14 Things to Take to the Hospital When You Give Birth

A woman in a hospital bed holding a newborn while the father lovingly touches its little arm
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Going to the hospital to give birth is an exciting but overwhelming time when you might not be thinking too clearly. That’s why most pregnant women pack a hospital bag a few weeks before their due date—it ensures they’ll have everything they need, and it’s just one less thing to worry about. Here are a few items to put in your hospital bag to stay as comfortable as possible.

What to Know Before Packing Your Hospital Bag

Depending on how the birth goes, you’ll likely be in the hospital for three to four days (unless there are complications, which can be tough to plan for), so pack with that in mind. You want to make sure you feel comfortable during your stay, but you also don’t want to overpack.

  • Keep it simple. You really don’t need as much as you think you need for your hospital stay. The hospital probably already has most of the things you need—most offer postpartum care items, they give you socks, and they even have breastfeeding items like nursing pads. You’ll be sleepy and in bed most of the time, so multiple outfits aren’t necessary. Chances are that you won’t feel like applying a lot of makeup (if you want, just bring the bare minimum). And remember, you can always ask someone else to pick up some stuff for you if needed.
  • Pack mainly for you and not the baby. The hospital is most likely going to have the basics that you need for baby, like diapers, diaper cream, swaddle blankets, and a hat, which is really all you need for a healthy baby who is only a few days old. They probably even supply pacifiers. Baby will likely only be swaddled in blankets those first few days, so you don’t need to pack a ton of outfits or anything else.
  • Call the hospital before packing. If you’re not sure what to do, just call the hospital and ask what they provide new moms in the maternity unit. You could also do a hospital tour and learn that information beforehand. Every hospital is different, so don’t assume they’ll have something specific, especially if it’s something you really want.
  • Bring some food if you’re picky. Hospital food is not the greatest, so if you’re a picky eater, you should pack some snacks and maybe even premade meals to keep in the room. You can also ask visitors to bring meals if you’d like, though.
  • Pack some optional items for ambiance if you have room. If you look online, you’ll see that some expectant mothers like to bring things like string lights for nicer lighting or a speaker to listen to music. That’s totally fine to bring if you have room and it will make you happy, but don’t feel like you have to.

Your Personal Items

Big fluffy white pillows and blankets. Mmmm cozy
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

While the hospital should supply you with basics like a toothbrush, toothpaste, personal care, a pillow, and blankets, you might want to pack your own. Creature comforts like your own personal items can help you feel more at home and relaxed in an environment that might otherwise be overwhelming and stressful. For example, hospital toothbrushes are not going to be anything fancy (just a very basic toothbrush that gets the job done), so if you have an electric one you love, feel free to pack it. You can also bring something like Colgate Extra Clean Full Head Toothbrush, which is inexpensive and might be a step up from what the hospital offers. It’s also not a big deal if you leave it behind.

As for the pillows and blankets, they might or might not be quite as comfortable as you’re used to. Bringing your own pillow could be very comforting. If you want to buy one just for the hospital, AmazonBasics Down Alternative Bed Pillow is highly rated and inexpensive. As for the blanket situation, you might find it lacking. If you want to cuddle up in something big and cozy, opt for The Original Vellux Blanket, which is extra comfy.

To Stay Charged: An Extra Long Phone Charger

takagi phone charger
Takagi

Hospital rooms were not made with cell phone charger convenience in mind. And, trust us, you’re going to want your phone to be fully charged most of the time for those long, sleepless days and nights (especially for photos). In case an outlet isn’t close to your bed, bring an extra long cable.

For an iPhone, try the Takagi 6Feet Phone Charger, which is, you guessed it, six feet long. It also has a durable nylon braided jacket on the cord. For Android devices, the Deego Extra Long Android Charger is a two-pack with cords that are either ten feet or six feet long.

To Get Some Rest: Mzoo Sleep Eye Mask

Mzoo Sleep Eye Mask
Mzoo

A sleep eye mask might feel like an unnecessary luxury, but in the hospital, it really isn’t. There is always a light on, and when you’re in the maternity unit, nurses come in throughout the day and night to check on you and your baby. Something like the Mzoo Sleep Eye Mask is great because it helps keep the light out whenever possible so you can get rest—it’s especially great for naps during the day.

The Mzoo is nice because it’s cushioned with soft memory foam, has an adjustable strap so it fits you perfectly, and contours to your eyes and nose comfortably.

To Make Feeding Easier: Bravado Designs Silk Seamless Nursing Bra

Bravado Designs Silk Seamless Nursing Bra
Bravado Designs

Most hospitals are going to push you to try breastfeeding, at least in the beginning. To make things easier for yourself, especially if you’re not comfortable being half-naked in front of nurses and doctors, bring along a nursing bra. It will keep you covered and make it easier to nurse the baby without just being naked.

This Bravado Designs Silk Seamless Nursing Bra is highly rated for comfort because it’s seamless, soft, and wire-free (the last thing you want after birth are wire bras). Made of a stretchy fabric that will fit your changing size (which will likely get bigger as you begin nursing), it has molded cups that give a nice amount of support. It’s also available in sizes A-J, which is a great range.

To Make Feeding Easier

Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra , Small, Black

This Bravado Designs nursing bra is soft, stretchy, and comfortable to make feedings more convenient.

For The Shower: Havaianas Women’s Slim Flip Flop Sandal

 Havaianas Women’s Slim Flip Flop Sandal
Havaianas

It’s not that the shower in the hospital isn’t sanitary, it’s just that you’re essentially using a public shower, even if you’re in a private room. If you don’t feel super comfortable with it, wearing a pair of flip flops is a safe and easy way to keep your feet protected from anything that often lurks on shower floors. They may also just make you feel more comfortable!

Havaianas Women’s Slim Flip Flop Sandals are comfortable, totally waterproof, dry pretty quickly, and soft but sturdy. They’re inexpensive enough to leave behind if you don’t want to take them home.

For The Shower

Havaianas Women's Slim Sandal,Black,37/38 BR (7-8 M US)

Havaianas flip flops are soft but sturdy, and totally waterproof for safe showers.

For After the Shower: Utopia Towels Extra Large Bath Towels

Utopia Towels Extra Large Bath Towels
Utopia Towels

It’s important to note that the hospital will supply you with towels—but because it’s not a hotel, they likely won’t be that great. Ask any mom who has already given birth, and they’ll probably tell you the towels are small and not soft. Make your shower even better with a large, comfy towel.

Utopia Towels Extra Large Bath Towels are big enough to comfortably wrap around yourself after the shower, and they’re made of highly-absorbent cotton that feels nice on your skin. They also aren’t too heavy and bulky. And, again, these are a great price point if you end up not bringing them home.

For After the Shower

Utopia Towels Extra Large Bath Towel(35 x 70 Inches) - Luxury Bath Sheet - Grey

These Utopia towels are large, cozy, and highly absorbent to stay dry after the shower.

For Nursing: Boppy Original Nursing Pillow

Boppy Original Nursing Pillow
Boppy

The Boppy Original Nursing Pillow is a staple many moms swear by. It’s one of the only baby items that is worth bringing to the hospital, even if it is a bit cumbersome to carry. This c-shaped pillow is meant to help make nursing more comfortable in the early days. Prop it around your belly area so that your arms can rest nicely and baby has a soft space to lie while feeding. It’s great, especially for early feedings, which might be difficult for you and baby.

You’ll use it for nursing for as long as you choose to breastfeed for, but this has other uses, too. As baby gets older, it can be a great tool to help them enjoy tummy time, it can help prop them up to sit up on their own, and it can even be a little bit of a lounger for them to rest on (with supervision).

For Nursing

Boppy Original Nursing Pillow and Positioner, Sketch Slate Gray, Cotton Blend Fabric with allover fashion

The Boppy pillow is a mom favorite for how it keeps moms and baby happy and comfortable while nursing.

To Stay Comfy: Maxmoda Kimono Long Robe

Maxmoda Kimono Long Robe
Maxmoda

When you get to the hospital, they’ll give you a basic hospital robe. While this might be easier to wear before and during labor, you don’t need to stay in it the entire time, and you probably won’t want to. It’s not that comfortable and hospital robes are notoriously revealing. If you want something you feel more comfortable in, bring your own.

A robe is better than clothing because it makes nursing more convenient and just feels better after giving birth, when wearing pants might seem impossible. This Maxmoda Kimono Long Robe is great to pack in your hospital bag. Made of a lightweight, stretchy fabric, it feels nice against your skin and keeps you comfortable without making you too warm. It’s long enough to go past your knees, which you’ll appreciate, especially if you aren’t wearing anything underneath. It’s also nice enough to keep on if you have visitors.

To Keep Your Feet Happy: Ultraideas Women’s Cozy Memory Foam Slippers

Ultraideas Womens Cozy Memory Foam Slippers
Ultraideas

The hospital will provide you with non-slip grippy socks, which are actually pretty comfortable and great for walking around your room. Still, if you’d prefer to wear your own slippers, there’s no harm in bringing them along. Ultraideas Cozy Memory Foam Slippers are a favorite online because they’re comfortable, warm without being suffocating, and durable.

These have a super soft, plush lining that keeps your feet nice and cozy, as well as an anti-skid rubber sole so that you can walk around in them without worrying about falling. The memory foam molds to your feet and retains shape so that they fit perfectly. And they’re cute, too!

For Stocking Up on Supplies: Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel Bag

Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel Bag
Wandf

If your hospital offers baby supplies like diapers and wipes or postpartum care items like pads and creams, you’re probably allowed to take as many things as you want home with you. In fact, many new moms ask nurses for extras to take home, and most are happy to oblige. Don’t be afraid to take home a lot of stuff!

But in order to do so, you need room. Pack a Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel Bag with you in your hospital bag. It folds up small, so it’s easy to bring along, and then it unfolds to hold an impressive amount of items. Load it up, and take all that stuff home with you!

For Stocking Up On Supplies

Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel Bag Luggage Sports Gym Water Resistant Nylon (Navy Blue)

Bring along this Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel Bag to take home all the supplies the hospital provides.

To Bring Baby Home: Carter’s Baby Boys and Girls 3-Piece Set

Carter’s Baby Boy and Girls 3 Piece Set
Carter’s

While baby might stay in a swaddle blanket in the hospital, you’ll have to put clothes on them to put  them in the car seat to go home. Bring a basic clothing set with you to keep baby comfortable and warm, no matter what time of year it is.

This Carter’s Baby Boys and Girls 3-Piece Set has you covered: In neutral gray, it works for either gender. The footie pants are great, so you don’t need to put socks on baby’s feet (they’d probably fall off anyway), and the hat is imperative, especially in the winter. Some people recommend not putting baby in a onesie while their umbilical cord is healing, so a two piece set like this one is comfortable for baby and easy for both of you.

For You on the Way Home: Lou & Grey Sweatsuit

Lou and Grey Sweatsuit
Lou & Grey

You also need an outfit to come home in (unfortunately, it can’t just be your robe), and you’ll definitely want something stretchy, soft, loose, and, above all, comfortable. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or glamorous, either—you’re coming home from the hospital after birthing a tiny human.

These Lou & Grey SinatureSoft Plush Upstate Sweatpants are great—they’re very soft, comfortable, and loose-fitting, with a nice adjustable drawstring tie. You might want to buy them larger than your size before you had the baby—most moms still have some of their baby bump right after the hospital. Add the Lou & Grey SignatureSoft Super Plush Sweatshirt to complete the look. Again, it’s loose and cozy, and the whole set together looks surprisingly chic.

Jessica Booth Jessica Booth
Jessica Booth is a freelance writer for Review Geek. She has been working in the editorial world as a freelance writer for over two years and previously worked as an editor for over eight years.  Jessica writes about travel, beauty, wellness, health, food, home decor, and parenting, and has reviewed and tested out products for all of those verticals over the course of her career. Read Full Bio »

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