It’s crazy to think that baby Wilkinson could come at any point now! We have been nesting & prepping for his arrival and only have a few more things to check off of our list! One thing we knew we had to have ready was our hospital bag!As a first time mom the thought of what to pack is a little overwhelming. I kept thinking “What if I bring too much? What if I don’t bring enough? Do I need this? What about this?!” The team at Gugu Guru was extremely informative and I worked with them to compile all of the essentials for my hospital bag. We walked through everything together and they recommended brands based on my needs and comfort level, which was SO helpful! A lot of items are purely for comfort and to make my stay feel a bit more “normal” since I am very anxious with doctors/hospitals. P.S. You can get 20% off Expert care or concierge care packages from Gugu Guru with code EMILY20.
I know people have A LOT of opinions on what to bring/not bring, so we’re just kind of going with what we think will work for us. Realistically, we may not need all of these items, but I’ll be sure to update this post with what we did and did not need or use afterwards.
this post has now been updated with what we didn’t use, what were must haves & things I wish we had in red!
hospital bag packing list
I know that technically you could show up to the hospital without anything and it would be just fine, however, since I get a bit anxious around doctors and the hospital I want to feel at ease and as comfortable as possible. If that means packing a few extras that I may or may not need, then that’s what I’m going to do! I’m sure like every other first time mom I will overpack, but you live and you learn, you know?! There’s definitely no right or wrong answer for what to pack, it really is all about personal preference and what you require to be comfortable!
When I asked everyone on IG stories about the “must have” items that couldn’t be forgotten these items kept coming up over and over again! Obviously you can’t forget your drivers license and insurance card, so make sure that you know where your wallet is and grab it on the way out the door!
-BIRTH PLAN | No matter how extensive or simple your birth plan is, make sure you have it written down and packed. At the very minimum make sure your support person knows your thoughts on different procedures, etc. so they can answer for you if needed.
-LONG PHONE CHARGERS | We use 6ft chargers in our home and ordered the 10ft chargers for the hospitals since I hear the outlets are always in tough spots! We are also bringing an extension cord just in case! update: this is a MUST have! The outlets weren’t placed conveniently!
-CAMERA | Make sure you get those first moments with your little one documented so that you will have them to cherish forever! I am SO bad about making sure my camera battery is charged, so I’m bringing the charger too just in case.
-BLANKET AND/OR PILLOW | I am bringing my Barefoot Dreams blanket because it’s cozy, can easily be washed, and it is comforting to me. I’m also bringing an old pillow that I like to feel a bit more comfortable as I have heard the hospital pillows are lackluster. I’m bringing colored pillow cases so that it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital items. I will NOT be keeping this pillow afterwards. 🙂 update: I loved having my barefoot dreams blanket. I actually left my pillows in the L&D wing and forgot to bring them up to the mother-baby unit… oops!
-PORTABLE NOISE MACHINE | We are bringing this noise machine that we can use for us or baby to drown out the hospital noise! We also have an app on our phone to use as well, if needed. update: we really loved having this. We attached it to his bassinet and the charge held the entire time we were in the hospital.
-BABY BOOK | So many of you said to bring your baby book with you to capture the footprints in. I would have completely forgotten about this, so I’m thankful many people mentioned it! I ordered this baby book from Write to Me to use! update: We did NOT bring our baby book. It’s linen and I was worried about stuff getting on it while in the hospital. I’m glad we didn’t. They gave us 2 extra sets of footprints for the baby book – just be sure to ask them!
I know the hospital will provide a lot of items for me including shampoo, body wash, lotion, etc. but I feel more comfortable using items I know that I love! It’s kind of like when you go to a hotel that provides toiletries – I still want my toiletries, you know? I’m packing all the necessities like toothbrush/toothpaste, dry shampoo, and the fridamom hospital kit because all of my friends who have had babies recently rave about their products! This kit has the disposable underwear and so many moms said to bring my own in case the hospital ones are big/saggy.
-WATER BOTTLE | Staying hydrated is essential, so I’m packing my Yeti tumbler so that I make sure I’m drinking water and so that it stays cold for long periods of time. update: 10000% necessary. Idk if it was due to covid but I didn’t get the BIG water jug everyone told me about so I’m glad I had my own big cup vs. just the styrofoam cups they provided.
-COMFY PJs & COMFY ROBE | I’m bringing this dark robe from Soma, this pajama dress, and this pair of pajamas since they button and will be great for nursing. I may not need all three of them, but I’m not sure if I’m going to be hot or cold, so I’m coming prepared! update: I basically stayed in my robe the whole time. It was easy to move to breastfeed and do skin to skin. I wore my pajama dress after getting to the mother-baby unit.
-SOCKS, SLIPPERS, & SHOWER FLIP FLOPS | I’m bringing a few pair of socks from my Pure Barre days that are grippy on the bottom and an old pair of slippers and shower shoes that I can toss afterwards. update: I wore the sticky socks they provided (they were taller than mine) and I’m glad I brought my shower shoes because I *did* end up showering!
-NURSING BRA/TANK | I am packing this bra from Kindred Bravely. I like that it can be both a nursing and pumping bra! update: I’m glad I brought this and I wore it, but often I was doing skin to skin so I just took it off, but it was nice to get a feel for pulling it down to BF early on.
-CHAPSTICK & LOTION | Everyone stressed that these two items are “must haves” because the hospital air is so dry. I ALWAYS have chapstick within arms reach, so I’m making sure I bring a few with me! update: 100% a must have – the hospital made my skin and lips SO incredibly dry. I kept reaching for both of these.
-DARK TOWEL FOR SHOWERING | This is another item that sooo many people recommended, including L&D nurses who work at the hospital where I’m delivering. After delivery the last thing I want is to dry off with a tiny, rough towel so I grabbed a cheap, dark towel from Target and called it a day! update: I’m happy that I had my own towel. Their towels are VERY small and scratchy. It felt nice to have some normalcy when showering.
-PORTABLE FAN | This is another recommendation that I got over and over. We’re bringing this fan so it can be attached to my hospital bed! update: this was the MVP of my hospital bag – I attached it to the hospital bed & it helped tremendously because my hormones were out of control!
Let’s be honest, Nick could toss random stuff in the bag before we walk out the door and be just fine ha! We’re not trying to add additional stress to that moment, so I made sure to make a list for him just so he doesn’t forget anything since he may not be able to leave the hospital once we’re checked in. A lot of women said their husbands/partners brought enough items for 2-3 nights in the hospital. Nick is in charge of the snacks (for both of us!), phone chargers, important documents, and sending text updates to our families! One big thing people stressed to us was to bring a lot of snacks or cash for the vending machines because he will be hungry (especially if we check-in in the middle of the night) and I will certainly be hungry afterwards!
The hospital will be providing almost everything baby W needs during his hospital stay so that’s less stuff to pack for him! We have the car seat installed and ready to go, we are bringing an extra bag for all the items they provide to us (for me and him), and we’ve got the socks, mittens, and a paci packed just in case! We also packed two different outfits for him in newborn and 0-3 month size, depending on his size!
-SWADDLE & BLANKET | We are bringing a swaddle and a receiving blanket for him. One has his name on it, so that may be how we share his name with our families! We are also bringing the Ollie World swaddle with us since it’s easy to use. update: I’m so happy we had the Ollie with us. The clothing we brought for Noah (newborn and 0-3) were still too big for him.
-NURSING PILLOW | Although this adds a bit of bulk to our bag, I am packing our Boppy nursing pillow because I have heard it’s great to have when working with the lactation consultant on feeding positions, etc. update: this is something we decided NOT to bring, mainly because I didn’t want to immediately have to come home and wash it from the hospital germs. Part of me wishes I had it, but stacking pillows and learning the different breastfeeding positions was fine!
If you find yourself overwhelmed like I was when it comes to figuring out what to pack, I made a printable hospital bag check list for you! Some of these items you may need, others you may not! Just make sure you have the essentials and anything that will make you feel the most prepared and comfortable during your hospital stay!