What’s in my Birth Bag? :: With Printable Packing List for the Big Day

I sure love a good list. I have several on my phone and on post-it notes throughout my home.

So, it came as no surprise as I came closer to go-time for the birth of my son that I felt that inkling to begin a-listing.

I thought back to the birth of my now 5-year-old and I drew a blank…..What in the world did I pack for the hospital stay for his birth?

So, like any good perfectionist and Enneagram Type 1, I began to poll everyone that I could think of to find the must-haves for birth and the things that could be left at home. Some of the things suggested seemed like absolute revelations! How did I have a baby the first time without these must-have items??

I constructed my list, packed my bag, and had my baby.

Here is the list that absolutely transformed my hospital stay!

Beauty and Body

Hair Coils

I had never used hair coils before! These are a complete game-changer; there is no ripping or tangling! It was so wonderful to be able to pull these out with one hand without the worry of pulling my hair out of my head!

Bobby Pins

I don’t know about you, but I have flyaway hair everywhere. They drove me nuts during labor and nursing. Don’t forget these handy dandy things!

Dry Shampoo

Are you a mom? Yes? Then I don’t need to tell you about the wonders of dry shampoo. But, Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, in particular, is an absolute wonder. Who really wants to shower in the hospital shower anyway? I did it, but I didn’t want to be in there for too long. This dry shampoo gave me the extra time from my last real shampoo so I didn’t look like a grease-ball in my family pictures!

Facial Wipes

Having a stock of facial wipes has been super helpful not only during the labor and delivery process but also post-partum. It was so refreshing to be able to quickly wipe my face clean with Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towlettes. I would follow that with Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray (this spray was super refreshing during the labor process as well). Plus, they all smell wonderful!

Nipple Cream

I made sure to bring my own nipple cream this time. The lanolin provided at the hospital was fine, but you have to be sure to wipe it off before nursing and I could not count on having a baby that would be able to wait until I thoroughly wiped it off.  The Motherlove Nipple Cream was an awesome alternative as you do not have to wipe it off! And, bonus, it also works a lubricant for pumping if you need it!

Peppermint oil

I received this suggestion from a few of my fellow mommas! Bring peppermint oil and put a few drops in the toilet to help if you are having trouble urinating after delivery. It works like a charm!

Your own pillow

You don’t want to get stuck with the flat pancakes that they try to pass off as pillows in the hospital. Don’t forget to bring your own!

Clothing and Odds and Ends

Nursing nightgowns

I love the nightgowns from Motherhood maternity. Not only is everything always on sale, but these nightgowns are soft and perfect for the marathon breastfeeding sessions you may be in for. Plus, you want something that is easy to pull off and on. In particular, if you tore or had an episiotomy (hello 22 stitches…….) pants are not happening. And, something that you can put on easily or quickly is the way to go (this is from someone who accidentally got caught in just a towel by the pediatrician…..he saw way more than he bargained for.)

Waffle Robe

I found the most perfect waffle robe at Kohls. you definitely want something for the changing temps in the hospital room!

Hard sole Slippers

Every hospital does its best to keep the facility squeaky clean, but do you really want to be running around there in what amounts to be your socks?? I can answer that for you….No. No, you do not. Hard sole slippers are a must. I almost forgot they weren’t real shoes and left the hospital wearing them.

Going home outfit for mom and baby

I’ll admit, I gave great thought to the outfits for my baby, not so much for myself. If I had it to do over again, I’d choose some sort of matching Mommy and Baby ensemble-check out Milkmaid Goods for some cute options  But, for my newest bundle of joy, I went with the most precious gown from Little Hometown and topped it with the Crawfish Swaddle.

Extension Cord for Your Phone

This suggestion is so simple, but I didn’t even consider it before it was suggested.  With all the pictures and late-night web surfing while nursing, your phone is sure to run low on power. A long charging wire from your phone assures that your phone stays charged while still being able to be close to you for ease of use.

Food and Drink

Insulated Cup

I know this sounds ridiculous, but this was one of the best suggestions that I received.  Bring your own insulated cup! Speaking as you local tree hugger, those tiny Styrofoam cups are terrible for the environment and they hardly hold any water! I grabbed my favorite Tervis and my GoSili Straws and had ample access to cool water throughout the night without having to bother anyone.

Snacks

I was super excited to find out that the hospital I delivered at offered a complimentary snack box after birth. But, even with the snack box and yummy meals that were offered, I was ravenous. I packed my own snack box filled with cliff bars, cuties, and my favorite chips (I’m a chip monster).

The People

Doula

Whether you are planning a natural, medicated, or C-Section birth, a doula is a total stress reliever. A doula can help you to navigate decisions and preferences throughout the birth process. I had a doula for my first birth-an unmedicated birth and a doula for my second-a medicated vaginal birth. In both instances, my doula helped me to find my voice and make my choices clear to my healthcare providers. I was super lucky to have my good friend and fellow mom blogger, Laurel as my doula and we found that she was a total game-changer as it relates to anxiety and emotional comfort.

Birth Photographer

Carlie Anne Collective

I did not have a birth photographer for my first birth (though I did have a friend who took a beautiful video), but this time it was very important to me that this process memorialized. So, I hired a birth photographer, Carlie Anne Collective. Her work was beautiful and caught moments that I didn’t even realize were happening. Do yourself a favor and make the investment, you won’t be sorry!


This is such a special time in a mother’s life.

Having the right items packed can make everything all the more enjoyable.

Click the link for a printable packing list and Happy Birthing!

Amanda Fuselier
Amanda is a native of Kenner, LA and is now an honorary Cajun. She is married to a psychiatric nurse, Joe, and is a hospice social worker so don't come to her house unless you are ready to talk about your feelings! Amanda and Joe are parents to Kael and Remy and furry parents to Luna, Loki and Spiderman. Amanda is all about that #boymom life and is enjoying wrangling her two wild men while checking out the wonderful culture of Acadiana and all of Louisiana. Amanda is a fan of all things yummy and enjoys a good cocktail. Her motto is "if I can't wear yoga pants, I'm not going".