Here’s what I packed in my hospital bag for labor and post-delivery, along with what I packed for our baby and what my husband brought.
Time has FLOWN by since we had our sweet baby boy! But we loved loved loved being new parents. It’s hard to believe it’s already been over a year since we were putting our hospital bags into our car right around my due date (I ended up delivering late)!
When I was planning for our hospital stay, I found other blog posts with hospital bag packing lists helpful, so I wanted to share my list as well. I mostly referenced the hospital bag packing list from my doula since she’s been along for thousands of births, and then added a few other “nice to haves”, e.g. slippers, some makeup, blankets, based on what I saw other people pack. (Just like pregnancy must haves, hospital must-haves are also subjective!) I just wanted to be comfortable. Plus, I figured I could always leave stuff in the car as well and then just have my husband or doula grab it if I wanted it. I think I liked packing for the hospital even more than registering for the baby! We ended up staying in the hospital for five days so I was extra grateful for some of these comforting items!
Hospital bag packing list for mom, baby and dad
My doula had great advice to pack two bags: one for things I’d want during labor and one for things I’d use after delivery. That way, if/when you move rooms, it’s less to pack up. So I packed all my labor stuff in my large weekender bag and my post-delivery stuff in a smaller tote when I was getting close to 37 weeks pregnant so that I’d be ready whenever baby was! BTW, doula’s are AMAZING. Ours helps us create a great birth plan, and also helped us a TON after I delivered.
If you’d like a PDF checklist that you can print emailed directly to you, click here!
I packed things for the baby in another separate bag (in my diaper bag, actually) and since it wasn’t much, that left room for me to take home any supplies the hospital gave me (e.g. postpartum things). And my husband had a bag as well. So, four bags total, along with my nursing pillow which didn’t fit into a bag.
When we arrived at the hospital, and after we got settled in our room, we brought in my weekender bag and my husband’s bag. We left the post-delivery stuff and the diaper bag in the car.
Okay, here’s what I brought! And since labor and delivery is now behind me, I added a few notes about what I didn’t use!
Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom
Everything in this bag is what I took into the hospital with me for labor. And my Barrington Captain Travel Bag fit everything perfectly! (Side note: I love love love this bag – it’s bigger without being enormous, it comes in a million colors and patterns and is incredibly high quality, like all their totes and purses.)
Here’s what went in it!
- Barrington Toiletry bag with the following – UPDATE: I was VERY glad I packed all of my toiletries and makeup since the hospital didn’t provide anything other than hand soap
Some of this (e.g. makeup and dry shampoo) was for post-delivery, but I wanted all my toiletries in one place in my toiletry bag. So it all went into my larger bag.
- Water bottle with straw
- Mints, snacks & Nuun tablets – That hospital food is mehhh.
- Oofos Flip Flops – UPDATE: I am SO glad I brought these! I paced the halls a LOT and the extra cushion was really nice. I wore them every day of our hospital stay after delivery too.
- Facemasks – oh what fun delivering during a pandemic
- Pillow with non-white case (so it doesn’t get mixed up with hospital pillows) – UPDATE: VERY GLAD I brought our own. The hospital ones were terrible.
- Cozy blanket
- Wedge pillow + pregnancy sleeping pillow – I’m glad I packed both of these! I used both after labor as well.
- Long iPhone charger cords – You’re going to want your cell phone to take pictures of your perfect new babe and you definitely want long cords to reach your outlets since who knows where they’ll be.
- Ear plugs/eye mask – UPDATE: very very very glad I packed these! I took a second set for my husband and he was very grateful too!
- Labor & Nursing gown – UPDATE: I’m SO glad I brought my own since I was in this for a LONG time. It was super comfortable, especially since I’m so petite and a hospital gown would have drowned me.
- Sticky bottom socks – I wore these during labor so I didn’t slip.
- Bluetooth speaker – UPDATE: I didn’t use this.
- battery pack chargers – UPDATE: I didn’t use this during L&D but was super nice to have during the rest of our hospital stay since plugs are not conveniently located in hospital rooms!
- Wallet with ID and insurance card
- Towel + swimsuit in case I decided to use the shower or tub during labor for comfort – UPDATE: I didn’t use this and instead just got into the tub naked.
- Comfy jogger sweatpants + jogger pants (more lightweight) – UPDATE: I LIVED in these. Putting on leggings or anything fitted had NO appeal. I had thrown in a couple pair of leggings and never pulled them out. These are essentials.
- Nursing bras + Nursing tank – UPDATE: very glad I packed the tanks! I didn’t use the nursing bra since the tank was just easier.
- Comfy cardigan I’m always freezing so packing this in case I get cold in the hospital! UPDATE: I used this a lot!
- Nursing-friendly PJs + robe
- Comfy tank + Denim Jacket to wear home. The tank is super soft but be sure to size up since it runs super small! And that denim jacket is surprisingly soft and cozy.
- Nursing pillow – UPDATE: this was TERRIBLE. I was having SO many issues breastfeeding in the hospital, for a few reasons, but once I got home and used the other breastfeeding pillow I had, things improved dramatically. The one I packed was soft and cozy, but did NOT help with positioning. So I would definitely recommend taking a breastfeeding pillow, but take this one instead!
- Sound machine – UPDATE: This was AWESOME. We stuck it by Thomas’ bassinet and I think it helped all of us sleep!
- Soft blanket – UPDATE: very glad I took this! My hospital bed had decent blankets but Tommy needed one!
- Nipple cream
- Undies (these are huge and I sized up, but I’ve heard it’s necessary to accommodate the hospital size pads) – UPDATE: I used these over the mesh underwear in the hospital to help hold things in place better. I’m glad I took my own for that reason.
- Pump – I planned to breastfeed but I brought this to keep in the car just in case I needed to pump. The hospital has pumps, but this way the lactation consultants could help me with the pump I’d actually use at home. You can also discuss how to bottle feed with your lactation consultant to make sure you feel confident when you leave the hospital.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby
- Car seat – this obviously stayed in the car but I put it on my checklist for sanity’s sake. Don’t forget this!
- Diaper bag – go ahead and add diapers and wipes to this so you don’t have to think about it later.
- Baby blanket
- Pacifier for car ride home (just in case!)
- Going-home outfits for baby in a few different sizes
Hospital Bag Checklist for Dad
- toiletries + toothbrush
- pillow with non-white pillow case
- change of clothes
Additionally, I brought three gift bags with goodies for the nurses and my doula, with some yummy Trader Joe’s goodies (dark chocolate, popcorn, cookies) and homemade pumpkin bread.
I hope this helps if you’re planning for your upcoming delivery and your newborn’s arrival! And if you have any questions, leave a comment and I’m happy to share my experience!
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