What I Packed in My Hospital Bag – And Actually Used!

Now that I have gone through labor/delivery and a 3-night hospital stay (read my birth story here) I figured it was time to share what I packed in my hospital bag – and what I actually ended up using! I definitely overpacked a little bit but I don’t think I did *too* bad. I had one duffle bag and so did Miguel. I bought this small weekender bag for myself that was the perfect size and it will be perfect for Camilla’s stuff for any weekend trips we take in the future! I also will note that I packed a foldable tote-type bag that I used to bring home everything the hospital gave us. I highly recommend doing this because there will likely not be any extra room in your bag for all the things they provide (and you’re going to want to take as much as you can). 

I am going to list my packing list and separate it into what I used and what I did not use.

What I Packed and Used:

  • Vava Nightlight: perfect for the middle of the night when you need a little light but don’t want to turn on all of the overhead lights! I used this for middle of the night feedings when we got home too. 
  • Long phone charger
  • Black Button-Down Night Gown: I actually didn’t use this until the 2nd day/3rd night. Until then, I honestly just lived in the hospital gowns – but I also had a C-section and barely got out of bed at all until day 2. 
  • Blanket 
  • Glasses
  • Flip Flops
  • Fuzzy Socks: I used the hospital ones and then used these ones that I loved too!
  • Stroller Fan: I ended up with a C-Section so I didn’t use this in labor but I did use it in the room during our stay when I got a little sweaty lol
  • Tripod and Camera: I used out nice camera for pictures of her but didn’t use the tripod because I was not about to be in pictures 
  • Outfit for me to go home in (Something comfy: cardigan, tank, leggings, comfy bra) I basically reused what I wore to the hospital because I only wore that for about an hour.
  • Toiletry necessities: I didn’t shower at the hospital so I didn’t end up using my shampoo/conditioner/body wash but I used my other toiletries:
    • Facewash, Dry Shampoo, Contact Case and Solution, Toothbrush/Paste, Face Wipes, Chapstick, Lotion, Deodorant, Hair ties, Brush, VERY basic makeup (like BB cream/mascara/eyebrow liner)
  • Side note: anything I knew I couldn’t pack until the last minute (like my glasses, airpods, etc) I made a list of and just kept it with my already packed bag, that way when it was “go time” I didn’t have to think about what I needed and I wouldn’t forget anything!
  • Newborn Gown/Hat/Name Sign for photos: I bought ours from Caden Lane
  • Going Home Outfit: I brought two options, one PJs and one Onesie/Pants set – I ended up using the PJs because it was easier. This also included booties and a hat because it was cold!
  • Blanket to cover baby: I love this one!
  • Carseat
  • Snacks! I didn’t eat all of the snacks but I definitely ate some and was glad to have them because sometimes the room service food took a while

What I packed and did not use:

  • Underwear – I just wore the mesh ones the hospital provided
  • Pajama Pants – I did not want to wear pants with my incision and it would have been way too hard to pull them up and down to use the bathroom
  • Cute Robe: I was not in the mood for cute photos
  • Extra clothes for me: I really only needed one outfit to wear there/home
  • Shampoo/Body wash: I was grossed out by the hospital shower – but I also couldn’t get my incision wet so it wasn’t worth it to me to shower
  • Hairdryer/Straightener: Again no shower or photos for me
  • AirPods: thought I would use these in labor but I did not!
  • White noise machine: Baby slept fine without it!
  • Swaddle for Sleep: The hospital provided these
  • Mittens: These fell off in about 2 seconds lol
  • Extra baby clothes: hospital provided outfits for her to wear every day!

What My Husband Packed:

  • Flip flops
  • Charger
  • Blanket
  • Comfy outfit to lounge/sleep in
  • Outfit to go home
  • Miguel also went home twice during our stay and just showered at home

What the hospital provided:

  • Baby PJs everyday
  • Halo Swaddles
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Comb
  • Baby Shampoo 
  • Burp Rags
  • Thermometer
  • Receiving blankets
  • Premade Formula bottles and nipples
  • Mesh Underwear
  • Pads
  • Hospital Gown
  • Water Bottle with Straw – I took mine home too!

Wow that got super long, but I hope that someone finds this helpful – and if not, it will be a good reminder for me in the future hopefully lol. I am sure every hospital/delivery/stay is different but this is what worked for me. There wasn’t anything else I felt I needed and didn’t have. For anyone local, I will note we delivered at the University of Iowa Hospital and it was a wonderful experience and they have an amazing staff and we received excellent care. I didn’t even mind that we were there for 3 nights!

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