By our fourth delivery, I knew what to really pack in a hospital bag. With our first baby, I had everything under the sun in my hospital bag, but by our fourth, I was down to the “must-haves” and I was so much better off because of it!

– Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, deodorant, toothbrush

– Makeup for those first few pictures

– Hair Ties for the delivery. I can’t imagine having my hair down during the birth.

– A nursing tank top (I bought them at Target)

– A big t-shirt (your breasts will be engorged and you’ll be glad to have a shirt that is a few sizes too big… I wore my husband’s biggest t-shirts for comfort)

– Comfortable pants (I used gaucho pants)

– Old underwear that you can throw away in a week and a few sports bras

– A roll of quarters for the vending machines (for your husband) & maybe a few granola bars.

– Don’t bother bringing books. I bought a brand new book and it was the last thing on my mind… save it for your beach trip when you will actually be relaxing.

– Laptop

– Camera

– Phone

– Chargers

– Lip gloss or chap stick (you’ll need these)

– Flip flops – I hated walking around in bare feet, but I didn’t want to put on slippers (it was summertime), so I bought flip flops at Old Navy for $2.00 and wore those all weekend. I threw them away on my way out of the hospital (I wasn’t about to bring those hospital germs home!)

– Your breastfeeding pillow – better to learn with the pillow than to have to re-learn when you get home.

– Sleeper for your baby and a “first picture” outfit. Reminder: your baby probably won’t fit in the newborn clothes like you think he/she will.   I took a tutu for our daughter & a cute outfit for our 3 sons. I ended up folding the tutu all around our daughter to make it look like it fit… and I had to send my husband out for preemie outfits for our sons because the newborns were huge on them.

– Pacifiers if your hospital is pro-breastfeeding (some hospitals won’t give out pacifiers. Luckily, ours gave them out like crazy and we came home with four!) Don’t pack diapers, ice packs, pads, bottles, etc… you will get more than you need and will probably bring a lot home. Remember that you aren’t going to be there forever and soon you will be home with your new sweet baby… enjoying some cuddle time.

By Becky Mansfield from