My Hospital Bag Packing List

(Updated March 29, 2021. Scroll down to see which items I actually used from my hospital bag!)


Preparing for my first child meant that I was putting together my hospital bag packing list over the course of a couple months, and I started actually packing a solid month and a half before my due date. (I think I have already established that I'm pretty Type A!) I had my carry-on size rolling suitcase organized and ready to go.

Thinking back, I feel like I packed a lot of things I ended up not using, and when it was time to come home, I crammed a lot of the hospital supplies in my suitcase. (Also, after five days in the hospital, we definitely needed the rolling cart to haul all our stuff down to the car...things accumulated quickly, especially with my husband making trips back and forth to the house.)



After reading a blog post from The Lafayette Mom, I realized I should start working on my hospital bag packing list for this time around. The list Amanda wrote out was very helpful in giving me ideas for practical items I wouldn't have thought to pack otherwise. I've tried to pare down what I will bring, and focus on what I remember actually using or needing during my last stay. However, my plan of bringing a smaller duffel bag didn't pan out, and I'm back to the same rolling suitcase I used two and a half years ago.


Because Ariana stayed in NICU for her first two days, I started pumping while in the hospital and accumulated quite a collection of pump supplies. When she was around a month old, I discovered the Haakaa pump and wished I'd had one from the beginning. I kept it in storage and cleaned and sterilized it recently, plus I received a brand new second one as a gift. (This is how much I love this item.) My new one comes with a lid, so that's the one I ended up packing in my bag. Ready to nurse smarter and waste less milk from the get-go!

My reusable coffee mug, water cup and straw are coming along again with the intention to reduce some waste in our hospital room. I purposely packed a huge cup for water to help ensure I drink enough. 

One thing to note: my bag and packing list covers me and the baby. Last time, I kept on my husband for weeks to pack his bag, and I think he finally shoved a few things in a backpack a few days before our scheduled induction. This time around, he packs when he packs. :)


It's been almost six weeks since I had my baby, and I'm finally getting around to updating my packing list to share what I actually used. I still overpacked, but our hospital stay was much different from our first time around. Instead of unexpectedly being in the hospital for five days, we ended up only being there for one night. Because we were able to go home a night sooner than we expected, I didn't need a lot of things I would have used otherwise (for example, I ended up not taking a shower in the hospital, so I didn't need my shampoo and conditioner.) 

I've bolded all of the items I used at some point in our stay (approximately 10 hours in our labor and delivery room and about 24 hours in our recovery room). Hopefully this may help if you are prepping your own hospital bag!

My 2021 hospital bag packing list

  • Onesies, nightgowns, mittens, pacifier and going-home outfit for Bébé (We used one nightgown and she wore a onesie home, rather than the special onesie pictured above that was way too big for her.)
  • Swaddle sleep sack (we borrowed one from the hospital for Ariana but it was huge, so this time I wanted to bring our own in the newborn size.) (VERY glad I brought this!)
  • Button down pajamas, robe, slippers, grippy socks (I only used one nightgown after changing out of the hospital gown. The slippers were one of my most-used items! Bring some with a hard sole that can be easily disinfected after you leave.)
  • Nursing bra/tank top and nursing pads
  • Outfit for me to wear home (I wore the same pants home that I wore to the hospital, but wore a different shirt. It was not what I would call an "outfit", ha.)
  • Extra masks and a mask chain (I'm relieved that I don't have to labor in a mask, but we will need to wear them when anyone comes into our labor/delivery and recovery rooms, so the mask chain will be handy.) (I actually only needed to use the mask when going into the hospital, being transferred to our recovery room, and on the wheelchair ride down to the car. I never took the mask chain out of my case.)
  • Toiletries for me (shampoo/conditioner, toothbrush/toothpaste, contact lens solution/case, facial wipes, lotion, makeup)
  • Chapstick (I absolutely bought a tube just to pack in my bag.) (I used the one that I always have in my purse, but I DID use it a lot - so make sure you have at least one tube. I kept mine on my tray table during labor!)
  • Postnatal vitamins
  • Haakaa pump and small pump bottles to store any extra milk (cleaned and sterilized)
  • Sound machine (if you don't already have one, save a white noise playlist or download an app on your phone. I've also downloaded my favorite sleep music track from Headspace.) (I used my phone!)
  • Small Bluetooth speaker and charger (not a necessity, but I love to have music playing and I did make a Spotify mix for labor.) (Loved having the speaker and listening to my playlist. I had it going during delivery but couldn't tell you which song was playing when my baby was born!)
  • Stainless steel coffee mug with lid, water cup with lid and straw (The hospital gave me a large reusable cup that I used for water and Powerade. I am actually still using my hospital cup at home to help make sure I drink enough water.)
  • Phone charger and extension cord


Things on my packing list the first time around that I'm not bringing this time

  • Flat iron and blow dryer
  • Boppy pillow
  • My own pump (I think we did bring it last time, but used one of the hospital's pumps instead.)
  • Our own blankets (I did bring my own pillow last time and was glad for it, but I'm not sure I'll bother with it this time.)
  • Snacks (This time, I'll probably just send my husband out on snack runs, or that'll be something I throw in the car last-minute.) (After I published this blog post, my husband told me he wanted to make sure we packed snacks, so we had a separate bag for them. We didn't eat a lot of the snacks, but it was nice to have.)
  • Birth plan (I'd already spoken with my doctor about the major things, and like everyone says, things don't go according to plan. The piece of paper never left my suitcase, ha.)
  • Framed photos for the room
  • DSLR camera (Another thing we did use, but that I'm not bothering with this time. I may still change my mind though!)

With just a couple remaining items that I'm still using every day, the hospital bag is packed and ready to go whenever Bébé is!


Comparing my pregnancies

I've always heard how different pregnancies can be, especially going from your first baby to your second. It's definitely been true around here, and in general, this pregnancy has been harder on me. 



I've definitely grown faster and showed earlier this time, although I've learned to embrace it.  


My first trimester morning sickness was much more consistent this time, and I've noticed more third trimester reflux. I feel like I've had more aches and pains, especially in my lower back, but that's probably a combination of it not being my first pregnancy and me not exercising as regularly.

I didn't have any many cravings this time. I remember my cravings for peanut M&Ms and Icees last time, but I think especially during my first trimester this time, I had more aversions to food. 

I've said for a few weeks now that Ariana was my karate kicker, and this baby has been more gentle for the most part. She's been moving A LOT the past couple weeks, but I find it's more rolls than kicks.

I also feel like I have had more intense Braxton Hicks contractions this time around, although I can't remember if I had them and didn't know it last time, or I didn't have them as much. They are known to be more common in subsequent pregnancies. 

I wrote a blog post a few months back on my headspace throughout this pregnancy, and I think getting those thoughts out helped me tremendously!


I mean, first things first. Obviously the pandemic has changed the pregnancy experience for thousands of women. It was strange to spend so much of my pregnancy working at home, and with so few people seeing me on a regular basis and my growing bump. (That's one thing about video meetings - that webcam can hide a lot, ha!) It was peaceful in a way, yet isolating in a way. 

I'm grateful that my husband was able to join for both of our scheduled ultrasounds during the pandemic, although it take take some extra effort. When it was time to schedule my first ultrasound, I chose to have it done at the hospital. When I realized they weren't allowing any guests at the time, I called my doctor, and she was able to refer me to another facility that was allowing one guest. I was so grateful that we were both able to see our baby for the first time and get the comforting news that everything was looking normal and healthy.



I remember that Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina the weekend Ariana was born in 2018, but thankfully, we didn't go through any major storms in Louisiana that year. 

This year, we got the brunt of hurricane season and I experienced Hurricane Laura while 13 weeks pregnant and Hurricane Delta while 20 weeks pregnant. I got a great 20 week workout helping to clean up the fallen tree branches in our yard after Delta, although being without power was not pleasant for any of us. 


Keeping it all in perspective, I'm grateful that our home wasn't damaged, that Ariana and I could spend the night at a relative's who had power, and that our power was restored after two days (and our Internet after a week - I have never been so grateful for hotspots!) So many people had it so much worse than us -- whether they were pregnant, new parents or not.



Having a miscarriage makes it hard to want to share a pregnancy announcement early. When we announced our pregnancy for Ariana back in 2018, I was so excited to share our news publicly once we had passed the first trimester. 

This time, I think I was nearing 22 or 23 weeks before posting anything online, ha. From simply not seeing that many people, there was also always something going on that made me want to wait. It felt weird to post a pregnancy announcement when everyone was preoccupied with hurricanes. Then with National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in October, I wanted to be sensitive to everyone grieving their own losses.

In a way, waiting that long to announce anything made it seem like the first half of my pregnancy lasted forever, while the second half has flown by.



When I was pregnant with Ariana, I scaled down my yoga practice but still went every week, and went swimming often that summer.

Since she's been born, I've never gotten back into a steady exercise/gym routine. And combined with the pandemic, I had not been working out much at all. At least during the spring, I was getting lots of neighborhood walks in. And with a very active toddler, I haven't been able to stay very still in general.


It's honestly taken me until my third trimester to get my butt to the gym, with a mask, on a regular basis. And I'm so, so glad I'm doing it. Even just the handful of swimming afternoons at the heated indoor pool and the few yoga classes I've attended have done so much to make me feel better physically and mentally.

Exercising while pregnant isn't about fitness goals for me, but rather focusing on feeling better mentally and physically. Yoga really helps with all of the aches and pains of pregnancy, and swimming is the best for decompressing, especially when I feel extra puffy.



Oh, how overeager and Type A I was when preparing for Ariana. I remember how hard I worked to have the nursery complete before she was born. I started packing my hospital bag a month and a half before my due date. I curated a hospital playlist over the course of a couple months (and I don't think I listened to half of it in the hospital.) I eagerly read the weekly updates in my pregnancy apps. I always had questions ready for my OB appointments. I made sure we had a maternity photo shoot, lol.

This time, I feel like I've been going with the flow a little more. I remember enough from last time that I don't have as many questions. The nursery is basically staying the same (Ariana will move into a big girl room later this year, so we're making updates a little at a time.) I've refined my hospital bag packing list, but have only packed the baby's clothes so far.

It also helps that we saved so many items to use for a second baby, so our needs list is pretty minimal. We've been collecting some hand-me-downs to take care of what we didn't save.

And I'm pretty sure any maternity shoot this time around will be getting my husband to take a few more photos in the backyard, ha.



I have said it for three years now. I find it so hard to choose girl names. I was about six months pregnant when we chose the name Ariana, and then chose her middle name about a month later.

I am now nearing 35 weeks pregnant, and we still have not settled on a first name for the baby. And no, I do not plan to wait until we meet her to pick a name, ha. Yes, I am putting pressure on myself by telling myself I need to just pick something in the next week or so. We've narrowed it down to about four or five contenders, and just need to sit down and make a decision already.

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