A few weeks ago, as I was nearing my due date, I got a lot of questions about what I was packing in my hospital bag. Although I didn’t pack my bag until about a week and a half before San was born, I spent about three weeks before that compiling a list of things I needed, and then tweaking it as time went on. 
I can hardly remember what I packed in my bag with my boys, but my list this time helped me bring exactly what I needed, and I had hardly any extras. 
Here’s what I brought: 
  • Slippers/Socks: I’m sure the hospital floors are cleaned every day, but I still liked having a pair of slippers to walk around in so I wasn’t barefoot. But if you don’t have slippers, bring a pair of socks or flip flops. I brought two pairs of socks anyway so I could wear them in bed when it was freezing cold in my hospital room (which I knew it would be).
  • Robe: After wearing an ugly hospital gown for hours and hours, I really wanted to be able to put on something fresh and pretty. This gorgeous robe from Pretty Plum Sugar was perfect because it’s incredibly soft, allows for easy nursing access, and made me feel so feminine and pretty. Plus, it’s a great coverup for when guests come visit in the hospital.
  • Heavyweight Cardigan Sweater. Another thing to keep me warm. I brought a big chunky one and slept in it both nights when I was freezing.
  • Compression leggings. I know a lot of people like pajamas, and I do in the right setting. But after delivery when you are wearing giant pads and mesh underwear, a pair of loose pants might be comfortable, but personally I prefer a pair of pants that’s super tight and keeps things from feeling saggy. I brought both of my compression yoga leggings and they were perfect.
  • Sleeping Bra. The moment you start nursing, you’re going to want to start using a sleeping bra. This one is incredibly soft and comfortable (size up one size if you’re nervous since the band around your ribcage runs a little small).
  • Nursing Bra. This isn’t an essential actually because you could just use your sleeping bra the whole hospital stay if you don’t want to switch to a regular one. I brought mine, mostly for my coming home outfit.
  • Two or three comfortable tops. I wore my leggings both days in the hospital, and on top I just wore soft tees that were easy to pull up for nursing. I brought this one and this one and they were perfect.
  • Coming Home Outfit. Save room in your suitcase and wear a pair of pants to the hospital that you can wear home. I brought this pair, which was perfect because the elastic panels gave me extra room while my uterus was still swollen (but I didn’t need a pair with a full belly band).
  • Nipple Cream. An absolute essential. Do not forget this. And do start using it before you even deliver! Someone gave me this one for my baby shower and I’ve loved it. It also doubled as chapstick, which was definitely an essential during my stay.
  • Toiletries. This is all individual to each person of course, but I made sure I brought my makeup, toothbrush, dry shampoo, deodorant, a hair tie, and makeup remover wipes. Also my hospital didn’t provide any shower gel or shampoo — I wish I’d known in advance so I could have brought my own (and didn’t have to jump out of the shower to pump hand soap out of the sink dispenser!)
For the baby. The hospital provides nearly everything you need — diapers, wipes, blankets, clothes, etc. So really you don’t need very much, but it’s fun to bring a few things to make that brand new baby feel like your own.
  • Swaddling Blanket. We’ve already tried a ton of different brands with San, and although there are pros and cons to each one, I really love the Solly Baby Swaddle. This one has a lot of stretch in it so it makes keeping him bundled really easy and he loves it!
  • Coming Home Outfit. We kept him in his little white hospital tee for the entire time until it was time to go home. Then it’s so fun to change him into his first real outfit. I bought this set from Old Navy, and it kept him cozy and warm.
  • Hat: The hospital provides a little hat, but I liked having a little hat to take him home in. These ones from June and January are my favorite and they come in a million colors.
  • Moccasins/socks. Something to keep those new feet warm! I loved having a pair of the Freshly Picked crib moccs for him. I’ve yet to find a good set of baby socks that stay on well, so I’m all ears if you know of any!
  • Baby Nail Clippers. Those babies are born with razor claws. Our hospital didn’t provide clippers or a nail, so it was helpful to have a pair on hand when he popped out with super long nails and I was concerned he would scratch his face.
  • Camera and charger. Don’t forget this! We had my friend, Tara, come photograph us in the hospital (which I can’t recommend enough — it took the pressure off me and my husband to get some good photos!), but I was still glad to have my own nice camera to get some other shots of the baby when she wasn’t around. Don’t forget an extra battery or your camera charger!
  • Phone charger. An essential — your battery will be drained in a second with all the texts and calls you’ll get with a new baby. So don’t forget it!
  • Snacks. My hospital provided three meals during the day for me, and although they were nice meals, there were hours in between when I had no food and I was starved. I was glad to have brought a bag of granola bars, cookies, fruit leather, nuts, and a few other snacks so I could eat them throughout the day when my newly nursing body was desperate for food.
I’ll be sharing some postpartum essentials on the blog in the next few weeks too, so make sure you check back and don’t miss it!


  1. Meagan Rigney says:

    What a great list! I loved having my own shampoo, lotions, etc with me as it made me more comfortable and I felt like myself when it felt like the world got turned upside down, and slippers and a pretty robe also do the same thing. Snacks are also so important! Hospital food can be sketchy, and the timing can be off depending on how busy it is there. Great post!

  2. Esraa Bassiouny says:

    Congrats again and again. I think my sister’s hospital only provided the essential for the baby and the other things wasn’t there and we happened to forget the hat, what a coincidence.

  3. Andrea Snow says:

    Congratulations! Great list!
    I couldn’t wear jeans for two months because of all my tearing and stitches down there. I couldn’t wear anything tight in my private area.
    Did you not tear?
    If so you are blessed.
    I did with my first eight months ago with a level 2.
    I would recommend cute sweat pants one size bigger.
    I will save this list for next time.

    • Merrick says:

      Yes I had to have stitches with all three but still preferred compression leggings each time. But if your tearing was worse the totally understand looser pants might be a better option! xoxo

      • Andrea Snow says:

        I pushed for 2 hours & 49 minutes and I tore so badly I gave myself a tear all the way to the back. So sad!
        I may have to try your compression leggings trick next time if my tearing is not so bad.

  4. Sarah Polk says:

    You look gorgeous. I mean, after I gave birth, I looked like I was just dragged behind a horse.

    Are those loose tees from Nordstrom sheer? I need some comfy casual tops that are nursing-friendly.


  5. Lauren says:

    Old Navy socks were my favorite! Not the single pair, but the packs of three (there’s apparently a difference!). And you can always find them on sale! Like these: http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1036922&vid=1&pid=152191022

  6. Mar says:

    Congrats on your new little 🙂 What a great list! We also brought a few pillows and a blanket from home. The ones the hospital provided were paper thing!

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