what I packed in my hospital bag

No matter where you’re going, there’s such a fine line between packing too much and not packing enough–do you agree? I can never decide which is better. I used to be a huge over-packer for trips and what not, but now I find myself not packing enough! The more you take with you, the more you’ve got to unpack later. And having too much is sometimes distracting while you’re at your destination. BUT, for the hospital after having a baby, the last thing you want to happen is to need something that you decided not to pack, so I allowed myself some grace on this one.

This is my second time around at this. I shared what I packed in my hospital bag for Watson’s birth in this post. Looking back, that was actually a pretty solid list because I happily used it as a guide this time and was really satisfied with what I chose to take to pack. There were some changes though, so that’s what I’m sharing today.




These canvas tote bags are a life saver. I stand by boat totes for travel and everyday use 100%–we have a bunch and I love giving them as gifts. The two in the back are the Lands’ End Extra Large Canvas Totes (Rosie’s looks taller because it isn’t squashed down as much, but they are the same dimensions.) The blue one on the right is the LL Bean Large Boat and Tote with the zip-up top. (The color is from a previous season.) We used the “Stokes” one for electronics and some miscellaneous items, like snacks, etc. The “Rosie” bag was for her nursing pillow, baby book, and various baby items that weren’t clothes. The “rSe” bag was for her personal clothing and toiletry belongings.

The brown leather bag is what I used for my own clothes and toiletries. It’s the Madewell Transport Weekender and I’m obsessed with it.


For Myself:


  • Pajamas: Getting out of the hospital gown and into your own cozy jammies is the best feeling. I figured I’d be there for two nights, so I took two pairs of PJs and one comfortable outfit to wear home. My maternity/nursing sets by LAKE were perfect.
  • Robe: I packed this one, also by LAKE.
  • Nursing Bra: I took this one and it’s amazing! Way better than my favorite nursing bras I used with Watson.
  • Postpartum Belly Wrap: I used this one after having Watson, too. It’s a great thing to have in the hospital because it supports your entire midsection and sort of lifts you up in all the right places when you really need it.
  • Depends: Yes, you read that right. I have no shame talking about this one! I read somewhere that Depends are the best thing to wear after having a vaginal birth, so I thought they were worth picking up. Turns out, they were so comfortable and so much easier to deal with than those hideous mesh undies and giant pads that are provided in the hospital.
  • Flip flops: You’ll want these for the shower.
  • Bedroom Slippers: You could just use the same flip flops for this purpose, but I love having something cozy to wear around the hospital room and halls. Just something cheap because you may just want to toss them before heading home!


Toiletries for me:


  • Hair dryer: Love this travel one by T3, but I actually just let my hair air dry in the hospital.
  • Hair clips, hair tie, etc.: For pulling your hair back.
  • Multi-Tasking Hair Product: I took a little travel size of this all in one product. (LOVE.)
  • Hair brush: You know my obsession with this brush.
  • Basic Toiletries: Toothbrush/toothpaste, razor, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and your own body lotion, and any face products you use (I just brought what I had in travel sized containers)… because in the hospital, it’s awesome to have your own familiar products with you.
  • Stretch Mark Cream: Lather that stuff on even after the baby is born!
  • Nipple Cream: I swear by Mother Love.
  • Tucks Pads: Having these replaced the need for both the peri bottle/witch hazel solution and the Dermaplast that my hospital provides. Less steps!
  • Flushable Wipes: These are awesome to have post-baby!




  • Heating Pad: You will be so glad you have this. I kept mine on at all times, rotating it between my back for pain and then my belly and upper thighs for cramps. Plus it just felt so good and warm!
  • Night Lights: Nice to have on near the baby and in the bathroom so that you don’t have to keep turning on those bright ceiling lights in the middle of the night.
  • Extension Cord: So that your phone will reach you in bed when it’s charging! Also for that heating pad.
  • Camera & Charger: For all of those important newborn photos that are too good for an iPhone.
Not Pictured:


  • Laptop & Charger
  • Phone Charger
  • SNACKS: For you, guests, and the nurses. Since our hospital’s food was pretty scarce since we were there in the middle of a “snow storm,” we pretty much survived off our snacks!


For Rosie:


  • Going Home Outfit: I packed three total outfit options because I didn’t know what size she would be and without knowing her yet, I didn’t know which outfit looked most like “her.” I know it sounds crazy, but I wanted options! I highly recommend footie pajamas by Kissy Kissy, like this one, this one, and this little converter gown. They are sooo soft.
  • Onesie for during your stay: I would maybe take one onesie just in case, but as far as other clothing in the hospital… you don’t need it. Both of my babies stayed swaddled up tight in a blanket with just a diaper and hat throughout their entire hospital stays.
  • Hat: To keep baby’s head warm. I got this one on Etsy.
  • Nursing Pillow: I use the Boppy with this cover.
  • Receiving Blanket
  • Baby Toiletries: The hospital will provide these, but I wanted to bring my own since we use nontoxic, safe formulas. I packed the whole Beautycounter Baby collection, but all we ended up using was the wash!
  • Pacifier: Just in case.
  • Diapers/Wipes: Hospital will provide, but I took our own safer option by The Honest Company.
  • Nail File: To keep baby from scratching herself with those paper thin nails.
  • Hand Sanitizer: To keep by the bed—good reminder for visitors, too!

(I packed all of those little toiletries in this leather Bella Tunno Mini Boss Bag Clutch.)





  1. January 23, 2018 / 12:52 pm

    holy crap – good call on the depends and the night light!!!
    will have to remember next time around! thanks!

  2. January 23, 2018 / 3:21 pm

    Is it weird that this totally gave me baby fever (already have 3!)! I think the hospital stay after having the baby is one of the sweetest times. I love it and agree with every bit of your musts. I mean a heating pad = game changer. I am 1 year post-partum and I am still sleeping with my heating pad!!

  3. Caroline Ford
    January 24, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Love the nightlight idea! It was always either too dark or too light in the room! Do you have any suggestions for nursing friendly outfits? I’m always torn on function versus fashion!

  4. Kylie
    January 24, 2018 / 10:15 am

    What size Lake pajamas did you order?

    • holycitychic
      January 26, 2018 / 11:39 pm

      Small. 🙂

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