Hospital Bag Checklist

Hospital Bag Checklist

*disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this is not intended as medical advice. If you have questions please contact your medical provider. 

There's thousands of hospital bag checklists out there but after having (almost) four babies this is my tried and true list after some trial and error so I thought I would share it with y'all! Of course this is tailored to my tastes and needs so feel free to add or take away wherever you need to! I've also never had a C Section before so for my C Section mama's this may look a little different for you.

For Baby:

Swaddles | The hospital has lots of swaddles but I prefer bringing my own soft and comfy ones for baby. They are especially useful if you plan to have photos taken.

Coming Home Outfit | This is a must have! It's so much fun to pick the first outfit to come home in, but keep in mind that the cute little sacs can't be used in a carseat so keep those at home. I generally like to have a simple, cute and comfy outfit for baby. This time around we chose this sleeper by Solly Baby and I can't wait to put her in it! The fabric is so buttery and soft. Don't forget the teeny tiny baby socks to keep those feet nice and toasty if you choose to go with something that doesn't have feet.


Baby Beanie | Again, the hospital does provide these but I love brining my own to match the swaddles and coming home outfit. Etsy has SO many cute ideas to choose from.

For Mama:

Comfy Cardigan or Robe | I'm not a huge robe person, I have a few and think they're so pretty but I mostly wear sweaters or cardigans. If you plan to have pictures taken it might be nice to have a pretty robe for pictures, but for the rest of your stay if you prefer cardigans bring a soft lightweight one like this. I actually have this sweater in a couple different colors because of how much I love it.

Comfy Dark Colored Sports Bra | I usually like to wear a sports bra during labor because if I can I like to labor in the water at least part of the time. A dark color will hide anything and everything and won't look weird when wet. I have ones that aren't sports bras really, but I found some at Target and LOVE how soft and comfy they are. *Some hospitals prefer you take them off but I'm always so much more comfortable wearing one and my midwife has no issues with me having one on. Check with your provider or hospital ahead of time if you're not sure. 

Slippers | You'll be doing lots of walking around your room and the hospital halls so make sure you have a good pair with griping on the bottom. I'm actually on the hunt for some new ones now if anyone has recommendations!

Fuzzy Socks | Hospitals tend to be cold and fuzzy socks are not only comfy but keep your toes nice and toasty too. 

Hospital Gown | I know I know...they have those at the hospital duhhhhh. But let's be honest, those things are scratchy, unflattering, and just uncomfortable. When you're in labor the last thing you want is to feel even more uncomfortable than you already do. Plus I'm a fairly modest person and I hate that my entire backside is showing if I get up to walk. And wearing two hospital gowns (back and front) is just hot (and not in the good way) and annoying. I wish I would have actually invested in a hospital gown of my own for my last two deliveries so this time it's definitely coming with me in my bag! If you get one, make sure it has complete access in the back and front buttons to nurse. You want it to be as accessible as possible for the nurses and doctors. I plan on using one this time! I haven't actually used it during the labor and delivery process, but it's so soft and flattering. Not to mention it has all the access you need for IVs, fetal monitors, epidurals, etc.

Good Nursing Bras | If you plan to breastfeed this is an absolute must have. I've made the mistake before buying cheap nursing bras and let me tell you...the last thing you want is a cheap scratchy fabric rubbing against your sensitive and potentially cracked nipples. I suggest spending good money on ones that will be comfy and supportive. I really love these. I pack a few because I leak through, and while at the hospital you can't do laundry. And just avoid underwire like it's the plague...just don't do it. 

Bamboo Breast Pads | This goes along with the nursing bras. I place one in each cup of my nursing bra. I tend to leak so much in the early stages of breastfeeding. If you do leak they are easy to pull out and replace. I recommend staying away from the disposable plastic breast pads as they can encourage infection. I actually learned this from a lactation consultant after having the twins. As a mama who has had mastitis more than five times it's not worth the risk. I really like these ones because they are so soft! They have the overnight as well as thin ones to use during the day.

Going Home Outfit | I suggest packing something soft, loose and comfy. With that being said, I prefer to not go home looking like a bum. Putting together a cute but comfy outfit will make you feel more human. I LOVE the Blanqi support leggings. They come way up over the belly and since you'll still look about six months pregnant after having baby you will want something supporting and high waisted. Another option instead of the high wasted would be the complete opposite. Low rise loose pants like these ones will be super comfy and make sure to pick a nice easy to nurse in top for your trip home. My tip: wear a tank top and a tee. This way when you nurse you just pull the tank down and pull the tee up and everything is covered up.


Toiletries | This is where you should customize whatever makes you feel human and refreshed. After giving birth I always feel like I got hit by some sort of semi truck. Taking that first shower makes you feel human again. With that being said, my go to's are :: dry shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrush (I love these because they are only a dollar and work great!), lotion or body butter (I have eczema and my skin is especially dry in hospitals), lip balm (hospitals tend to be SO dry), hair brush, concealer, deodorant, one or two extra hair ties (having your hair up and out of your face will feel so good!), and face cleansing wipes. I usually don't have the energy to wash my face with face cleanser, these wipes are so easy and make me feel so refreshed! They have different kinds that you can pick from. 

Depends | Some people like to bring underwear and pads or use the mesh underwear (which are great) but I much prefer using depends because they are the perfect marriage of pads and underwear in one product. The best part is you never have to worry about bleeding through or the pad shifting and causing a mess. That's the last thing you want to deal with post baby. I also love that you just throw them away and grab a new one every time you go to the bathroom. 

Nipple Cream | If you plan on breastfeeding your nipples will thank you. Your hospital will probably provide it for you but I always like to take my own. I really love this one from Honest Co.

Pillow + Pillowcase | Of course hospitals have these but I have always found them to be really uncomfortable. This is just one of the things I like to bring with me to feel more at home. Comfort is everything after having a baby.

Bath Towels | Again this is one of the things I like to bring to feel more comfortable and at home. Hospital towels are the exact OPPOSITE of comfy and soft. They're always so scratchy and I'm super sensitive to textures so it's nice to have soft towels of my own. I would make sure you bring a dark color. Mine are a charcoal grey and wont get completely ruined if I get blood on them!

Reusable Water Bottle | They'll provide you with what I call the "hospital mug" it's pretty big and reminds me of a small pitcher. BUT they can be hard to drink out of when you have NO ab muscles to sit up and drink. I like to have my own and I'll be packing my Liquid IV packets with me. They're Non-GMO and have way less sugar than other electrolyte drinks like Powerade or Gatorade. It's so important to stay hydrated after giving birth especially when breastfeeding! Use CODE:Dakotacurfman for 25% off your order!

ALL the Snacks | It's a good idea to bring snacks for not just you but your partner or spouse as well. Even though they aren't the ones pushing out a baby they'll get hungry too! Hospital food can be so expensive. My favorites are: energy bars, pretzels and something sweet! 

Extra Long Phone Charger Cord | Your bed will probably be in the most inconvenient place when it comes to an outlet. It's always a good idea to have an extra long cord to make sure it reaches your bed just fine. Mine is a 6 foot length cord and it worked perfectly with my last delivery.

Camera or iPhone | As a new mama I love taking pictures of my new babe and it's always nice to see all the congratulation messages once you're up for it. In all honesty unless you use your regular camera a lot I would just bring your phone. I tend to just use my phone and pay a photographer.

Carseat | You wont need your carseat until you leave the hospital so keep it in the car until discharge and then have someone run out and get it for you. I do love having a carseat cover too when going home. I'm one of those mama's that always likes to keep baby covered up when we go out. I absolutely love Milk Snob for my covers. They double as nursing covers as well and I've even used mine as a blanket while in the car. Use CODE::HAPP1LYEVER for 10% off your order! Hurry though this code is only good for the first 15 uses!

Boppy | If you plan on breastfeeding this is a must! I've forgotten mine before and using pillows stacked up is just not the same. The Boppy makes your life so much easier and way more comfortable.

Diffuser + Essential Oils | With my last birth I used my diffuser and oils and felt way more at home. I even put a couple drops on my pillow case while in labor, it definitely brought me more relaxation. 

Birth Photographer | This is one of the most important things! I didn't get one with my twins and I really wish I would have! In the craziness of labor and delivery we often forget the little details because it's such a whirlwind of emotion and chaos. Having a great birth photographer ensures that you can always look back on those moments. I love looking through Cooper's birth session (it brings back all the feeeeeels.) Roxy always rocks our sessions!

Go Without:

Underwear | As mentioned above I don't think it's necessary to bring underwear. I save mine for once I've been home for a little while. Less fuss for mama and making your life easier after having baby is what's most important.

Diapers + Wipes | The hospital will have all of this so save the room in your bag for something else. Now if there is a specific brand you prefer you can bring your own but it's not necessary. We prefer Pamper's Pure Swaddlers for new babies and usually hospitals have Pampers (maybe not the Pure ones but close enough!) 

Pads | Even if you choose to not use Depends the hospital will provide you with pads and mesh underwear. Not to mention they are pretty pricey and you'll go through a lot of them FAST. 

Breast Pump | If you need one the hospital will provide you with one. They're so bulky and take up so much space in your bag, save it for at home! In most cases, they will give you a hand pump you can take home with you.

Blow Dryer, Shampoo + Conditioner | Doing my hair is honestly the last thing on my mind. I usually wash it before I actually go into the hospital if I can, not to mention I typically only wash my hair 1-2 times a week. Also...this is what dry shampoo was invented for right?! When you take a shower you can easily just throw your hair up into a bun or clip to keep it dry.

Diaper Bag | I've made this mistake before too. I know how exciting it is to finally pack that diaper bag you've been so excited about, but honestly baby doesn't need their own bag. The hospital provides all the newborn care items you need and our hospital actually preferred Cooper stay out of clothes for the first day after delivery because he had several tests run and was having some temperature regulation issues. Not to mention you aren't there long. It's best to just leave the diaper bag at home and pack babies things along with yours. 

It's a good idea to have a birth plan, if you feel more comfortable print one or two out. I used to print mine but have realized it's just easier and less stressful to have an open and honest conversation with your Midwife or OB about what you want. Make sure y'all are on the same page. It's also important to have your spouse or partner on the same page, in case you for whatever reason are unable to talk to your medical team.

Remember to bring your pediatrician's info as well as your insurance card. I also like to carry cash on me in case Wes or I want any snacks from the hospital. I also like to pre-register at the hospital to save a mountain of paperwork because who wants to bother with that when you're in labor.

I've got quite some time before I have to have my bag packed (like 8-9 weeks to be exact) but it's nice to have this list ready for when it's time!

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