What to pack in your hospital bag + FREE printable checklist

After my appointment a few weeks ago, it hit me that I should probably start thinking about what I want to pack in my hospital bag. And while I still (*should*) have a few more weeks, it’s never too early to be prepared!

This is my third baby but even since the first, I’ve kept it pretty simple when it comes to my hospital bag. I may have packed more outfits than needed with my first because duh, first kid and I was excited! But I had a lot of moms tell me to keep it simple and light and that’s what I’ve always done.

So what do you really need to pack in your hospital bag? I’ve broken down the items below + you can download a FREE printable checklist here!

For mom:

Nursing bras or sports bras (depending on if you plan to nurse). Even if you don’t breastfeed, your breasts will be pretty sore with the milk coming in. So supportive and comfortable bras will be a must.

Nursing pads/nipple cream. I can’t remember exactly but they might have supplied me with some. However, I like to be prepared and have nursing pads and nipple cream just in case.

Toiletries: Glasses (if you wear them), contact solution, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face lotion, etc.

Slippers or socks: I never had to walk around during labor because mine happened too quickly but you may want socks to walk too and from the bathroom, during labor while pushing, etc.

Robe: A robe is also great for walking around during labor, nursing afterwards, or to accommodate any chilliness in the room.

Flip flops for shower

Hair dryer/straightener/curling iron (obviously optional): I used these after my first shower and before pictures. To each their own though!

Makeup (it makes me feel human): I put the basics on before visitors and then for pictures.

Hair ties: During and after labor

Towels (the hospital towels are often thin and don’t fit well): They may get messy so be prepared for that. But the ones I was given were small, thin, and uncomfortable.

Outfit for going home: I recommend something loose (sundress in the summer or leggings and sweater/tee in the winter).

For baby:

Outfit for going home: Like I said, I definitely overpacked with the first. I kept my babies in the white tees and swaddles provided by the hospital most of the time and just needed an outfit to take them home in.

Pacifiers if you plan to use them: some hospitals provide them, some don’t. And your baby may prefer one brand over another. So bring and try a few different kids.

Baby book (if you want footprints in there) This is the baby book I ordered for our baby girl. I love this one too!

Carseat: make sure it’s installed correctly in your car too! If you’re looking for a travel system, we loved this one. You can read a full blog post about it here.

Nursing support pillow: I preferred this nursing pillow because I felt like I got better support.

For spouse: 




Water bottle


Entertainment: book, iPad, laptop, whatever might keep them occupied when (and if) there is downtime.



Video Camera

Phone charger

Props for photos (felt board, name swaddles, etc).

Noise machine (I need one to sleep so this is always with me haha) This noise machine is my absolute favorite.

Speaker for music (some like it during labor and some don’t)

Birth plan (if you have one)

I.D and insurance card

Sibling gifts (if applicable)

Things the hospital should provide you: 



Mesh underwear

Witch hazel pads

Spray bottle


Water bottle

You may prefer to bring your own pads and underwear so that’s totally up to you. I usually just end up using what they gave me because 1) it’s already there and one less thing I need to worry about bringing and 2) because I don’t want to buy things just to ruin them. I also used these for a few weeks and I liked them! As much as you can like disposable underwear haha

Whew! And there you have it! If you forget anything, you can always have someone bring it to the hospital for you or send someone to buy it! Don’t worry about it too much; in the end, a safe and quick delivery is really all that matters!

I’ve created a checklist so you can download a hard copy here! Good luck mamas.. you’ll be great! xo

Here are some related posts I think you may like to read: 

The things no one tells you about having a baby

How to find out your baby’s gender as early as 9 weeks

10 must haves for the baby nursery

What to pack in your hospital bag checklist + FREE printable to keep you organized!



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