Packing for the Hospital

I’m days away from having my third baby (ON FRIDAY!  WOOT!), and I decided it was probably time I start thinking about packing for the hospital.

Eddie was the only baby I actually went into labor with (if you don’t count my early labor with Alice), so he was the only one I packed a bag for and then just waited. He was also the only one who I packed an actual suitcase for…AND the diaper bag. I laugh every time I think about it.

Seriously? New mom much?

Seriously? New mom much?

I packed a million things, you guys. In my defense, the internet told me to. Really! If you go to BabyCenter or google what to pack for your hospital stay, you get these LISTS! ALL OF THE LISTS! WITH ALL OF THE THINGS ON THEM!

Whenever I look at this picture I roll my eyes because WHERE DID I THINK I WAS GOING? I had no reason to think I would have a C-section at the time, so this was all for one, maybe two, nights? Plus I think I packed 10 different outfits for Eddie. In the end, I didn’t put him in “real clothes” until we were leaving.

And then even WITH a C-section and staying three nights, I didn’t read a book!  I didn’t do a million clothing changes. In fact, I just sat in my gown until the last day because I couldn’t wear it home.

Charlie was a planned repeat C-section. I packed my bag the weekend before (my C-section was on a Tuesday). The bag (just one) that I packed was a Thirty-One Utility Tote. Not even the giant one, but the medium one. I knew I would be there for three nights, but would probably stay in my gown until after the first night because of the IVs and the catheter.  I packed a LOT smarter the second time around.

And this time around, I’m even smarter. Less is more, in my opinion. I mean, the hospital really has almost everything I need.  This is my list:

  • two pairs of comfy jammy pants (one to wear in the hospital, one to go home in)
  • two comfy jammy tops (see above)
  • fuzzy socks
  • a bra and a pair of granny undies (because C-section incision)
  • breast pads
  • shampoo and conditioner in small, travel-size bottles
  • my own soap (otherwise you have to use hand soap. not cool) and face wash and deodorant
  • a brush and a pony tail holder
  • a little bag with lip balm, my meds, and my reading glasses
  • a jammy for Alice
  • my cord blood collection kit
  • a blanket to tuck around Alice because it will be cold when we go home
  • my phone & charger and maybe my Chromebook.
  • my own pillow

That’s it.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

I have really simplified since my mega-suitcase fiasco from six years ago. I feel like the simplifying isn’t just with hospital bag-packing either. As far as most outings with kids/babies go, I don’t go as overboard as I did with Eddie. Instead of packing the car with every single piece of baby gear we may possibly need, I usually just throw my Moby in the back and shove some diapers, wipes, and bottles in the diaper bag.

How about you? Were you an over-packer when it came to your hospital stay(s) or a “simple” packer?


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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Can’t wait for you to check in as the mommy of a girl! So exciting. And scary.

    As far as a packer? Well, I’ve never had to pack for a hospital stay (I’ve only had to spend a night in the hospital in my adult life, and that was an…entirely unplanned trip), but I used to pack DAYS ahead of time. Now? I typically pack the day of. As I’m heading out of the house.

  2. Sadly, I barely remember. I know that I only packed one “coming home” outfit for the baby. I remember caring about having comfy pajamas. And I also remember being totally perplexed what I would wear home since I wouldn’t be pregnant anymore, but I knew I wouldn’t be fitting into any of my pre-pregnancy clothes. (I think I went with overall shorts — hey, they *were* in fashion at the time). 🙂

    It’s funny what you learn by baby #3. 🙂 Looking forward to “meeting” Alice!

  3. Beckykid says

    I was admitted from triage so I didn’t even HAVE a bag with me. I was 2.5 weeks early so I literally sent the husband home with a list (more than once) of stuff I needed. I’m planning on packing a bit earlier this time, and I’ll probably use our small carry-on suitcase simply because it’s on the small side.

    I’ll definitely be packing lightly though. Comfy pants, tank tops, regular travel sized toiletries, probably 2 outfits for the little girl, and my camera are on my must have list. That’s about it!

    Oh and breast pads. Thanks for reminding me of that one 🙂

  4. I cannot for the life of me remember what I wore home with baby #2, but in all likelihood I probably just dragged something out of my maternity pile because let’s be real. The babies each wore a “coming home” outfit that was promptly ripped off as soon as we came home so we could see our new babe from tip to toe. Can’t wait to meet Alice! xoxo

    I also did the cord blood thing. It’s fascinating, isn’t it?

  6. It is so true about the living, learning, and packing less!. So. True. Three more days!!!!!

  7. I don’t think I overpacked. I did end up reading 2 or 3 books? We ended up being there longer than we had thought so my husband did go home and bring more stuff and return some things in the middle so that helped. I did bring like 4 outfits for Isla cuz I didn’t know what I wanted her to wear because I mean I had never seen her before haha. And then it became super cold while we were in the hospital so I then had my husband bring a completely different outfit to the hospital ha.

  8. I hadn’t actually pack my bag before the twins because I thought I had 3 more weeks! So I threw a few things into a bag while amniotic fluid dripped around me (you’re welcome), and funnily, I packed 3 outfits each for the twins plus a blanket each, not thinking about the fact that they were premature, really small and wouldn’t even be wearing clothes for the first week to 10 days, nor would they need my blankets (there were plenty in NICU) until they were discharged.

    Good on your for packing only what’s needed this time round! And omigosh, just 2 more days to Alice!

    PS: When we take the twins out, I only bring diapers, wet wipes, one change of clothes each, and a burp cloth.