Packing Your Hospital Bag – Take it or Leave it?

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January 11, 2012

As I approach the due date of my second child I finally got my hospital bag packed and it sure looks different than my first one. What’s the difference? Well, I have a lot less packed this time around, that’s for sure.

When I packed my hospital bag the first time, I read articles and asked for advice. The problem was, everyone had slightly different opinions so I ended up packing everything suggested. You live, you learn. After not using half of what I packed, I decided this time I would take only the necessities.

So what are these things that I needed or didn’t need? What am I packing this time? What is important and what is not? Like I mentioned earlier, everyone has a different opinion, so don’t follow my list alone to pack your bag. Instead, think of it as a suggestion and build your list from there. There’s a good chance you’ll overpack this first time, and there’s no harm in that.

My first bag consisted of the following (from what my mommy-mush of brains can recall):

A few changes of clothes for myself, the baby and my husband

I did not wear all of the clothing I packed for myself. Personally, I think there is no need for any clothing that wouldn’t be comfortable enough to sleep in. I spent most of my time in the hospital gown and bathrobe. I may not have even gotten dressed until the morning we left. The nurses and doctors are constantly coming in to check how you are healing and the easier the access they have to you, the quicker it will be. So, in my opinion, take maybe one nicer outfit to wear home if you must. I wore my sweats home. All other nice clothing – leave it.

My husband wore most of his clothes, so I say take an outfit per day for him. This time, I packed less for my husband because he is planning on leaving more to go check on our 2 year old and dog and house, etc. He can change and shower at home.

As for the baby, the first time around I packed outfits and dresses and all kids of accessories. Most of the time we were there she wore the hospital’s onesies and blankets. I put an outfit on to get her hospital picture taken and to go home in. No point in getting them all dressed up when they sleep most of the time. Leave half of that stuff behind.

Pajamas for myself, the baby and my husband

The pajamas were a “must take.” If I wore clothes, it was the comfy pajama type so you cant go wrong there. Just pack enough to last the amount of days you will stay (usually 2) and that’s it. Maybe an extra set in case of a mess. And someone can always bring you a spare.

Strange birthing clothing (like a short skirt)

Leave these behind. I saw a strange video of a woman squatting in a skirt as she gave birth. Not for me.

Diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, etc. for baby changing needs

Leave it. The hospital provides all of that for you. You are going to want to save your stash for when you are home.

Bathrobe and slippers

Definitely take the bathrobe and slippers. That’s just about all I wore.

Maxi pads

Leave them behind. The hospital provides you with pads that double as an icepack. Strange at first, but comforting. Just like the diapers, you will need those pads at home so save your stash and use the hospital’s while you are there.

Shower toiletries

Take them. The hospital will have some little hotel bottles but one of the few luxuries you have as a new mom is your precious, and hopefully solitary shower. Take your favorite shower stuff, its worth it.

And what did I forget last time that I will take this time around? A breast feeding pillow and velcro swaddler. They aren’t necessary, but they were a big help with my first infant so I want to put them into use right away with this second one.


Definitely take the camera. You’ll want pictures of your newborn at the hospital and as you head home. It’s up to you if you want to have photos or video of the birth itself.

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