If I Could Repack My Hospital Bag


If I could repack my hospital bag

UPDATE: oh the irony… I would have never guessed when writing this post that I actually WOULD be re-packing my hospital bag. But I am! Baby #2 is due in just 3 weeks and I just finished packing my bag today! Matching robes for mom, toddler and baby were a must have this time around!  Here’s the post with all the details!

What's in my hospital bag the second time around- First time advice from a second time mom! C-section hospital bag check list

Psst… before you leave, be sure to check out this post! It’s a must read for any mama-to-be who is planning on building a freezer stash!

How to build a freezer stash in just 30 days

What TO pack In Your Hospital Bag…

It’s probably one of the most important trips you will ever take. The need to be prepared is something that will probably keep you awake in those final days before your little one arrives.

You feel like you need so much… but yet you don’t want to be THAT mom that brings an oversized rolling suitcase along with a trunk and 2 carry-ons. Plus the diaper bag. And your purse. Make up bag. I hate to admit it, but I look back and realize I didn’t need half of what I brought, but there are some things I think made the experience so much easier. Then there were some things that I realllllly wished I had thought to bring. Here’s the list.

What I didn’t need

  • Extra clothes for baby- I think I took like 16 outfits for Emmy. I ended up needing two. I took a hat too- not necessary in Texas in July. The only ones I ended up needing were the NB sized outfit and the 3 mo sized outfit. She just barely fit into the NB but I’m happy I had both just in case. I also took a blanket and a pacifier for her. That’s about all we used.
  • My entire make up bag– I basically needed my moisturizer, some CC cream, mascara and under eye concealer. Anything more than that was beyond my energy level. I only put on make up the final day when I knew we were taking pictures. BIG waste of bag space.
  • Nursing Nightgowns– This is a very personal preference, but I had a few nursing nightgowns packed that had slits for breastfeeding. The slits ended up not opening wide enough to free a large enough amount of my breast for baby to nurse. As a first time mom trying to get the hang of breastfeeding, it was hard to focus on baby latching and holding her properly to use my other hand to hold the slits open. I felt like the slits were closing in around her face if I was not holding them open.  I found it easier to just wear a nursing bra with my robe (more on this later). Next time around I plan to take button up pajamas with me so I can quickly and easily switch from being covered to nursing.

What I wish I had

  • Dry Shampoo– Luckily someone brought me some. I took my blow dryer and straightener thinking I would do my hair. Umm no. Take some with you. You don’t want to be looking like a grease ball in all your pictures.


  • My own comfy socks- don’t get me wrong, the ones the hospital gives you are great. But they didn’t stay on my feet very well and I had to keep asking Jay to fix them for me. It was pretty inconvenient. If you bring your own, be sure they have anti-slip material on the bottom! These are basically the cutest labor socks I have ever seen and $7!

  • More Pillows– I took two of my own, but I wish I would have brought some for baby daddy. Poor guy is probably still working out that crick in his neck from the flat pillows. By the way- mom’s aren’t the only ones who need special clothes for labor and delivery. Make you guy feel special with some labor and delivery swag just for him!
  • My own pads– When the time came to finally leave the hospital, I couldn’t wait to be out of my adult diaper. I had bought some heavy duty pads of my own that would have been SO much more comfortable and would have stayed in place alot better. Unfortunately I left them at home knowing the hospital would provide. Had I known how bulky and awkward they would be, I would have packed my own. I opted for the these pads because they were thin but SERIOUSLY absorbent.

If you plan to deliver vaginally, I would highly suggest making some of these postpartum pads as well. You will thank me later.  Postpartum items for mom were a BIG item on my baby checklist. Be sure to check out the 21 things you must do before your due date!

What I couldn’t have lived without

  • My portable fan– I actually bought this for Emmy to use in her stroller, but it came in handy BIG TIME when I was in labor. I was hot as hell and having this blowing on my face was AMAZING. Be sure to get one with a clip, like this one, to make sure every ones hands are free to do other important things. (UPDATE- I am now pregnant again and have resorted to using this fan on myself during our daily walks! Almost a year later and it is still my favorite $10 buy!)


  • My chapstick– I think i went through an entire tube in my 4 days at the hospital. My lips got so dry for some reason. Maybe it was all the heavy breathing or 24 hour ice chip diet? Who knows- but I am so happy I had it! P.S. Go with mint chapstick! It’s so refreshing!


  • Boppy Pillow– Ohhhh what would I have done without it. It sounds strange- but here’s the reason why: once again… my IV tubes! It  was very difficult to hold Emmy with that big plastic thing taped to my arm. I was worried about it being uncomfortable for her and for hurting me. Then  I remembered we had the Boppy in the car and it saved the day! It was the perfect way to be able to snuggle her close without having to support her with my arms.


  • My maxi dress– Moving after having a baby is hard, especially if you have a c-section. I took a maxi dress for my going home outfit and it was a great move. Putting on pants would have been close to impossible, plus it didn’t bring my attention to the fact that I still had a pretty large bump. Definitely pack one if you’ve got it.


  • My robe and nursing bra– remember how I mentioned earlier that I took all those cute night gowns but didn’t even pull them out of my bag? That’s because I stayed in a bra and robe almost the entire time. I took a few sleep nursing bras with me (I’m a huge fan of the Kindred Nursing Bra brand– I own at least 4!) and my robe that tied in the front and that was my fashionable ensemble for the entire 4 days. I was so comfortable. If I knew we were going to be alone in the room for a while I would just be in my bra in bed with the sheets and blankets covering most of me. I didn’t care if nurses or doctors came in, I mean they’ve seen just about everything at that point so a full coverage bra was considered modest. If I knew we were having visitors I would put my robe on and tie it so I was covered up. Again, because of my c-section I was usually in bed when visitors came so it was easy to stay covered up.   I would suggest taking 3-4  sleeping nursing bras like this one.

As for underwear- the hospital provides these super cute (sarcasm), super comfortable (again, sarcasm) disposable panties that you wear the entire time. No need to pack underwear for the entire stay, just a pair to wear home. So lesson I learned here, don’t over do it on the cute gowns and clothes. Just think of what you would wear if you were stuck in bed for 4 days and pack that.

Be sure to stock up on all the nursing bras you need BEFORE baby arrives. Here’s a list of the 4 must haves.

If  you’re  worried about needing something you don’t have but don’t want to over pack, pack a “might need” bag and leave it in the car or with a relative who you know is close by and will be coming to the hospital. And even if you forget something major, the hospital always has the necessities. Don’t stress it too much! Happy packing!

Also, if you plan to breastfeed, I would HIGHLY recommend taking the Milkology online breastfeeding class. It’s an hour and a half of solid knowledge, techniques and how-to’s for all things breastfeeding!

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9 thoughts on “If I Could Repack My Hospital Bag

  1. Leigh says:

    Great Post! I am 37 weeks and currently packing my hospital bag. This is some really great information on what i actually NEED to bring to the hospital! Thank you =)

  2. Kathleen says:

    With my first baby, I was soo glad I thought to pack an eye mask! With the nurses coming in and out all night, I slept so much better with that mask!

    • Caroline @ Swaddles n' Bottles says:

      Oh I love that idea! And you are so right, those nurses are in and out of there at all hours of the day! Especially that first day after baby comes, you get about 35 hospital employees from all departments coming in! A mask would be a great way to get sleep through all that chaos!

  3. Michelle Passos says:

    Theses hospital lists are all a matter of opinion. Everyone has a different idea of what’s important. But I love to read them & get ideas. Ive had 3 csection deliveries & with every one I was out of bed the next morning, showered & dressed in my own clothes. I showered & did my hair every day of my 4 day stay. And had clean pajamas for every day. So to me, cute clean PJs are important, as well as cosmetics. I’d never use a boppy. Its too hard to hold my sweet babies close with a boppy. Its important we all realize that motherhood is a journey, not a race. We don’t need to compete with each other, just help each other along. All the best to you!

    • Caroline @ Swaddles n' Bottles says:

      Hi Michelle! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my post! I agree that what to pack in your bag is opinion! I am so beyond impressed with your ability to get up and get dressed every day. I agree with you that we should not knock each other down for having our own way of doing things. I hope you did not gather that I was suggesting we do otherwise from this post. Best wishes to you and your family!

  4. Nicole Henry says:

    I agree with most of these, night time nursing bras for the win! However when i stayed at the hospital with my second son they hooked the iv up to my wrist so things like the hoppy wouldn’t have made a difference for me. I have a pretty short torso too so the boppy is irrelevant to me. So definitely a space waster for someone on the short side like me. I really liked loose fitting pajamas too, the kind that button down the front to easily nurse and cover up when guests were coming to visit. I love that you also wrote the part about concealer, tinted moisturizer and mascara. Anything beyond that is overkill especially when the new little nugget is in dire need of cuddles. ?

    One thing I would add also is slippers because a lot of your bodily fluids from delivery is on the ground and during my stay, they didn’t clean the floors so I didn’t want to bring that back into bed with me.

    • Caroline @ Swaddles n' Bottles says:

      Oh button up pajamas! HOW DID I NOT THINK OF THAT?! That will definitely be on my packing list for next time! Slippers are a must! I had my little slip on ones for when I walked the halls. I think they are also very important if your bring your own socks, as they may not have anti-slip material on the bottom and the slippers can help with this. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and share your experience!

  5. Ashley says:

    Instead of pads I used depends silhouette and they worked wonders. Any time I just used the undies or pads with my daughter after my c-section every time I stood up the nurse was cleaning up after me and it was embarrassing. So I got depends and they were amazing.

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