Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom, Baby & Dad
It’s already overwhelming us mamas have to worry about pregnancy and what to register for our babies, nevermind knowing what to pack in our hospital bag for labor … especially a first-time mom. I was there not too long ago and overpacked! I’m sharing with you all the must-have essentials you and baby will need and I promise it isn’t overwhelming.
While packing a hospital bag for labor, knowing exactly what to pack is a lot tougher than you think, isn’t it? How is a first-time mom supposed to know? If we’ve never experienced it before we ask friends, family and even search on Pinterest for checklists… Am I right? Your curiosity must of lead you here and I’m glad you found this list!!!
I narrowed down the essentials of what I thought I would need (clearly overpacking A LOT). I barely used half of what was in my hospital bag and what I had packed in my son’s diaper bag. But at least now I know what to pack for baby #2 coming in May 2020!
The list I am going to provide you with is practical and basic. I didn’t pack music to labor or essential oils, etc., but if you enjoy those items, definitely pack it!
I promise this hospital bag checklist is going to help you because there are only practical items listed and a few items that aren’t necessary.
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Here is a list of all the items that I packed in my bag. I’ll categorize them as practical and not practical.
PRACTICAL HOSPITAL BAG ESSENTIALS
- Loose Gown/Pajamas: Bring a few loose gowns that you will feel comfortable in because the nurses come in to check you all day long so you don’t want to wear pants.
- Robe: I brought a summer robe but didn’t use it. My son was born in July and I was hanging out in the bed most of the time with him. My loose gowns were comfortable enough. I do recommend it if you enjoy wearing robes 🙂
- Phone Charger: The amount of text messaging, photo taking and videos – this is a must!
- Socks: My feet are always cold. Even though I had my son in July, I didn’t know the temperature in the hospital – it tends to be on the colder side. I didn’t end up using the socks but I was happy I brought 1-2 pairs just in case. Keep in mind, I purchased very cheap, thick, non-slip socks to dispose of after. I have this thing with germs and hospitals and preferred not to pack the used socks back in my hospital bag to bring home. I’d rather them be cheap enough I can throw away. I think the hospital does provide socks though!
- Flip Flops: I brought 2 pairs of flip flops. I purchased the $1 flip flops from Old Navy to walk around the hospital since I didn’t end up using socks. I also showered with the flip flops – don’t shower without flip flops!!!
- Hair Ties, Headband or Hair Clip: I had a scheduled induction for my son so I went in with my hair straightened only for it to end up in a ponytail lol. Definitely bring hair accessories!
It’s hard to pack when you aren’t sure when the baby is arriving. The easiest thing to do is to purchase travel-size items so it is already packed and you don’t have to think twice about anything if you were to go into labor.
The best time to pack your items is between 32-35 weeks, even though the baby is the boss and can make their entrance at any time – we just never know and its good to be prepared.
- Toiletries: Body Soap, Shampoo/Conditioner, Shaving Cream, Razor, Tooth Brush, Tooth Paste, Q-tips, Brush/Comb, Deodorant, & Face Wash. It felt extra good to feel CLEAN after a nice shower! I didn’t end up washing my hair because it had just been washed the day we went in for our induction however I brought it just in case.
- Snacks: The hospital in my town only provides mom with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dad has to go to the cafeteria to purchase his own meals, and snacks for the two of us. I honestly didn’t eat a lot the 2 days we were there but it was convenient to know we had some snacks in case we needed them for the late nights we were up!
- Wallet/Cash: Dad will need for food or snacks and mom might want some additional snacks as mentioned above.
- Nursing Bra: If you plan on nursing, the bra is convenient. Especially if you are having hospital guests visit the baby. It was easy to unsnap the bra strap to nurse instead of feeling uncomfortable around family and friends without a bra on.
- Nursing Pillow: I didn’t bring this with me and tried using the hospital pillows which are completely flat and crappy. I regret this 100% and will bring a boppy pillow with me for baby #2.
- Breast Pads: I brought a few of the disposable ones with me just in case I needed it however my milk didn’t fully come in until a week or so after the baby arrived. They are so small to pack so it’s OK to pack 1-2 just in case!
- Nipple Cream: I can’t speak for those who do not nurse, however, I nursed my son and within 24 hours of him being born my nipples were badly damaged. I brought nipple cream I purchased and was told by an LC that she didn’t recommend I use it. I ended up using it when we got home because I couldn’t take the pain.
Suffering from sore or cracked nipples? Read Nipple Pain Relief from Breastfeeding – Sore Nipples
- Going Home Outfit: I purchased a loose-fitting dress that I knew I would feel comfortable going home in. Something that was simple to put on, yet loose because I didn’t know if I would be sore, tear, or need a c-section. You don’t want anything tight fitted. I also knew I would be walking out with a big pad and underwear lol so loose fitted made me feel comfortable!
- Change of Clothes for Dad: We live about 10 minutes away from the hospital, and my husband is very basic and likes to pack minimally. We only brought a change of clothes for him to sleep in however he went home to shower and take care of the dog so we barely brought anything for him. He also had his toothbrush, phone charger, socks, and slip-on sandals.
- Gum: Random but we chomped on gum haha 🙂
- Photo ID and Insurance Card
- Make-Up & Remover: This really isn’t a practical item but honestly who doesn’t want to look a little decent after having a baby? haha! I didn’t put a full face of makeup on but kept it simple with mascara and eyeliner. Kept it really basic.
NON PRACTICAL HOSPITAL BAG ESSENTIALS
- Cotton Classic Brief Underwear: I purchased a pack of 8 because I read that you will need to wear a pad due to bleeding a few weeks after having a baby. I didn’t end up using any of the underwear I bought. The hospital provides big, white, sexy looking mesh underwear – they are the best ever. Don’t bother bringing your own unless you want to wear a pair when you leave the hospital. They can stain and more things for you to have to wash. The hospital provides as many as you need and you can throw them out after use. Don’t forget to take a bunch of extra underwear to use at home!!
- Pads: I purchased my own because eventually you don’t bleed as much and won’t need the thick pads the hospital provides. I did bring them in my bag but did not need them. I used my own after a few weeks however I did use the hospital pads for at least 4 weeks after having my son. They are super thick, absorbent and very long. Don’t forget to take home extra!!
- Perfume/Lotion: I didn’t end up using the perfume. I didn’t want my son to have perfume or lotion on him so I only applied the lotion on my legs after I showered. We did a lot of skin on skin but I did bring it just to have. I tend to pack things on a “just in case” basis which is why I overpacked haha!
BABY’S HOSPITAL BAG
I brought a few onesies, two outfits and a bunch of other things for baby but to be honest, I barely used any of it. The hospital provides a lot for you and your baby.
Remember that the doctors/nurses come in to check on the baby a lot. I kept my son in the long sleeve, button shirt the hospital provides because it gives them easy access to check baby and for us to easily change baby’s diaper. He was wrapped in their blanket for the first night but in the morning I switched to our own.
- Muslin Blanket: My son stayed wrapped up comfy in this blanket. I actually had the hospital blanket under it since the muslin is a bit thin.
- Hat: We purchased a hat with his name on it. I removed the hospital hat and he wore the one we bought. Per hospital regulations, the babies are not allowed to sleep with a hat, so he could only use it during the day/evening – not at night when we were all “going to bed”.
- Coming Home Outfit: I brought two outfits because I wasn’t sure what my son’s weight would be. I also brought a onesie to put on under the outfit.
- Blanket: I brought a thicker blanket with us just in case it was needed.
- Car Seat: We installed the car seat a few weeks prior to having the baby so we were ready to go.
- Car Seat Cover: My nursing cover is also used as the car seat cover so I brought that with us.
- Felt Letter Board Sign: This is completely optional but I took cute photos of my son wrapped in his adorable star muslin blanket (his room is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star theme) with his adorable hat and the felt letter board was behind him. We had his first and middle name, weight, length, DOB and time born.
ITEMS I BROUGHT BUT DIDN’T USE…
I did bring a few extra items but we never used them such as diapers because the hospital provides plenty. I brought a few pacifiers, nail clippers, baby brush, burp cloth, and socks but never used any of it!
DON’T FEEL OVERWHELMED OR STRESSED!
Packing your hospital bag for labor and delivery doesn’t have to be stressful. You really don’t have to overpack because the hospital does provide a lot of things for you which is great.
I didn’t pack a water bottle because my hospital gave me a huge cup with a straw. Remember that they also provide you with OTC painkillers, stool softeners, peri bottle, numbing cream, underwear, pads, ice packs (use these! I tore 4th degree and it was amazing!!) and all the other necessary medical stuff.
You can always tour the hospital and ask questions or call them beforehand if you are worried about items they may not provide.
We didn’t bring in the stroller, we left it in the car. The hospital had red wagons for us to use to put all of our stuff in so we didn’t have to carry everything or make multiple trips to the car.
While we were waiting to be released, my husband ended up going to the car to pack up everything. It worked out perfectly!
WHAT TYPE OF BAG DO I USE?
This is the diaper bag I used for baby – you can view the details here.
This is the bag I used for myself and my husband. It holds a lot of items. You can view the details here.
I also ended up bringing a smaller duffle bag because I knew I wanted to bring items home from the hospital such as extra baby diapers, pads, mesh underwear, and anything else haha! I wasn’t sure if I would have the room or not in my other bags since I “overpacked” but this second time around I won’t be overpacking!
What did you pack in your hospital bag that isn’t listed above that you feel is a MUST?
Please share below it may help another mama out! I know a lot of people mention lip balm. I didn’t feel like I needed it and I pushed for 3 hours but the item is so small you might as well pack it “just in case” haha 🤣
Don’t forget to pin this post to review later when packing your hospital bags for labor and delivery!