Hospital Bag Checklist

Your due date is approaching, you stocked up on diapers, wipes, set up the nursery, you installed the car seat, and it is finally time for the last leg of your pregnancy journey… Now, you are ready to pack your hospital bag.

I knew a bunch of ladies that were pregnant around the same time as me. Everyone kept asking me if I had my bag ready. I didn’t. I am not sure why packing the bag was so scary for me my first time around. Maybe because it all felt so real. This baby was coming regardless of my readiness. It didn’t matter if I had a bag ready to go.

I put together a list of the most common items I found on various mom blogs and wrote my experience with these items.


  • Phone charger
  • Chapstick – This is a MUST. I read about this before packing my bag, I am SO HAPPY I brought some. I was taking sips of water and reapplying Chapstick frequently during labor. It was surprising how dehydrated and quick your lips dry out.
  • Slippers/Slip on shoes – Something easy to slip on if you want to walk around – I wore slip on shoes and brought slippers. I used both. You don’t want to be barefoot on a hospital floor. I also packed thick fluffy socks. When I was pushing my feet suddenly were freezing. I had my husband dig into my bag and put them on me while I was pushing. 
  • Pillow – You will want to bring the most comfortable pillow you have. Once you get an epidural (if you choose to go that route) you will be stuck in your bed. You want to be comfy. Or if you don’t want an epidural, you still will want to be comfy!
  • Standard overnight items – Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, shampoo, deodorant.
  • Clothes – Bring 2-3 nursing tank tops and leggings or sweatpants to go home in. I wouldn’t bother with anything else. You will most likely wear their hospital gowns most of the time. I was in a nursing tank top and their mesh underwear, literally the whole time. I switched out my tank top a couple times. To go home, I put a cardigan over my nursing tank top and wore leggings. I should have probably thought that one out better. Be prepared to leave in a huge diaper looking pad… sweatpants would have been easier.
Here are some items that I noticed was on most lists that I found. I packed them but didn’t use:
  • Headphones – You don’t need headphones. You have a whole room to yourself.
  • Book or tablet – I packed mine. I had a 20-hour labor. If you think you can read during contractions, more power to you… I couldn’t!
  • Makeup – I brought this and didn’t use it. I put make up on before I went to the hospital. Once I was there, I didn’t bother checking what I looked like once!
  • Underwear – They will provide you big mesh underwear. From the moment I went in the hospital, I wore these. I even took some home with me and wore them the next couple days!
  • Nursing bras – I brought them and didn’t use them. I wore nursing tank tops the whole time (so it would cover my belly too!)
  • Boppy – I didn’t pack this. It may be something you want. I breastfed in the hospital just fine without it. If you are new to the breastfeeding world, the nurses will help you position your baby for the best latching techniques.

Our first baby was born during the height of COVID. Usually, the dad is allowed to leave and come back freely. However, we had to make sure my husband was prepared because if he left (even for food), he would not be allowed to enter the room again.

  • Clothes – My husband wore sweatpants and hoodies the whole time.
  • Pillow – He didn’t pack this (even though I told him to!) and he wishes he did. Their pillows are… meh.
  • Roku/Apple/Fire stick – I was so thankful my husband packed this. We were able to watch whatever we wanted on TV! Which happened to be the Outlander series for me 😊
  • Slip on shoes – I suggested to my husband to just wear slip on shoes, and he didn’t. I ended up packing his slippers. Luckily, I did, he wore them the whole time! Slides, slippers, something easy to take on and off.
  • Standard overnight items – Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, shampoo, deodorant.
  • Snacks 

I called the hospital ahead of time to make sure there wasn’t anything I needed to bring. They assured me that they provide everything needed for those first few days!

The only thing we packed for our baby was a cute onesie we wanted to have her first picture taken in.
Below are some suggestions I saw on a lot of websites:

  • Going home outfit – We kept our baby in the hospital kimono top and no pants to go home in. It was much easier for us because we were not experienced with dressing newborns. We kept it as simple as possible. The second time around, I packed cute sleepers for the baby!
  • A couple pair of socks – I did not pack any socks either time. The first time I kept my baby in a blanket, the second time my baby was in sleepers with footies.
  • Baby mittens – Most newborn onesies and tops have the sleeves that roll over to mittens.
  • Swaddle – We swaddled our baby in the hospital blanket. You can bring your own if you want.
  • Diapers/Wipes – The hospital provides these!

Did I miss something that was a must for you? Drop it in the comments and let me know!! 

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