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A realistic c-section hospital bag checklist.
That’s all I wanted when I was packing for my first c-section.
I really feel like some of the checklists out there aren’t very realistic and include too many unnecessary items. The last thing you want to do is pack a lot of things you won’t need.
Feel free to use this as your starter packing list and add anything else you see fit once you’ve gotten the essentials packed.
What should I pack in my hospital bag for a c-section?
Here are the top 10 things to include in your hospital bag.
(Don’t forget to snag your free printable down below. I left it blank so that you can personalize it to fit your exact needs and preferences.)
1. Comfy clothes
If you’re not a fan of the gowns provided by the hospital, you may want to bring a long, comfy robe to wear while you’re still there– Especially if you plan to have visitors.
You’ll also need to pack a comfortable outfit to wear home.
Personally, I went with drawstring pants and a large t-shirt. If it’s warm, a flowy dress is another option (just make sure you can’t trip over it).
The important thing is to make sure your clothes won’t rub against your incision area.
2. Supportive underwear
Next, you’ll absolutely need high-waisted underwear that can easily be pulled above your incision area.
The hospital does usually provide the mesh-style underwear, but you may not receive any extras so it’s best to be prepared.
3. Infant car seat
This one may not fit in your hospital bag, but it is non-negotiable!
You won’t be able to take your new baby home without a proper infant car seat.
Also, I recommend installing it before you even leave for the hospital so you won’t have to worry about it later.
We used the Graco Click Connect with baby #2, and it was really easy to install.
I also recommend buying an infant pillow insert like this to ensure that baby’s head will be completely supported.
4. Baby’s homecoming outfit
The hospital provides diapers, wipes, and the other essentials your baby will need following birth– even formula if you are bottle feeding.
The only thing you really need to pack for baby is the outfit you want to bring him or her home in.
You may also want to add a pair of mittens to that because newborns tend to scratch their little faces.
5. Cell phone charger with a long cord
This is a must-have that no one told me about!
After a c-section, you will be camped out at the hospital for at least two nights (sometimes longer), depending on how everything goes and how you’re feeling.
If you plan to use your phone at all while it’s charging, you’ll need a longer cord than the original one that came with your phone (especially if you have an iPhone).
I was able to find one at the dollar store for just a few bucks, but if you aren’t having any luck, this one is very similar to the one I have.
6. Chapstick/lip balm
Next, the perfect c-section hospital bag contains chapstick– Trust me!
It’s pretty cold in the hospital, especially in the operating room. If your lips tend to get dry easily, you don’t want to be stuck there with chapped lips and no chapstick.
7. Your health insurance card and ID
As soon as you arrive at the hospital, your health insurance card and ID might be the first things you’re asked for.
I wouldn’t worry about dragging your entire purse/bag to the hospital unless you just want to. I actually only brought my wallet for baby #2.
8. Travel size 2-in-1 shampoo + conditioner
Even if the 2-in-1 deals aren’t your usual preference, I highly recommend going this route anyways just this one time.
Showering right after a c-section is not the most comfortable process. The less steps it takes you, the better. Plus, it’s one less thing to pack.
I also recommend not taking bar soap, because if you drop it in while in the shower (I did this), you’re stuck since you can’t do much bending over right away.
Go with body wash instead. 🙂
9. Extra ponytail holders
If you have long hair or even shoulder length hair, you will want it out of sight and out of mind.
And we’ve all been there when our ONLY hair tie decides to randomly break. Extras are a hospital bag must-have!
10. Comfy shoes
My boys were spring and summer babies, so I got away with just taking my flip flops.
I wouldn’t worry with anything that ties, buckles, etc.
Backless shoes are your friend. 🙂
Printable hospital bag checklist
Help other mamas out by pinning!