What to pack in your hospital bag

So I approached my hospital bag how I approach packing in general…

wait until the last minute and if I forget something it’s no big deal since I can improvise, wear something again, or buy it nearby (unless on a cruise).

Thankfully, this approach worked pretty well and I used most everything I packed and didn’t need to have Price run out for much.

I had a scheduled C-section so I had to consider some things prior to heading off to the hospital, such as what clothes would be most comfortable to wear related to the incision and how long I would be staying.  As you are in the hospital longer for a C-section than for a vaginal birth, so you might want some additional things as you are away from home longer. So here is my ultimate list of what to bring to the hospital bag.

What to pack in your hospital bag


  • Loose yoga/pajama pants- you’ll want pants that are comfy and breathable. In terms of a C-section, you’ll want pants that will sit at your waist, not at your hips (where your incision is), and I suggest pants with a drawstring so there is some adjust-ability
  • Shirts (tanks, t-shirts, long sleeve, button downs)- bring some soft maternity tops with you
  • A sweater/sweatshirt that buttons up or zips up
  • An outfit to go home in!
  • Underwear- You’ll want underwear that is very loose, like 2 sizes bigger! And if you are having a C-section you’ll want a high-waisted underwear. BUT if you don’t bring underwear you won’t be S.O.L since the hospital will have underwear you can use (which I actually really liked because it was meshy, soft, and disposable.)
  • Nursing Bra- at the very least bring a sports bra that is VERY LOOSE since you don’t want to wear a bra with underwire.
  • Socks
  • Slippers
  • Flip Flops- I didn’t bring them, nor do I think I was missing out, but you might like them instead of slippers or to use in the shower
  • Robe- I suggest having one with pockets


  • Tooth brush, toothpaste, floss
  • Hair brush and hair elastics
  • Blow Dryer
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Dry Shampoo- for when you want to fluff your hair a bit before you get around to taking a shower. I suggest one that is unscented/minimally scented. If worse comes to worse baby powder can help rid your hair of extra oils.
  • Body wash/soap
  • Body lotion- use something that is unscented as you don’t want anything to intense right around your newborn. (Our baby was in the NICU and this was a specific note posted around the NICU)
  • Chapstick
  • Face wash
  • Face wipes- for a quick refresher when you don’t feel like washing your face
  • Face lotion
  • Make Up
  • Glasses/contacts and contact solution- if you use them


  • Camera with charger and extra SD card(s)
  • Phone with charger
  • Video camera with charger
  • Laptop with charger


  • A hands-free pumping bra- this is great to have if you think you will pump so you don’t have to hold the connectors the whole time you are pumping
  • Lanolin- the hospital will have this but I don’t think you can go wrong having it yourself
  • Nipple cream/butter
  • Nursing pads- not so much because you’ll be leaking (hardly!), but just to help protect your new nursing bra from getting stained from nipple cream 


  • Your pillow
  • A big huge water bottle- makes staying hydrated easier than sipping on cup after cup of water.
  • Baby book
  • Journal/notebook- great for taking notes since there is so much going on that you’ll easily forget who you spoke with and about what as soon as they leave the room. ha!
  • Extra shopping bags- you’ll leave with plenty of goodies from the hospital (bulbs, bottles, lotion, diapers, etc) so it’s best to bring some extra bags to easily carry it all home

For the baby

  • A going home outfit- (in both newborn and 0-3, depends on the size of your baby)
  • Receiving/swaddling blankets
  • Car seat


We knew that Autumn would be in the NICU and not being going home when I was so that impacted some of the things I packed, like I didn’t pack a going home outfit. Similarly, you can adjust what you pack based upon the time of year you have your baby or what you see around the hospital during your tour.

The one thing that I suggest you don’t bring is a breast pump. Sure, you see pumps at Target but you don’t need one before you go to the hospital since they have them there. As well, you should discuss with your doctor about getting a prescription for a pump so that your insurance covers it.

The biggest thing is that you can’t go wrong if you over pack or even forget something. The hospital where I had Autumn even had a vending machine of nursing/pumping supplies. So don’t sweat it and just enjoy your new baby!!!


4 thoughts on “What to pack in your hospital bag

    • iamahoneybee says:

      very good point. with the C-section I couldn’t eat before it or for a very long time after it (they are afraid you’ll get sick from the meds) so I didn’t think about snacks. gotta add that to the list!


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