Packing for the Hospital


So in all reality, I know to get Dylan from point A (my inners) to point B (the world), all I really need is my vag… but hey I’m a planner and want to make sure we have as many comforts as possible to make this birthing process a hit. And yes, to all those that wanna go to that level… I think I’m probably over preparing physically since I couldn’t be more unprepared mentally. I’ve already accepted, owned and well… just clearly stated that. We’re going into this parenting thing so very blind, but I have all the confidence in the world that Jer and I are going to be rockstar parents.

So aside from my who-who, my loving husband (who I strangely prefer to call my babydaddy) and my amazing mother, I’m planning to bring 3 bags with me – 1 that I bring to the labor room, 1 that Jer brings after we move into our postpartum room, and 1 for baby Dylan. Here’s what I’ve packed in each:

Labor Bag:

  • Bath robe
  • – Camera
  • – Jolly ranchers (since eating is apparently a labor no-no)
  • – Comfy slippers/socks
  • – Basic toiletries: lip balm (EOS is the balm dot com!), toothbrush/paste, headbands
  • – iPhone & charger
  • – iPad (during any downtime, you best be prepared Draw Something friends!)

Post Labor Bag:

  • 4 nursing outfits. I’m crossing my fingers and toes for a natural delivery and short hospital stay, but I’m packing several nursing gowns just to be prepared. I’ve also packed a loose fitting outfit for the trip home and some granny panties to rock with those super sweet thunder pads. Ughhh. Someone please comment and tell me it’s not that bad!
  • Nursing sleep bras & supplies
  • – Outfit for Jer
  • – Toiletries (for me & Jer)
  • – Snacks
  • – Boppy pillow

Diaper Bag:

  • Dylan’s homecoming outfit
  • – Soothies – although I hear they give these away like candy at our hospital
  • Swaddle blankets
  • – Mittens: I’ve heard the nurses judge you if you forget these. I’ll be judging myself enough, so let’s cut someone else out the judgment equation.
  • – Hat: Probably don’t need this for a summer bambino, but it’s cute and babies are bald, so why not.
  • – Car seat

So ok all you experienced birthers out there… what am I missing? I’ll update this post after Dylan arrives and let you know what I did and didn’t use.


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  1. I would make a sign for the door that states you are nursing or occupied. I was in the hospital for a week and had MANY people come in while I was nursing/pumping (even though the door was closed.) The food delivery girl was never the same! Might be good for home too so people know not to ring the door bell or knock if you are getting your baby boy to sleep.

  2. Id bring your baby book if you have one (then the nurses can put his footprints in there as well, great keepsake:-))

    One thing you dont have to bring, but we did, was one of those blank picture mats that you have people sign at weddings, etc. We put our son’s name on it, then after he was born his date of birth, time, weight, etc and had everyone that came to visit him in the hospital sign it (even our delivery nurses, etc). Its hanging in his room and I love reading what everyone wrote to him (another great keepsake) :-)

    1. Great idea… I’m going to go pack his baby book right now! Also, what a cute idea about the picture mat! Thanks for sharing, Darcy.

  3. I just started browsing your blog, and you have really great tips and are super hilarious. :] I am pregnant with my first child, and a lot of the things you’ve been talking about are the exact way I feel too! Thanks for making me giggle :]

  4. Saw this pin on pinterest…the Vera Bradley bags caught my eye!
    Good luck with the baby and I hope breast feeding goes well for you!

    1. Thanks Heidi! I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that breastfeeding works… so we’ll find out in less than 2 weeks! :)

  5. If you’re nursing, the bleeding (yuck) shouldn’t be that bad. Your uterus will contract faster which means the bleeding (yuck again) shouldnt last too long. I saw that you’re packing a nippy pillow. Have you heard of the My Brestfriend pillow? I originally purchased a boppy and after a visit to my local breastfeeding center, fell in love with the My Brestfriend. It’s much easier to use and to support the baby. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and delivery! :)

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Nicole… it’s so good to hear that the bleeding shouldn’t be that bad, as I’ve been pretty scared/nervous about that part! No, I haven’t heard of that pillow, but I’m going to Google it now – thanks so much for the recommendation :)

      1. I 2nd the my breast friend pillow. The boppy just didn’t work for me (though it’s still nice for relaxing and tummy time), but I LOVE the breast friend pillow. When you’re up 2-3x a night feeding your little one, the extra support is nice. It supports baby, and is better on your back. Plus, my baby is almost 3 months old now and has more neck/head control, so once I get her latched on, I can often remove one or both of my hands so I can do other things during those long feedings since the pillow supports her so well! I think what you’re packing is perfect! I had a scheduled c-section (stubborn, very breech baby) so I didn’t labor, but I think you have everything you need! Good luck! Enjoy every minute! And do try to get some rest now :)

    2. I also purchased the boppy pillow for my first son and ended up buy the brestfriend pillow. Which is so much better. It make feeding a lot easier. The bobby slides too much. Good Luck and enjoy that new baby of yours.

  6. Maybe I am paranoid, but I would toss the mittens and use long sleeve onesies with the built in mittens. Mittens can be a choking hazard, I have heard :-/

    I still laugh at all the stuff I took with me to the hospital that I never even touched!

    And depending on your recovery pain tolerance, I promise you, you won’t care that you are wearing granny panties and ice packs! :)

    1. Good idea on the long sleeve onesies with built in mittens – sounds like they would also be easier to stay on! I’m curious to see what I actually use of what I packed. I’ll write a follow up post about it as soon as I’m back in action!

  7. This is a great list! I recently came across your blog through Pintrest, and I’m hooked! Hilarious and practical! I’m expecting my first babe at the end of August, so you’re helping me prepare. I’m mentally getting myself ready to go upstairs and start organizing a little bit. Good luck with your baby, and keep us updated!

  8. Love this idea. Love your blog. As a mommy of 3, and one one the way, I just wanted to tell you about the passionate homemaking blog. She has some amazing post-partum stuff. I have made her nursing pads, way better than any store bought or disposables. It’s so easy. 2 layers of fleece and a flannel or bamboo in the shape of a c/d. They are great. I also would recommend her post partum pads and spray! These are the things I wish I
    had with my first babe. Congrats and God bless!


        I did the make ahead pads and used the leftover spray in a little travel spray bottle and I can’t tell you how much faster I think I healed from the last babe downstairs. You
        Freeze the pads with the spray on them and take the to hospital. I used tucks with 1 & 2, and while I would recommend that, this was way better due to the natural aloe vera and witch hazel. 😉 You will do great. I think it’s still hard/uneasy feeling at first going into each birth and I’m going to be doing #4 in January. 😉 I think it’s more the inevitability that it is going to happen for me. Okay, enough babbling. God bless and I hope you get a great nurse!

  9. I just stumbled upon your site. I recently had my 3rd child, and I promise it is not that bad. I promise you the bleeding is not that bad. After you have a natural delivery, they put ice in those heavy duty pads and it is the best feeling ever. I also agree with the no mitten theory. All my babies had the sleepers with the fold over mits for their little fingers. The one thing that i wish I would have had for all three babies (instead of the last one) is the boppy lounger. As you read about babies sleeping on their back, it helps the babay just have some incline as they sleep. My last baby was an acid refllux baby and that pillow has been a lifesaver. Good Luck.

    1. Thanks so much for the advice, Nicole! I’m so glad to hear that the bleeding isn’t that bad. Since I’ve never had a surgery or serious procedure, I guess I’m just a little nervous going into all this. Also, thanks for the boppy lounger recommendation – I haven’t heard of it but will definitely check it out. Thanks again!

  10. My best advice for post vaginal birth is to ask for Dermoplast and tucks pads. The Dermoplast is an antiseptic spray that helps with any “down there” pain and discomfort and the Tucks pads are good for the swelling that you may encounter. You can just put them directly on top of the massive pads you get to sport for a few days. Your hospital should also give you a rinse bottle that you use like a bidet. No wiping for a while. I have two children with one on the way and each delivery is different. The best thing I did with my second was to ask the nurses to let you “labor down”. Let your body do more work (which it is meant to do) and you won’t have to push as much. I pushed for 3 hours with my first and pushed 3 times with my second. I know it makes a difference that she was my second, but it doesn’t hurt to try with your first too! Also take advantage of any lactation consultants/nurses that they provide. Your first baby is going to be the most challenging to nurse just because neither of you have any experience. 😉 Good luck with the last few weeks of your pregnancy and the birth of your precious little boy!

  11. I love love love your blog and all your fun posts! I’m 3 weeks from my due date with my first little one and I love hearing about the experiences of other first time moms. Love your ideas about the hospital bags. I considered bringing a boppy pillow but think I want to leave mine at home so it doesn’t get dirty. I’m also brining jolly ranchers and other fruity hard candy so I can at least feel like I’m indulging in something and I’m brining some instant I’ve packs and tennis balls to use on my back but I’m sure the nurses would give you ice packs. I’ve heard Tucks pads and dermoplast are great for after delivery soreness and swelling and my birthing class instructor also gave us the idea of putting a little water in a newborn diaper and freezing it so you can use it as an ice pack on your perineum without having to use a big bulky ice pack. You can make a bunch of them ahead of time. :)

  12. I found the jolly ranchers were jolly for a couple hours! Good choice! Since I was induced I got to eat lunch that day- yay me. I was still starving after baby was finally born at 2am the next morning! I was thankful for the big pads to be honest. I hadn’t worn one since I was 12, but boy did they absorb! If you have a natural delivery, ask for tucks pads! Those, ice packs & the spray bottle they give you will become your best friends :) I ws in the hospital for 3.5 days & only showered 2x & changed twice. The less clutter the better!!!! Good luck to you! My babe is 10 wks old now & it’s flyin by :)

    1. Thanks for the advice, Allison! I think I’m going to need to restock those jolly ranchers before we actually get to the hospital – I’ve learned they are not good to keep in the house while 38 weeks pregnant :)

  13. I am currently 36 weeks pregnant and we have our hospital bags packed too … good call on having a separate one for the labor room, and one for after! I didn’t think of that but am going to go do that now!

    One thing that I have heard to add is a nightlight you can plug into the wall – that way you don’t have to stumble around the room or leave the bathroom light on if you want to be able to see, plus it’s a comfortable dim light.

    And on the jolly ranchers you’re bringing – are they sugar free? If they’re not, they’ll make you thirsty … which would not be a good thing if they won’t let you have water! We are bringing some sugar-free lifesavers – perhaps you could bring those?

    Hope everything goes well :)

  14. Hi! I just stumbled on your blog from pinterest. I am pregnant with my third. Chapstick and a hair tie were a must for my labor bag. I also brought my own pillow because you never know how the hospital pillows will be, and I sort of prefer my own. It gave me an extra pillow to use too, so I didn’t use my boppy until I got home. The other thing I would add to your labor bag is snacks for your husband. Although you can’t eat much, you don’t want him to have to leave you in search of food. If you can bring some of his favorite snacks, he will be a happier helper. As far as after care, they bring you all the Tucks and squirty bottles, etc. you will need as well as diaper care for the baby, and whatever is on your cart, you can bring home. It’s different with each delivery, and I wish you the best.

    1. Thanks Jenise and congrats on #3! :) Good call on the Chapstick, hair ties, pillow and snacks! I don’t think I’d be a happy camper without those!

  15. Jamie,
    I had a c-section and ended up successfully nursing ( I still don’t know how that happened :-) I did watch several videos online that demonstrated proper latching – I think that helped). I have both the boppy and the brestfriend. The Brestfriend is like ‘training wheels” if you will – it helps in the beginning until you get the hang of things. The boppy was nice to have for added pillow support – the hospital beds get worse each day you are in there until you can’t stand it :-) I brought both pillows and was glad to have them. I also brought a nursing cover – and was glad I had that. Someone posted about putting a sign up – great idea – I had one of my husband’s friends walk in on me 2x while nursing – very awkward.

    1. So glad to hear that nursing after a c-section worked for you! I’ve been pretty nervous about that. Also – I’ve been debating on packing the nursing cover but your story about our husband’s friend just convinced me! :) Thanks so much for the advice, Leah!

  16. I brought all kinds of things to the hospital. I used almost none of it. My bag went unopened during labor (though I mostly labored at home) and I ended up wearing hospital gowns the whole time after. The disposable undies they give you are actually reason helpful (if not flattering). I agree that Tucks pads are the best thing ever for the postpartum mom. Good luck!

  17. I’ve been told that sugar free items are better to have on hand during labor as the sugary stuff makes you more thirsty. Just a tip I got from my midwife, although I still have one month (!) before giving birth to my baby, so hopefully you can try both out and let us know? 😀

    1. Hey Melissa, thanks for the tip! I think I’ll pack some sugar free options just to be safe. I’ll let you know how it goes – hopefully this week!!!! :)

  18. I found this on pinterest and have loved reading through your info and all the comments. I’m 4 weeks from my due date with my 2nd and this was a great reminder of what to pack and prepare before hand. The only thing I would add is a nail file for baby’s nails. It’s scary to clip those little nails so I just filed them for the first few weeks and my first guy really needed it that first day. Later I found some great clippers at target that let you attach a tiny nail file to the end which made it so much easier to use on those tiny fingers.

    1. Thanks Ashley and congrats on your little one! Good tip on the nail file – I’ll add that to the bag just to be safe :)

  19. I took multiple bags! Made things easier to organize. I wore home what I wore to the hospital except instead of jeans, I wore stretchy pants. The panties they have at the hospital, I had extras and wore those for a couple days, they helped hold the pads better. And I only wore the airplane pads while in the hospital plus 1 day, then regular ones. I also took my own pillow with a cute pillow case (have to think about pictures :))

    My advice (only have 13 months experience) is to trust your gut, you know your baby. And breastfeeding is a challenge so ask for help. Rely on those who have been there even though you’ll get plenty of advice you won’t agree with. I have a friend I call all of the time about diapers, eating, bathing, etc. Lastly, cherish every second, newborns are a precious blessing.

  20. Okay…I’m a grandmother of 8…and I love your style. You are hysterical…and you sound as prepared as any of us were in facing the birth of our first child. God’s blessings to you, your husband and your precious little boy!!

  21. Lots of luck to you on the birth of your first baby! One of the things I wish I had planned for was a doula or a massage therapist (one of my besties) to be present to help with labor massage. Also, as a lot of others have suggested-chapstick and hair ties!! Also, something fun you can do with you significant other during down time and soothing music to drown out the guttural screams/moaning coming from the other rooms so they don’t scare you 😉 One last thing for the birth bag that you might consider are comfy socks to wear while you wait out active labor. I didn’t think a thing about it but would’ve loved to have some socks to wear with my awesome gown. You also may want to pack a few extra comfortable items to wear incase you have a baby that goes to the NICU. We weren’t planning on that but I wound up there for a whole week and only have a few changes of clothes to last. If you do a vaginal birth, be prepared for the huge wave of emotions you are likely to feel immediately after delivery. I was in no way prepared for that and it caught me REALLY off guard. You are about as prepared as any first timer can be!

  22. Hey Jamie,
    Like others I found your blog from Pinterest. These are some things that I wish I had taken with me, since the hospital charges you for everything! I would bring some Advil/Tylenol. I also still needed some antacids for heartburn. Also, some unscented lotion for the baby. My baby girls skin was very dry and her little ankles cracked and bled a little.
    Good Luck! You’ll be Great!

  23. First off congrats! And second when my bestfriend had her baby last october she had a lot of problems with the mittens staying on so i took all the long sleeve onsies she got and just sewed up the ends of the sleeves and they worked really well for her. Plus baby Caylee had short arms so she had a lot of room in the sleeves for me to do that.
    Good luck!

  24. Honestly, the giant after labor pads are really not that bad. I would bring some nice smelling shampoo, and makep. Im not really high maintenance, and generally I am satisfied rocking some sweats, but after 24 hours I felt so drained and gross that those items made me feel like a new person.

  25. Congrats! I am at week 30 with my second boy and I had to have an emergency c-section with my first. I was caught completely off guard (not to mention unprepared and terrified) here are a few things that helped me through my hospital stay: depends (yes, the adult incontenence diapers, men’s underwear also works but then you use more pads..) to help with bleeding and I put a pad over my incision so nothing rough touched it. Because of my incision I was not allowed to sit at a 90 degree angle to breast feed, it is much more difficult to do when reclined, even with a boppy, so be aware of that. I also recommend a very specific written birth plan to go in with your chart. I did not have one with my first and even though there was a sign on my sons nursery basket that he was to be breast fed only, they gave him a bottle of formula without asking me. Because of this my son had serious nipple confusion and I was never able to breast feed. Lesson learned the hard way I guess. Just be sure you prepare for the unexpected. Good luck!!

  26. Just discovered your blog today and love it! And….I’d really like the update on this post in particular! I’m getting ready to make my list of what to pack in the next couple weeks! :)

  27. Hello Jamie, I just found one of your post on pinterest, and OMG I’m hooked. You are soooo funny. I’m only 26 weeks (my first baby…BOY) and I want to be ready so I’m doing my research NOW…lol. I love all your tips and advice… they are very reassuring to me. Thanks again.

  28. Just found your blog and I love it! so hysterical and down to earth :) I am due with my first in October. I was just wondering if you ever gave an update as to what items you actually used/needed etc.. Any advice would be appreciated!

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