What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for You and Baby [10 Must-Haves!]

I feel a little lost about what to pack in a hospital bag? I have you mom, I’ve been there before! In fact, I put it off for so long during my first pregnancy that we only showed up at the hospital that day with a bag of chips from lunch (to our credit, he arrived 4 weeks earlier).

That being said, with the next child, I made sure I was fully prepared. So let’s do this mommies! Here is a complete guide to what to pack in a hospital bag and when to pack it.

Shop my must-haves below!

what should you pack in a hospital bag

Here’s my biggest tip; don’t stress yourself too much! While it’s nice to have everything packed and ready to go, it’s not the end of the world if, for some reason, you don’t have everything. I was there, did that and we were fine! Fortunately, pretty much all you need to give birth is your vagina! The rest is all for your comfort and convenience.

How to choose a hospital bag

Of course, you can just use any old travel bag that you have lying around. But hey, maybe you are looking for a new bag and this is the perfect excuse to buy one. Here are some great options.

However, I recommend checking out the diaper bag options on this list. When you choose one, you’re killing two birds with one stone. Not to mention that a diaper bag has many different pockets that make it easy for you to keep everything organized.

When to pack your hospital bag

It’s all up to you! I would recommend having this done before week 38 just in case your little one shows up a little early. It is never good to go into labor completely unprepared. If you have a high risk or multiple pregnancy, make sure to pack for about 35 weeks to be ready for anything! When everything is packed, have it wait outside the door or put it in the car.

While you will likely be packing for baby and dad as well, when packing your hospital bag, focus on yourself first. After all, you are the one doing all the hard work during this stay and you want to make it as comfortable as possible for yourself. When you have everything you need and want, you will become the happiest, calmest version of yourself.

What to put in a hospital bag for mom

  • A warm robe– New or old, just make sure it’s comfortable and you’re willing to forego it.
  • Layered, light, comfortable clothing– I can’t stress the comfort enough. Also, hospital temperatures can vary widely, so it’s good to have some layered clothing like a cardigan. It’s also a good idea to pack some nightgowns yourself, as it will make you feel human, unlike the hospital gowns.
  • Homecoming outfit… because after all, you and your new baby can finally go home together! Keep in mind that you will likely still have a small bump, so plan this outfit accordingly.
  • 2 or 3 pairs of socks– Hopefully you will be able to walk around the hospital halls during and after the birth.
  • Slippers & flip flops– Your feet will be swollen. I’m sorry to tell you this is unlikely to go away right after labor either, so these are your best shoe options. And do you remember the showers in the dormitory? Well the hospital showers can be just as bad, so flip flops are required.
  • 1 maternity bra
  • Care pad
  • Lanolin or another nipple cream
  • 3 pairs of ruinable underwear
  • Headband / scrunchie / ponytail holder
  • Travel size toiletries– This contains; Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, your favorite lotion, contact lens case / solution, glasses, hairbrush, makeup (it’s okay to feel confident and pretty during your hospital stay!)
  • Cell phone and charger
  • IInsurance information and hospital forms
  • Photo ID
  • Birth plan– I recommend writing one, even if it’s just super easy! It will help you get the experience you want.
  • Sugar-free candies to keep your mouth moist
  • Snacks– Bring all your guilty joys, ditch the diet plans at least for this stay
  • Pillow– Everyone has different tastes when it comes to pillows, but I think most would agree that hospital pillows are not ideal. So bring one you love and put it in a distinguishable pillowcase.
  • A bath towel
  • wallet

What to Pack in a Baby Hospital Bag

what should you pack in a hospital bag

  • Coming home outfit– Bring 1 newborn size and 1 1 to 3 month size as you really have no way of knowing how big your little one is going to be.
  • 2 white rompers – I like long-sleeved kimono rompers with integrated gloves for my newborns.
  • 1 hat
  • Socks or ankle boots
  • Scratch mittens (or just use the socks!)
  • Cover– A warm blanket and some to swaddle
  • Boppy
  • Approved child seat– This might not quite fit in your pocket, but you want to have it close at hand either in the car or around your belongings.

What to put in a hospital bag for dad

  • Camera and camera charger
  • Cell phone and charger
  • 2 Change of clothes and underwear
  • Travel size toiletries– This contains; Toothbrush, deodorant, contact lens case / solution, glasses
  • Easy reading or iPad with pre-downloaded shows / movies to watch
  • headphones
  • folder– Assign Dad to keep track of all the papers the doctors give you and the baby during your stay. If everything ends up in one folder, you are much less likely to lose anything.
  • wallet
  • Snacks– Bring him his favorites so he can stay away from yours!

What was your must-have for the hospital bag?

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