What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

When packing your hospital bag, you’ve just got to start somewhere! Having a checklist is a nice tool, because although you may not want/need/or agree with what’s on the list – it’s at least a starting point. It also makes you stop and think of what you DO want and what you DON’T want. Today, I’m sharing with you some of the items that made their way into my hospital bag and also the checklist that I used to help me figure out what I wanted to include. Here are some of my essentials:

  1. Nursing Tank: I really like how long in the body this style is – for a snug and secure fit.
  2. Favorite Pillow: Some hospital pillows are better than others, but if you have a fave that brings you comfort, I would stick it in the bag!
  3. Lip Balm+ MakeupLip balm is a must because it can be dry in hospitals, but bringing a few makeup staples isn’t a bad idea either. Especially if you are expecting visitors and a few pictures – a sweep of blush might be nice. That said, I didn’t use any makeup while I was recovering from Aiden’s delivery…we’ll see this time around!
  4. Phone Card, Cell Phone, Camera, Video CameraYou’ll want to bring your cell phone, but depending on hospital rules, you may also want to bring a calling card. Of course a camera or video camera for capturing the moments and a handful of change if you need to send your partner to grab something from the vending machines.
  5. Snacks: Which brings me to snacks. I totally forgot to pack any granola bars or trail mix last time and after the birth, I got REALLY hungry. I had my mom go to the nurse’s station and grab a stash of digestive cookies (obviously not gluten-free!) while I waited for breakfast to be served. I also ate two whole breakfasts. What can I say, twelve hours of natural childbirth can really work up an appetite 😉
  6. Newborn DiapersThere are lots of newborn diapers to choose from (Honest, Seventh Generation, Cloth) – but I really like these organic cotton ones from Huggies, because they have the cutout for the umbilical cord. Some of the other diapers were too high and wanted to rub against it as it healed, but these were perfect.
  7. Nighty, Pyjamas, Comfy Loose Clothing: If you are planning to nurse, choose a nighty that has a front opening. You’ll want to bring comfortable clothing for wearing home (and make sure it’s stretchy, there’s no way of telling what size you’ll be).
  8. Warm Socks or Slippers: If you can find socks with bottom grip, it’s best – because hospital floors can be slippery or just wear slippers with rubber soles. 
  9. Baby Pyjamas, Baby Hat + Scratch Mitts, Going Home Outfit: A lot of people say scratch mitts are optional, but a lot of babies arrive with long, beautiful nails…scratch mitts will keep them from scratching themselves by accident. I brought a few nightgowns for baby, because they are long, warm and easy to do night-time diaper changing. As for the going home outfit, I packed a few to choose from; wardrobe options for baby!
  10. Car SeatAn obvious necessity if you are leaving the hospital by car. Most hospitals check to make sure it’s within regulation before you even leave the hospital.
  11. Swaddling Blanket, Nursing Blanket: I’ve got my favorite Aden + Anais swaddling blankets packed. Can’t wait to wrap baby girl up in them!

Feel free to download the PDF (click on image above) of the list that I made to help me stay on top of what I needed to add to my hospital bag. I listed the basics, but of course I added a whole bunch of extra things, like a bath towel, sugar-free candy, some makeup, too many going home outfits for baby, a bath robe, flip flops….I probably won’t use half of the stuff, but sometimes you just need the comfort of knowing you have it!

And, I’m ready to go!

How about you? Did you remember to pack everything you needed…was there something you forgot or that you recommend bringing?

Emily Smith

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  1. Emily, this list is incredibly helpful. I’m due December 22 but I’ve been collecting and laying out items for my hospital bag for a few weeks. Baby K’s things are ready (even in Ziploc bags since they’re soooooo tiny!!!) but I still need to add a few essentials for Mommy-to-be and Daddy-to-be. One thing I really, really want to get is a new set of pajamas with separate pant bottoms and a long-sleeve, button top for easy nursing. Having cash and/or debit card is a GENIUS idea for the vending machines and/or cafeteria. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom, this prego mama-to-be needs it!!!

    Blessings & Hugs,

    1. YAY! I’m so glad that it is helpful 🙂 My head was spinning and I needed to lock down a list to help me out. I reviewed a few online and wrote out what I wanted. Nice pyjamas for afterwards is something I really wanted too. I got a few pairs for my birthday that I’ve saved just for the occasion! Happy packing and I hope these last weeks leading up to the date are restful. xoxo

  2. Trust you to come up with such a beautiful reminder list for the hospital!! Not a mum (far from being one…) but found this so cute I had to comment 😉

  3. Great list. I had my bag packed at 24 weeks which was good because when my water broke at 25 weeks, I knew where to find the absorbant pads! Some things don’t always go according to plans.

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo

    1. You’re telling me Sarah! I had mine packed really early but I had to wait until nearly 42 weeks this time around…I was sooo antsy the last month! Thanks for visiting 🙂

  4. Such a great list… thank you for this! This is my second delivery, but I seem to have totally forgotten what I packed the first time 😉 xoxo, Jane

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