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The 411 on What To Pack in Your Hospital Bag

logoIn this blog post you will learn my suggestions for what you should pack in your hospital bag.

My secret is that you need to pack two hospital bags!

What should I pack in my hospital bag? This is a common question that I get. Here is my perspective and the 411 for packing your hospital bag in preparation for labor and welcoming your new addition.


Here is a secret that I tell all of my clients. Pack two bags! You heard me, two bags. Now, neither of these bags need to be large by any means, let’s break down the theory behind this. When you are planning a hospital birth, you are looking at the time you are in labor as well as the recovery time. This time can vary by hospital and by your birth. At our local hospital in Asheville, the standard time frames are 30 to 72 hours after birth. You will stay around 30, if you had a smooth and uneventful labor, birth and everyone is adjusting to the new normal well. There are some tests and screens that have to be done around the 30 hour mark for the baby, that is why it is a seemingly random number. If you have a cesarean birth you will be staying 72 hours to make sure that you are recovering well from major surgery.

Why two bags?

I always advise two bags because there are something that you just won’t need while you are in labor, those things will go into your second bag. This bag will stay in the car until you are settled into your room for your stay. The first bag will be the things that you need or want for labor.

Bag One packing list:

Bag One: comes with you to triage and labor room.

1. Keep it simple
2. Basic toiletries- you never know in labor when you are suddenly going to feel the need to brush your teeth.
3. Chapstick
4. Easy to clean and comfortable light robe. You are likely not going to want to have a terrycloth robe, as those tend to get hot.
5. Small diffuser the rooms gets stuffy sometimes along with two or three of your favorite Essential Oil smells.
6. Hair clips or tie, hair brush
7. Snacks for you, including packs of a gatorade (or equivalent) powder to mix with ice water- (This is easier than bringing a pre-mixed gatorade). This way you can sip on electrolytes during labor.
8. Phone charger

Bag Two: (this comes in after you have delivered).

1. Comfy clothes for you to wear at the hospital; think lounge wear.
2. Going home outfit for YOU. If you are comfortable with the lounge wear that is fine, but there will be that picture of you in the wheelchair getting into your car with baby.
3. A going home outfit for baby
4. Your Pillow
5. Shampoo and conditioner
6. A special blanket for baby if there is one.

Partners and their baggage

Partners, I haven’t forgotten you!! Include yourselves in this list. You don’t need a separate bag, less is more in the hospital room. There isn’t much room in those rooms. The closet space is minimal, you want to be able to access everything easily. The last thing that I want you to have to worry about it ‘my bag one, her bag one, ect. If you can pack together, do it, it will save space in the labor room. Also- it will mostly be you who is going into the bags to get things that are requested. If you pack it, it will make your life so much easier in that moment.

Bonding Time

As you take that time to pack your bags, do it together. Dads notoriously wait till the last second to grab their stuff and throw it in a bag. Invest in this moment with your mama, she will love it. It will also help you to connect with what needs or wants might come up in the moment.

When To Pack

We know that your ‘due date’ is just an estimate. Therefore, I recommend that you have your bags packed and ready to go by week 37. This is when you want to have your carseat installed in the car. If you do this, it can take some of the stress of waiting off the table.

Get to packing!!