Hospital Bag Checklist: What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Hospital Bag Checklist: What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag
Hospital Bag Checklist: What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

So you’re preparing to welcome your little one into the world! This can be a nervous time, even if it is not your first rodeo. One of the best things you can do for peace of mind is pack your hospital bag!

Knowing what to bring, and what NOT to bring, is an essential part of any birth experience. (You don’t want to be in a delivery room with chapped lips and no lip balm, trust us.)

To help you, we gathered a complete hospital packing list for Mom and Baby to make your birthing experience as stress free as possible.

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Mom:

Pack Early: We recommend having your bag prepared when you are around 36 weeks pregnant. Early labor is never part of anyone’s plan, but we like to be ready for all the “just in case” moments that birthing can bring.

Comfortable Clothes: Loose fitting, comfortable clothing is a postpartum must! We highly recommend a soft robe, which will be really comfortable in the event of a C-section. Slippers, cozy socks with grips, underwear suitable with a maxi pad, comfy pajamas and layers!

Nursing Bras and Breast Pads: If you plan to breastfeed, having comfortable nursing bras ahead of time will make nursing easier. We also recommend a good nipple cream to help with that initial soreness that this amazing experience inevitably brings.

Toiletries: Most hospitals provide some essentials, but mothers often feel more comfortable bringing their own. So don’t forget the toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hair ties, brush, deodorant, lotion and lip balm! (Remember what we said about the chapped lips?), face wash and anything you need to feel refreshed and most like yourself.

Glasses or Contact Lenses: If you wear them, make sure to pack your glasses or contacts and saline solution.

Maxi Pads: The hospital will provide some, but you may want to have your preferred brand on hand.

Phone and Extra Long Charger: Hospitals are notorious for having patients beds very far from available outlets. So be prepared to capture all the special postpartum moments and answer all the exciting Facetimes with an extra long phone charger.

Snacks: We highly recommend healthy snacks like nut butters, protein shakes, dried fruit and trail mix. During the period right after birth, peanut butter is highly recommended.

Hydration: In addition to bringing a reusable water bottle, drinks with electrolytes are highly recommended. Coconut water, apple juice and cranberry juice are also great options. 

Birth Plan: If you have a birth plan, bring several copies for your nurses and doctor. We recommend hanging it up somewhere visible for you to reference.

Important Documents: Make sure to bring your driver's license, insurance card(s) and any necessary hospital paperwork.

Comforts From Home: Hospital gowns, hospital pillows, hospital towels and a hospital bed can be uncomfortable after a few hours so it’s important to bring comfort items from home to make the experience more personal to you. We recommend your favorite pillow, a towel from home and shower shoes.

Entertainment: Whatever you need to distract you from a potentially long labor! A fun book, headphones to watch your favorite show or play music, magazines and games are all great choices.

What To Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Baby:

Baby Clothes: While you don’t need too many baby clothes options for your newborn in the hospital, packing a few onesies for comfort and those first photos is always a good idea! 

Car Seat: Before you leave the hospital, you will want to make sure your infant car seat is ready for that first trip home. Your practitioner will show you how to put Baby safely in their car seat before heading home so make sure it is out of the box and read for baby!

Going Home Outfit: We recommend something comfy and weather appropriate. Have a pair of socks and hat ready just in case.

Blankets: You can never have too many soft blankets to keep your baby cozy.

Diapers and Wipes: The hospital will provide some, but it is good to have your own too.

Coconut Oil: We recommend applying a bit of coconut oil to prepare for your baby’s first poops known as the “meconium”. These poops are very hard to wipe clean, so it will make baby and Mom much more comfortable to have coconut oil on hand for easier clean up.

Birth Announcement Supplies: If you plan to do a birth announcement at the hospital, make sure you bring all the supplies you need. Some parents have a baby book to write down those first memories and grab a baby footprint on.

As you get ready to welcome your little one, packing your hospital bag is a practical step that can bring a sense of preparedness and peace of mind. By packing early, you can avoid any last-minute rush and focus on the excitement of meeting your baby. Keep your bag handy, either by the door or in your car, and trust that you're well-prepared for this incredible journey into motherhood. Embrace this special time, and savor the moments as you prepare to meet your new bundle of joy!