WHAT’s in my hospital bag

Hello friends!!!

in case you missed it, I went into preterm labor last week and was in the hospital for four days! this is actually not new to me, I had both my other babies preterm – 33 and 34 weeks. With my last baby, I actually spent two weeks in the hospital for preterm labor. definitely not fun and I am so happy I was able to go home after only four days this time, but I am not going to lie, I am a bit anxious. just wondering when i’ll go into labor and actually have the baby. we are hoping we at least have another 4 weeks, given I am only turning 31 weeks this coming thursday. We would love to make it to 34-35 weeks, so i’m just sitting and chillin and waiting.

with my first baby, my water just broke and I went into full blown labor within 20 minutes and had her 7 hours later and was not ready.

no hospital bag, car seat still in the box in the garage! we had our nursery set up because first baby excitement and luckily my mom threw me a baby shower early so I had essentials at home. but I came to the hospital with nothing but the clothes I was wearing and my purse. but in all honesty, you really don’t need much, the hospital has everything you would need for a two day stay, which is the norm for first time mama with a normal vaginal delivery. with my second, I was hospitalized like I mentioned, so once I got discharged I got my bag ready in case I went into labor again.

I should also say, I am a labor and delivery nurse and have been for nine years so I kinda know whats necessary and what’s not.

I know people like to be comfortable and like having all their stuff, but my honest opinion, this isn’t a vacation, and while its great to try to be comfortable, we don’t need to take it over the top lol. and NO, you don’t need you’re entire house and neither does your partner. haha i’m keeping it real. as nurse in the field, I try not to judge, but I always wonder why someone could possibly need all this stuff just to have to lug it all back home and then unpack it all with a brand new baby at home. doesn’t sound fun to me at all, just more unnecessary work. so I thought i would share what’s in my hospital bag. I literally kept it to the basics and things I know I would need and want without going over board. I also hate overpacking and don’t like having so many bags to carry.

I broke down the hospital bag in three parts – for mom, for dad and for baby.

[ shop what’s in MAMA bag ]

so the mama bag is the most important and has the most stuff – but still nothing crazy just the essentials. things I didn’t add in because personally I don’t think it’s that necessary – your own pillow and blanket. if you want some comforts from home, these are items most people will bring. for me, if you have a normal, kind of quicker labor, I don’t think you need it. I will say yes, the hospital pillows and blankets are not the best, but again, not on vacation in a hotel. for me, I just suck it up for two nights max. now, I will say if you are being induced and it’s your first baby, it can take up to 48 hours and in that case I would probably want my pillow too if i’ll be in the hospital longer. i’m also pretty low maintenance when i’m at the hospital, I don’t really feel the need to put makeup on or anything, so I usually keep that minimal – just some travel skincare basics and mascara, but I know some people like to feel put together after the baby and for visitors – but thats not happening these days soooo..yeah. other items to note, a long phone charger (outlets aren’t reachable from the bed) or a power bank. the one I linked from Anker is our favorite – when fully charged, you can charge your phone 2-3x and it charges quickly! Another thing I wanted to add for all your breastfeeding needs, the hospital will have, I often see people adding nipple creams and nursing pads, etc. the hospital has nipple cream if you were to need any the 1-2 days you’re there, and usually your milk doesn’t come in until 2-3 days after delivery so don’t think you would need a bunch of nursing pads while you’re in the hospital. I also included underwear because anywhere you go, you gotta have underwear right?! haha seems pretty obvious! while I do pack a couple pairs, I didn’t use my own underwear – I like the mesh panties the hospital provides, they also have pads, so why pack extra stuff. the mesh panties are easy because 1. they’re there and 2. you can just throw them away and get new ones every time you go to the bathroom if you need. I remember taking a bunch home too, and using them for almost two weeks haha! I know some people like to get the depends underwear, but to me that seems so much more bulky and uncomfortable but thats an option too. Lastly,

I want to just talk about going home outfits, sorry not the Princess of Wales and will not be getting into a a nice dress as i’m leaving the hospital 24-48 hours after giving birth. haha not for me.

and nothing against the Princess! but, you will most like still have a bit of a baby bump and with everything going on down there, you really just want to be comfortable +++ you’re just driving home! so I always keep my outfits easy and loose – pair of joggers, tee or long sleeve shirt – presentable as you walk out but not over the top, and also not like you rolled out of bed. but I have seen mamas leave in their plush robes! hey, you do YOU! haha!

on to Daddy’s Bag and Baby’s Bag

so dad doesn’t need a lot of stuff, unless you live far away from the hospital and your partner won’t be able to go home. also with covid, I know some hospitals aren’t allowing partners to come and go so in that case, your partner might need more items or would like to have more. but really again not too much – main thing not to forget for your partner are SNACKS, SNACKS and MORE SNACKS. especially if they cannot leave the hospital – make sure they have something to eat. also if you think you’ll be there longer for whatever reason having a laptop or ipad.


ok so baby bag time – the hospital literally has all the essentials you would need – diapers, wipes, blankets, baby hats and even shirts with the hand covers. when I had my first baby I really wasn’t worried that I didn’t have anything for baby because I knew they would have everything I would need, and my hubby would have time to go home to pick up a going home outfit and the carseat. since both my babies were early, they spent some time in the NICU, so I was discharged way before them. I didn’t get to do newborn pics in the hospital room so I didn’t need to bring any of that stuff. these are the items I would bring if I knew baby would be staying with me instead of going to the NICU. most hospital these days don’t provide pacifiers for term babies that are rooming with you, and I like the pacifier so I would bring a few of those. I also added in a nursing pillow because I know a lot of people like to get practice with their pillow and the lactation nurse, but I personally didn’t want to bring one and then have to take it home, so I just used a bunch of hospital pillows.

hope you found this beneficial! if you are mama to be or just had a baby, what are some of your must-haves in your hospital bag??


xo, steph

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