What to Pack in your Hospital Bag

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A list of items every expectant mom should pack into her hospital bag.

As a new mom of 3, you would think that I have many of these parent, pregnancy, and labor must-do activities down. Well, I don’t. I do, however, know how to pack a bag. With each labor and delivery, I’ve been the queen of the hospital bag. Each time I’ve had to get it all together, I’ve gotten even better, remembering items that I would regret forgetting, and other must-haves that I would want with me late at night, while snuggling with my newborn. This post will reveal what to pack in your hospital bag, whether you are a first time mom or a fifth time mom.

A Robe

I can’t even imagine being admitted to the hospital and not having a comfortable robe to lounge around in during my medical “vacation.” I love the idea packing a robe because you know that you will not only have many different medical staff coming into your room at any time, but you may have family members who will want to visit you and the baby. Even if you decide to wear an old t-shirt and pajama pants for the duration of your stay, the robe will make you look put together. Plus, people may be taking pictures of you and the baby, so concealing your bum attire with a robe is key.

A nightgown

As I mentioned above, being able to conceal your crazy, tired, body with something comfortable and cute will be key after you have the baby. I’m an advocated for nightgowns because they are easy to pull up when you have to use the bathroom, easy to pull down when you are breastfeeding, and easy to slip on if you delivered via C-section. If you are prone to being cold, pack a maxi gown to keep your legs warm.


Listen. Socks are one of those items that people just plain forget to pack, whether you are going to the hospital or on a lavish vacation. I always pack them because I suffer from ice block feet, but everyone should pack a few pair in case you’ll need an extra layer of warmth on your feet. Also, I loved seeing a pair of fun socks on my feet while I was pushing. It was a kooky motivator.


If you are admitted to a hospital that’s nice enough to let your walk around during your contractions, slippers will be needed. I love to pick slippers that have a sturdy bottom and lots of cushion inside. Don’t worry about picking “cute” footwear when it comes to slippers. During labor you want the ones that are comfortable and easy to walk in.

Tumbler or Water Bottle

Once you give birth, you’ll be craving water. While the ice chips during labor are nice, a tall glass of cold water really hits the spot after you’ve done the hard work. The hospital has those itty bitty cups that just aren’t enough. Purchase a tumbler or a water bottle and pack it in your bag. This will also come in handy when you are in your hospital bed breastfeeding or bottle feeding the baby. With breastfeeding, you need to stay very hydrated and with fatigue(which you will be feeling), you’ll also need to keep your body hydrated to get through sleepless nights. A tumbler or water bottle makes this so much easier than an open cup.


People always think I’m crazy for recommending this, but hard candies like lollipops are an essential in a hospital bag. I’m a fan of blow pops and jolly ranchers, but any hard candy that you enjoy would work. These are key during your labor, when you are just sick of ice chips and want something else to soothe you through contractions. The candy provides creates enough saliva in your mouth that you won’t feel dehydrated. Plus, you can share them with the hospital staff, and they’ll love you forever!

Granny Panties

If I had the job of hospital bag fairy in the Labor and Delivery ward, I’d pass out granny panties to every new mom. If you haven’t had a baby before, the hospital provides you with these monstrosities they call postpartum under garments. They are horrid, and they provide no structure. Also, they get stretched out way too quickly. Here’s what I suggest: buy underwear that is a size or two too big, and wear those during your hospital stay. You will also be required to wear humongous maxi pads after you give birth, so going few sizes bigger will give you room for your new postpartum gear while still giving you support.

Face Cleansing Wipes

After giving birth, the last thing you’ll want to do is get up and do a whole face cleansing routine. Purchase a pack of face wipes, and use those right after your give birth, before you have visitors, and at night before bed. Bonus points to you if you also pack chapstick, and bare beauty essentials like mascara and lipstick. All of these things can be done while you lounge on your hospital bed.

Granola Bars/ Applesauce Packets

While the hospital provides “3 hots and a cot,” they may not provide snacks. Keep in mind that your body will still be used you having a small snack or meal every few hours, just like when you were pregnant. Also, depending on how long your labor was, you may have gone 12 to 24 hours without eating. If that’s the case, your body will want more than the 3 meals a day you will get. This is why it’s key to pack in your hospital bag some of your favorite snacks. I like granola or gluten free bars like larabars, and handheld applesauce packets like GoGoSqueez. These are easy to maneuver while you’re in the bed, and can be eaten at room temperature, so you can have them right on your nightstand.

These are some of the things I think you should pack in your hospital bag. Moms and moms-to-be: What other items should be on the “must pack” list?

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About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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  1. 9.28.14

    I wish I’d packed an iPod of music device when I was in the hospital for my c-section.
    For times I needed some soothing music without using my phone or the TV, it would have been great!

    • 10.2.14
      Amiyrah said:

      An iPod! I’m so used to listening to music on my phone now, that I forget about packing the iPod. Great idea, Joyce!

  2. 11.21.14

    I’m with you on everything but the candy–I don’t like the way my teeth feel after sucking on hard candy, and that kind of little sensory detail really bugged me during labor. But a good-tasting mouthwash was crucial in my first labor, when I threw up 3 times and wasn’t coordinated enough to brush my teeth–it changed the flavor in my mouth nice and quick. Didn’t need it the second time around.

    It’s important to pick the right nightgown. The one in your picture looks stretchy and has a low neckline, which would be good. After my first baby was born, I realized that the nightgown I’d brought was a big T-shirt; it didn’t open up the front and wouldn’t pull down enough from the top, so the only way to nurse was by pulling the whole thing up!

    The thing I loved most during my first labor was the surprise gift from my partner. He’d wrapped it to give me for Christmas, but when I was in labor on Christmas Eve he decided to bring it along. It’s a huge book of one-panel cartoons from The New Yorker–perfect for a short attention span, and the humor was great for helping me relax.