Before pre-packing for your hospital or birthing center stay, you need to create your hospital bag checklist and decide what you’re going to bring with you. This can be a major, yet fun decision to make! Be thoughtful about what you include, as packing the right items can make for a much more comfortable stay and reduce stress during labor and delivery.
Here are the top 15 things to pack in your hospital bag for baby and parents:
- Birth Plan: If you have created a birth plan in preparation for your due date, have a printed copy for your caretakers and birthing partner to reference during labor.
- Cozy slippers: You won’t necessarily want to wear your go-to maternity flats or sneakers for the duration of your hospital stay. A pair of cozy slippers will help you brave the frigid temperatures inside the hospital in comfort and style.
- Lip balm: Here’s an absolutely non-negotiable: lip balm. With a great lip balm on hand, you can prevent your lips from cracking and keep them soft and supple. A lip balm in your favorite scent can be very tranquil too!
- Water Bottle and Snacks: Having a water bottle on hand means you’ll have a steady supply of water handy without having to call on a nurse (or your partner) every time you’re feeling parched. We also suggest packing some healthy snacks, like granola bars and trail mix, to avoid having to eat vending machine food if you need a quick pick me up while waiting for the baby to arrive.
- Massage Rollers and Oils: Having your birthing partner use gentle massage rollers and oils to help relieve your back pain from labor. This can be helpful during and after delivery.
- Comfortable Robe: Thin, worn-out hospital gowns aren’t exactly the most comfortable thing to wear. It’s a good idea to pack a cozy, oversized robe so you can wrap it around both yourself and your little one.
- Phone Charger: While you’re staying in the hospital, you’ll likely have a surprising amount of downtime. So it’s essential to pack a phone charger to keep your phone ready to send photos of your little one to friends and family members (and maybe catch up on your favorite shows, too).
- Hairbrush and Toiletries: Having your hairbrush, ponytail holder, and other toiletries on hand can help make you feel a bit more comfortable and put-together after giving birth and getting through those very first hours and days with an infant. Labor and delivery is a work out. If you have long hair, bring some hair ties to keep it back and out of your face.
- Pediatrician Contact Info: It’s so important to bring your pediatrician’s contact information with you to the hospital, both saved in your phone and on a piece of paper or laminated notecard in your hospital bag. Having this information easily accessible will ensure that you can get appointments for your baby booked as soon as possible.
- Nursing Bra or Tank: If you plan to breastfeed, make sure to pack a nursing bra or tank and lanolin cream, and let the hospital team know you plan to nurse. The lactation consultant at the hospital will be on hand during your stay to help you and baby find the perfect latch.
- Lanolin Ointment: During the first few days of breastfeeding, some mom’s may experience nipple soreness. This cream will help protect your breast and soothe any discomfort.
- Baby’s First Outfit: If you want all of those first day home photos to be frame-worthy, bringing an adorable outfit for your little one is key—plus those cute duds are sure to stay a cherished memento of your baby’s birth years down the line.
- Your “Go Home” Outfit: Once you trade in your hospital gown for outdoor clothes again, you’ll want something comfortable, but still picture-ready, to wear home. A romper, jumpsuit, or a pair of leggings and an oversized sweater are all great choices that can help keep your postpartum body comfortable.
- Reading Material: For many people, labor can take hours, or days. That’s why it’s so critical to bring some things to read in your hospital bag. Whether you love short stories, dark memoirs, or a fun glossy like Vogue, having reading material on hand will make those hours fly by.
- Diapers and Wipes: The hospital will provide diapers, wipes and swaddling blankets for your newborn. So, you won’t need to pack enough for the entire stay. Keep a few on hand in case there are any accidents on the car ride home. If you prefer to use cloth diapers, bring your own supplies as hospitals will provide you with disposables.
Preparing to have a baby is no easy feat, but with a well-packed bag full of organized essentials, you can make the long journey toward meeting your little one a whole lot more enjoyable.
Our Pick for a Hospital Bag?
Easy. Petunia Pickle Bottom’s Live-For-The-Weekender Travel Bag & Organizer Bundle.
We are not the only ones who choose the Live-For-The-Weekender Travel Bag & Organizer Bundle as the best hospital bag for moms—it was even the go-to baby hospital bag used by one of our favorite Mama influencer Jessica Berger Mathie from ID, when her own son was born. So, what makes this classic weekender bag the best hospital bag on the market? In addition to being stylish enough to use as both a hospital bag and a carrier for your daily essentials, this elegant carryall is ideal for keeping all of your numerous hospital and baby needs organized.
With a large main compartment, a zip-around opening, a front zippered pocket, three elastic interior pockets, an interior key clip, a washable and removable changing pad, and a trolley sleeve that makes it easy to attach the bag to any suitcase, this water-resistant tote has ample room for whatever you want to bring with you on the big day. The Inter-Mix Contents Caddy, fits effortlessly into the Live for the Weekender bag, and helps you keep everything from toiletries and socks to your favorite snacks organized and on hand when you need them.
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