Bringing Home My Baby: What I packed for the Hospital

As you may have heard, my baby boy, Forest Leonardo Antonio Rotella was born on Sunday, August 7th. We are overjoyed with excitement and so happy he is home safe and sound. Thank you for all the thoughtful wishes left on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook page. It truly means the world!

I was looking through recent comments and saw a few of you asking for suggestions on what to bring to the hospital, so I thought I would share what I put in my overnight bag.

Preparing ahead of time is incredibly important and a great way to use your nesting instinct, if that has kicked in. Having a few essentials with you at the hospital will make you and your family so much more comfortable. I ended up filling a suitcase and a cooler with all my supplies. It was reassuring to know that I had everything ready to go at a moment’s notice should I go into labor before my due date.

Here’s what I made sure I didn’t leave home without on the big day:

The Cooler

First of all, since I was saving my placenta to be made into pills, I needed a cooler for it to be taken away in. Inside it I packed almond milk and a bottle for my toddler (her nightly necessity); Snack Packs, since I craved them the last time I gave birth and plastic spoons. I also brought bottled water, baby formula, and bottles. Hospitals usually provide formula, but they may not carry your favorite brand, so if you have a preference, bring it along. I brought Earth’s Best formula and the new Comotomo Bottles I was eager to try.Holly Madison


A Cord Blood Kit

I planned on banking my baby’s cord blood, so I made sure not to forget the cord blood kit. I also made sure to fill out a birth plan to bring to my doctor. I used the PDF worksheet from

Holly Madison


Mom Stuff

You never know what state your body is going to be in post labor, so comfort is key. I made sure to bring slippers, pjs, a loose fitting outfit to come home in, a wedge pillow for my belly and socks. These items helped me feel relaxed and at home pre and post labor. I am always surprised to see just how little my belly deflates after giving birth. My feet were so swollen, they looked like they should have been attached to a Hobbit. Not to mention, my anatomy was so swollen, I felt like I was sitting on a baboon butt (thankfully, that problem went away quickly). Those are just a few reasons I was glad I brought slippers and loose fitting clothes! I also packed toiletries, a little bit of makeup, a phone charger and a book.

Essentials for the New Addition

I knew Forest was going to be a big baby, so I brought both newborn and 0-3 month sized outfits, just in case. He came in at well over 8 pounds and ended up fitting in a onesie with a houndstooth vest and bow tie. The hospital usually provides all the diapers, swaddles, and hats you need so I didn’t pack any of that, but I did bring a pair of baby mittens. Babies are sometimes born with surprisingly long fingernails and can easily scratch themselves by accident, so mittens are essential.

Holly Madison


Sibling Stuff

Since I didn’t want Rainbow to feel left out or displaced by the baby, she came with us when we checked into the hospital and was brought back to visit as often as possible during my stay. To help make her feel more at home, I packed a small backpack for her with basic toiletries, pajamas and a couple of books, including ones that were all about new babies and siblings. I made sure to pack a cute party dress for her to wear as a “going home outfit” so that she would feel just as dressed up and special as her new little brother. We also got her a new baby doll as a surprise gift to help make this day as memorable for her as it was for us.

Holly Madison

The Final Essential

I made sure to have an infant car seat properly installed in my car ahead of time so I wouldn’t have to scramble and throw it together at the last minute.

Things I Forgot

Luckily, I had a friend willing to bring me a few items I found myself wanting. The first was my Boppy pillow, a half-circle pillow that makes breastfeeding so much more comfortable. The second was hand cream-all the extra hand washing you do during a hospital stay can really dry out your hands, particularly if you are sensitive to certain liquid soaps.

What must-haves did you bring in your overnight bag? I love hearing from you and know other readers appreciate learning new tips and tricks, so please share your thoughts below!

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  • Reply Emily August 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Great, PRACTICAL list! The one thing I was glad to have been told about was a robe- I bought a really cheap robe to take to the hospital. It was easy to slip on and off over the gown when I had visitors or wanted the warm of it, and since it was so cheap I didn’t worry about if my healing self ruined it in any way… It actually survived intact somehow so I still have it to this day and used it for feeding at night and again, didn’t worry about ruining it with spit up or blow outs or anything. Somehow when you buy something cheap as an insurance policy, the things that you insured against never end up happening!! Congrats on the new babe!

  • Reply Suzee Organ September 1, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Lots of chapstick! My lips were always so dry. Lotion too. Hospitals tend to be dry and it’s just two comfort items I pretty much take everywhere.

    Maternity panties. I could not stand the mesh ones the hospital gives you. I learned the hard way with my first baby. Also, I wasn’t a fan of their pads so I chose to bring my favorite name brand ones.

    Cheap flip flops for the shower. Those showers are usually icky and it was a necessity for me.

    If you plan to breastfeed nipper cream is a MUST! Also, breast pads whether you breastfeed or not.

    Ponytail holders as I always wanted my hair out of my face, especially when it comes time to push.

    A comfy towel from home. Hospital towels are a joke and it just made me feel cleaner after my shower.

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