10 Parents Share What They Wish They Had in their Hospital Bag

Image adapted via Flickr/ Stella Dauer

If you're planning a hospital birth, packing for your stay can seem daunting. You don't always know exactly how long you're going to be admitted and if it's your first baby (and your first birth), the idea of leaving out something important seems awful.

There are lists all over the place on what you should pack and what you really need, but sometimes, we don't think something will be useful until we're sitting there wishing we had it.

If you're getting ready to pack your hospital bag for the birth of your baby and want to know what's really useful, we've got the ultimate list. Check out what these 10 parents say they wish they had in their bag so you can learn from their regrets.


Image via Flickr/ penelope waits

A cooler bag

“A cooler with snacks. I never thought I'd be at the hospital for five days, and my goodies ran out quickly. Also, my own pillow and/or blanket.” — likewhaa

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Image via Flickr/ I Should Be Folding Laundry


“Before my son's birth, and somebody said to buy Depends (adult diapers). I thought I'd feel silly, but damn if I didn't love having them afterwards.

“The [pad] they give you in the hospital is paper thin, and I felt so much cleaner and more comfortable wearing [Depends] instead of (or sometimes with) the pads they give you. Even the nurses commented that that was a really great idea.” — BellaLou324


Image via Flickr/ Juanedc


“Snacks! (I didn't think I'd be admitted right away and assumed we'd have time to pick some up.) A refillable water bottle for my husband. Otherwise, I pretty much over packed and didn't end up using 50% of what we brought.” — doctorandbooks



Image via Flickr/ tjmwatson

Hair ties

“Extra hairbands. I had two but lost them both. My own pillowcase and a travel coffee cup for my husband. The cups provided were so small. Cozy socks.” — liabenn

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Image via Flickr/ jaysus

Lip moisturizer

“Better lip moisturizer. A hairbrush. A nursing tank. The gown was just too unwieldy. Food for my husband. (They only feed the patients.)” — stuffedcathat


Image via Flickr/ gabi_menashe

Better clothes

“Clothing that is soft and one size larger than you are wearing now. Because fluid retention can add 25 pounds.” — torotorolittledog

{ MORE: What to Bring to the Hospital }


Image via Flickr/ nateOne

Clothes for my partner

“I packed my hospital bag, and I have to say I did a pretty bang up job. However, I didn't advise my husband on his packing, and he didn't pack enough clothes.

“Our son passed his meconium on my husband's lap, and so the entire time we were there, he had on basketball shorts. So it might be micromanaging, but make sure your partner is thinking ahead as well.” — acaciopea


Image via Flickr/ yorkd

A folder

“Some sort of folder to keep track of all the paperwork you get. We lost our baby's footprints they give because we were unorganized (but who can be when you just had a newborn). The hospital gives you lots of paperwork for Baby and Momma — would be nice to have it all in one spot!” — hellokatekat



Image via Flickr/ Daquella manera


“Extension cord for phone and/or iPad charging.” — Mostly_me

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Image via Flickr/ velmegunar

A blanket

“My own blanket. By the end of my stay, I had six of their scrappy blankets and a nurse coming to bring me a warm one every hour.” — Dreamingoffire12

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What do you wish you had in your hospital bag but didn't? Share in the comments!

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10 Parents Share What They Wish They Had in their Hospital Bag

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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  1. Toshi89 says:

    I think I hour lucky since MOST of the stuff I didn’t have my hospital provided. The one thing on this list I didn’t have and actually needed and will need again, depends. Rose depends will be heaven for me.

  2. Nicole says:

    Some sort of sandles or slipper-socks. The post-birth water retention mostly was in my feet! I had to leave the hospital is the hospital socks and buy a pair of shoes 2 SIZES bigger than I normally wear. Also have your partner bring pillows for themselves. The fold out beds they provided for my husband was uncomfortable enough, but the paper thin hospital pillows made it pretty wretched.
    And don’t be afraid to leave things in the car! You don’t HAVE to have it all in the room with you.

  3. CM says:

    In my hospital I was only there for 48 hours for a vaginal delivery. (I wish I had another day or two to recover more but that’s a whole new topic.) I think what ever you pack keep it minimal and light because you will be leaving with a LOT of stuff. Here is what I would suggest: a newborn onesie and a sleeper for baby, loose fitting clothes for mom, comfy clothes for dad too, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo or conditioner or soap ( although in my case I didn’t have time to shower there), CAMERA!, and a few extra large tote bags or backpacks for all the things that they give you at the hospital or for anything that you can take from the hospital because you will need them those first few days home when you have no energy to shop for anything. I took home diapers, swaddle blankets, nipple creams, formula, large pads, medication, pump parts, etc. It was really hard fitting them into the hospital bags they give you. I remember wishing I had some stronger bags. You can pack extra snacks and blankets if you want to but most hospitals have a 24 hour cafe and nurses can supply you with blankets. Good luck!


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