Planning what to pack in your hospital bag for your first birth can feel overwhelming and daunting. What will you need, what will you use, and what will the hospital provide? Each hospital is different, and it would be a great idea to call the labor and delivery floor and ask questions specifically about what they'll give you for postpartum, and then you can begin to build your list off theirs.

But, we know this time always approaches quickly. So no need to worry if you don't make that phone call— we've got you covered! I delivered my second daughter, Zoey Scott, on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, and here's a list of everything I packed & everything I used.

Download your free hospital bag checklist, and continue reading to see what I (Sarah) packed and used for my second hospital birth.

What I packed in my hospital bag for mom and baby:

Clothing for Mom:

  1. Compression socks with grips. I didn't end up wearing these. My feet didn't swell too terribly, and I kept the large hospital grippy socks on the entire time.
  2. One pair of high waisted yoga pants. I lived in these!
  3. One pair of high waisted bike shorts. I lived in these, too!
  4. Loose, long-sleeved button-down top (hospitals can be cold, so it's nice to have your shoulders covered if you're going to nurse). I bought two of these from the Gap & still wear them eight weeks later!
  5. 100% cotton high waisted underwear. We recommend Bodily or these from Amazon. The hospital will provide the cult favorite mesh underwear, but they gave me a rash. So make sure you have 100% cotton (AKA breathable) underwear available for your hospital stay and postpartum. It's a lot of lying down and sitting, and your skin needs to be considered.
  6. Slippers. If your feet are swollen, you won't want to put on shoes with laces. I went home in my Birkenstocks, so sandals are another great option if you can loosen them.
  7. Bathrobe. A bathrobe with pockets is even better. Please take a look at our Top 25 Postpartum Products blog, and scroll down to number 15 to view our Poppylist parent's top four favorite bathrobes. Whatever you do, don't forget to pack this in your hospital bag!

Items for Baby:

  1. 2 newborn outfits
  2. Car seat with newborn insert provided by the manufacturer
  3. 1 swaddle blanket
Lou Lou & Co Newborn Gown

Toiletries:

  1. 1 washcloth
  2. 1 shower towel. The towels at the hospital are old, thin, and scratchy. You'll be grateful you packed yours!
  3. Face wash & moisturizer
  4. Toothbrush & toothpaste
  5. Shampoo & Conditioner. Most hospitals will only have body wash. If you decide to call ahead and ask about what they provide, you can ask about these type of hygiene products.

Breastfeeding/Nursing Support Essentials:

  1. Haakaa Colostrum catcher. We have a lot of Poppylist moms who love this product, but I didn't end up using it at the hospital or even after. Not for any specific reason, but I felt like my baby was latching well and getting the colostrum she needed. It didn't appear that I had any extra to collect.
  2. Frida Instant heat warmers. My milk didn't come in for almost 5 days post-birth, and these instant heat warmers provided so much relief during those first few days while my milk was coming in and then in the weeks after. It always helped with my breast milk letdown, and I love how easy they are to reuse. This is one of those baby products I didn't have with my firstborn and wished I had!
  3. Lansinoh Latch Assist, nipple everter. If you struggle with flat, inverted nipples that don't stay hard for a long time, then this breastfeeding product is for you. I used during every nursing session the first few weeks, and it's incredibly helpful to draw out colostrum in those first few days. This is one of those 'must-haves' and a must-have just in case!

Postpartum Care:

Earth Mama Organics Perineal Spray

The hospital will provide all postpartum products such as Dermoplast, cold packs, Tucks cooling pads, regular pads, etc. But pack your own if you have particular brands you wish to use. Here's the shortlist of the four postpartum products I brought with me and used:

  1. Rael organic pads. I bought overnight & daytime for varying levels of postpartum bleeding. I had bleeding (on and off) for about 7 weeks postpartum.
  2. Rael organic wipes. I prefer wipes to toilet paper during the postpartum period since there's extra blood and everything is sensitive. Minimal, clean ingredients are also important to me, and these wipes were easy to pack. I like that they are individually wrapped for extra cleanliness.
  3. Frida upside down peri bottle. This upside-down peri bottle did not exist with my first, and it's 100% worth the investment! For a vaginal delivery, this is a product you will use with every bathroom use and is incredibly helpful. Make sure you have this product!
  4. Earth Mama Organics perineal spray. There is something cooling and calming about this spray. I used it religiously after both births, and it's one of those 'must-have' postpartum products I tell every mom to buy and use.
Packing Up the Hospital Bag

Other Must-Haves:

  1. Water Bottle with a flexible straw
  2. Snacks
  3. Extra-long phone charger
  4. Earplugs. I didn't end up using these
  5. Eye mask. This is a must-have for your hospital bag. It's never dark enough in your hospital for a solid few hours of rest.

We also spoke with Poppylist mom, Jessica, about what she packed in her hospital bag and used the second time around. Click here to view our Instagram post featuring Jessica. She even includes what she packed for her husband.

And that's it! We hope this hospital bag checklist gives you the confidence you need to feel prepared! Of course, it's totally OK if you forget something! Just make sure you know who you can contact in advance to help drop anything off— especially a nice meal!

You got this.

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