What to pack in your hospital bag

I’m writing this post after I just packed my very own hospital bag and prepare for the arrival of our baby boy!  As a second time mom, I’m surprised how quickly I forgot all the little things I said I wouldn’t forget the next time around (well I forgot!!).

what to pack in hospital bag

Luckily, I tapped into my mom friends and wrangled up the best tips, attire & advice for packing the hospital bag!

First, a few overarching tips:

  1. Less is more  – the # tip from almost everyone mom out there, is to pack less, because you won’t use half the stuff you think you will.  Between the exhaustion & excitement of a new baby + the amenities of the hospital, you’re good just packing the essentials.
  2. Pack it all in one bag – you’ll have enough to deal with, why bring 3 separate bags + a car seat?  Plan to pack mom’s, dad’s & baby’s essentials in one bag!
  3. It’s okay if you forget something – don’t panic if you forgot something, most hospitals have a gift store, a nearby Target, or you can ask a family member/friend to grab something for you!
  4. Bring a stash home! I learned so much about postpartum care after delivery.  Most hospitals let you bring a few essential items home too (you’re paying for them after all).
    • Nipple cooling gel pads – a must if you plan to breastfeed.
    • Extra large pads & throwaway underwear – these things are gigantic, but definitely necessary the first week postpartum.  Great to have the hospital version too because often times the store bought varieties just won’t do the job!
    • A peribottle – you’ll learn what this is soon enough 🙂
    • Underwear ice packs – these things are bulky but super helpful the first few days after delivery to help with pain and swelling.
  5. Beyond the bag – make sure to discuss any arrangements for older babies or pets with your significant other & any other parties involved.  It’s best to have a plan A & plan B ahead of time, because you never know when it’s time to head to the hospital!  Also, a few weeks before you’re expecting baby, do your best to meal prep and stock the freezer.  You can download my FREE Nourished Mom’s Guide for simple strategies to stay nourished, which is critical post-baby!

healthy mom nutrition


Let’s dive into a few of the hospital bag essentials*:


  • Delivery Robe – If you follow me on Instagram you know I wear a robe daily!!  Which means, it’s definitely coming to the hospital with me.  Not sure when I’ll actually wear it, but it’s coming.
  • Slippers – I did not bring slippers last time and wore the very hospital-esque grippy socks – which totally got me through, but thinking a pair of slippers will be nice this time around 🙂
  • Sleep Mask – to help block out all the blinking hospital lights when you’re trying to get even a few hours (minutes) of sleep!
  • Nursing-friendly Nightgown: with my first baby, I had nothing realistic to change into after birth so ended up wearing the hospital gown the entire time…  Hoping to feel more like a human this time around by wearing this cozy nightgown, which still makes it easy for nurse checks vs. wearing pants!
  • Everyday Nursing Bra – this bra is a must! It’s great for sleeping and lounging in.
  • Phone Charger (extra long) – a nice to have, not a need to have. But certainly helpful for the new mom that can’t get up and grab a ringing phone very easily!
  • Depends Silhouettes – the hospital has giant size pads/underwear you can wear home, but these were a top recommendation from other mamas!  So I bought them, and to be honest, they’ve come in handy even before baby is born (like after those weekly cervix checks when you may get spotting, overnight, or once/if your water breaks…).
  • Deodorant (I’m a huge fan of Tom’s.  I honestly don’t sweat much though.)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash
  • Gum
  • Photo ID/credit card
  • Glasses or contacts & solution, if needed




Makeup (I may or may not put on a little make so I can feel human, nothing much but a little something)


Hair care


Going home outfit – my #1 laughable mistake from the first baby, was that I honestly brought a pair of Lululemon leggings with me, thinking I’d wear those home from the hospital!!  P.S. Leggings DO NOT work when you’re wearing a gigantic “diaper” home.

  • SO this time around, I’m planning to wear a loose, cozy top & these super soft joggers (these sweatpants are a must have – they work great before, during & after pregnancy, and are the softest things ever – I have them in gray and navy!!   In general, looser fitting clothing and dark bottoms are they way to go 😉

hospital bag essentials


  • Slippers
  • Shower flip flops
  • Lalabu dad wearing shirt! – I have no idea if we’ll use this at the hospital or not, but I’m so excited about this shirt (I got one too!) that we’re bringing it.  The first night with our daughter, she cried a lot and just wanted to be held.  Dad stood rocking her half the night, so figured if little man is the same, at least he can snuggle up in dad’s shirt!!
  • GoPro (we plan to take video/photos during delivery, as well as our daughter’s first time seeing her baby brother!!  A cell phone could work for this too, but we like the wide-angle view of our GoPro).
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant, body wash)
  • At least 1 outfit
  • Lounge wear/pajamas
  • Snacks (here’s a list of healthy snack ideas, some of which are easy to pack!)
  • Laptop or iPad


I’m sure there will be something I wished I packed, and a few things I won’t use, but this is the most practical and thorough list I’ve got!!  Happy Packing 🙂

*This post contains links to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

what to pack for the hospital


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