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What I’m Packing in My Hospital Bag

Now that I’m 36 weeks pregnant (!!!), I’m getting all of the last-minute things checked off my list, including packing my hospital bag. While I’m sure I’ll end up being one of those mamas who doesn’t deliver until 42 weeks like so many first-timers, I hear it’s best to be prepared—and thus, I’ve compiled a list from friends and the Internet and decided on the following items to bring with me to the hospital…

What I'm Packing in My Hospital Bag | Thoughts By Natalie

What I'm Packing in My Hospital Bag | Thoughts By Natalie

A comfy outfit to wear home. I’ve been told to bring something that 1) would fit a 6-month-pregnant body since obviously the body doesn’t bounce back to it’s pre-baby size in a matter of days, and 2) is comfortable to wear with the giant undies and pad I’ll be wearing underneath when I leave the hospital. Though I haven’t officially decided, I’m thinking my trusty black ASOS swing dress might be the most comfortable option to get me from point A to point B.

An outfit for Jack to wear home. I’ll be packing something in a newborn size, and something in a 0-3 months size because you just never know how big your baby is going to be, right? I especially love little footie pajamas like these.

Throw-away slippers. I hear that you don’t really want to touch anything you brought to the hospital with you after you’ve given birth (apparently it’s quite a messy process), so I purchased an inexpensive pair to wear while I’m there and toss when I leave.

Hair ties. Gotta keep these long locks of mine tied back for labor and delivery! I personally love these soft ones since they work for any which way I decide to pull my hair back. That being said, I’m thinking a braid is going to be my best option—maybe all the sweat from the delivery will help create dreamy postpartum mermaid waves? (A girl can dream.)

Lip balm. Because hospitals are dry—and honestly, when do I NOT want lip balm? I’ll be packing my trusty EOS lip balm in Honeysuckle.

A pre-written thank you note for the nurses. I got this idea from O My Darlings and think it is just brilliant. I really love these adorable pineapple thank you notes.

Insurance info. Very important :)

Toiletries. Brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion all in tiny travel sizes for convenience. A friend recommended that I pack these in a tiny zipper bag for easier access so Brian and I don’t have to find everything in my huge hospital bag when I need it. Also, my hair dryer—I might not use it at all, but I might want to just take a hot shower and dry my bangs afterward to feel refreshed for a moment.

A soft blanket for Jack. While the hospital will obviously have everything we could need and more for Jack, I’m going to pack one or two of my Aden + Anais muslin blankets just in case.

Entertainment. Namely my iPad for watching shows, my iPod for listening to tunes, and my Kindle for light reading. I’m planning on an epidural, and I’ve been told there definitely will be down time. Oh, and of course an iPhone charger!

Eye mask. For daytime sleeping—gotta rest when you can, right? I’ve had this one for years and think it’s truly the best eye mask out there. Worth every penny!

A nursing bra (or two) + toss away undies. I got this adorable and ultra-comfy nursing bra at my shower and it is totally going into my bag—and perhaps this pretty number that Cosabella sent me a few weeks ago. Also, though I’m probably going to wear the mesh undies provided by the hospital (and try to snag some extras to bring home with me), I’m planning on grabbing some inexpensive boyshort undies this week that will be used specifically for the post-baby recovery phase.

Snacks. Specifically, Larabars (my favorite!), dried fruit, and cashews to hold me over between when I can get meals.

Belly Bandit. The Belly Bandit people so kindly sent me a bamboo one to try out and I can’t wait to see how it works! Though there’s a decent chance it won’t quite fit by the time I leave the hospital, I hear it’s best to start wearing it as soon as possible, so I’m going to have it on hand to start wearing just in case.

What did you pack (or are you planning to pack) in your hospital bag?



  • Reply
    Morgan Petrullo
    August 18, 2014 at 7:22 am

    These are all great items and can be useful! When I was in the hospital it was very dry, so I brought some hard candies. Also, I found that bringing the boppy pillow was helpful. I was breast feeding and it helped, especially being something new to both you and the baby, it made me feel more comfortable. Just some suggestions that were helpful for me!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2014 at 7:25 am

    natalie… these are all great! I would also add a really really soft towel for you. when i had my first baby my nipples were SOOOOO sore that anything that touched them (even my clothes) would make me cry. The towels at the hospital were so tough i hated the thought of showering.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Great list! I would add: mints/gum, dry shampoo, nipple cream (they’ll probably give you some), and for SURE a boppy or whatever breastfeeding pillow you chose. And yes, steal as MANY pairs of those mesh undies as humanly possible ;)

    • Reply
      Natalie Lynn Borton
      August 18, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Oh yes, mints—I never go anywhere without my Altoids, so those for sure will be in there! Also, dry shampoo is a brilliant idea. I’m on the fence about the Boppy since I know they’ll have pillows I can use while I’m there, but since so many people have mentioned it maybe I should just toss it in there!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Hey Natalie! You’re in for exciting times! My little guy is 6 weeks old.:) I would recommend that the clothes you plan to wear in the hospital post-birth and home be of the pants/shirt variety rather than a dress, at least if you’re planning to breast-feed. I wore my favorite yoga pants and had a couple loose fitting summery tops that I felt cute in but that were easy to nurse around. Love your blog!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Great list, Natalie! I would agree with Emily — yoga or loose pj pants and a few tops that make it easier to nurse are a must-have if you are breast-feeding. Also, Medela makes some incredible Hydrogel pads — highly recommend in the early weeks! How exciting — you will be able to hold your little one so soon!!

  • Reply
    ali grace
    August 18, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I love this list! I’m not a mom, so I have nothing to contribute. I only hope that I will remember this whenever we decide to become parents! :) Pinning it.
    Also – those pineapple thank yous are adorable! And I love that idea. So thoughtful.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Great list!!

    I delivered at Mary birch ( not sure if your delivering there ) But they sent in a lactation consultant and it was nice for them to give me tips with my breastfeeding pillow. Just a thought :) also I brought gel pads with me and they really helped!!


  • Reply
    Carrie Marley
    August 18, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    The best thing I bought to the hospital was Vaseline for my son’s diapers for the meconium. It’s super sticky and he hated diaper changes in the beginning. Just put it on after every change and it will come off in a breeze.

  • Reply
    August 19, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Congrats! Just wanted to chime in with flip flops/shower shoes :) oh, and those gel nursing pads are awesome. Those suckers are expensive but make nursing a lot easier in the beginning…at least for me!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Great list!! Good job keeping it to the minimum – you’ll be busy staring at your little man :-) I would recommend bringing snacks for your hubby too. We came in at 11 pm, and although i wasn’t allowed to eat until after George arrived, my husband didn’t have anything to eat but didn’t want to leave the room to go to the cafeteria. Also, at my hospital, they kept me very well fed but obviously he didn’t get meals unless he went to the cafeteria.

    The Boppy is a good idea – might as well get comfortable using it with the lactation consultants there to help!

    I brought everything else you are planning to – I wound up staying in my hospital gown far longer than I planned!

    If you have a baby book, I threw it in to put his little footprints in.

    This is so exciting! It was the most painful, overwhelming day of my life, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat

  • Reply
    August 21, 2014 at 8:54 am

    The less you bring the better. In reality, you don’t need that much. You will be leaving the hospital with more than you came with! I brought clothes for myself but just ended up wearing the nursing gowns and disposable underwear the hospital had (don’t bother with nice undies, seriously). I was so tired and learning how to nurse my daughter and getting her to latch…The nurses come in all the time to check your blood pressure, I barely got any sleep. Bring cozy socks for labor and delivery. Someone else mentioned it too, but bring your baby book for foot prints.

  • Reply
    August 22, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Hi! I’ve never write you before. I’m from Argentina and I’ve a 3year old son.
    Don’t forget to carry a maternity pads pack. After the baby is born, natural or cesarea, you will bleed like if you were having a heavy period. The reason for the disposable underwear is to not ruin your own underwear.
    Good luck with everything, enjoy this incredible and unforgettable time. (Hope my english is good enough!)

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    I have heard that having an extension cord is a must, too! You never know where those pesky outlets are going to be. Good luck! :)

  • Reply
    February 24, 2015 at 4:30 am

    A couple of travel size mouthwashes as well. It is exceptionally common to vomit during the transition phase of labor and you aren’t really at a point where you can (or want) get up to brush your teeth. Nothing worse than vomit mouth and water just doesn’t cut it.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Hi! So I remembered reading this post and had to try and find it again, now that I’m due in less than 4 weeks! I’m curious if looking back now, there’s anything you would add to your hospital bag list? Love your blog and Instagram!

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