The anatomy of a hospital bag for childbirth

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This is a no-BS list of what items are helpful to have in the the hospital with you when you have a baby- but the best part is the comprehensive FREE Hospital Bag Packing List for the mommy-to-be.

In prepping for A’s imminent arrival, I began to research what I should be bringing to the hospital at the beginning of my first trimester. There are a lot of lists out there telling you that you MUST have this and you MUST have that. It’s tough for me to say what any one person MUST have because a must for me could very well be completely unnecessary for the next gal.

As such, I gave a very limited list. Based on my experience, these were the only things I really needed, everything else was either provided by the hospital (like pretty much everything for the baby) or unnecessary for me (like a nursing pillow- at the hospital I just used pillows and it worked out just fine). The attached printable is a much longer list because I recognize that some Mama’s may have different ideas in terms of their needs, so I tried to cover everything I could think of, even if it wasn’t something I necessarily used at the hospital.

Here is a list of the things that helped me and were nice to have during my time at the hospital:

Items for Mom:

A comfy zip hoodie- Once again, it’s all about easy access for nursing if that’s how you roll. Gotta keep warm! I like this one because it’s nice and light weight and has a lot of cute color options:

Nursing tanks If you have any intention of breast feeding, this is totally necessary to make life easier. I tried a few types- these target ones are pretty good for the price, but I favored this one from Motherhood because the clips opened a little easier (came in handy for late night feedings once we were home).

Maternity yoga pants I personally opted not wear pants until I left (I stayed under the covers when we had guests and more importantly, I truly believe that pants are overrated and should be worn as little as possible). But even then it’s nice to have really comfy pants that have extra room for left over baby bump, which I definitely still had. I love these and still wear them. A note for C section ladies- my sources tell me to try and have low rise or high rise pants and lose clothes so as not to irritate your stitches.

A light robe- I didn’t personally need this because I was able to labor in my room but I’ve been told that it’s nice to have a light robe to labor in, in the event that you end up walking the halls to progress your labor. The lovely hospital gowns they provide are wide open in the back and and the last thing you need while trying to make progress is everyone to see your business in the back. I will once again pack this for subsequent babies so that I’m prepared if my future labors don’t progress as quickly as my last:

So you’ve reached the end of your pregnancy and you’re trying to figure out what to do before the baby comes? Here’s a great list of things you must do before you have your baby.

Don’t miss this list of 17 Things You Must Do Before You Have Your Baby (click on the photo!)

A comfy nursing bra- This may be more of a personal preference, but I wanted a bra under my hospital gown so that in the event I got too hot, I could remove the gown and not have any more of me on display or even to wear in the birthing tub if that’s how you roll. The ones I had from target really aren’t that comfortable but this one from Motherhood was super comfy, and I’ll be purchasing it for our next child:

Flip flops- These are easy to slip on and wear into the shower as well. I had a summer baby and my ankles were still swollen for a couple weeks after delivery, so I lived in flip flops. I like these:

 Cozy Slip-Resistant Socks– Don’t worry winter mommies, I haven’t forgotten about you. If I had given birth to a winter baby, I would have rocked these because these are super fuzzy and cozy but also slip resistant for walking around your room:

Your own toiletries- I personally hate the way other places soap leaves a waxy residue on my skin. I was really happy to have my own products with me for when I showered. Made me feel a million times better.

A dark towel- Those horrible towels that they provide are so small and scratchy, which is the last thing you need after birthing a child. I encourage you to get a towel that’s big, cozy and dark so that you don’t have to worry as much about staining- like these:

This Postpartum Survival Guide for a Vaginal Delivery is full of really helpful, practical information about getting through the 4th Trimester. Click on the photo to read more...

Don’t forget to check out my Postpartum Survival Guide for a Vaginal Delivery by clicking on the photo!

A nice pillow and a pillow case that isn’t white- The hospital pillows fall a bit flat (see what I did there?)- I was so happy to have my own pillow! It’s also a good idea to have a pillowcase that isn’t white so that there is no confusion as to which is yours:

 A camera- I’m pretty sure I don’t have to explain this one. I’m a fan of Canon products:.

Your electronics items and their chargers- You will get a bit of downtime while you’re at the hospital and it’s always nice to be able to check out all the sweet messages everyone sends you on Facebook. And don’t forget your charger- I like this extra long charger:

An extra bag- If you’re anything like J and I, you will pillage that room before you leave because, damn it, you’re paying enough for all of this! We literally took everything that was not attached to the room including their towels (see my Postpartum Survival Guide for more information on this).


Postpartum Survival Guide for a C-Section Delivery

Click on the photo to check out my Postpartum Survival Guide for a C-Section Delivery!

Pens- You’re going to have a ton of paperwork to fill out (the perfect job for your partner- J handled all of this like a boss), it’s always helpful to have a few pens on hand.

Hair ties- About 20 seconds into labor, I had to get my hair up and out of my face. It was nice to have some hair ties and head bands available to me.

Lip balm- Because no one wants to deal with chapped lips on top of everything else.

Identification and hospital registration forms- For obvious reasons.

 Items for your partner:

A few changes of comfy clothes- So that they’ll be comfortable for their stay.

Their own pillow- See the above note about hospital pillows.

Sleeping bag- We found that the hospital doesn’t provide much in the way for blankets for your partner if they’re staying over night. J was super glad he thought ahead and brought his sleeping bag. We like Coleman sleeping bags:

This Postpartum Survival Kit is a list of essential products to make postpartum care and recovery a bit more manageable for mom along with some tips to use them.

Click on the photo to check out my Postpartum Survival Kit!

Snacks- J was thrilled to have something tasty to snack on. He opted for granola bars.

Identification- Once again, for obvious reasons.

Advil- The hospital would not dispense this to J, you might consider having some on hand for your partner.

Breath mints- When you’re in labor and your partner is in close vicinity, you’ll thank me.

Items for your Baby:

Car Seat- Because they won’t let you leave with out one. We love our Peg Perego carseat which comes in a ton of super cute colors (I was this close to getting the turquoise!):

A going home outfit in both Newborn and 0-3 month sizes- Because you never know how big your baby will be (and those sonograms they give you towards the end are not always right).

Your diaper bag- just in case you get delayed on the way home for some reason. I won’t go into everything that goes in there, as that’s a whole other post. I’d keep the diaper bag in the car so that you have one less thing to take out with you. Here’s the diaper bag I picked out:

This New Mommy To-Do List is a comprehensive list of things that you may need to do after the baby comes. Postpartum is an exhausting time and it's very easy to forget certain things that you need to do. These ideas and tips will give you an idea of what you may need to do. Head over to the post to get the free printable!

Make sure you check out this New Mommy To-Do List with a free printable by clicking on the photo!

Paper- So that you can get an extra foot print for the baby book.

Click here to gain access to this printable and other freebies!

You can find more hospital bag ideas over at The Benson Street Blog.

Don’t forget to follow The Life Jolie on Pinterest for more recipe inspiration!

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  • Reply
    February 22, 2015 at 7:55 pm Great list! I definitely over-packed when I went to the hospital and had all this and more! I ended up needing a C-section and just skipped the pants altogether. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty - we hope to see you again next week :)
    • Reply
      February 22, 2015 at 7:58 pm I totally over packed myself- many things actually stayed in the car :) On a side note, pants are over rated even without the C section (I hope your recovery was as easy as possible!) Thanks for stopping by!
  • Reply
    February 22, 2015 at 7:57 pm Great list! I know I over-packed when I went to the hospital. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty - we hope to see you again next week :)
    • Reply
      February 22, 2015 at 8:02 pm Thank you- I totally did too. And we definitely went home with more than double what we came with! Thanks for stopping in!
  • Reply
    Cydnee Knoth
    February 23, 2015 at 1:29 pm It always helps to have a list printed out to check off as items are packed. Great list and ideas. Thank you very much for joining in the celebration of #purebloglove, we enjoy having you each week. I hope to see you on Thursday at 8PM, EST through Sunday night. ~Cydnee
    • Reply
      February 23, 2015 at 10:51 pm Thank you- I wish I had made this printable back when I was getting ready to have A. I had an ugly little ripped of piece of paper that lived on my nightstand with a list of items that I couldn't pack until the last night since I used them every day. I'll definitely be using the printable with the next child.
  • Reply
    Jann Olson
    February 25, 2015 at 12:26 am Such a great idea to be prepared! Thanks so much for sharing with SYC. hugs, Jann
    • Reply
      February 25, 2015 at 9:54 am Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by!
  • Reply
    February 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm The only thing I would add is Tylenol. Seriously, I paid $80 for two Tylenol in the hospital for a headache! Well the insurance company paid,, but.. Just ask the nurse or doctor if it is okay to take them first.
    • Reply
      February 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm For sure- I was popping the mega-ibuprofen's like they were going out of style!
  • Reply
    Jenny @ Women With Intention
    March 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm Great list! Thank you for sharing at Women With Intention Wednesdays! I look forward to what you will be sharing this week!
    • Reply
      March 5, 2015 at 10:37 pm Thanks for stopping by and for hosting :)
  • Reply
    June 28, 2015 at 7:37 pm this may be my 4th birth but I have always over packed. Love the list and it will be easier for me to pack things. Now I just need to know what all to bring for the siblings whenever they come and visit. I know snacks for them will be one thing. Lol
    • Reply
      June 29, 2015 at 1:40 pm Thank you- I didn't even think of sibling items to pack (I only have one child!) what a great idea! I'd love to hear what you end up bringing for them and of course, congrats!
      • Reply
        June 29, 2015 at 2:27 pm I saw on Pinterest about you have gifts for each day you are gone one to open at home and one to open at the hospital when they come visit.
        • Reply
          June 30, 2015 at 11:00 am Wow, that's such a cute idea! I'll definitely keep that in mind for whenever we have our next child :)
  • Reply
    Emily @ The Benson Street
    September 13, 2015 at 4:07 pm Thanks for sharing a link to my hospital bag checklists. Love your ideas too!
    • Reply
      September 14, 2015 at 9:07 am It's a great list- thank you for sharing mine :)

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