Gutsy Mama

10 Must-Have Items You’ll Regret Not Packing in Your Hospital Bag

baby, hospital bag, mama, what to pack, postpartum
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Staying in the hospital after having your baby can be hard, but packing the right items to use during your stay can make those long days and nights a little easier.

First of all, you need a roomy bag or suitcase to pack your items in. I didn’t want to take my rolling luggage, so I found a super cute weekender on Amazon that I absolutely love. It was roomy but not too large as I didn’t want my husband having to carry a bulky bag all over the place. This was the perfect size for all my stuff.

Just a side note: I also took a diaper bag for the baby’s items. I even had extra room in the diaper bag to pack up the diapers, wipes, and extra supplies the hospital sent us home with.

Okay, now onto the 10 items you don’t want to be without!


During my first postpartum hospital stay this was the item I most regret not taking! Yes, the hospital provides you with no-slip socks, but they’re not comfy and I felt dirty getting back into bed wearing the socks I just walked to the bathroom in. Yuck! I would highly suggest taking a pair of slippers or house shoes with you to keep right by your bed. I found these super cute, comfy, and affordable slippers that I actually wore to the hospital, during my stay, and back home because they’re so versatile:


Something I also learned during my first go around was to pack a few snacks! You likely won’t have anywhere to go at 2am for food, and trust me you will need it after giving birth! Your partner will appreciate it too. The hospital will likely only have crackers available for you, so pack things like granola/protein bars, peanut butter crackers, applesauce pouches, etc. 

Baby Wipes

I took my own package of baby wipes just in case I didn’t like the ones provided by the hospital. During my stay after having my first son, the hospital had dry baby wipes that you had to walk over to the sink to moisten. I was in so much pain I could barely walk, so getting out of bed to get water for a baby wipe was too much. I brought my own baby wipes this time to avoid that inconvenience, but thankfully the hospital provided a pack of wet baby wipes this time. Even though I ended up not needing the wipes I packed, I’m still glad I took them just in case. 

Comfy Clothes

You may just prefer to use the hospital gown, but I find the snaps and fabric to be really uncomfortable and annoying. This time I packed some really soft t-shirt dresses that I found in the lounge section at Target. The ones I found were extra stretchy so they worked for nursing even though they weren’t specifically made for that. 

Face Wipes

These come in handy just in case you’re in a lot of pain and don’t feel like getting out of bed to freshen up. You’ll be tired and too busy nursing your sweet new baby, so it’s easy to lose track of time and forget to take care of yourself. Self-care is important while you’re healing, so do what you can to keep yourself feeling clean and comfortable. These are the face wipes I got:

Hair Ties and a Headband

You’ll want one or both of these to keep your hair out of your face during labor and while nursing your babe. You don’t want any distractions and it will also make it easier if you’re in and out of a bathtub or if you’re throwing up (hey, it happens!). If you have shorter hair a headband might be helpful! 

Two sizes of baby clothes

My second son ended up being over nine pounds at birth (I’m super tiny so it really was a shock, ha!!) so I’m glad I packed a larger size of clothes. We kept him in only a diaper and swaddle at the hospital, but I put him in a 0-3 month outfit to go home. Just go ahead and pack newborn and 0-3 month sizes. You never know if you might need it!

Disposable Underwear

I know a lot of women like the mesh panties the hospital provides, but I HATE them. They aren’t comfy, they’re huge, and they just fall off of me. I bled heavily after giving birth the first time, and I remember every time I got out of bed I would leave a trail of blood to the bathroom (super gross, I know). The mesh panties did not give me the coverage I needed, so the second time around I took about a dozen pairs of my own disposable underwear with me. You’ll also want them once you go home, so buy enough to last you about a week or so until the bleeding gets lighter. Purchase them once you enter your third trimester as they’ll come in handy if your water breaks at home. This is the brand I like: 


The hospital should provide blankets for swaddling, but I just like velcro swaddles so much better. They’re quicker, easier, and won’t come unraveled while baby is sleeping or being held like manual swaddling tends to do. Pack a couple just in case baby spits up on one of them.


I hesitated putting this one on here at the risk of sounding vein, but hear me out. During my first delivery, I looked super rough. I had the worst labor, and honestly didn’t care about how I looked. I was just trying to survive and get my baby here safe! I look back at pictures and you can just tell I went through the ringer, and that’s okay. This time I decided I wanted to look cute for pictures, so I put on a teeny bit of makeup after I got my epidural. I was bored lying in the hospital bed and had nothing else to do, so I got my makeup bag out and made myself look a little more put together. It’s okay if you want to wear makeup, and also totally okay if you choose not to! 

Here’s what I used to get a super natural look:

Lash Princess Waterproof Mascara
IT Cosmetics CC Cream
Benefit Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Fiber Gel
Tula Eye Brightening Balm
Clinique Cheek Balm

What items do you wish you had packed in your hospital bag?!

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