c-section hospital bag packing list

C-Section Hospital Bag: Full Packing List

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After having had two girls, we were excited to finally have our little boy. It wasn’t until we had packed our c-section hospital bag that the feeling felt more real. It meant we were closer to having our baby boy. After having two previous c-sections I already knew what I wanted to bring and leave behind. I replayed the past two hospital stays in my mind over and over again making sure I didn’t miss anything or decided to leave anything out. Having a detailed packing list really helped me be more prepared and I want to share this hospital packing list with you too.

In this post I want to go over everything I packed and why I packed each of the items. At the end you can find a FREE PRINTABLE PACKING LIST to have with you. I will go over everything you need for you, for the dad or your support person, and for your baby below.

Mother having a c-section holding her baby for the first time. Posted on a blog post that shares a full packing guide for your c-section hospital bag including your spouse's hospital bag and baby's hospital bag.

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Packing for your c-section hospital bag for recovery is very important. You don’t want to over pack but at the same time, you want to be comfortable and have the things you need whether it’s at the hospital or even at home. You will be in pain, adjusting to life with a newborn, recovering from a major surgery, so why not be prepared and have some peace of mind before going in to one of the best days of your life.

Don’t let the surgery scare you. Yes! It is scary! I was shaking the entire way to the hospital all the way till several hours after my baby was born but this doesn’t change the fact that it is one of the best days of my life! Its the day I got to see my son, to meet him, hold him, kiss him, hug him, and finally look into his eyes and tell him how much I love him. All three deliveries, though scary, were very amazing. There is nothing more special then meeting your child for the first time.


After having two previous cesarean surgeries I had taken note of what and what not to bring. For my first I was not at all prepared and had clothing that only caused pain on my abdomen. I also wasn’t comfortable at all at the hospital so I kept asking for extra pillows and blankets. By sharing this hospital packing list with you, I hope to be making life a little easier for you and more comfortable.

I’m going to go over each of the items that I brought along with us to the hospital and briefly explain why I brought each item. Here we go!

  • A suitcase: My husband and I shared a small suitcase just to make things easier for the both of us and less bags to carry.
  • Slippers for in the hospital: I would recommend sizing up one size as your feet tend to swell after surgery.
  • Flip flops: Size up one size as well.
  • Nursing/labor gowns: My dad and stepmom bought me these button up nursing and labor gowns off Amazon in black and blue and they were perfect. The sleeves unbutton and the front making it easy to change out of your hospital gown into a softer and comfier gown without working through all of the wires from the monitors and IV line. This is another cute nursing and labor gown that I brought to the hospital and really liked too. It has a zipper on the breast area for nursing as well.
  • Nursing bras: I bought these in a large. I went up one size cause I knew I was going to swell and also cause my milk was going to come in. Now that my milk is regulated, the swelling has gone, and I’ve lost quiet a bit of weight I am able to fit into a medium. I chose this bra because the material is stretchy all around and it has no wires so I could sleep in it if I needed too.
  • High waisted c-section panties preferably cotton material: High wasted will help the panties go above your incision avoiding contact on your scar and even pain and irritation.
  • Socks: I would recommend compression socks for circulation as well as some with grips just in case. You can also get some cute labor socks too.
  • Nipple cream: I used Lanolin cream in the hospital but you can also use organic coconut oil which I then found to be a much better option.
  • Nursing pads: I have these reusable ones that I love but for the hospital I used these disposable ones just because I didn’t want to stress about losing them.
  • A maxi dress to come back home in. I wore this one which I love and I didn’t have to worry about pants pushing on my scar and being in pain.
  • Shoes to go home in.



Now let’s talk about the items you will need for your baby.

  • 2 Coming home outfits: I say 2 because it’s good to have a backup. Once we got Robby dressed he decided to dirty it so we were able to still have the backup outfit to use for him.
  • 3 to 4 sleepers: I say sleepers because hospitals can be cold. Sleepers will keep your baby warm all night long.
  • Wipes: We ran out of the hospital wipes and were able to use our pack until the nurse brought more wipes to us during her next visit.
  • Mittens: Babies are born with nails so the mittens help keep them from scratching themselves or even you.
  • Beanies: These are perfect tl keep their little heads warm.
  • Burp cloths: Perfect for cleaning up little spit ups or milk leaks from your boobs during feedings.
  • Baby Nail Files: When they are born their nails are not just long but they are soft too and cutting them can be very difficult. Filing them is the best and safest way to trim them down.
  • Lotion: We used the Bend Soap Co. Unscented Lotion and Earth Mama Calendula Oil to help keep his skin moisturized and healthy.
  • Baby Hair Brush: Perfect to keep his/her hair nice and brushed.
  • Diapers: Perfect to be prepared for your trip back home. Maybe bring 4 or 5 just in case. Hospital usually provides this though and even let’s you bring some home with you.
  • Diaper Cream: I use this amazing Baby Salve for my little one’s butt along with Vitamin E if it is very bad.
  • A Diaper Bag to put everything in. We have this Eddie Bauer Legend Back Pack Diaper Bag. We absolutely love this brand of diaper bags. Both of my sister in laws have the Eddie Bauer Rainier Back Pack Diaper Bag and they love it too.


We pretty much packed all of our stuff together in one bag to make it easier for carrying but this is what I packed for him.

  • At least 3 sets of clothes including socks, boxers, and a jacket.
  • Flip flops for the shower
  • Slippers
  • Shoes to go home in. It can be the same shoes he went to the hospital in.
  • Pajamas or clothes to sleep in. My husband wore basketball shorts and a shirt or sweatpants and a shirt or long sleeve shirt.


Now let’s go over the toiletries that we brought along for us. These are the main things we had in our hospital bag. I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be there so we came prepared.

  • Toothbrushes
  • Lotion: I used the Bend Soap Co. Lavender Lotion to help keep me as relaxed as possible.
  • Lip butter: I used this Mango Lip Butter from Bend Soap Co. that I absolutely love.
  • Soap for bathing: I used the Oatmeal soap from Bend Soap Co.
  • Toothpaste
  • Toiletry bag: We absolutely love this Travel Genixx Toiletry Bag.
  • Washcloths
  • Nail clippers: My nails chipped and I was so happy that I had my nail clippers to cut them and make sure I didn’t scratch my baby.
  • Tweezers
  • Q-tips
  • Shampoo and conditioner: Optional. I didn’t wash my hair but my husband did so it was good to have this in our hospital bag.
  • Unscented Salve or Eye Cream: I use this Unscented Salve from Bend Soap for my eyes before going to sleep to help feel more rejuvenated in the morning.
  • Towels
  • Hairbrush
  • Toothbrush holders or covers
  • Scrunchies for my hair
  • Make-up: optional. If you want to add a little make up on just to feel pretty or freshen up during your stay you can. You have every right to feel pretty, especially for your pictures.



This list can differ from person to person but these are our must have items that we knew we couldn’t leave behind. Whether you are having a cesarean or vaginal delivery, these items are a must to have in your hospital bag.

  • Camera to take pictures. We currently use the Canon T6 for our family photos.
  • Phone charger
  • Car seat and base: We got this Graco Fast Action Travel System and absolutely love it.
  • Car seat cover: Because of COVID-19 we decided to use a car seat canopy cover to help protect our newborn. We also have this sign on the handle bar to help keep nosy people away from our baby and from trying to raise the cover to see him.
  • ID, wallet, insurance card, and any medical papers you may need for the time there.
  • Your Birth Plan
  • Medications you may be on. Don’t take anything else your doctor gives you the ok to do so. You don’t want to take something that may conflict with the other medications you will be on during and after your surgery.


Here is a list of some extra items that you may consider packing in your hospital bag to make things a bit more comfortable during your stay at the hospital. Some of these will help keep you more comfortable during you c-section recovery while others will be to keep your spouse or support person comfortable during their stay at the hospital with you.

  • Snacks for both your husband or support person.
  • Cash for the cafeteria and vending machines
  • Drinks
  • Snacks for mom: I would recommend Jello cups and Pudding cups for the first day or two and when she is on solid foods I would recommend granola bars and these delicious lactation cookies which are my favorite.
  • Pillow for both you and your significant other. The hospital provides some but if you are like me and picky about your pillows then you may want to bring your own.
  • Nursing pillow: I highly recommend the Boppy pillow but if you are having a c-section then I recommend using the hospital pillows and nursing in a football hold position to make things easier on your abdomen.
  • Blanket for your husband/significant other. Hospitals usually provide extra blankets as well but if you are wanting something your comfy pillow, I recommend you bring it.
  • Pregnancy pillow for abdominal support. I used the hospital pillows cause we didn’t want to take a lot but I highly recommend using this Boppy Pregnancy Pillow. It’s not big and definitely comfy giving you the support that you need. I used it all pregnancy and have been using it all during post-partum. I absolutely regret not taking it to the hospital.
  • Extra socks: We somehow went through several pairs of socks. I used one for the day and one for at night to keep my bed clean from the nasty hospital floor. I somehow kept losing my slippers under the bed.
  • A book to read.
  • A laptop to watch movies if your hospital doesn’t have a good selection. Make sure they have a wifi connection or that you have a hotspot that you can use.


I truly hope that this complete c-section hospital bag packing guide helps you get ready for your big day. Congratulations once again! I really hope that this blog post helps you be prepared for your scheduled c-section and hospital stay. I know it can be a bit scary but it is so worth it. This is one of the greatest days of your lives. The moment you get to meet your baby. I hope all goes well and that you are recover quickly. Enjoy all the baby cuddles.

Is there anything else that you would pack or anything that you would leave behind? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear what you have to say.

Hi, I'm Jessica!

I am a wife and mother to three amazing kids. A coffee addict and wine lover. I also have a huge love for the mountains and the the ocean. Through my blog I hope to inspire families to spend more time outdoors. 


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