Opinions on what to pack in your hospital bag are everywhere. And the truth? This is totally a personal decision. There is no wrong way to pack. If you are someone who feels comfort in having specific things with you or just-in-case items. Go for it! Or simplified, streamlined, basics-only? That is okay too!!
Here’s a point for each:
- Under-packer – Even if you go into labor with NO hospital bag packed, the hospital will have all the essentials you need.
- Over-packer – But this is also your significant other’s time to shine? Bringing in the bags? (KIDDING)
So don’t let those pregnancy hormones convince you to overthink it and pack however you’d like, because your baby will be loved unconditionally regardless of if they have a monogrammed coming home outfit or a white onesie!
That’s my disclaimer on packing because my hope is you’ll find these lists helpful and fun so you can take away what items will work for you! There is no perfect “hospital bag.” Okay so first up, you’ll find what I’m calling my top MVP items. These are the things you might not typically consider but were some personal favorites. Followed by a checklist of the more essential type of items. Enjoy!
TOP 10 MVPs
Roku or your favorite streaming device
We use a Roku but this is up to you! A laptop or iPad would obviously also work here, but it’s nice to be able to watch on the TV! This is a great hospital bag item to delegate to your significant other and to test it out before going to the hospital! We’ve streamed football games and watched the Office all day. While snuggling with a baby. Can’t beat it.
I love love love the hospital where I delivered my babies. However, the same can not be said for the hospital’s food. Paired with the fact that I’m STARVING with nursing…so much more than when pregnant. So bring the snacks! Something substantial like these Go Macro or Blender Bomb bars are great options! Nuts, chips, fruit, etc. bring it all!
Extra-long phone charger
This charger is awesome for the hospital, because you most likely will not be moving around much and you never know where those outlets are hiding. It’s also great to have at home post-hospital if you’re nursing or soaking up sweet baby snuggles on the couch!
Portable Night Light
This little owl guy brings me happiness. We’ve been through some nights together, that’s for sure. The hospital lights can be bright and harsh, so this is great to have when nursing/feeding babies as a way to keep lights low. I also use this at home for feeding at night! The lower the lights, the quicker I can go back to sleep…is the hope!
This pillow is awesome for nursing if that’s the feeding journey that you’re on! (But I will say, it’s awesome for bottle feeding too)!
With nursing, it helps get the baby in the right position and it’s comfortable for mama too; which is why I like to have it with me from the beginning. It’s much better than a regular pillow, trust me. I end up bringing it all around my house. This adorable Bobby pillow cover helps keep it clean and dry. There’s also another option for a different design or this!
Baby Nail File
I always overdo the dang baby mittens. They never stay on, and I love to see those sweet baby hands. So I’d like to introduce you to the best newborn nail file ever. It’s gentle and perfect for those newborn nails which can be so sharp right out of the gate (womb)!
Even if you’re not typically a fan of face wipes, it’s nice to have the convenience depending on how you’re feeling! I like these because they’re infused with Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. This is basically my skincare for the first months of baby. It gets better, I promise! This is my runner-up!
Blanket And Warm Socks
Hospitals are cold! And their blankets are thin.
Also, with the socks…wash them before you pack them. I brought a pair of new fuzzy socks, and they kept slipping off the whole time I was in labor! It was a thing, and everyone kept joking, “oh no, the socks!” every time they’d slip!!
I mostly used the hospital postpartum supplies, but these are my favorite and deserve to be mentioned! Really never thought I’d have such a strong opinion on essentially adult diapers, but here we are.
A “Thank You” For The Nurses
Labor and Delivery nurses are an extraordinary group of people. An extra little “thank you” goes a long way.
This could be as simple as a handwritten card or as extra as my nurse’s baskets (yes, significantly extra, I know). I swear the whole nesting thing skips me. At the end of pregnancy, I’m always anxiously awaiting the nesting feeling to hit- where I’ll get totally prepared for the baby. Instead…I procrastinate those things and make baskets for the nurses. It’s a thing.
Big shoutout to Gracie, who ordered pizza for the staff, which is genius!!!! Cards, cookies, pizza, Jimmy John’s platter, baskets, etc. If this is something that sounds fun to you, then get creative!
The hospital will have the necessities. Examples: breast pump, postpartum supplies, diapers, onesies, pacifiers, swaddles, nipple cream, nipple shields, water bottle, etc.
- Wallet/ID/Insurance card
- Prenatal vitamins + any medication, vitamins
- Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, razor, skincare, makeup, etc.
- Hairbrush + hair ties
- Nursing bras
- Going Home Outfit – Loose and comfortable
- *Robe & PJs – I wore PJs with my first baby, and it was great to feel a little put together and not flashing everyone in my hospital gown. With my second 2020 pandemic baby, we were not allowed, visitors. I ended up just wearing the hospital gown the whole time…I figured why bring home the extra laundry when I wasn’t seeing anyone? But this is totally personal!
Baby (Seriously. All. Optional)
- Going home outfit
- Extra onesies or outfits – Newborn and 0-3 months just in case
- Sound machine
- Soft blanket
- Baby mittens
- Accessories – bows, beanies, etc.
And a final tip- everything you use at the hospital is yours to take home. Even the extras they provide for you and the baby. So the diapers, wipes, swaddles, onesies, postpartum products, etc. Even breast pump supplies! I have no shame and always ask for extras. Diapers are expensive!
Even my husband knows I mean business. Funny story- when we were leaving the hospital, I told him to pack up all the goods. Turns out our room was heavily stocked. I get home and look in the bag…and there were about 30 of those pink and blue newborn hats.
I asked him, “We didn’t even use these at the hospital because, and you especially said you didn’t like them…why would we need them at home?”
He replied, “Well, you said grab everything! I wasn’t taking any chances.” And I have to admit…this was probably the smart approach with a postpartum hormonal wife- so we’ll give him a little shoutout there.
Good luck!! You got this. Is it weird to be jealous of you? If you’re reading this, you’re about to have a freaking baby! Enjoy all those newborn snuggles!