The Hospital Bag: What to Pack

Lesportsac Gingham-1

Thank you, Zappos, for sponsoring this post!

TunicNecklace, Weekender (See the whole gingham line here!), Wedges, Pearl Earrings c/o Zappos / Similar Sunglasses / Paige Jeans

As I have less than three weeks left until my due date, I’m starting to get my hospital bag together. Crazy! I’ve been working with my friend Darby (who’s due around the same time as I am) and my sister-in-law, Sarah, to come up with a list of everything that should be included. But I’d love your opinion, too, if you have any experience with packing hospital bags! ;)

Before we get into all that, though, let’s talk a little bit about today’s look:

The tunic: I’ve been wearing this a LOT lately. It’s super flattering, even with a big baby bump! It’s light and airy, and doesn’t wrinkle easily, which has been a godsend. The nicest thing is that I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to wear it post-baby, too. (Sizing for Preggos: I normally wear an XS in Lilly tops, but the baby and I are wearing a medium here. Sizing for non-Preggos: I’d go with your normal size!)

Weekender: Mitch says I need to stop acquiring weekender bags, but I couldn’t resist with this navy gingham number. ;) My thought is that it’ll be the perfect hospital bag, and that it’ll be a great travel bag for the baby, too. So many pockets! LeSportsac also really brings me back to middle and high school. Happy memories for sure! (It comes in a large and small size, too. And love the backpack version!)

Necklace: I will always be obsessed with the Kendra Scott Rayne necklace. It goes with everything! My favorites are the white, navy, magenta and turquoise. ;)

Wedges: Couldn’t live without ’em this summer. I’m trying really hard to look relatively presentable even during these last few weeks, and comfy wedges have been clutch!

Okay! On to the hospital bag:

Lesportsac Gingham-19

Hospital Bag Packing List

For Kelly:

  • Robe (I’m freezing all the time, so this was recommended in case I get cold in the gown.)
  • Socks/slippers
  • Nursing bras/pads (Help! I ordered a couple of nursing bras, but I had no idea what I’m doing. Any good recommendations? I hear you need some without underwire that you can sleep in?)
  • Something to wear under the robe (Any suggestions? Nightgown? Maybe just the boy shorts and a nursing tank top? Or can I get away with wearing PJs?)
  • Book
  • Cell phone charger
  • Dark underwear (Boy shorts)
  • “Going home” outfit (REALLY need help with this one. Considering it’s July, maternity maxi dress with “easy access” top & boy shorts underneath? Leggings just sound super hot.)

Toiletries:

  • Travel shampoo/conditioner (I know that not everyone showers while in the hospital. My hope is that I can, but we’ll see!)
  • Face wash/lotion
  • Hair brush
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Razor
  • Deodorant
  • Chapstick
  • Hairdryer (Not for vanity’s sake, I swear. I just get cold really easily, and I’ve told that having wet hair while sitting in the hospital bed–or trying to sleep–isn’t the greatest.)
  • Flip-flops for the shower
  • Makeup (Again, not sure if I’ll use it, but nice to have considering how many visitors we’ll likely have!)
  • Contacts/contact solution/contacts case/glasses
  • Ponytail holders
  • Maxi pads (I’ve heard that sometimes the hospital ones aren’t the best.)
  • Lanolin cream
  • Benadryl (I have terrible allergies and Benadryl is the only thing that works! I’ve heard you can’t bring medication into the hospital though. Not sure if this is true, but obviously the hospital will have Benadryl, so I’m probably good either way.)
  • Pre-natal vitamins. (I plan on taking them after the baby is born, but see above. Can I bring them?)
  • Earplugs (Very light sleeper. I realize I’ll be exhausted, but I can’t sleep without ’em.)

For Mitch:

  • Snacks and drinks (Which Kelly will steal after the baby is born)
  • Change of clothing
  • Toothbrush
  • Camera
  • Change for vending machines
  • This is just a side note: BOYS ARE SO LOW-MAINTENANCE.

For Baby:

  • Going home outfit (one boy outfit, one girl outfit) prewashed with Dreft
  • Hat
  • Carseat
  • Baby blanket
  • Baby nail clippers/file
  • Diaper bag (Just to bring things home in.)

Am I missing anything? Would love to get your opinion!

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No, Noodle, you can’t come to the hospital. But you can hang out with Jess! (#bestdayever)

Outfit details:

TunicNecklace, Weekender (See the whole gingham line here!), Wedges, Pearl Earrings c/o Zappos / Similar Sunglasses / Paige Jeans

  • Erica Ganong

    I’ve heard from some people that they like taking their own blanket and/or pillow. Just makes you a little cozier! And remember-if you need me to bring you underwear, I am there in a heartbeat-I owe you! 😘

  • Susan

    Packing the hospital bag was the moment it all became so real for me. Yay…so exciting.
    When it comes to bringing/taking “home meds” I would just check when you get there. Also, make sure you know what effect Benadryl has on your milk if you’re planning on nursing.
    Both my boys were born by c-section (planned due to complications), so my only other advice would be to have clothing (including panties) that fit loosely. I didn’t want anything pushing on my incision.
    Oh…and I showered…not vain at all! I felt so much better and able to enjoy my visitors when I was clean. :)

  • Rebecca

    Looks good! I really liked nursing tanks for the first month or so. If you stick with breastfeeding, the baby nurses A LOT at the beginning (like pretty much all the time) so it was nice to have easy access without your post pregnancy belly hanging out! Also, it is best to have bras without underwires. Underwires can lead to clogged milk ducts.

    I wore leggings, a nursing tank, and a robe while in the hospital. I was always a super warm person, but after giving birth I was FREEZING for the next few months. They give you disposable underwear (I know, but they are nice for the first few days), so with an ice pack, a giant pad, and mesh undies, leggings were nice to hold everything in! :/

    I didn’t have any swelling during pregnancy, so I was a little surprised to wake up the morning after giving birth to GIGANTIC brick feet!!!! They pump you so full of fluids and mine all migrated towards my feet. I ended up having to wear my shower shoes home, in Chicago, in December! I would recommend a loose pair of slides for going home.

    The one thing I wish I brought was my nursing pillow. At the time, it seemed so gigantic, and silly to pack for just a couple of nights, but nursing is hard, and anything that can make it easier in the beginning is definitely worth it! I ended up having to have my husband build a pillow fortress around me every time I wanted to nurse in the hospital! Also, if you are looking for nursing tips, Kellymom.com is a GREAT website and BreastfeedChicago (a facebook group) is a WONDERFUL resource. You will need someone to add you, but they have really, really great advice and are so helpful to new nursing moms! The best advice from that group is, don’t quit on your worst day. It definitely gets easier (from new-ish mom who is still nursing at 7 months).

    Good luck these last few weeks! They are the hardest! Your sweet baby will be here soon.

    • Jenny

      I agree with all above! Currently nursing a six week old, so been fun seeing you so close behind with your pregnancy. My second kiddo here, so after two trips and bags I’d vote huge yes to robe and socks to keep feet warm. I did leggings as I literally didn’t want any of my lower half showing after all that happens down there, but that was just me. Maxi dress to go home is perfect. PJs in hospital are fine too, most guests won’t judge!! Although I totally get the shower and makeup thing, and did these and felt more myself for it. Comfy is great, but also not feeling gross and lost in the whole situation was nice too. Maybe it’s a control thing?? Type A over here…

      It’s true though, nursing is actually hard work (but sooooo worth it!), and some days I had to tell myself that THIS was my new “job” for the next year to get through a hard day. I would say no underwire bras at all, at least for many months. Your chest does some CRAZY things, one is become enormous, the other is sometimes get soar in teeny tiny spots way out toward the edges you didn’t know were part of them as milk comes/goes. Stretchy and soft is best for beginning!

      Last thoughts, skip the book because all free time should be sleeping (if possible??) or loving on that new baby. Or bonding with Mitch! He’s your lifeline and you guys will get so close during this!! But seriously, it’s not a bad time, just not one where I ever had ANY downtime whatsoever. And finally, accept help from all angles all the time; nurses, Mitch, visitors, anybody; eat all the food you want, ask for that extra pillow at 1:30am, whatever you want just ask for. No need to be tough in any way, did that with my first and got worn out, asked for anything with my second and it was way more laid back.

      Good luck to all of you!! Sorry I just blogged on your blog!!

  • Meagan
  • EEEEEE IT’S SO EXCITING

  • Sage

    I was so glad someone suggested a white noise/sound machine to me. Drowns out the noise of the maternity wing – was a lifesaver and not something I ever would have thought of on my own. Now we listen to the “rain” or “ocean” at night all the time! Happy Delivery Day!

  • Almost there! So excited for you Kelly! Baby Larkin is so lucky to have you as a mom!

  • Almost there! So excited for you Kelly! Baby Larkin is so lucky to have you as a mom!

  • Emily

    No offense but you definitely aren’t going to have time to read a book!! Sorry sister but that made me laugh a bit. And you will DEFINITELY want to shower the second day. I found nursing tank with robe or nursing pjs to be great. Also I know some people don’t like the mesh undies but I thought they were great for those first few days and you don’t have to ruin yours! Good luck!

  • Jackie O

    One of my friends brought a roll of Charmin to the hospital and it was the best thing ever as going to the bathroom the first few times is just not fun and pretty humbling! And yes, nursing tanks are amazing! I like the Bravado brand the best. I also brought my own underwear–but honestly, the mesh ones (yes, I know, too!) are pretty great the first few days.

    I also can’t recommend “Earth Mama Angel Baby” Nipple Butter enough–the lanolin you get from the hospital is really hard to spread. This stuff SAVED me- use it before you “need it”.

    That first shower is amazing-bring some goodies to treat yourself.

  • Teresa Carcioppolo

    The hospital underwear is the best. I think I just wore a roomy casual knee length dress home like tee shirt material. I found a nightgown that is button up like an oversized man’s button down. I loved having my own pillow. Burts bees was a must. Razor sounds ridiculously optimistic to me.

  • Kara Kouloheras Dumont

    Bravado nursing tanks, just buy one in every color right now. I lived in them for the first 5 months. Forget the book, when you aren’t with company or baby you will be trying to sleep. Good luck!!!!!

    • Kara Kouloheras Dumont

      Oh, ear plugs or some noise cancelling head phones. I had a 38 hour natural labor and was EXHAUSTED but with all the beeps and the door opening and closing plus the nurse checking on you every couple of hours….I could barely sleep a wink in the hospital.

  • Kara Kouloheras Dumont

    I liked Lansinoh for the cream. I ended up nursing my daughter for a bit over a year and only needed to use it the first month or so. There may be a better brand out there now (this was 10 years ago) but it worked great for me and is available everywhere.

  • Elizabeth

    Skip the book. Bring the make-up. I hardly used any of my hospital bag stuff I brought with me, but I was also pretty drugged up and spaced out the day after delivery. But I showered (twice!) and felt so much better and was happy to have make-up to go home in. It made me feel so much more human.

    And then all the drugs wore off, haha, and it took me another 15 days to feel remotely human again regardless of how much make-up I wore. But our little girl just had her one-month birthday and things get better every day. :)

    As a side note, if you have any wool sensitivities, be careful of what you use for nipple cream (avoid lanolin). I’ve found olive oil to be great — it’s surprisingly soothing.

    • Elizabeth

      Oh, and I highly recommend bringing a pillow from home. (One for Mitch too! Though I stole Chris’s half the time we were there… oops)

  • Charlene

    This is great – will definitely share with friends!

    Side note: any recommendations for earplugs? I’m also a light sleeper and haven’t been able to find a good pair!

  • Katie

    Are you delivering at Prentice? I did a year ago and will again in a few more months! It was great. No need for nail clippers for baby or diaper bag. They really will give you everything you need. I was in there for 6 days with the longest labor and C section and still overpacked, so I completely get the need to have your creature comforts with you.
    A hat for your husband if he wears them if you’re up awhile in labor and taking pictures?

    I had the Victoria Secret jersey boyfriend PJ’s. Not sure if that’s the name, but the button down one with pants. I went home in spring so wore black leggings and maternity denim shirt. Think a maxi dress would be perfect. Maybe an open cardigan you can also throw over a nursing tank when visitors come by to cover leakage or headlights. :) I brought rollers and makeup and used them and also did braids in the hospital so I felt presentable. Also had nice Pureology shampoo and conditioner and good smelling body wash/lotion (just avoided chest area). I was surprised at how much I loved the mesh underwear they gave. WAY more comfortable than the large granny panties I bought esp with a C seciton scar. A nurse stocked me up with them and I used them at home until I ran out. I also used the hospital pads since they were massive and I needed them that big (even with C section). I had cheapy Old Navy slippers to walk around the hospital in and could pitch afterwards since I felt they would be too germy to wear again. Don’t forget chargers for phone, ipad, camera battery. You’ll get a lot of paperwork too. Listen closely when they tell you how to get a copy of the birth certificate. I was dazed and had to call later to figure out how to do it.

    We ordered in a few of the nights I was recovering and remember having pizza, watching march madness and it felt so cozy to have those nights in the hospital with my new family. It’s the best! Good luck

  • Katie

    Are you delivering at Prentice? I did a year ago and will again in a few more months! It was great. No need for nail clippers for baby or diaper bag. They really will give you everything you need. I was in there for 6 days with the longest labor and C section and still overpacked, so I completely get the need to have your creature comforts with you.
    A hat for your husband if he wears them if you’re up awhile in labor and taking pictures?

    I had the Victoria Secret jersey boyfriend PJ’s. Not sure if that’s the name, but the button down one with pants. I went home in spring so wore black leggings and maternity denim shirt. Think a maxi dress would be perfect. Maybe an open cardigan you can also throw over a nursing tank when visitors come by to cover leakage or headlights. :) I brought rollers and makeup and used them and also did braids in the hospital so I felt presentable. Also had nice Pureology shampoo and conditioner and good smelling body wash/lotion (just avoided chest area). I was surprised at how much I loved the mesh underwear they gave. WAY more comfortable than the large granny panties I bought esp with a C seciton scar. A nurse stocked me up with them and I used them at home until I ran out. I also used the hospital pads since they were massive and I needed them that big (even with C section). I had cheapy Old Navy slippers to walk around the hospital in and could pitch afterwards since I felt they would be too germy to wear again. Don’t forget chargers for phone, ipad, camera battery. You’ll get a lot of paperwork too. Listen closely when they tell you how to get a copy of the birth certificate. I was dazed and had to call later to figure out how to do it.

    We ordered in a few of the nights I was recovering and remember having pizza, watching march madness and it felt so cozy to have those nights in the hospital with my new family. It’s the best! Good luck