10 Things To Pack in Your Hospital Bag

10 Things To Pack in Your Hospital Bag

I am done having babies.

(I think.)

I will (probably) never again feel the familiar wave of nausea roll over me and see the bright blue lines appear on a positive pregnancy test.

I will (most likely) not be found shopping for bottles or pacifiers or infant car seats to be used by my own precious offspring.

And, I’m (pretty) confident that I will never again make a hospital checklist.

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So, as a former member of the expectant-mother-club, I consider it my duty to impart my knowledge onto the new breed of yet-to-be mothers. Here’s what I wish I’d taken to the hospital, but wasn’t smart enough to…

1.  Shampoo, conditioner and body wash. The first shower you take after you give birth will be the best shower of your life and the hospital products suck.

2. A roll of good quality toilet paper or wipes. That first pee after giving birth is brutal. Hospital grade toilet paper feels like sandpaper and you don’t need that rubbing against your bruised lady parts. Trust me.

3. Makeup. I know, I know. You just pushed a human being out of your vagina — who cares how you look in pictures with your newborn? You will. For the rest of your life.

4. Cellphone (obviously,) but don’t forget the charger. Between taking pictures, tweeting, Facebooking, calling, texting and e-mailing, you’ll blow through that battery in no time.

5.  An extra bag. You’ll be sent home with diapers, wipes, formula, and more. It’s like a new mother’s Halloween! Make sure you can schlep all of your loot or you’ll be kicking yourself the next week at Babies”R”Us. That crap is expensive.

6. Preparation H. It will be your new best friend.

7.  Food. You’re going to be starving and hospital food is revolting. Stock your fridge with all the stuff you haven’t been able to eat in 9 months. And, make sure to lock it from your husband. He’s eaten enough.

8.  Extra strength maxi pads. The ones at the hospital haven’t changed in a century. Seriously, they practically have belts. A box of extra strength Always will be one of the best investments you make.

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9. Maternity yoga pants. It’s total bullshit, but you will leave the hospital looking as pregnant as you went in. It’s tragic, but true.

10. A Blindfold. (For yourself.) Girlfriend, you are going to look like hell. Best not to see it.

About the writer


In addition to being the founder of all things Scary Mommy, Jill is also the New York Times bestselling author of Simon and Schuster’s Confessions of A Scary Mommy and Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies)

From Around the Web


Cassandra 2 weeks ago

Most of the things they tell you that you “need” to pack in a labor bag are just frivolous. My bag wasn’t packed until the night I actually went into labor, and that was fine. It was a no brainer to bring an extra set of clothes, my purse, medical records, clothes for baby and.. Well, a few other things I can’t remember. There really wasn’t that much I needed. I could skip the shampoo, toilet paper, ect because that was all in the hospital and I couldn’t care less. Just getting in the shower (which I actually didn’t do until I went home) felt amazing.

Makeup? Forget it. I don’t have time for that on a regular basis, and I certainly didn’t care about it when I was in labor, or even after. No matter how much makeup you wear, you’re still going to look exhausted and feel like crap. Like, you know, every other woman who’s just pushed a baby out of her vagina and gotten no sleep for over a day. I never expected to look like Kim Kardashian after birth with the paparazzi swarming me, so I never even thought about makeup.

Extra bag, cell phone, maternity clothes and maxi pads? Check. I had no idea about the amount of after birth fluids that would come out. Now, I know better. Also, you leave still looking pregnant. Was totally devastated at first; now I know better, once again.

Food? Not necessary unless you really have a craving. I actually found most of the hospital food to be quite good, and as an added bonus, I didn’t have to make it, clean it up, and it got delivered whenever I wanted!

Scott 5 months ago

Great list Jill! You always tell it like it is. Also, don’t forget to have a life insurance policy somewhere for you and your husband/partner. You may not need to pack it in the hospital bag but it should be something that is packed in a safe place somewhere just like the Preparation H!

Lauren J 11 months ago

Number 2 and 7 are SO true! I always packed Charmin wet wipes in my toiletry bag, and a soft washcloth for that purpose alone. And the food is currently being squirreled away so that my spouse (and kids) can’t get to it. I deserve my own box of Hostess cupcakes, dammit!

Jen 1 year ago

FOR SURE toilet paper from home (that was my lightbulb moment when my water broke and I hadn’t packed my bag yet (35 weeks) and now I tell everyone!!

Baby book so they can put hand and foot prints in for you.

MP3 player with soothing music so you can actually sleep at night.

yoga blocks 1 year ago

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Maria 1 year ago

Oh man, I wish I had had this list! Our hypno-birthing coach (don’t ask!) told us to bring (brace yourself) incense, candles and coloured scarves to put over the lightbulbs … since hospital rooms can be so clinical.

Like I cared!! I had a home birth (not by choice, we had to apologize to all the neighbors the next morning), but I might as well have been on Mars or in the middle of the Grand Canyon. By the time things got serious, I couldn’t care less about romantic lighting and the person who would have put on some incense would have had a serious problem!

What did help was something firm around my belly after the birth (I had special wrap for it). Not everyone has this problem, but after the birth I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath, since my diaphragm was a little sloppy. The wrap helped me out for a few days. And no, it doesn’t make you look less pregnant after the birth (which was why I bought it).

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Patent Attorney 1 year ago

Excellent tips, and that baby is absolutely adorable!

Melissa 2 years ago

Just wanted to say thanks for the laughs and for the tips! I’m due in late May and still trying to come to terms with the fact that I might be pushing something giant out of a 10cm space.


motherhero 2 years ago

Sanitary napkins don’t hold nearly enough. You’ll need depends for a few days – youwill not want to keep underwear after it’s been through that.

melissa 2 years ago

Extra ponytail holders/hairbands. I couldn’t decide which feeling was more horrible: hair down or hair up, so I kept ripping them out and losing them.

PlurLiffey 2 years ago

I wish some one had told me this when i had my first son at 17 I went broke fast now ill be having my 2nd in September and will be taking the nurse home if she doesnt resist.

Alma 2 years ago

It depends on the hospital. My hospital is children hospital, friend of children(carries such a name). After giving birth, I was placed in a room from which the next 3 days I could not get out. The child has been with me all the time. There were two moms in the room. They assume that you already know everything (breast feeding, changing …). Bad food, no bedding … And not to forget, the new maternity hospital.
No television, radio, the Internet …
In the room you will find a bed (with part of the bedding), cupboard, toilet with one roll of toilet paper.
What a joy!

kat 2 years ago

Sounds good thank you :)

Janina Staci Belikov 2 years ago

I went to Washington Hospital in Washington, PA. Everything there was amazing. They had extremely good toilet paper, wonderful food, amazing pads, and everything! But, the only bad part is the nurse that was supposed to watch me didn't and I was still numb from the epidural and ended up falling in the bathroom a good 6 times before deciding to crawl out to my room. That was two years ago, on November 8th.

wagnyv 2 years ago

After giving birth, one of the nurse actually save me from the bottom pain by putting chips of ice inside a newborn diaper to cool me off and I had it on as a regular pad. It works miracle!!

Sam Leyva 2 years ago

After my vaginal birth I had to use a squirt bottle to avoid risk of infection from being cut, so No on TP, waste of space. Also makeup and a blind fold? This list isn't very good at all….

Anne Moon 2 years ago

I packed nightdresses with all of mine, and didn't touch them. I didn't want to stain them, when I could just wear the hospital ones and not worry! But I DID want my bathrobe, and a cardigan or jacket. The AC was always cranked too high, even in August.

Katherine Jassi 2 years ago

Sally Anderson Lol i'm 33 weeks now hun, it's another boy!!!!! Lol not long to go now!!! I'm fully equipped for a VBAC….as long as the little monkey behaves himself ;)!

Sally Anderson 2 years ago

Oh my god kat, i really need to get on facebook more regular, congratulations on ur news of ur 2nd little 1,any ideas boy or girl? Any names yet? Take care XX

ommyzbaby 2 years ago

the bottle thing was my bf..due in 8 weeks…

Lisa Brian 2 years ago

Lol trust you. xx

Katherine Jassi 2 years ago

I'm sorted then, I have everything mentioned above packed and ready!!!! Even lolly pops and chewing gum in case of gas n air all the way down to compfy socks!…..and I'm only 27 weeks, oh well no harm in being prepared hey!

Lorna Oneill 2 years ago


new-mom2-be 2 years ago

I’m due Feb 2014 and am really glad for this list…am in Jamaica, not sure how hospitals are but just in case they are not so nice… Am taking everything for myself… Thanks to all the moms who left a great post!

Luis 2 years ago

I’ve never heard anyone mention some DVDs. I had a season of Seinfeld on me and it helped cuz I went into labor around 10pm and was awake until 2am or something like that. What can keep you amused better than that?

Annie 2 years ago

A Gorgeous Hospital Gown is another must for any hospital visit too. Who wants to wear a gown someone else has used, or died in? Anything you can wear to make yourself feel just that little bit better, or indeed look a tinsy bit more normal and less institutionalized is a must.

Naannelle 2 years ago

Funniest thing I ever read here.but I will definately have the dermaplast at hand.:). Newmom due December 31st :)

Rachel 2 years ago

This list is soooooo helpful! I am a first time mommy due in Oct and I was definitely taking notes. I really appreciate all of the suggestions. This will help me so much when it comes time to pack my hospital bag.

Clara 2 years ago

I wore my boyfriends boxers…they worked almost as well as the mesh ones from the hospital

Ashley 2 years ago

Oh! and if your hospital allows it a blow up mattress for your husband or whoever else will be there with you! They told us this on our tour of the hospital and it was such a good idea. the postpartum rooms only had benches with cushions on them built into the wall and the nurses said it was fine to bring a mattress as long as they can still get around and take care of you.

Ashley 2 years ago

Take several pairs of everything! I think I took 4 shirts and 4 pants just in case. And thank god I did because I ended up having a c-section and only 1 pair of my pants fit because I had swollen up so much, and it was all in my thighs!

V 2 years ago

I am an RN now, but not too long ago I WAS a nursing student in a maternity ward. I know that new moms are dealing with a lot and it can be frightening to think that someone with incomplete knowledge is near you and your little one during this time. I needed that experience in nursing school and I didn’t get a lot of it. Please, if you can stand a nursing student, let them be near you. Let them learn as much as they can from being there. That’s how we make great nurses.

Kim 2 years ago

I am just saying, that when i had my son 4 years ago you couldnt shower until the day before you left.. NO NEED to bring yoga pants i fit back into my regular pants like a charm. It all depends how your body reacts to giving birth.. And they do NOT allow you to bring food here either.. only order food when you want from the hospital or elswhere .. dont forget tooth brush and deoderant .. You wont be wiping your self no need for the toilet paper either.. you cant wipe.. atleast you wont want too.. invest in water bottles and the patting technique.. ..

lindsey 2 years ago

Omygosh Thank you for this!! First time mom and I would of been MISERABLE if I hadn’t of read this. Wouldn’t of thought of half of this stuff. Seriously Thank you. You are friggin AWSOME.

joyfulT 2 years ago

If you have a food allergy or Celiac Disease, make sure you bring food! Seriously, the hospital was not prepared to deal with a hungry Celiac mama. All they had that I could eat was instant chicken broth, jello, and some other nasty thing I don’t remember. With this pregnancy, I’m bringing my own food!

gingerale 2 years ago

Everything all the list is a must and i enjoyed using the mesh underwear didnthave to worry about ruining mine and after my first i did eventually wear thongs again and i know alot of ppl that do

momtobe 2 years ago

Hi there.
Great comments. Anyone in india…i cld use some indian tips as well.

Kandice 2 years ago

AMEN to that!

Kandice 2 years ago

i totally agree…about to have my fourth and i never found a neat way to repay those “above and beyond” nurses…and wow…what a job they have…they must get starved

Shantel 2 years ago

I’m not sure if it’s just our hospital but they have a real chef. Their food is actually really good and they always have canned drinks or OJ. The only think I can not stand is the platic wrap they use on EVERYTHING. The pads they gave me I didn’t mind and was awesome because I used them for my c-section draining too.I took just about anything. I’ve been in and out of the hospital from asthma my whole life so the pillows I don’t mind even when I wanted a few more I’d just ask. My hospital also has a place you can call and they’ll bring you up a basket full of goodies with food, cross puzzles, notebooks, colors, pencils, oxygen safe chapstick (Burts Bees or Vaseline.) blankets, teddy bear lol if you want one. They are really awesome.

Bring sock (floors are so freaking cold!)
shampoo and conditioner(They only provide baby shampoo)
brush (they only provide a comb)
chargers for all
snacks for your SO
Pillow and blanket for SO(mine had to deal with hospital ones which he wasn’t use to like me)
your own paci’s(my son was so attached to his first paci I had to go back to the hospital and they were nice enough to give me more)
babies first outfit and going home outfit
baby lotion
If you have another children bring something for them to do
baby blanket

Shantel 2 years ago

Didn’t think of that!

Shantel 2 years ago

If you need to use a chapstick choose burts bees or vaseline, if for some reason you need oxygen, regular chapstick can spark a fire

nichole 2 years ago

some advice for the bathroom stuff (shampoo, bodywash and such). for my first baby, i went about a month in advance, and bought all of the stuff i used at home, in travel size bottles. i also got a cheepie toothbrust, a cheepie hair brush that was like waht i used at home, deoderant, and all that sort of hygine and shower stuff. i even packed the same way for my hubby, that way if he was there for a long time, and wished to freshen up, he had his stuff too. i had it already packed in something my ob had given me at one of my visits. i figured with my travel stuff, 1, if it got lost there for some reason (fell in with trash or towels and was taken away or such) it wasnt a big deal being a tiny 1dollar bottle. and 2, no need to unpack once home. i left it all packed up, and then when i made a trip to my familys house for a few days, it was one less thing i had to pack, now that i had all sorts of new things to have to pack for baby.

jackie 3 years ago

that was so dumb

Chelsea 3 years ago

I am 20… was in the hospital two years ago in the pediatric ward (NOT for pregnancy lol) and the nurses did that when I had headaches or other pain. It smelled really good! I have no need to buy diapers, but when I do….ICE PACKS!

Chelsea 3 years ago

My GOD. I have been fearing giving birth since I learned the stork didn’t exist. Now I don’t think I will be as disappointed as originally thought if and when my doctor tells me I won’t be able to bear children. I will just take a five year old… you can all do the rest. Must be potty-trained!

You all sound like amazing, wonderful mothers.

Marisa 3 years ago

I think I am likely to agree with you. Being a mom may not be for me… I have read through many articles on this website and I would bet good money that mommy may not be in the cards for everyone… Me either.

Melissa 3 years ago

This may be the most BRILLIANT thing anyone has ever posted on a mom-to-be blog entry!!!

Rose 3 years ago

I really liked the mesh underwear..

Rachel 3 years ago

The hospital I had my second in wouldn’t allow any clothes or blankets but the hospital issue for the babies. They said it was for security reasons. Getting in and out of the labor and delivery floor is like trying to get into Fort Knox!

jamey 3 years ago

Do NOT under any circumstances bring the pads with any “dry weave” type covering! They will become stuck to your episiotomy site and pull on the sutures. You do not know pain until you try to take out your own stitches by pulling down your pants to pee!

shama-mama 3 years ago

my nurses would open up baby diapers and insert ice to make themnto ice packs and give them to me instead of pads. that is the best, i kept that up at home to!

Janeen 4 years ago

Two of those I don’t agree with. One, the food. My hospital had AWESOME food. I ordered as soon as I could because I was living with a friend at the time (long story but to sum, I got pregnant in Korea and returned to the US at 30 weeks to have baby leaving my husband and older daughter until they returned 5 months later) and she had a gluten free household because she and her daughter both had celiac disease. The hospital served the maternity ward at just about any time day or night with just a few hours where they didn’t serve food (so I could order something at 3 in the morning if I happened to be up nursing an infant). The best part was the celebration meal which included some massive yummies like steak or chicken cordon blue that you could get for this one meal for you and your partner (or my friend who was able to get a gluten free meal). I ate there as much as I possibly could the entire time I was there! lol

The pads they had I didn’t think were bad either, they actually had something on the top that when you bent it, made it cold and the cold part went against your sore bits. Not the most absorbent stuff and it felt weird to sit on but it was nice having something cold on the sore bits.

Had to have my computer though, that was a must though the plan to have it set to Skype with my husband during the delivery totally fell through. I called him from my tracfone after the baby was born. Oops. Things kind of went fast after I got there and letting him see the fun just wasn’t on my mind! Dude TOTALLY got off easy.

MelissaC 4 years ago

Uh, the number one thing on MY list would be a refrigerated giant Costco-size tub of Preparation H wipes. SOOOO GOOOOOOD I used LOTS of them, and would tuck them in the pads inbetween times.

BA 4 years ago

I just had my first little one 12 weeks ago… these are a few things I am VERY glad I had with me:
1) Instead of toilet paper I brought those wet wipes (easier to dab your lady parts with)
2) A hand held back messager (before, during and after the baby your man BETTER rub anything you ask him to!)
3) Gum or mints, I was throwing up, and they don’t let you get up to brush your teeth each time.

Kelly 4 years ago

1. Your spare vagina, 2. That thing Tommy Lee Jones has in Men in Black, that erases memories, 3. Oh & some flavored lube. My D-Ass-H was so damn horny in there! I guess all the freakin’ nurses coming in and out all day. By my 3rd – his 4th, we were looking at it as a vacation from the kids at home. Good Times.

& For reals…when you think you want to go Natural with no drugs, sign that little paper they recommend just in case you change your mind. With the 1st, after about 7 hours of labor, I was like…”That Fucking Baby Story show is a Crock!” Get me an Anesthesiologist right fucking now!

& Best Wishes!

Maegan 4 years ago

Yeah…Most women aren’t there for very long. Packing all your home products just doesn’t make sense and you’ll have to unpack them when you get home! How many times did anyone shower in 24 hours?? I didn’t shower the first 24 hours at all b/c of the surgery. Then I showered as soon as I could…And once again before I left. But again, I had a total of 5 days in the hospital for both. If you’re a vaginal delivery…You’ll probably only be there about 24 hours. Unless you have special skin & hair…Just use what they give you. :)

Lexi 4 years ago

Great list! The toilet paper is a fantastic idea. OMG that hospital toilet paper ought to be reserved for people in prison and hell! I would add on that socks, thick warm socks are a must have. I didn’t bring any with my first son and my feet were constantly cold and so dry, cracked and peely by the time I headed home.

Warm clothes for baby, even if it’s summer, just in case. It was cold in my hospital and even though it was the middle of July (normally 80-100 in our town) we took our son home during a cold rain storm. It also didn’t occur to me to bring more than one outfit for him. I had to send hubby home the first night for jammies and more clothes to finish off our 2 1/2 day stay.

firedrop 4 years ago

OMG! That was so me! The nurse was even holding my arm and never warned me! I thought all of my insides fell out!

Emily 4 years ago

I don’t know if this has already been said (too many posts to scroll through!) but don’t forget your camera!!!

Not Supermom 4 years ago

Chapstick. For God’s sake, chapstick.

Also, if you’re lucky like me, and have an allergy to every pain med under the sun, pack your ass some Benadryl, so you don’t scratch your eyes out.

Marci 4 years ago

A black robe. Those nurses make you get out of bed and take care of the baby (seriously!). It’s nice to cover your granny panty-covered butt as you’re shuffling around the room. And black because of all the scary stuff that escapes your body as you sit in that bed with that robe on.

Erin I’m Gonna Kill Him 4 years ago

I can’t think of anything else, but somehow G managed to grab a full footed pajama set when I told him to get a ‘onsie.’ This was on our third kid.

asweeten88 4 years ago

With my first daughter I absolutly had to have my own pillow, blanket,portable dvd player because the tv was just to far away and i felt that to be unacceptable for scrubs viewing.I also had to bring my own GIANT water bottle for fruit punch, which i demanded ,or i would banish you from my room. (I was a slightly evil delivering mom) I also had to have a pre game pep talk with those around me about not being nancies and getting their feelings hurt. If i happen to scream at you dont be a nancy and give your feelings hurt, im only coping with the loss of my beautiful vagina, looking at my ravenged pre and post delivery body,i havent eaten in hours and 14.5 million people are touching me,while im also having every bit of privacy stripped away becuase everyone has seen me in all my pregnant glory. I think these are all very important things.

Humanmama 4 years ago

um–Colace, or a different stool softener? No one tells you about the secret “second baby”–the first poo. Of course, I had two c-sections, they might make it worse than vag-labor. But I doubt it.

shannon 4 years ago

I second that. Try to grab a couple of extra for home too. Better to soil the mesh ones than your own.

shannon 4 years ago

Your backbone. Best advice my pre-natal coach gave me. The nurses and doctors are going to do what’s easiest for them unless you tell them otherwise. Have a plan and stick to it and don’t be afraid to be a jerk about it. Try to be nice first – but when you’re in unmedicated back labour and the doctor is checking your cervix and your husband is rubbing your back and one nurse is rubbing your arm saying “you’re doing great” and the other nurse is putting another warm blanket on you – it’s OK to scream at the top of your lungs “Would everybody please just get the F— off of me!!!”

Kate Ritchie 4 years ago

With my first I watched the whole season of LOST. I’m still disappointed how it ended. The show, not my son.

Niki 4 years ago

So true, flip flops for the shower are important!

I spent hours watching DVR’d episodes of What Would You Do? all of those nights up nursing.

Leah 4 years ago

At my hospital, they told me that anything that was in our room that we didn’t use (except blankets) would be thrown out, so we should just take everything we could. Two years later, I still have a bunch of those puppy pads they sent me home with and am still finding uses for them.

Leah 4 years ago

Those puppy pads also work great for sleeping on (under your chest) the first few nights after your milk comes in so you don’t get your sheets all wet.

Ukmommy 4 years ago

All our treatment is on the NHS so you get the bare minimum here! You have to bring all your own clothes, nappies, night gown etc. I had no ante-natal classes, I figured he got in there through some heavy breathing, he’ll damn well come out the same way weather I breathe in a certain way or not! Women in coma’s have baby’s so I’m sure it would happen with or without the huffing and puffing! my stay in hospital was short, arrived at 9.30 pm, delivered at 12.34 am and home by 9 am! Told you it was the bare minimum!

Brittany {Mommy Words} 4 years ago

I had to have my technology lady. My laptop, my blackberry, my ipod and all that crap. If my darling hubs lets me have another after losing our last pregnancy they will need extra outlets for all the things I will have to plug in for my 2 night stay WITHOUT kids. It is heaven in many ways…all that time with just a newborn.

Julie F. 4 years ago

You definitely need to bring one or two pillows from home. Make sure that you don’t have white pillow cases on them or the hospital may mistake them for their own. Socks and slippers are another must. When you get up to walk the hallways you don’t want to be barefoot.

*If you have a c-section, make sure you ask your doctor to prescribe gas pills for EVERY time you eat. I skipped the pills at one meal because the nurse forgot them and the pains were worse than the incision from my c-section. Gas pains after a c-section are not normal gas pains, they are excrutiatingly painful!

Odd Dad 4 years ago

Your husband got to sleep? My wife wouldn’t let me sleep! I got to do the crossword puzzle with her. There was no sleeping! I still haven’t recovered from those three days without sleep! And my first child is five now!

Odd Dad 4 years ago

How about music? My wife had a favorite song to listen to when she was in labor. It’s “I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker” by Sandi Thom. It helped her get through the contractions if she could scream along with the tune. For our first child she was in labor for 52 hours! Every time that song comes on the iPod, I have fond memories of my wife doing step aerobics whilst huffing and puffing, trying to get that kid to come out.

I was born too late / to a world that doesn’t care. / I wish I was a punk rocker / with flowers in my hair!

TheActorsWife 4 years ago

Hair ties, bands, barrettes; anything to keep your hair out of your face. Even with my pixie cut at the time, I was happy to pin those few sweaty strands away from my forehead.

T 4 years ago

Oh and if you are not planning on breastfeeding. Bring a tight bra and some cabbage leaves. It will help!!

Mer 4 years ago

For those mom’s who are scheduling a c-section:
Pillows. With old pillowcases on them because they’re gonna wind up with blood/bodily fluids on them.

You should also leave home with warning of ‘The Splat’. I’m not sure if vaginal birth mothers have this or not. Just know that if you have a c-section, that first time you stand up is horrifying and no one warned me!

Jenn 4 years ago

I second your own pjs. I didn’t take any and felt frumpy the whole time. My cousin had a baby 2 months later and I was so jealous of how put together she was just bc she wasnt in a gown :(

Cassandra 4 years ago

You own night gown, no reason to walk around in the hospital gowns if you have to stay.

Mommyfriend 4 years ago

A good nursing bra or regular bra, just something comfy. Your boobs are going to look like missiles and hurt like hell. Protect them.

heather clark 4 years ago

definately a blanket. and SOCKS. so your feet don’t freeze. and, if you’re going to have an epidural, go to a thrift store and get a walker to make it easier to go to the toilet by yourself. just to get on & off the pot. you can get one for $5 or so. just lysol the hell out of it. after my surgery (i had epidural) it was 3 days before i got all the feeling back in my right leg.

Emily 4 years ago

AMEN to that!! Before I got my epidural, my husband was trying to “help” me by reminding me how to breathe properly. At that point, I was just trying to remember how to breathe, period. The crying and shaking were taking over and I was holding my breath.

Kelsey 4 years ago

So I think you all have succeeded in being some of the best birth control ever…looks like my baby fever just broke! Yowza, I think I will wait until we invent a new method of birthing. Incubators, anyone? :)

Pam @ You Are Kidding Me! 4 years ago

Absolutely, without a doubt, no woman should leave home without a fully detailed birthing plan and elaborate notes reminding one how to breathe through the labor so that drugs can be avoided. Okay, now that I’ve just peed myself from laughing so hard at the ridiculousness of the above must haves, my necessity was a blanket from home. In addition, the epidural was better than chocolate chip cookies and milk and I didn’t remember jacksh&! about how to breathe, so I opted for crying. Loudly. And a lot.

Heather 4 years ago

Great list! I would add a nursing bra and those bra pads to keep your milk from spraying everywhere. When your milk comes in, it #^^%%^^ hurts! And you have no control over when it starts or stops. Beware!

Summer 4 years ago

Cozy socks a must!

Melissa 4 years ago

Your list is awesome! I had two and with the first one, I stayed in my gown the whole time, tired, no makeup and could care less about showering, etc. Of course, that was the one that 400 million people came to visit me during. My second child, five years later, was a different hospital experience. I spent the whole time after in my own pjs, freshly showered with makeup done and feeling great and up for visits. It sounds strange, but the items that made the most impact on me were for the baby. The first time around my daughter stayed in hospital clothes and blankets until going home. When my son was born years later, I brought several blankets and tiny sleeper outfits–it was so nice to cuddle him in the super soft clothing and familiar blankets and made it seem like he was already home. Plus anytime they had to take him to the nursery to run a test, etc, I could easily spot him right away through the window with his distinctive blanket and clothes.

Jessie 4 years ago

pillows and a blanket from home were both musts for us…

Cheryl M. 4 years ago

Something to read! I was exhausted after giving birth, but the next two nights were insomnia city what with all the nursing and new baby excitement. Make sure you have something with you to keep yourself from going batty!

Amy 4 years ago

I took along a pair of ear plugs. My hubby (Mr. Snores-a-lot) was sleeping in the room with me, and with all the usual hospital noise, I didn’t want to be disturbed. The earplugs blocked out any unwanted noise and I was able to zonk out.

Suzanne 4 years ago

I loved the pads my hospital had, you snapped and shook them and they were cold! Sounds crazy, but it felt so much better – sitting was tolerable again :-) Good thing since it felt like all I did the first few weeks was sit and nurse!

The only think I would add is to bring since slippers or flip flops and when you go home have a good bit saved up on your DVR and let your mind rot a little while you nurse. In my daughter’s first month I watched the entire Gilmore Series :-)

From Belgium 4 years ago

Your own pillow, those hospitalpillows are muchosucko

Paula @ thewilyweez 4 years ago

I would skip the pads and opt for Depends…it just seems easier! :)

blah 4 years ago

I abso-frickin-lutely loved the mesh underpants…..once I was told what they were by my doctor the day after my first birth. She came in to check on my c-section scar and asked me to stand up. No one (or any book for that matter) informed me that I didn’t have to hold that pad between my legs by sheer will. After the epiphany of the mesh underpants nothing seemed to bug me.
The drugs sure helped too.

Danielle 4 years ago

ITA…The peri bottle was a life saver! As were the sitz baths and you are right on the money about the bf!

Danielle 4 years ago

ITA. That was totally was the biggest shock for me after giving birth!

Danielle 4 years ago

They have a product called Milkies that you can use to actually “catch” all the milk so that you can freeze it/feed it to your baby.

Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac 4 years ago

Mints for your husband, who has dragon breath after staying up all night drinking coffee. (Worse than the breath is the chance that he might fall asleep during your labor because then you’d have to kill him.)

K A B L O O E Y 4 years ago

Along the same lines as soft TP and technologically modern maxi-pads: I swiped as many of those bang-’em to get cold packs as I could. And a billion changing pads, which I just piled up on the changing table. Not very environment friendly, but made life easier.

CakeWitch 4 years ago

I’m pregnant with #3 and you’ve covered all on my list except my kindle, and one of those rubber bracelets to remind me which side baby last nursed on. I also needed LOTS of liquids last time and packed lots of water/juice for the mini fridge— the hospital air is soooo dry. Packed my own moisturizer/lip balm too.
One other comment: I’ve had 2 babies and have never been shaved before birthing, didn’t think they still did that?! (I’m in Canada, delivered vaginally both times)

Leigh Ann 4 years ago

Flip flops. During my 1st stay I wore them all over the place (1 week of bed rest and 4 days after delivery). The shower was icky. In my 2nd stay I was in a brand new wing with a fabulous shower, but still. Hospital floors are dirty. Flip flops.

I adored the mesh panties that I got from the hospital and was kinda sad when I ran out! And I’d even say “meh” to the perfect coming home outfit. That just wasn’t important to me after 5 weeks in the NICU, even with my 3rd who came home on the regular schedule.

kalah 4 years ago

um, i don’t think you left out anything – but i would like to comment on the yoga pants…. you will go in with a large hard belly – something to be proud of. you will leave with a large jiggly belly. such a sad sad thing.

Nilzed 4 years ago

You can buy those you know, at pharmacies specializing in actual medical stuff instead of being a general store Though puppy training pads are easier to come buy in any big box pet store. Or Target.

Rachael 4 years ago

Thanks for the list and the comments from others. I now have a printed out, very long list of what to take the hospital and I still have 7 months to go! :) Thanks a bunch! :)

Alexandra 4 years ago

Maxi pads for those leaking boobs.

Those little circular thingies??


They worked for like 20 mins.

*I coulda fed the entire 4th floor.

shannon 4 years ago

We brought champagne! While I was in the hospital waiting for the twins to be born, I read magazines and books. Take your computer or iPad. Pen and paper. And some nice smelling perfume or body spray.

Carri 4 years ago

I would add big, giant, cotton granny panties because the mesh hospital underwear are complete and utter bullshit. And Dermaplast. Your vag will thank you.

Emily 4 years ago

I agree with you 100%! Especially the part about the hospital products for showering, etc. After giving birth (first was vaginal and second two were both c-sections) I would have showered with cheap dish soap–I didn’t care what I used as long as I was standing under hot running water. The first shower is HEAVEN and who cares if they have cheap body wash and toothpaste?!

april 4 years ago

For my we second pregnancy I had my husband change out the shower head so it was handheld one. It was a life saver, I felt like I was really clean after everything.

Emily 4 years ago

I think you have it covered. When I got pregnant with my first son, I read every baby book imaginable. All I have to say to you moms who don’t have kids yet is this: Whatever you take in, you have to to take home with you. The most important thing you take home is your baby, so forget all the “relaxation” CDs the experts suggest (I couldn’t listen to CDs while in labor. I was too busy crying and trying to catch my breath!); the book to read while you’re waiting (who had time to read when you’re in excruciating pain, waiting for the epidural to kick in??); a book (too excited about becoming a first time mom–I probably read the same page of the romance novel I took in 15 times before I realized my mind was on other things and it wasn’t sinking in); and chapstick–of course the chapstick. (rolling eyes) I’m pretty sure that while I was in active labor, my lips looked like Linda Blair’s after she was possessed. Didn’t care though–I was too busy doing other less important things like, oh, I dunno–giving birth. And please ladies (and men, if there are any) tell EVERYONE you know who may stop by or send gifts NOT to. Back to the “you have to take home what you brought in” I mentioned earlier–You’ll have your baby–you won’t have room for 4 or 5 flower arrangements and several cheap teddy bears from the gift shop. Seriously.

kimmie 4 years ago

I did bring a t-shirt and boxers to wear my first time around. It was excellent! LOL

kimmie 4 years ago

After our first, my lovely husband decided to treat me like an invalid and made me vegetable soup for my first meal home. I could’ve killed him. Our second had to go to the nearest big hospital NICU so my first meal out was on the run….Subway never tasted so good.

Stephanie 4 years ago

I don’t have kids yet, but I was with my BFF every step of the way as she gave birth to twins 3 years ago. This is actually a suggestion. Steal those seepage pads they put under you on the hospital bed. Just ask for more clean ones, and stockpile them in your suitcase. They work as great changing pads, especially if you don’t like to change your kid from the side view. My BFF preferred changing them on her bed, and the pads were great. They also work really well as crib protectors, under your sheets!

Victoria KP 4 years ago

I know you mentioned food–I’ll second that. You will be hungrier than you ever have been in your life–especially if you’re nursing.

And don’t be afraid to say you’re not in the mood for a visitor.

Mo 4 years ago

AMEN!! Plus your hair down there will never come in the same after they shave you! I know that modesty has gone out the window by this point in time, but if you do it yourself it saves you the shame of having some guy nurse do it for you!

Loralee 4 years ago

I have never had a C-section but I give this the thumbs up for vaginal births as well. I just prefer it for many reasons like feeling cleaner and also because when they wheeled in the mirror with my first baby I was traumatized and scarred for life at the view.

I have to say that while it hurts like a bitch (and it’s worse when you’re pregnant) that brazilians are the WAY to go.

Oh, and I swear by renting one of the REALLY good hospital breast pumps (assuming you don’t purchase one). Even if you don’t plan on long-term pumping it is a LIFE SAVER for when your milk comes in and to help with your milk production at first. (Also is very good if your baby is not a natural nurser). Best thing I ever did post baby.

Carolyn 4 years ago

Oh and get a doula. She saved my marriage. Seriously.

Carolyn 4 years ago

I’d have a nighttime nursing bra and a LONG tshirt. I hated hospital “gowns”.

coconuts 4 years ago

Go in with bald lady parts. No matter what the lady that runs the birthing class tells you about how they don’t automatically shave you if you have to have an emergency C-Section. It is far less itchy to do it yourself than to have a nurse come at you with a Bic razor and some KY jelly and it saves you $250. A brazilian wax is cheaper and less itchy.

Susan 4 years ago

Giant granny panties that you can throw out when you get home from the hospital. Panties should be big in the bum, snug fitting (for the maxi pads) and ones that go nice and high up your tummy. Helps keep that saggy tummy skin (or C-section incision) held in tight. Then when the horror show of blood and guts in over, throw them out!

Leigh 4 years ago

Definitely chapstick or whatever similar lip goop you prefer. I had a c-section and the pain medication they gave me after made my mouth and lips extremely dry. Also, shoes that are easy off/on for when you leave. After surgery I was part of the small percentage of people who swell up like a suckling pig due to all the IV drips and my body retained too much liquid. Swollen feet & ankles for weeks after I went home! I also was thinking ahead and brought a very forgiving maxi-dress to go home in. A very loose one piece and you’re done kinda outfit.

As far as supplies, the nurse told us to clear out the baby cart because we’d already been charged for it through our insurance so don’t feel intimidated to take EVERYTHING out of that cart when you leave.

Vinny 4 years ago

Jeese, is being a woman this complicated? So glad I’m a dude.

Angela 4 years ago

A notepad- helpful for writing down/remembering staff names in case you want to send a thank you note afterwards. We had great nurses and made sure to send one. As a nurse, I know how seldom that kind of appreciation is shown, so it was important to me to do that.

I brought a pair of stretchy comfy DARK colored PJs to wear. Dark because you know at some point there is risk of bleeding on your clothes. No need to be wearing white when that happens.

We also brought sugar free candy for me to suck on during labor, but let’s be honest- I ended up snatching Funyuns and Diet Coke from my hubby when the nurses weren’t in the room. Mama needed some fuel!

MomofTwoUnderFour 4 years ago

Wait wait what about the numbing spray? Dermaplast!!!! Amazing! After 42 stitches with my first, I carried that heaven in a bottle in my purse!

Marian 4 years ago

Agreed on the Yoga pants. I had 2 C-Sections. I could not roll over in bed to get comfortable. Extra Pillows may help. Also you may not feel like having visitors. Guess what, it is OK to tell people not to visit you don’t feel well. Ask them to babysit when you get home and give you a break when it is needed. FYI – once the cute babies are a little bit older, you will have to pay a stranger to babysit. You will wonder where are all the people that lined up to see that cute little cherub in the hospital.

Amy Bliss 4 years ago

All of these ideas are awesome!! I don’t think I have any more items to add. I do want to say to the brand new mommas out there who haven’t given birth yet: Do NOT be afraid to grab everything you can from the hospital. They expect it, you’re paying for it in one way or another and you deserve it.

Also, if you need anything at all and you’re in a conventional hospital be prepared to wait (if it’s for you and is a non-emergency). If it’s for the baby though, it will be there lickety split.

I didn’t have a mini-fridge in my room, but they kept one stocked just outside the nurses station and if you couldn’t find something in there you liked, you just asked and it would magically appear a bit later. LOL

No Drama Momma 4 years ago

Makeup. And remind whoever is in the room with you that it is their ultimate responsibility to make sure you put that sh*t on, because you will be too tired and grouchy to care. But you will care when you see the pictures of you looking tired and grouchy. If you can teach your husband to apply the makeup for you, so much the better!

Carol 4 years ago

For some unknown reason I thought I’d be smaller when I came out of the hospital. I brought smaller clothes and ended up just putting the ones on that I came in. Fool!

I weighed myself the second time and after having an 8-pound baby (and all that goes with it) when I weighed myself again I was only 3-pounds lighter. It’s just wrong.

Lin 4 years ago

I dont have any kids yet but I’m taking notes of everything you gals are saying..this is some good stuff!

Maegan 4 years ago

I didn’t bring very much with me..Mostly my own clothes & socks (which I wasn’t allowed to wear, I HAD to wear the ones with the no-slip doohickies on the bottom, but they kept twisting in my sleep and so when I stepped off the bed it was always onto the wrong side of the damn sock). I didn’t think the hospital products were that bad…I showered & shampooed with their “everything” wash. I didn’t use toilet paper at first (I couldn’t have reached down to wipe anyway, I was sectioned)…I used a squirt bottle to rinse things off. And the first 12-16 hours they set me on a chux pad with nothing on below the waist anyway. I didn’t mind the mesh panties…at least I wasn’t leaking gross stuff all over my OWN panties.

Also…take the baby stuff! When the cart shows up with the wipes & diapers…Stuff those away to take home…And they’ll give you a new pack every time. 😉

If you wear contacts…bring glasses, they’re easier to deal with in the middle of the night & your eyes won’t get gross (from leaving them in too long) or dry (from leaving them in too long!).

Something to pull your hair back is almost VITAL! Bring extra hair elastics.

I was in the hospital for 3 days & 2 days…the food wasn’t that bad, but the first thing I wanted wasn’t hospital food. My momma brought me grits. Have someone standing by with food for you. Also, water or juice or something…the hospital refilled me if I asked…but sometimes I was too thirsty to wait (I had a sink in my room, but it was short and I couldn’t fit my pitcher under it…and I was too hobbly to get up every 5 minutes to refill my cup).

If you’re giving birth in a hospital…Take the tour, so you can find out how private things will be…and what you’ll BE ABLE to have in the room! Some places are nicer than others…have more amenities (mini-fridges in rooms), some places simply don’t allow things b/c they can’t guarantee they’re hypo allergenic, etc. If you’re at a birthing center, talk to your provider about how quickly you’ll be moved or sent home…You might be able to leave a LOT out if you’re only going to be there for about 12 hours. If you’re giving birth at home…set up your house beforehand like you’re going on vacation & leaving the husband and (maybe) other kids to fend for themselves. Clean up, stock the fridge with ready-made meals (or frozen meals you’ve pre-prepared), and arrange to have someone come over & clean after your first 24 hours. :)

Melissa 4 years ago

Shoes! My feel were larger than life from all of the IV fluid. The 10.5 wides that I was sporting the last month of my pregnancy didn’t cut it. Maybe it was just me.

Taryn 4 years ago

A pillow. Definitely a pillow. Not only to use in place of the poor excuse for a pillow that the hospitals have, but also to SIT ON during the car ride home. After the trauma that happens “down there”, “it” deserves a soft and cushy ride home. Just sayin’.

Alice 4 years ago

I read a blog post about 2 weeks after I gave birth recommending these I and will definitely bring them to the hospital for baby #2 – black boy short underwear, the kind that don’t give wedgies. I detested those fishnet-style panties they give you to put the ancient pads into.
Clothing-wise, I second yoga pants and nursing camisoles. I also had a long wrap cardigan that I lived in at the end of my pregnancy and in the hospital. (I delivered in March.)
And yes to earplugs! My room was right across from the nurse’s station.

Jessica 4 years ago

I agree with bringing your own drugs. My husband couldn’t get a motrin and the giftshop was closed. I requested it for him but they stood there until I took it. It felt like I was in the psych ward and he still had a headache.

Missy Wags 4 years ago

The Happy Mama’s bottom spray was priceless… here’s the link for it

And someone mentioned the perenium water bottle too… GET ONE. After using the bathroom for the first week just squirt some water over your lady bits then use the perenium spray.. helps to heal quickly and feels great. Witch hazel pads are a lifesaver.. After birth I had a hemmerhoid the size of Rhode Island. A week after using the witch hazel pads it was gone and I could walk like a human again.

The Lily padz work great too, I used those the entire time I BF.

For those new to BF’ing.. The first month or 2 is rough, but after that it’s easy-peasy… and it burns 500 calories a day… That was my mantra

The people who offer to help, have them cook meals and stick them in your freezer. They can also come and give you a break when you need some rest, and they can help tidy up. People love babies that they can give back..lol

Wineplz 4 years ago

I stole more because I was so tired of ruining my existing 3-kid maternity undies. I still needed something to wear in a month or so since I knew my cute undies wouldn’t fit properly for the next few months.

Megan 4 years ago

For the ladies having C-sections may I suggest something to hold your stomach a little firmer. Cause when they take the staples out BEFORE you go home you feel like you may fall apart. Some big girl underwear…like granny panty underwear. You DO NOT want to have only bikinis available – ESPECIALLY if you had a C/S.

Phone charger is a must.

Tums. If you have heartburn it will take the nurse at least an hour to bring you a tums and that whole hour you’re hurting. So, bring the tums.

If you can a laptop with DVD is awesome. You can watch the movies, play a game, write a story, and log into the web and play on Scary Mommy! The hospitals all have free wi-fi these days!

Good Luck and Congrats Mommas!

Wineplz 4 years ago

(don’t mind my waaaay overdue website)

I would say a hair-tie or headband or something to keep it out of your face if it’s any longer than a pixie cut. I forgot one with my first born and was one hot mess with my hair sticking everywhere. Remembered it with my second kid, but with my third kid I didn’t think I’d need anything since I had a really short bob-cut…boy was I wrong! I looked worse than the first time around!

liz 4 years ago

I don’t remember what I took heading home with Kate, but I know I cleared house with Maddie.

Kendra Krebs 4 years ago

Thank you so much for this list and the great comments to go along with it!!! Just took our birthing class last weekend, and I’m working on WRITING our birth plan and making lists…… 3 1/2 months seems far away, but I know it’s NOT!!!!

imperfectmomma 4 years ago

I would add a good coach…cause when it comes down to it – your husband will either piss you off so much that you dont want him to talk, be there or even breathe. OR he will faint…oh wait…OR be pushed out of the way by the nurses so he’ll give up trying to help you at all.

Yeah…none of those happened to us at all. Ahem…my last post makes fun of my husband – so thats my story and I’m sticking to it.

mommy23girls 4 years ago

I will ( maybe) not be having a fourth?! I am 99.9% positive that three will be it for me as well and thinking about wiping my a** after childbirth helps me to keep it to three!! Great list! Bathrobe and something for feet is great. I made hubby bring in food and COFFEE!! Ok even if it was decaf it was still awesome. Something to pass the time, books? You are so right about the shampoo and whatnot! I made sure to bring make-up and something to put my hair up with so that my older two didn’t think visiting me in the hospital was scary. I looked very scary before make-up! Good luck to all expectant mothers ou there and BTW take all the help you can get!!

Shannon 4 years ago

I second the pillow comments. Hospital pillows SUCK. And although the bed in your room feels like a tempur pedic compared to the labor bed, in about an hour, your butt will go numb. So maybe 2 pillows. And your own blanket. I froze my patootie off. And a boppy! Oh, how I regretted forgetting my boppy for #2….

The Mommy Therapy 4 years ago

I always want a trashy magazine. (Not porn or anything, but US Weekly people) to occupy myself during the really boring times either waiting for things to move along or while the baby is sleeping and you can’t.

Soft slip on house shoes. Flip flops always feel so cold and you definitely need something on your feet when walking around.

Otherwise, pretty good list. One I hope I will not be using again. :)

MomofTwoUnderFour 4 years ago

Hmmm I’d add some DVDs if you’re being induced for the early, more pleasant few hours and if you’re up late at night feeding with nothing to watch. I’m also a music fanatic so I had my iPod blaring through contractions. Let’s see, what else? I brought more than one outfit for little man because my first threw up on his pretty going home outfit lol. She nailed it with the extra bag because I went home with tons of extras =) also, Jill you hit the nail on the head with all your own toiletries because that first shower (yes I think I was in there for a good hour, eyes closed so as not to see the massive damage done to my formerly oh so cute size five tummy which is now so stretch mark laden you could use me as a road map!) lasted an hour and felt like pure heaven the second time since I had all my own smell good stuff. If you decide you want to use binkies, it’s a good idea to bring the ones you want to use too!

Kmama 4 years ago

Ooh, i love this. Okay…
– ear plugs (seriously a must have for me)
– Chapstick (it’s so dry in the hospital)
– Your own pillow
– Cute pj’s, because now all the hospitals have photographers that want to photograph you with your newborn. Trust me, hospital gown doesn’t scream “frameable”.

Reluctant Momma 4 years ago

Thank you for this!! I am seven weeks away from my fourth and FINAL hospital checklist…

It has only been three years since my last trip but…it feels like forever!!

Your list is wonderful…I might add the following:
– Bring your own favorite pillow
– smuggle your own advil/ benadryl/ ect…it is impossible to get that stuff:)
– tabloid mags…or other mindless reading to keep your mind off the extremely heavy responsibility of motherhood:)

Thanks again:) Good stuff!!!

Gal 4 years ago

Nursing tops, in case you prefer not to have the entire ward looking at your belly. And invest in some nice maternity pants that will be suitable for after the birth – you don’t always want to wear yoga pants when you go out, and you don’t want to wear the maternity jeans at the two-days check up at the doctor’s.

Angie 4 years ago

How about toothpaste and a toothbrush? By the time I got around to brushing my teeth after nearly 30 hours of labor and then the huffing and puffing and pushing a baby out, I felt like I needed to pressure wash my mouth! I realize this one should be obvious to pack in your toiletries, it’s just on my “do NOT forget” list.

Cate 4 years ago

Make-up, bathrobe,

a sign up list for visitors who want to ‘help’
no helping with the baby please don’t even touch her!!!
BUT you can clean out my fridge which I meant to do 3 babies ago, scrub my floors, take older kids on a fun day (really just get them out so I can sleep), do my laundry, feed my kids & me, mow the lawn, put new tires on the van,

Gigi 4 years ago

I’m with you on the maternity clothes and leaving the hospital still looking pregnant – nobody told me to expect that! 16 years later and I can STILL remember being indignant about that.

Mia 4 years ago

Extra tops is so true! Ans somekind of flipflops is useful for when you walk the hallways after… you will walk the halls at some point.

Wendy @ mama one to three 4 years ago

You got my favorite in their– maxi pads. With wings.

Elizabeth 4 years ago

Cough drops…Coughing HURTS when you have given birth & the hospital cannot give you any without a prescription…I had the nurses searching all over the hospital for hard candy at 4 AM when my kiddo was born.

LynnZ 4 years ago

Socks for labour – my feet froze. Put a cabbage in the fridge and use the leaves to soothe the huge aching boobs. A present from the baby for the older siblings to stave away any jealousy. Extra tops for leaking boobs.

Jessica 4 years ago

I would add slippers, chapstick and a cell phone charger.

But I’m never having kids again. Ever.

Skye Diaz | motherhood, etc. 4 years ago

Your gestational diabetes meter (if you have GD)! You must test yourself twice after birth at the hospital.

Sarah Schwartz 4 years ago

Gel nursing pads!!! And the lansinoh cream. Don’t question it, just start using both as soon as you start nursing. And make sure you have a few more sets of gel pads for home and Lily Padz nursing pads to start using couple of weeks after you give birth. And lots of burp cloths to bite while your nipples “adjust” to their new reality.

Jenna 4 years ago

Batteries. Cuz there’s no quicker way to feel like the World’s Worst Mom than when your camera dies right as your baby’s making his grand entrance!

Kelsey 4 years ago

I’m getting induced Monday… Oh what you ladies put in my head. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep for days… What did I do?

Margaret 4 years ago

Where were you when I was expecting?! You would have saved me!

Life After Piggie Smalls 4 years ago

I gave birth at home but one thing I NEVER even thought about was spray for your lady parts that helps numb your perineum, which is AMAZING if you tore down there/have stitches/whatever. I would spray it on down there after using the bathroom and hobbling back to bed. I got mine at Sprouts, a natural foods store, but I guess hospitals also give it out and it’s called Dermaplast. There’s other names for it; google that shit!!! You’re gonna need it!

Also, a squirt bottle! Fill it with warm water and squirt yourself while peeing (also to prevent your perineum from feeling like it’s caught on fire).

amaliem 4 years ago

Not something you need to pack, but your only answer to “would you like more pain medication?” is yes please. Do. Not. Deny. Yourself. That should apply to anything you are offered, except if nursing students want to walk in and gawk at you and your baby. Skip that.

Stasha 4 years ago

I thought all mirrors in maternity wards were prohibited by law?! Always make sure you have an escape route planned. Location to the nearest wending machine and befriend a nurse that will have your back. It is like Halo out there…

Nancy 4 years ago

The one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the feeling of leaving the hospital without my babies. I delivered prematurely, and I knew they would have to stay in the NICU for a bit, but it’s the weirdest, most unsettling feeling to give birth and then not really get to be with the creatures who were there with you for all those months.

Sorry…didn’t mean to be a downer. My twins just turned 7 and all is well, but I can still remember how strange it felt to leave them in the hospital when I went home.

Christi 4 years ago

Well, obviously you need the lap top for updating blog, facebook, twitter, etc.

Amy 4 years ago

Great List! @Julie…you know some stuff — you nailed it! I wish this was written before my pregnancies and had known what you just suggested!!!

Leisl 4 years ago

Your own drugs! What’s up with them not giving u happy sleepy stuff if you’ve had natural birth??? You’ve worked damn hard- u deserve a reward. Not to mention one last sleep before the Rocky Horror Show of sleepless nights hits u at home! U can barely produce a teaspoon of milk so let ur kid get topped up- it’s bliss all-round!

Lisa M 4 years ago

Yummy Slipper Socks – those hospital rooms are freezing!
Cute PJ’s – for when all your friends visit.
Boppy Pillow
Makeup (Pictures, need I say more?)
Hair Ties (the slicked back ponytail looks cuter than a mass of raggedy hair)

Michelle 4 years ago

Things that helped me (water broke – stuffed a beach towel up my dress, then ended up having to have an emergency c-section):
*Used my maternity knee-length skirt as a strapless dress. (Easy to use the bathroom that way, user-friendly with IV stuck in hand)
*Shoes to use in shower
*Own towel (soft and comfy)
*Wedges (comfort shoes)
*Socks with non-slip bottoms
*All chargers (camera, phone, mp3)
*Headphones (drown out 3cm dilated girl screaming “I don’t wanna die!” when asked to sign hospital waiver. yeah, uh, no clue of the connection.)
*A wonderful husband (to bring the stuff you forgot/need from home, to take stuff you don’t need – home; to sleep on the hard chair bed just in case you need something – late night food.)

Joanne – The Real Food Mama 4 years ago

Don’t forget cash for your significant other to buy food!

*Tucks Pads
*Always Infinity Pads
*your own blanket and pillows
*your own going home outfit!! With my second baby I made sure to wear my good comfy maternity pants and a comfy maternity shirt. That way I still looked a little cute. I looked like a scrub when i went home after my first and I am immortalized in pics that way. I felt way better about myself with a nice outfit on. You and baby will look cute!

SoberJulie 4 years ago

A fine start, I’d include frozen maxi pads, they seriously helped the swelling in my formerly beautiful va-gi-gi. Front buttoning pj’s if you’re being the granola Mum we all esteem to be. A bottle with the nipple of your choice. Lanosil (sorry for the spelling, it’s been 5 years) for my red, raw nipples.

Hubby to go get you food before you kill him.

A gun for that dumbass who wants to video the birth.

Your Mum’s panties….lovely now I have you in a floor length flannel nightie that buttons down the front and grannie panties…can you see how your sex life will be for the next while?

Lip chap, lips after that much panting aren’t pretty.

Suppository if you ever want to be able to go home….just sayin

Sarah Trevino ~ *Chefwife/Chefmom* 4 years ago

Tucks pads (they numb down there), burn spray (also numbs the vajayjay), and a mirror…..I was very curious…….

Missy Wags 4 years ago

So I had my kids at home, but I did have a birth box. 1 of the best things I put in it was music, because it gets to a point where you don’t want to hear anyone asking how you feel or tell you that you need to do something or ask if you need something. And it’s safer for everyone involved if you’re as relaxed as possible. If you can’t swing the music, bring earplugs. The well-meaning people around you have no idea just how dangerous you can be…

Nicolle 4 years ago

Thanks to this post, I have decided to not bear children. I was already leaning that way, but this has solidified it! My mother-in-law is not going to be very happy… :)

Amy K. 4 years ago

It is not just you!!!

Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful} 4 years ago

The shampoo and soap are biggies. As are the pads from home. A MUST. I also brought a robe from home. It’s a short, knit one, and it’s uber-comfortable. I can wrap up in a hurry when those pesky visitors come around. Plus, sometimes the room is cold, and it also makes for easy nursing. :)

Nikii 4 years ago

I hate to disagree….but screw the toilet paper! Bring the flushable wet wipes. So much nicer on a sore bottom than scratchy paper!

Sarah 4 years ago

Granny panties and Always infinity pads. They will absorb more then you would think possible. I used them for my 3rd and final kid. Now I tell everyone.
Also, I brought crayons and a coloring book to my last 2 trips. They kept me busy and didn’t require a lot of thought. I had to do enough work physically, I had to rest some part of my body.

Michelle 4 years ago

Yes! They’re free AND disposable!

Erin 4 years ago

CASH!!!! To pay for the pizza that you ordered for the entire L&D floor. Want extra good care? Nurses that go above and beyond? Pay for their dinner…works like a charm!

Katie 4 years ago

Hair dryer & makeup! You’ll want to beauty-up for those pics leaving the hospital & to lift your spirits, even if only for a few hours :)
PILLOWS! i don’t know about you ladies, but i was surrounded by at least 6 pillows when i was pregnant and the 1 (2 if ur lucky) you get in the hospital just doesn’t cut it!
I agree with the extra bag for all your goodies. Also second bringing snacks from home, or better yet, a friend or family member to be your gopher! Being gestationally diabetic with my first, i send them down asap to get me a starbucks & texas toast grilled cheese!

Erin 4 years ago

HA! I LOVED the mesh panties and even asked for extra to take home!

Not Winning Mom of the Year 4 years ago

Loved the list, and yes I agree the Granny Panny’s are a must, and note to the new…. you will never wear a thong, g-string, or any other up your butt underwear again.

Caryl 4 years ago

Loved them!

Caryl 4 years ago

Bahahhahaha! I loved those things! They were the only undies to keep my 8000 pads in place!

Alison 4 years ago

Granny panties are definitely a must. But you really need a binder for your stomach-especially if it’s not your first baby. It makes you look a lot less pregnant, which is a good thing, because then you’ll cry less when you look at your ravaged body in the mirror. Oh, and when you leave, people with either a) just think you’re fat, or b) think you have a back problem. Which is way better than someone asking you when the baby’s due after you’ve already given birth.

Amanda 4 years ago

Don’t forget a sweater or cozy housecoat. Maybe it was just the local hospital, maybe it was hormones, but I went from burning up to freezing every couple of hours. And those hospital sheets might as well not exist for as “warm” as they aren’t.

Ryan {The Woven Moments} 4 years ago

Mesh panties should be illegal. That is all.

Hayley M 4 years ago

Agreed! Those mesh panties feel like heaven!

Ruth 4 years ago

Ear plugs-YES
extra batteries/charger-for your camera
nipple cream-in case your newborn is a chomper!
pillows, nursing pillow
journal-the MOST important item so you can journal your experience. I know from experience that all those little details are hard to remember. As a mother who lost her newborn to heart defects, the journal I kept from day one is a God send, as I will always have every detail of Corbin’s Story.

Alison@Mama Wants This 4 years ago

Laptop+charger, chocolate, nursing bras, chocolate, a sense of humor, and did I mention, chocolate?

Kristi 4 years ago

Agree on the granny panties for a totally different reason. If you end up having a C-section bikini undies will rub your staples/stitches/open wound. Also I found it mildly comforting to do my hair and put a tiny bit of makeup on after the day after shower. It worked great for me and I bounced smiling down the hallway until a fellow freshly birthed mom saw me and reassured me that I was “gonna do fine” cuz evidently my giant post-C tummy and non-bloodshot eyes was a sure sign that I hadn’t birthed yet and must not have endured anything. PS I hadn’t showered or changed for TWO days since my preclampsia kept me bedridden for 48 hrs.

Life with Kaishon 4 years ago

A good book?
Your laptop?
I want a baby. Can you please contact Gary and tell him I am 35 and time is running out? I think you are WAY more convincing that I am.

: (

PS I need yoga pants every day and my freaking baby is 11 and I didn’t even give birth to him. WHAT THE HECK!?!?!?!?!??!?!

Andrea 4 years ago

I’ve never heard anyone mention some DVDs. I had a season of Seinfeld on me and it helped cuz I went into labor around 10pm and was awake until 2am or something like that. What can keep you amused better than that?

Erica 4 years ago

A baggy shirt! Because your girls will be ridiculously big by the time you leave

Natalie @ MamaTrack 4 years ago

Two things–champagne. You’ll want it.

The next one is more something to bring HOME (other than the baby). Those underwear. Because whatever you have at home, it’s not going to work, whether you have a vaginal birth or caesarian.

One Honest Mom 4 years ago

Bring a bottle of stool softeners, because sometimes the sadist doctors prescribe Tylenol 3 without some….That and the fact that your insides have been put through the spin cycle, your “system” will be a mess….trust me, you’ll thank me.

And, ditto on the maxi pads, although sometimes I felt Depends would have been more effective.

Rachel 4 years ago

1) giganic, black, nanna knickers that come up to your arm pits.
2) black pjs or yoga pants to wear as pjs and general schlepping about the maternity ward in. Pink and white pjs are asking for blood and baby vomit and/or poo stains.
3) Thongs, for your feet.
4) Ear plugs – your baby will, of course, sleep like and angel but everyone else’s will scream. All night.
5) Forget maternity pads and go straight to the incontinence pads
6) A really good book and loads of music on your iPod and f’crissake don’t forget your charger. You baby will sleep much of the time. It’s boring in there.
7) Your diary to book in all those free classes the hospital puts on. Do them all.

there’s probably more…. I forget….

Jenna 4 years ago

Earplugs and eye mask. Hospitals are noisy and having earplugs is the only way I got any sleep. And, since I was recovering from a c-section, I couldn’t get in and out of bed to turn lights on and off easily. I kept the light by the door on, but needed it dark to sleep.

I also brought a towel from home. Hospital towels can be scratchy, and I was so thankful to have my plush towel for the first shower. I just took a dark one just in case things were, um…messy.

SunnyP 4 years ago

Lip gloss and moisturizer…it is super dry in there!

MM 4 years ago

It’s very true that the 1st shower after you give birth is the best of your life. I brought some depends to the hospital. That way I didn’t need to deal with pads or undies.

Alexis 4 years ago

Roll of quarters for vending machine. Cell phone charger, computer charger. Lip balm and moisturizer cuz hospitals are dry. Your own socks.

Note: let the baby sleep in nursery. U need ur last night of sleep. And, stay in hospital as long as they let u. ESP if this is ur second…

Carrie with Children 4 years ago

A good pillow because hospital pillows are *the* absolute worst. I bought a brand, new pillow for home a few weeks before my due date and just took my “old” pillow to the hospital with me and then “forgot” it there when I left.

lisa 4 years ago

Chapstick. Pushing makes your lips dry and there is nothing worse than wanting/needing chapstick and not having any!

Symanntha 4 years ago

Cell phone charger, your own night clothes. And yes, take every thing out of that room that isn’t nailed down! Baby stuff is expensive.

Theda 4 years ago

Slippers or extra big socks. My feet swelled up like balloons after giving birth, and I couldn’t fit into my shoes. Not even a little bit.

Speaking of swelling up, either have an extra large bra handy, or find out if the hospital has a bra department. My breast swelled up too…several bra sizes (from a DDD to an H).

Nicole @MTDLBlog 4 years ago

I {heart} you. That is all.

Dawn B 4 years ago

Definitely granny panties! I also liked bringing my own pillow. Slippery plasticy pillows are pretty crappy.

RubberDucky 4 years ago

HA! because OHMYGOSH! Granny panties were my BFF’s for DAYS!

@steph considering the names, we might be! :)

Scary Mommy 4 years ago

My hospital supplied the Tucks and, YES, they were a lifesaver. The squirt bottle thing, too.

Sheri Morgan 4 years ago

Totally agree on the granny panties, but bring ones you don’t care about in case of a leak! Also bring shower shoes so you can truly enjoy that first shower! Bring food to the hospital too, in case you’re left waiting for ages before they bring yours (and its usually gross when they do!)

Erin Margolin 4 years ago

dude, you totally left out Tucks pads for your poor ass. what about earplugs for those noisy maternity wards (given that you are bad mommy like me and send baby to nursery)? eye mask.

oh, and a giant ole bottle of Prozac. but maybe that’s just me.


Steph 4 years ago

Ha, we posted the exact same thing at the exact same time! Were we separated at birth?

Scary Mommy 4 years ago

OMG, yes! How could I forget about the mesh underwear– WTF is that!??!

Steph 4 years ago

Granny panties to go along with the pads. Those meshies are awful. AWFUL. The grannies will hold that massive pad in place. A dark color is best….just because.

RubberDucky 4 years ago

Comfy full butt panties to go with those maxi pads. Nothing is worse then too tight (or worse!) not tight enough panties when you’ve basically pushed a watermelon from your lady bits… You expect it to hurt, but you really have no idea. And comfy slippers…


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