A thoroughly researched list of what to pack in your hospital bag. When I was pregnant. I thought I had everything I needed and more. In hindsight, I would give myself a grade a B.
I did pretty well but this time around I feel like I really know what I need and what I don’t. So consider this packing list thoroughly vetted and well-researched. I also included a list of things I have on hand for when we get home. What am I forgetting?
Experts say to pack your hospital bag around 34-36 weeks. As a planner myself, I waited until after 37 weeks. Why? Because I just didn’t know what to pack.
What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag
Of course, lots of the items go without saying but as a habitual over-packer I wanted to be prudent. After hours of debate and research, here’s a checklist and a few suggestions, Here’s a peek inside our hospital bags.
What to Pack in your Hospital Bag for Mom?
- BAG: I love this bag from LANDS END. It is super roomy, easy to carry, and has a zip top. I will hold everything I need and then some. Last time I didn’t bring a big enough bag and I totally regretted not having enough space for everything I wanted to bring so this is the first product in our what to pack in your hospital bag list.
- 4 NIGHTGOWNS: 2 LONG SLEEVE, 2 SLEEVELESS. – while I only plan on being at the hospital 2 days I am bringing extras in case my stay is extended and/or in case I need a change of gown, if you know what I mean.
I remember preferring the gown over pants to keep my tummy and lady parts free of anything tight or constricting. Obviously, this was a personal preference, but I am borderline obsessed with the Gilligan & Malley line at Target – so super soft, excellent value, and it holds up really well.
- 2 ROBES: in black and my pretty Doie Lounge robe from Jones New York. Since I had Jones New York in the summer I didn’t wear my robe that much. However, being that it is the dead heat of winter I will likely wear the robe more.
I wish I had this when we had the little Man. Hospital gowns button up at the top, and I always felt exposed every time I had to breastfeed, which is pretty much every hour those first few days. I love the idea of a comfy robe with easy access for breastfeeding, plus it’ll look a lot nicer in pictures.
- UNDIES (4-5): Black, black and more black undies. Black for obvious reasons. However, the hospital does provide some rea nice mesh undies that are actually quite comfortable for those first few days. This time I am going to try to snag a few extra pairs to bring home with me.
I used a combination of mesh undies with thunder pads in the hospital, and granny panties with thunder pads when I got home the first time around.
- NURSING BRAS: For the hospital, I am keeping it simple and sticking with these. I like that they are soft, and comfortable but supportive and provide easy access with no snaps or straps. I will have some more supportive Bravado Designs bras waiting for me at home though.
Nursing bras are comfortable and supportive, with easy access to feeding. NIPPLE BUTTER & gel pads. The combination of these two saved me the last time around.
However, this time I’m upgrading the gel pads to these, THERMAL GEL PADS. They can be warmed to help stimulate milk flow, and cooled to ease the discomfort of breastfeeding.
• BUTTON DOWN OR OPEN FRONT PAJAMAS: Comfortable to sleep in, with easy open for both feeding and skin-to-skin time.
- COMFORTABLE CLOTHES: Comfortable clothes/going home outfit. Two maternity tops, a cardigan, and my favorite BLANQI MATERNITY LEGGINGS.Last time I stayed in my nightgowns the entire time. I actually think I went home in one. In my defense, it was June, they were plain, jersey cotton, knee length night gowns that could easily be seen as a dress
I probably won’t be going home in my nightgown, so I am planning on bringing some comfy cotton pants, a maternity tee or two and a sweater cardigan. I am keeping with the maternity tees for comfort reasons. I know that I won’t want anything tight on my midsection.
- FLIP FLOP & COZY SOCKS: Because the thought of walking around barefoot in the hospital is less than ideal You can buy it from here :
- TRAVEL SIZE TOILETRIES: the usual: toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, lotion, chap stick, etc. The hospital where I am going to deliver actually supplies some of these but I like having my own.
- TOILETRIES AND MAKE-UP BAG: Toiletries & make-up bag. Mascara, concealer, and chapstick are a must for me. And since I equate hospital showers to dorm showers, I’ll be packing dry shampoo. Also making the cut, my new favorite face wash: BARE MINERALS PURE PLUSH.
- TOWEL: I remember being freezing after my showers at the hospital last time. They provided a flimsy little thin towel and it was less than ideal. This time I put in one of my own for a little extra comfort.
- EARTH MAMA ANGEL BABY NATURAL NIPPLE BUTTER: last time I brought Lanolin and it was a great idea. The hospital actually gave me Lanolin so this time I am going to bring EMAB Nipple Butter to use as well.
- BAMBOOBIES: Super excited to use these super soft cotton nursing pads this time around. I will probably throw in some disposable pads as well.
- MY BREAST FRIEND NURSING PILLOW: I didn’t bring a nursing pillow last time and we ended up buying the My Brest Friend in the hospital. This time I will add it to my bag – it was invaluable to have in the hospital!
BREAST FRIEND NURSING PILLOW
- SMARTPHONE, IPad AND CHARGERS: These are pretty much a no brainer but we watched many Arrested Development episodes while I was in labor with Eloise so it was super nice having the IPad. Some people bring books and/or music so if that is more your speed then include those in your bag.
- CAMERA AND CHARGER: Put Dad or another important person in charge of this one – you are busy enough!
- – Photo ID
- – Insurance Card
- – Pre-registration papers (if applicable)
What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Dad?
• A pillow & blanket so that he can be comfortable too.
• Ipad, camera, chargers etc.
• Comfy clothes/pajamas, and a zip-up hoodie so that he can get some skin-to-skin time with the little Man too.
What to Pack in your Hospital Bag for Baby?
- Outfits: I have a PINK and a BLUE going-home outfit with matching hats, a couple other of Eloise’s gender-neutral foot and 2 long sleeve newborn onesies. I recall Eloise wearing the onesie and several swaddle blankets for the majority of her stay in the hospital.
I put a ton of thought into her going-home outfit and she ended up wearing the onesie home covered in blankets! With it being so cold this time around, I know this little one will have proper clothes on but still be covered in blankets.
- Swaddle Blankets: While the hospital provides plenty I am bringing my new ADEN + ANAIS BAMBOO SWADDLE BLANKETS, too. They are so super soft and of course, a gender-neutral pallet.
- Pacifiers: A WUBBANUB and MAM pacifiers. We didn’t end up using them in the hospital with Eloise to avoid nipple confusion but I will pack them again just in case.
- Warm Blanket: I went with the LITTLE GIRAFFE in white for heading home and hospital use should it be necessary.
- serif;”>CAR SEAT: I think you all know you can’t leave the hospital without the baby in a carseat and I beyond thrilled that BabyK2 will be riding home in style in their brand new CYBEX ATON .
- 7 A.M ENFANT CAR SEAT COCOON : Again, cold Chicago temps demand protection from the elements. Of course, we plan to be outside for about 2 minutes but still, can’t protect the little guy/gal enough
Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom at Home :
There are a few things that I think are helpful for every new mama to have waiting for her at home. Some apply to breastfeeding (denoted with bf) so just ignore those if you are not breastfeeding
- Water bottles: Last time around, I did not drink enough water in the early breastfeeding days. I won’t make that mistake this time around. I am pretty sure Santa is bringing me the Tervis Tumbler water bottles .
Woah, this was a short post that turned into a long one. I hope this helps all of you first time hospital packers and veterans alike. I would love to know what I am missing – do tell!
Diaper Bag Checklist & Essentials for Newborn
The Diaper Bag checklist. The ultimate “must have” mom accessory. But what to pack? We’ve included the essentials along with some of our favorite products. From a diaper perspective, experts say to pack one for every hour you are out and about and throw in a few extra for good measure.
We start with a super chic, Kate Spade bag that is extra roomy and comes with a changing pad. We’ve filled it with entertainment options, snacks, a change of clothes or two, a shirt for mom (just in case) and of course, the essentials. You’ll find a complete packing list below. What is your diaper bag checklist must have?
Diaper Bag Essentials:
- Roomy DIAPER BAG
- Changing pad
- Diapers: 1/ hour + extras
- TRAVEL WIPES
- Diaper cream
- Antibacterial germ wipes
- DIAPER DISPOSAL & DISPENSER
- Hand sanitizer
- Baby sunblock (seasonal)
Entertainment and Feeding:
- A few toys (SOPHIE THE GIRAFFE, OWL TOY)
- 2-3 PACIFIERS and/or a WUBBANUB
- 2-3 BOTTLES
- Formula (if using)
- Nursing cover (if necessary)
- MUNCHKIN SNACK CUP(S) filled with your baby’s favorite SNACKS
- TINY DINER PLACEMAT
Comfort and Clothing Checklist:
- 1-2 ONESIES
- 1 change of CLOTHES
- SWADDLE BLANKET
- Baby’s favorite BLANKET (depending on the season)
- 1-2 BIBS AND/OR BURP CLOTHS
- An extra T-SHIRT for yourself
Finally, if you have any questions or suggestions about what to pack in your hospital bag list, feel free to send us an email or leave a comment.