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When it comes to what to pack in your hospital bag, it can be easy to go overboard. Although it’s important that you are fully prepared, you don’t want to come into the hospital carrying a huge suitcase.
Once you know the important things to pack, it will also ease your mind and lessen the stress of making sure you have everything ready for the big day.
First of all, you should check your hospital or birthing center for the things that they will be providing you during your stay. They will differ of course depending on the hospital but most of the time, they will be providing you with the essentials.
You can also take a tour beforehand to really get a feel of the place and also to inquire about what items they can provide, and what they won’t. Usually, hospitals will provide things for the baby like diapers, wipes, swaddle and receiving blankets, baby shirts, hats, mittens, formula, bottles and pacifiers.
What does the hospital provide?
Hospitals may provide mothers things like hospital gowns, pillows, maxi pads, postpartum mesh underwear, an abdominal binder (if you get a c-section), ice packs, towels, breast feedings support, and pain relief medication.
Keep in mind though that even when you can get these things at the hospital (you could be charged as well), you might still prefer to bring your own products, especially if you have specific and special needs/requirements.
When to pack your hospital bag
It is recommended to have your bags packed and ready at 35 weeks. This means you should start the packing process around 30 weeks to give you time to order some things you might need and it will also give you an allowance in case your due date comes earlier than expected.
When you go into labor the last thing you want to worry about is what to pack in your hospital bag so make it easier on yourself and get it packed earlier!
The first thing you will need is an actual bag to pack everything in! You may want to use a travel duffle bug or you can also use a small carry on suitcase so you would just need to roll it instead of carrying it.
- Upright: 21" x 13" x 7.5" (with wheels).
- Tote bag: 14"x 11"x 5.5"
- Inline skate wheels and stability bar
- Telescoping handle
- Ergonomic padded top and side grip handles
A two-piece set like this one has an extra bag for your baby’s things and you can just put it on top of your suitcase for easy transport. Or you can pack the babies items in the diaper bag you plan on using. :
When determining what to pack in your hospital bag, you can even further classify it into categories like for mom, for dad, and for baby.
Related: Third Trimester Checklist
Here’s an example of my ultimate list of what to pack in your hospital bag when having a baby:
What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag: For Mom
You can divide your things into two parts, for labor and delivery and postpartum. This would make it easier for you as well when you are looking for different things during the various stages of your hospital stay.
Labor and Delivery
Hospital gown/ robe/ comfy PJ’s
Although the hospital can provide you with a gown, sometimes we want to feel more comfortable and wear our own clothes/ or even something that you find cute that will make you feel a little bit better.
It’s also useful for when you have visitors and you want to put on something a little more decent, you can just cover up with a nice robe. Robes are great for covering up but still give you easy access for when you are breastfeeding your baby.
Here are a few cute ones to check out:
Hospitals can get cold and you would definitely need these to stay warm and cozy. You would also need to be walking around especially during labor so a good pair of socks are essential.
- SUPER SOFT – High Quality Chenille Material (Cotton, Polyester and Spandex Blend). These are softest luxury hospital socks you will find on the market.
- SKID RESISTANT – Gripping rubber treads provide safety and security for any situation. The proprietary tread design provides maximum traction grip on nearly any surface. The tread is color matched to the sock for a subtle look that won’t scuff your floors.
- GREAT VALUE – Chose a 2-Pack, 4-Pack or 6-Pack for best value. These great socks come in a variety of colors (black, gray, navy blue, purple, pink) and pack sizes (2, 4, and 6 packs) to ensure the maximum options and value to our customers. Choose your favorite color combination!
- QUALITY - Designed for hospital use but perfect for the home. These medical grade socks are used in hundreds of hospitals, healthcare facilities, doctors’ offices, retirement homes, nursing homes, medical facilities and tens of thousands of personal homes across the USA. Hospitals utilize these socks because the grips on the bottom provide their patients fall prevention safety and everyone wears them for their comfort, warmth and security.
- VERSATILE – Unisex design – These socks are incredibly stretchy and will fit most adults. Fits men’s shoe size up to 11 and women’s shoe size 9. Choose these socks for the comfort, look, security, warmth, gentle compression or non skid gripping sole.
Non-skid socks are also helpful to prevent slipping whenever you would need to go to the bathroom for example. Some women experience varicose veins during pregnancy and this is where compression socks can be a lifesaver.
- Slip On Design
- Warm Faux Fur Lining
- Synthetic Suede Upper
- Synthetic Rubber Sole Unit
- Faux Fur Trim
When you will be walking around or going to the bathroom, you definitely would want to wear comfy shoes or slippers like these to protect your feet from the cold and germs.
Don’t forget your toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, hairbrush, hair ties, dry shampoo, body wash, face wash, facial wipes, contacts solution, moisturizer.
Makeup is an option and some women prefer to bring some while others prefer to go natural, it’s up to you! You can also order a travel kit online since it is affordable and you can get everything all at once and the sizes would make it easier to bring around.
Lip balm can be helpful especially during a long labor period since your lips might get chapped.
These would include your ID, insurance card, wallet, registration forms. Since there can be a lot of paperwork involved, it is also good to bring a document holder or folder.
- Expanding file folder has 5 expandable pockets. And tab positions for labels, organized
- The folder organizer made of high quality material, Not easy to break and deformation
- File folder size: 12.8'' x 9.5'' x 0.7''. Fit A4 size and Letter size, fix maximum 150-200 pages. Sturdy and Portable. Lightweight and Colorful
- This plastic file folder perfect for Home,Office use,School, and As a personal gifts, souvenir, wedding planner and so on
- The shooting light and setting of your computer screen may cause slight color mismatches. All products are subject to material objects
Paperwork you might need: baby’s birth certificate, social security and hearing exams. You can also bring a notebook and pen so that you can write some important things down.
Some hospitals would provide you this wherein you can basically identify the things you want and what you don’t want during labor and postpartum.
If your hospital doesn’t have it, you can always print your own and give it to your nurse. Even plans could change, having a plan will give you a clear idea going into the hospital.
Of course, the hospital will provide you with these and there are vending machines as well but if you are a picky eater, you can bring your own snacks like granola bars. You might also need a midnight nursing snack and these can keep you going!
You can bring other foods like nuts, oatmeal, dried fruit, or peanut butter. Pineapple juice is also known to be very helpful during breastfeeding since it is anti-inflammatory and can bring in your milk supply.
Medication/ Prenatal Vitamins
- From America's #1 Gummy Vitamin Brand
- Gentle on the stomach with no iron added
- Made with high-quality, purified fish oil that has been tested for mercury and PCBs
- :Contains NO high-fructose corn syrup, NO gluten and NO synthetic (FD&C) dyes
- Recipient of the 2018 ChefsBest Excellence Award. The ChefsBest Excellence Award is awarded to brands that surpass quality standards established by independent professional chefs
Don’t forget to bring your prenatals since you may want to continue to take these while you are breastfeeding.
A phone is a vital device especially if you are communicating with family or friends (or Facetiming your kiddos that are at home!), or just to have a distraction during all the waiting.
Don’t forget to bring your phone charger or any other charger for your devices since you would definitely need to recharge. You can also bring extension cords and battery packs.
An iPad or tablet can also be another option. These devices are definitely useful to pass the time. A camera is also essential for documenting.
This can be books, magazines, movies, music, audiobooks, or anything that can entertain you, especially if are planning to have an epidural. Birth affirmations are also some things you can look into in order to motivate you or just provide that extra boost of inspiration.
- 6 Pack
- Boy Short
- Resists Fading & Shrinking
- No Panty Lines
For extra coverage or support, make sure you bring comfy panties/underwear that can support your ice pack pad for example (yes, this goes right in your undies and feels like heaven!).
Big, cotton underwear is the most comfortable to have. You also want underwear that won’t be tight and suffocating.
You will most likely experience a lot of bleeding so it is best to leave your fancy or cute underwear at home. Instead, you can use things like boy shorts or leak-proof period panties.
- Package Including:3PCS Bras+3PCS bras clips+ 3PCS matching bra extenders to ensure maximum comfort
- One-hand Access, Adjustable Shoulder Straps, Hook & Eye Closure.Easy drop cups for convenient feeding
- Seamless, Side Widening, Super Supporting
- Easy to Size, Removable Molded Foam Cups, 100% Breathable
- Buttery-soft Fabric, Comfortable Fits Changing Shape.Full coverage for additional support
Nursing bras are essential for when you are breastfeeding since you can just clip it down making it easier. A good nursing bra should be comfortable and accessible especially when you would be learning how to breastfeed for the first time.
- BAMBOO is super soft against you to ensure nipples are protected. Wegreeco breastfeeding pads are and always the very highest quality ones.
- ABSORBENT Middle Layer microfiber provide maximum absorbency ensures no leaking at night.The Outer layer back side TPU lamination can efficiently keep wet away from mama bra or clothes.Cheaper cotton or polyester nursing pads may NOT have the waterproof TPU as outer layer.Great for avoiding night time puddles and day time embarrassing leaks.
- Reusable and Washable breastfeeding pads are smart and excellent choice for nursing mothers.Full confidence for maximum comfortable.
- Washable Nursing pads are reusable and recycle.Save money on these washable and reusable pads and parents can save Dollars when choosing the reusable pads. Wegreeco Nursing pads are designed for smart, eco-conscious parents who want to give their children the best and also good for the our planet.
- Each set comes in 14 pc nursing pads + 1 pc Laundry bag + 1 pc travel storage bag
It usually takes a couple of days for your milk to really come in, but once it does you will need lots of nursing pads. Once your milk starts flowing, it could be a lot so nursing pads can help prevent your shirts from getting wet.
Going home outfit
A nice pair of comfy shirt and pants are essential for when you are going back home. You can wear sweatpants, a large shirt, a maxi dress, a sweater or some leggings.
Sneakers/ flip-flops are also a good idea especially since you still might be a little off balance from the epidural and you wouldn’t want to wear something that’s difficult to go around in.
If you had a C-section, you won’t want pants that will rub on the incision so some yoga pants or maternity leggings are better options. You can also wear the same outfit that you came in in order to save some space in your bag. In the end, you should wear what you feel comfortable in and what’s right for you.
Nursing pillow/ Regular pillow
- 30 YEARS OF COMFORT AND SUPPORT WHILE NURSING: The award-winning Boppy Original Pillow provides your arms and back relief by lifting your baby to a more ergonomic position when breastfeeding or bottle feeding. This fashionable pillow is a cotton blend fabric with an allover fashion.
- VERSATILE USES FOR 0-12 MONTHS: The Boppy Original Nursing Pillow supports your newborn through their entire first year with propping, tummy time, sitting or just discovering little fingers and toes. Designed for your baby's supervised, awake time.
- EASY CARE, MACHINE WASHABLE: The Boppy Pillow and Boppy Pillow Cover are machine washable because little messes happen. All Boppy Pillow Covers are sold separately and are guaranteed to fit the Boppy Pillow. Having an extra Boppy Pillow Cover, that easily zips on and off, is great for between wash cycles.
- AWARD-WINNING QUALITY: The Boppy Pillow has won several awards voted on by parents and the baby community. The most recent wins are from the BabyCenter Mom’s Pick Best of 2018 and the 2018 What to Expect Must-Have Winner.
- NURSERY MUST-HAVE: The Boppy Pillow is a registry must-have, making it the perfect gift for any baby shower. Pick an adorable, Original Nursing Pillow design that matches your nursery theme.
A nursing pillow like this Boppy pillow is helpful for when you are feeding your baby and it can also help in relieving a sore bottom. It’s comfortable for when you are cradling your baby during feeding.
You may also want to bring your own regular pillow from home in order to feel more comfortable and get a good night’s sleep.
These are perineal sprays, lanolin, stool softeners (most likely your OB will prescribe one for you), maxi pads, to name a few. You could get these from the hospital but you can also bring your own, especially if you prefer products that are natural or organic.
Having this is better than putting all your dirty things back in your bag and mixing with your other things. When you get home it is also easier to grab them all and put them in the wash.
I just use a leftover grocery sack.
What to pack in your hospital bag: for baby
Receiving blankets/ swaddles
- Package inculde one swaddle and one matching headband
- Material: Cloth,soft and stretchy knit fabric for extra stretch
- Size: Approx:36"*36" fits 0-3 months with a weight of 6lbs-13lbs
- Best baby gift for baby boys,baby girls,unisex.Perfect for baby photography
- It's a square stretch blanket, no snaps, no velcro or zippers, you will have various way to use it
Of course, you can use the hospital ones, but if you want something extra comfy, soft or stylish your baby, you can also bring your own. You would also need your own baby blanket in case it is cold for the ride home.
Baby’s going home outfit
Don’t forget socks, mittens, hats, etc.. Your baby’s going home outfit is also something to consider since you would want it to be nice and at the same time comfy and appropriate for the current weather.
Some moms decide to go the extra mile and personalized the outfit/swaddle blankets and others to have the baby’s name on them or initials. It is totally up to you.
If you are not sure of the size of the clothing for baby, bring an outfit in newborn and one in 0-3 month sized clothes.
- Ultra-lightweight infant car seat is easy to transport from the car to the stroller and everywhere in between
- Rear-facing newborn car seat helps protect infants from 4 - 35 pounds; and up to 32", making it an excellent first car seat for baby
- Click Connect system provides a one-step secure attachment between the rear facing car seat to all Graco Click Connect Strollers to create a travel system
- These Graco infant car seats are rigorously crash tested to meet or exceed US safety standards and reassure safety-conscious parents
- SafeSeat Engineered and crash tested to meet or exceed US standard FMVSS 213. EPS, energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management
This is essential since you can’t bring your baby home without it. Aside from making sure you have an approved car seat, you can also have it checked to make sure it is installed properly.
Other items: newborn diapers, cloth diapers, baby book, burp cloths, clothing diapering supplies, natural baby wash, non-toxic baby wipes, reusable shopping bag to put baby’s supplies in, props if you are planning any photos while in the hospital.
What to pack in your hospital bag for dad
Don’t forget to pack snacks, magazines, electronics, toiletries, his pillow and blanket, slippers, socks, change of clothes, chargers, camera, and entertainment. Some dads also like to give a “push present” for mom. This is like a gift or memento to give to mom to remember the special day.
You can pack your bag earlier than near your expected due date to give you enough time to gather everything and ensure that you haven’t forgotten anything. It will also give you time to purchase things that you might not have.
When it comes to packing for this special day, take a deep breath, have your checklist ready, and just enjoy the process.
Do you have any tips for what to pack in your hospital bag?