the time comes to have another baby. Thank you for commenting! It's always nice to hear from you!
Tuesday 10th of July 2018
I wish I would have had nipple cream, breastfeeding pads, bopping, your own pillow, and carmex!
Sunday 22nd of July 2018
Looking back, I also wish I had brought a pillow for myself in my hospital bag. The pillows they give you at the hospital are so uncomfortable and you have to use a dozen just to prop yourself up. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!
Samantha of Mother Haggard
Friday 6th of July 2018
Oh my gosh, poor you for having to go through labor with a 103 degree fever! As if things weren't intense enough for you.
Great list, Liz. Yes, yes, yes for the extra snacks. I wasn't hungry during labor or for quite awhile afterwards, but my husband sure was (lol) and we burned through the snacks way too quickly. I was PARCHED for all of the labor and couldn't drink enough. I'd bring so much Gatorade next time. I also didn't pack extra pillows, even though I had read a million times to do so, and I regretted it.
I brought like ten different outfits for the baby because I had no clue what size she would wear, which I definitely didn't need to do. I think I also brought a book, which I guess I thought I might be able to read during the early stages of labor or after I had the baby?!? HAHAHA.
Monday 9th of July 2018
It's funny you brought up extra pillows because I almost added that into this list for what to put in a hospital bag! I honestly didn't know I had a 103 degree fever until after I got done pushing. I just remember my doctor trying to get me to push as hard as I could with hardly any breaks. It sucked! Baby and I were in the hospital five days and I should have brought a book with me!