What I Packed in My Hospital Bag (and USED!)

Before having Watson, I read so many blog posts explaining helpful things to bring in your hospital bag. I started packing everything about 4 weeks before his due date and did really well with keeping it to a minimum. But then as time went on, I kept adding more things to the bag every few days! So much that by the time he was almost due, it looked like I was packing to move into the hospital! I had to do a few edits to the bag to get the contents under control. Aside from a few extra toiletries that I brought for myself (note: why did I pack an exfoliating sponge? scrubbing my legs after having a baby was the very last thing on my mind!), we used pretty much everything that was packed.

As for his bag, Watson got his very own overnight bag and toiletry case from Gentry's Closet. It's the best size, lightweight, and has a nice interior pocket. We love it! Here's what I packed in there...

  • Going home outfit: (The gown shown above is by Magnolia Baby.)
  • Onesie or footie pajamas: For hanging out at the hospital. The first day he was born, he just stayed swaddled in a blanket with only his diaper underneath. But the second day in the hospital, it was great to have him in something soft and comfortable. 
  • Diapers and Wipes: The hospital will provide these for you, but I wanted nontoxic ones, so I brought Honest Diapers and Water Wipes.
  • Baby Wash: Again, I preferred to bring my own nontoxic option for Watson, so I packed the new Beautycounter baby collection. The nurses on the floor were raving about it! 
  • Swaddle blanket: We brought this one by Modern Burlap!
  • Pacifier: This came in big handy during night two when Watson was crying and I suddenly remembered I had packed some! These adorable monogrammed pacifiers pictured above are by White Elephant Designs
  • Stuffed Animal: Totally not necessary, but I packed a little jellycat bunny for Watson to have something from home to keep in his hospital bassinet.
  • Baby book: We packed his baby book so that we could get his footprints on one of the pages. Just ask the delivery nurses ahead of time (if you can think about it!) and they will do that when they get his footprints for their records.
  • Nail File: For smoothing out those tiny razor baby nails! I don't know if all hospitals are like this, but ours is not allowed to touch a baby's fingernails, so this was a must have.
  • Socks: To keep those little feet warm.

  • Robe: This was the best thing I packed, I think! It was great to have this to cover up with when breastfeeding. And something about a robe is so comforting to me. I actually packed two, this one by Plum Pretty Sugar and a super lightweight one my mom got for me.
  • Pajamas: Loose fitting, light fabric pajamas. I had crazy hot flashes while in the hospital from my hormones regulating—I wouldn't have been happy with heavy weight fabrics. These pants from Soma were THE BEST, along with a nursing tank. I wore this one from Target, but I didn't feel like it was anything special honestly. 
  • Toiletries: You're definitely going to want your own toiletries. The hospital will provide these things for you, but after being in a hospital environment and desperately needing a good shower after labor, there was nothing better than having my own products from home to make me feel more normal. I wouldn't forget to pack your own skincare products, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, lip balm, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. ... oh, and a hair dryer and hair brush!
  • Makeup: I wanted to have some makeup just in case I felt like putting some on, but all I used was the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue in shade 3 and the Beautycounter Creme Blusher in Caramel. Just enough to make myself look alive!
  • Belly Wrap: I bought the UpSpring Baby Shrinks Belly Wrap and put it on the day after having Watson. Not only is it supposed to help slim your belly quicker (I believe it has!) and shrink the uterus, but it provides the best back support, which felt awesome.
  • Heating Pad: We use our electric heating pad all the time for head and back aches. I swear you forget how good they are until you use one! Even if i just have a headache, I'll put the heating pad on my back and it's kind of a distraction from the head pain. Anyway, I had Brandon bring this from the house because I had a lot of lower back pain and cramping after delivery. Helped so much!
  • Flip flops: Cheap ones for the shower that you can toss afterwards.
  • Stretch Mark Cream: Just as important to apply when losing weight rapidly as it is when gaining! I have been swearing by this one.
  • Note: The hospital will also provide pads, disposable underwear, witch hazel, and a spray on pain/itch reliever. All of these are a lifesaver. I wouldn't even bother bringing your own supplies. I found that the pads the hospital gives you are way, way softer than store bought ones, which ended up being a lot more comfortable. The disposable undies may not be the most attractive thing, but I really appreciated having them and never used the panties I packed! However, someone suggested just getting Depends to wear in the hospital and looking back, I so would have done this! You probably wouldn't need that much coverage by the time you go home, but for the first couple days, I so would have rocked them! 

  • Extension Cord: Standard phone chargers will not reach from the bed to the wall to be plugged in, so the extension cord made it possible for to me charge my phone while using it! (Which came in major handy with all the pictures I was snapping and texts we had coming through. Otherwise my battery would have died multiple times per day.)
  • Nice Camera: Phone pictures are great and definitely most convenient, but I loved having my nicer camera to take a few photos for the baby book. 
  • Pillows: Our hospital had crunchy little flat pillows, so I had Brandon scoop up a couple from home to bring back. When you're in bed pretty much all day during a hospital stay, trust me—a pillow from home does wonders! 
  • Breast Pump: If you plan on nursing, I'd totally recommend taking your pump to the hospital if you're a newbie like me. It would have taken us forever to figure out how to use it at home had we not had our nurse show me all the steps! Our nurse was so sweet and saw that I needed extra flanges and colostrum bottles in my pump bag, so she gave those to me before we left. 

  • Snacks and Drinks: People told me this, but I just didn't get it all together in time. I have to say that not much can beat that amazing hospital water and tiny ice pebbles (is it just me or is that the best water in the world?), but I would have loved to have some gatorades or something else to have with meals. Also, I was strangely hungry the first couple of days after having Watson. I could barely make it through the night while waiting for breakfast the next morning! Would have loved to have my own snacks, like granola bars ...or tacos or cheeseburgers! ;)

  • Magazines: I read somewhere that it's nice to have magazines during labor. Maybe it was just the timing of my labor (fairly quickly and happened overnight), but I did not want to look at a magazine at all. And after Watson was born, all I felt like doing was to stare at our new baby.

more BABY posts
pregnancy announcement  |   14 weeks  |   16 weeks  |   18 weeks  |   20 weeks  |  23 weeks  |  27 weeks  |  29 weeks  |  31 weeks  |  34 weeks  |  10 pregnancy must-haves  |  37 weeks


  1. Love this post! Pregnant with my second and needed to remember some of these items. I went into labor 3 weeks early with my first, so getting a bag packed sooner then later is never a bad idea. I also just wrote about some pregnancy mus-haves that could be helpful for all the expectant moms reading this - http://www.lushbreak.com/?p=519

  2. Love this Megan, thanks for sharing! I'll definitely be bookmarking this packing list for someday down the road! :)

    xo Heather
    Sweet Tea Jubilee

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  4. Congrats on your sweet baby boy! I'm expecting and was interested in the RH crib bedding you chose, but the link for the bedding in your nursery reveal post takes me to the chandelier you purchased. Would you mind sharing which bedding it is? Thanks so much!

  5. I needed this post! I'm getting ready to start packing my hospital bag, and this is a big help! :)

  6. Thank you so much for sharing! Due in September with first baby and all of the Pinterest posts on this are a little overwhelming! Congrats on your little one--he's adorable!

  7. Super lovely blog post! Great place to come for moms!



  8. LOVE Tory Burch xx


  9. This is SO helpful! I will be looking at your list many times before October. I will probably have the same weekender bag & robe as you - I LOVE those! Thank you for all of these suggestions. Motherhood seems to be treating you well and I am so happy for you!

  10. I totally agree with the robe!!! I didn't even wear any tops when we had our son. Just PJ pants and a robe. Glorious! I saw Target has a new brand of diapers that are non-toxic and supposedly are so much better in handling leaks than Honest (just if you end up have leak issues!). He's such a doll and y'all seem to be acing this whole parenthood gig. :)

  11. What kind of nice camera do you have?

  12. What size did you order in the robe? I want to buy one for my friend that is pregnant and reads your blog too...she would normally be a small or an extra small. I didn't know if I should size up for a maternity belly. Thank you!

    1. That's such a sweet gift! I have a small in the robe. It's what I wore pre-pregnancy and it still worked all throughout!



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