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Packing your hospital bag will be an important part of your third trimester. It can be an overwhelming process for first time moms. Heck, it’s even overwhelming for second or third time moms! There is a delicate balance between not packing enough and over packing. You don’t want to arrive at the hospital only to realize you have left something important at home. However, there is only so much space in a hospital room so you don’t want to bring in so many bags it looks like your going on vacation. I want to help you find the perfect balance by showing exactly what I would pack in my hospital bag for my second delivery.
Before I show you what is in my hospital bag let me show you the hospital bag itself. I use the Vera Bradley Iconic Large Duffel Bag. This was the perfect hospital bag for me and I am so glad that I chose it. It was just the right size to pack everything I needed for myself and my daughter. I could have even fit my husband’s things in here if I needed to, but he chose to pack his bag separately.
Hospital Bag For Mom
Robe – One of my favorite items I packed in my hospital bag was my Kimono Robe from Victoria’s Secret. The satin fabric was very comfortable and lightweight. I wore it over my hospital gown at first. Then, once I took a shower I wore it over my pajamas when I would get up and walk. This is a must have item for me!
Comfy Pajamas – I packed a couple of pajama sets with button up tops. Some people prefer not wearing pants, but I loved having them. These were loose enough that they weren’t uncomfortable. I also loved having a button up top because it made breastfeeding so easy. I like using Victoria’s Secret’s pajama sets.
Nursing Bra – I would recommend adding a nursing bra to your hospital bag. I started wearing one after I took my first shower and got dressed. I recommend choosing one without underwire to help promote breastmilk production. Here is a great option!
High Wasited Panties – I included a pack of Fruit of the Loom Breathable Briefs in my hospital bag. You will want to avoid the bikini cut at all costs. The best part about these is that they are so affordable. That way if you get a little bit of postpartum bleeding on them you can just toss them and not feel guilty.
Belly Band – Having a belly band was a life saver for me after my c-section. It really helped me manage my incision pain after delivery. Even if you don’t plan on having a c-section I would bring one just in case. Even if you don’t use it for incision pain you can still wear it to watch your belly shrink!
Slippers – I’m glad I packed a cozy pair of slippers in my hospital bag. I wore them when I would go walk the halls after delivery. Make sure you bring a pair that is easy to slip on. You will also want to make sure they have a non slip bottom.
Flip Flops – These will come in handy for any showers you need to take during your hospital stay. I always like to wear flip flops when I use a public shower. I packed these Old Navy flips flops for my hospital stay.
Socks – The hospital typically provides socks for you after delivery. However, I like to always bring my own in my hospital bag. Theirs might be comfy, but nothing beats having my own. Some of my favorite socks are from the brand Arthur George. In fact, I packed this exact pair in my hospital bag for Tony and me when I delivered Olivia.
Comfy Outfit To Wear Home – You’ll want to make sure you choose a comfortable outfit to wear home from the hospital. I recommend a loose fitting dress for warmer temperatures. If you do need to wear pants I would highly recommend some leggings. Sizing will be a little bit tricky. You will be too small for most of your maternity clothes, but you will still be too big for your pre-pregnancy clothes. I recommend choosing a size that you wore when you were around 6 months pregnant.
Toothbrush & Toothpaste – Don’t forget to bring a toothbrush and some toothpaste with you to the hospital. I prefer to bring a travel tooth brush with me so I can just toss it when I leave. I prefer to leave hospital germs in the hospital.
Shampoo & Conditioner – I recommend packing travel sized containers of your shampoo and conditioner. I just picked up a few travel containers and filled them up with my shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. This way if I accidentally forgot them at the hospital I wouldn’t have wasted a whole bottle. Plus, this will help you save room in your hospital bag.
Body Wash – When I was pregnant I had read somewhere to bring your favorite body wash to the hospital with you. You will forget a lot of moments, but it’s easy to remember a scent. I can say that whenever I use that same body wash the smell brings back a lot of memories for me. Maybe that’s weird I don’t know, but it definitely works for me. Either way, you will need a body wash or soap for your shower so it might as well be a scent you like.
Towel – Your hospital will provide you with towels to use. However, I prefer to bring my own. The hospital’s towels are often thin and kinda scratchy. I prefer wrapping myself up with one of my nice plush towels. It’s nice to have some of the comforts of home with you at the hospital.
Dry Shampoo – I can almost guarantee you will not have the energy to wash, blow dry, and style your hair after delivery. However, you will still want to look presentable when visitors come to meet the new baby. That’s where dry shampoo comes in. It was a life save after I gave birth to Olivia. My favorite dry shampoo is Ouai’s dry shampoo foam. I just massage it into my scalp and my hair looks brand new!
Hair Ties – If your hair is long enough to wear up you will definitely want to include hair ties in your hospital bag. It’s a great way to get your hair out of your face during delivery. It is also a simple, no fuss way to style your hair during your hospital stay.
Hairbrush – Don’t forget to include your hairbrush or comb in your hospital bag. You’ll definitely need it after delivery.
Deodorant – A lot of women mention that the change of hormones after delivery and breastfeeding cause an increase in sweat and of course smell. That’s why I make sure to include a travel size deodorant in my hospital bag. I’d like to smell as nice as possible for guests.
Chapstick – The hospital will dry you out beyond what you can even imagine. I recommend keeping chapstick on your bedside table. I definitely needed it!
Lotion – My body was begging for moisture after I delivered Liv. I kept my moisturizer right by my hospital bed and slathered it on day and night. My skin thanked me for it and yours will too!
Glasses or Contacts – If you wear glasses or contacts you will want to make sure you bring them to the hospital. I always pack an extra pair of contacts just in case. Sometimes you will be required to remove your contacts if you are having a c-section. So, I would recommend bringing your glasses along as well.
Maxi Pads – The hospital will provide you with Maxi Pads after you deliver. However, those things are so big they feel like diapers. I preferred using my own. They were much more comfortable for me.
Nursing Pillow – I brought my Boppy along with me to the hospital and I am so glad I did. It made holding and feeding Olivia so much easier for me. This was a must have item for me in my hospital bag!
Lanolin – Breastfeeding was pretty painful for me even when I was in the hospital. I wish I would have brought some Lanolin along with me to help me relieve some of that pain. It was a life saver once I got home, but I definitely needed it in the hospital as well.
Nursing Cover – I liked using my nursing cover while I was in the hospital when guests came to visit. I hated kicking everyone out of the room while I fed Olivia. This way I could feed her and still talk to everyone. Of course, this particular item depends on every mothers comfort level. You should never feel obligated to cover up while feeding your baby. This is just what was most comfortable for me.
Nursing Pads – My milk didn’t fully come in until after I left the hospital so I didn’t need to worry about these. However, I made sure to pack them just in case. If your milk comes in while you are still at the hospital you will definitely want them. I experimented with a variety of nursing pads when I was breastfeeding Olivia. My favorite by far are the Lansinoh Stay Dry Nursing Pads.
Phone Charger – People will be blowing up your phone waiting for an announcement that your little one was born. They will also be calling to check in and see when they can come visit. Make sure you remember your charger so you don’t miss anything!
Camera & Camera Charger – You’ll want to remember your camera to document this special time. Don’t forget to bring your charger along or extra batteries. You’ll be taking tons of pictures so it is likely your camera will die.
Snacks – I was starving after I gave birth to Olivia, but I wasn’t allowed to eat right away. By the time I was cleared for food the cafeteria had already closed. Luckily, I had packed a few snacks to tide me over until Anthony could run out and grab me something. I recommend some light snacks like trail mix or granola bars.
Insurance Cards – Your hospital will want to scan your insurance cards into your file when you check in. Make sure you put your insurance card in a place you won’t forget it!
Drivers License – You will also need to give the hospital your driver’s license when you check in so make sure you don’t forget it!
Baby Book – I wish I had brought my daughter’s baby book with me to the hospital. If you do they can stamp baby’s handprints and footprints in there for you. Because I forgot I ended up attempting to stamp Olivia’s hand and foot prints in once I got home. I got the job done, but I imagine it would have just been easier to have let the nurses do it.
Hospital Bag For Dad
Changes Of Clothes – You will be at the hospital for 1-3 days after your baby is born depending on if you have a vaginal or cesarean birth. Make sure the dad to be packs enough clothes to get him by.
Something To Sleep In – Many hospitals allow dads to stay the night after the baby is born. However, some hospitals do not permit this. I would add this to your list of questions to ask at your hospital tour. If they do allow dad to spend the night make sure he brings some comfortable clothes to change into.
Phone Charger – I made the mistake of only packing one charger for my hospital stay so Anthony and I were always arguing over who got it. Do yourself a favor and pack one for yourself and one for dad.
Toothbrush – I recommend packing a travel toothbrush that way you can just throw it away when you leave the hospital. Best to leave all of those germs there.
Deodorant – Here’s another travel sized toiletry item to add to the hospital bag. I don’t think I need to list of a reason why deodorant is needed…
Shampoo & Soap – Depending on how long your hospital stay is dad might want to shower as well. I always pack along a travel sized version of his shampoo and soap just in case he would like to.
Cash For Parking & Vending Machines – You’ll want to make sure you remember to bring some extra cash with you to the hospital. You’ll use it to pay for parking (if your hospital requires that). You will also use it for some vending machine snacks in between meals.
Hospital Bag For Baby
Going Home Outfit – I loved having a special going home outfit for Olivia. I recommend packing one in newborn size and in 0-3 month. You never know what size your baby will come out so it’s best to be prepared. Here are some of my favorite going home outfits.
Socks – Those sweet little baby toes always feel so cold. That’s why you should pack a couple of pairs of socks in your hospital bag. Pop those on your baby’s feet to keep those adorable little toes cozy and warm.
Cap – You’ll want to pack a couple of hats in your baby’s hospital bag. It will help keep their little heads warm and regulate their temperature.
Mittens – Mittens will be an essential item in your hospital bag for your baby. Those little nails are sharp so you will need to protect them from scratching themselves.
Receiving Blanket – The hospital will provide you with a receiving blanket after your baby is born. I like to bring some of my own along as well for special pictures. I love the Aden & Anais receiving blankets for when they are little. These muslin swaddles are so big that it makes it extremely easy to swaddle your baby.
Fluffy Blanket – I delivered Olivia in October so it was pretty chilly when it was time to bring her home. I packed a nice fluffy blanket in the hospital bag to cover her with in her car seat to keep her warm.
Stocked Diaper Bag – The hospital will provide basically everything you will need for your baby. However, I have some products that I am pretty picky about. I just found it easier to bring Olivia’s diaper bag along with us in case I wanted something they didn’t provide. You can click here to see how I packed her diaper bag.
Car Seat – Your hospital will not let you take the baby home without a properly installed car seat so make sure you don’t forget it! If you are going with a traditional infant seat I love the Chico Keyfit 30. If you are going to skip the infant seat and go straight to the convertible seat I recommend the Graco Extend 2 Fit. We use both of these seats for Olivia and I love love love them!
If you have any questions about getting the perfect instal I recommend checking out Car Seats For The Littles Facebook group. They are a wealth of information and are so helpful.