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Second-Time Mom Hospital Bag Checklist

As I've shared in my latest bumpdate, I'm feeling kind of unprepared for this baby to come, so the fact that it's time to share my hospital bag essentials is blowing my mind. I got a ton of recommendations from y'all on what YOU packed and what your must-haves are, and I gotta say, I'm so excited to add them to my list!

Considering this is my second pregnancy, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what I actually need in my bag as opposed to the random stuff I packed when I was pregnant with my first. (I'll also be sharing some of what I'm packing for the baby, since I overpacked for Caroline when she was born!)

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Hospital Bag - This bag is an oldie but a goodie. I used this bag when I was in the hospital with my first and it is the perfect size. It's soft-sided so there's a little wiggle room, and it's not incredibly structured, which makes it easy to fit everything without being too rigid. There are a lot of great weekender bag options out there, but I find that when it's going to be sitting on hospital room floors, riding around in the car for a few (hopeful) weeks, and potentially getting dirty, I don't want to use a brand new bag.

Silk Pillow Case - I'm not usually too picky when it comes to pillows, but I do love my silky pillow cases. Hospital pillow cases are scratchy and stiff, so it's nice to have some of the comforts of home when you are in the hospital and getting cozy with your new baby.

Hospital Gown - This is an "extra" item but let me tell you, when you are in recovery and still getting over the initial shock of having a new baby and wanting to just snuggle your newest addition, you'll be thankful you have a comfy gown. This flannel birthing gown from Gift Gowns is perfect for your hospital stay (and even once you get home!) because there are snaps on both shoulders and down the back so there's no issue with any IV wires, monitor cords, and even nursing is a cinch.

Nursing Bras & Pads - I'm chalking it up to my second pregnancy, but my milk came in quicker than with my first pregnancy, so I am definitely packing my nursing pads and nursing bras in my bag. I prefer wire-free nursing bras so I can sleep in them. They're also much more comfortable if you have issues with painful letdowns or engorgement.

Hair Ties - My favorite no-pull and no-creasing hair ties, TeleTies, are a must have in my book. They make it so easy to throw your hair up and get it out of your face during labor or in recovery.

Extension Cord - Something I didn't have the first time and regret... an extension cord. There are not always outlets close to the hospital bed and keeping your phone handy for all the announcement calls and texts is important! You may also bring other items that require a charge or power, so you'll never know what you need it for.

Adult Diapers - This is new for me, but discreet, disposable underwear came highly recommended and let me tell you - it makes sense. The "diapers" and enormous pads the hospital gives you to wear are not comfortable, can shift around, and make your already-sore lady parts even more uncomfortable!

Slippers/ No-Slip Socks - If you're like me, then you'll want something cozy on your toes! My feet are always cold, but having no-slip grip socks are a must for hospital stays. After having a baby, you'll want to walk carefully and slowly, whether it's just to the bathroom or down the hall to the nursery. I always pack my favorite slippers too, just for when I want extra grip.

Earrings - A little something extra, but will help make you feel put together for visitors or photos with your new bundle of joy. Little studs that you are comfortable sleeping in are easy and convenient.

Toiletries - While you are thinking of everything else to bring, you may forget some of the most basic necessities like a tooth brush, tooth paste, and deodorant. You may want to throw in some basic makeup too - some blush and mascara can go a long way in helping you feel prepared for visitors!

Skincare - Don't go overboard, but some basic skincare items can help you feel fresh and renewed for visitors or for starting to feel like yourself again after having baby. Chances are, you'll be pretty tired, so bringing facial wipes (these are my favorite!) and even a hydrating spray and serious moisturizer will make you feel awake and alert.

Humidifier - Hospital air is the driest air, and during the winter, I already suffer from dry everything, so to add a little comfort, I'm packing my cool-air humidifier to help keep my nose and skin feeling as soft as possible. My small humidifier is great at pumping out lots of cool steam for up to 12 hours!

For Baby

I overpacked when I had our first daughter, which I think is pretty standard. But in reality, you won't need much. Just like for your bag, bringing some comforts from home will make your new baby feel extra comfy as they adjust to life on the outside!

Layette Gown - These gowns are the greatest for your stay in the hospital. Because there is an elastic bottom, nurses can still have easy access to the baby's ankle bands and any monitors they may need, but your baby will be in something soft and warm. Pack 2, just in case!

Swaddle Sacks/Blankets - Getting your new baby used to having the same blankets and swaddlers from Day 1 is important - the transition to home will be a breeze if baby is already comfortable in the same swaddle and blankets. I love these muslin blankets because they're so breathable, yet warm!

Going Home Outfit - Every mom has the perfect going home outfit picked out, since there will be photos of mom and baby and dad. Bring a cute outfit that will keep baby warm and adorable for your first trip home!

Other than that, the hospital provides everything you need for a baby - Diapers, wipes, creams, any care items... and you can take what is in your room home with you! Don't feel like you have to bring diapers and lots of extra things to the hospital. Give yourself more brain power to ask nurses and doctors any questions you have and focus on bonding with the baby, instead of having to worry about packing up lots of extra clothes and accessories.


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