What To Pack For The Hospital: A New Mom’s Guide

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I would be lying if I said that I haven’t been researching and planning what to pack for the hospital since my first trimester. As a mom-to-be, I have probably over-researched and asked every mom friend that I have what they packed in their hospital bag just to make sure I am prepared. The general consensus within everyone’s list has been simple: you want a happy little bag containing the items that will make your stay as comfortable and easy as possible.

The Essential Maternity Hospital Bag Checklist For Giving Birth

I’m totally that first-time mom prepping every last thing I could possibly need and then some, but for my hospital bag, I think I narrowed it down to the most important items. Here’s my list for exactly what is packed in my hospital bag and waiting patiently for go-time, including my going-home outfit, the most recommended miscellaneous items to include outside of your normal necessities, and what’s in my diaper bag for baby!

*Team TME produces one of these articles each time one of us has a baby, so if you want a look back (when you’re done with this), check out Scotti’s glam girl hospital bag here, or Cam’s take on comfortable postpartum stuff here.

What To Pack In The Hospital Bag For Birth: Mama’s Loungewear

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

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1 / Cozy Socks – For extra warmth since I’ll be rocking the sleep shirt. This style is so soft and feels like little mini-blankets for your feet.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

2 / The Sleep Shirt – Sleep shirts provide zero waistbands to fuss with or uncomfortable pieces rubbing against any sore body parts or possible C-section incisions. I’m packing these in bulk and just planning to wear on rotation (no one will be coming to see me anyway, due to current Covid regulations!). I also grabbed a short sleeve option from Amazon in case I’m running warm. Bonus, these will be perfect for night feedings once we’re home!

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

3 / Nursing Bra – The nursing tanks and bralettes out there are the cute option, sure, but they have proven to be the most impractical (and uncomfortable) for the size my boobs have grown to while pregnant!! If there’s one thing I’ve learned as people have recommended their fave maternity/nursing bras to me, it’s that my boobs are either much larger (and/or not as perky) than all my friends — or I’m just a lot more high-maintenance in what I like. These babies of mine need real support. This bra doesn’t have underwire yet is still surprisingly supportive, and comes in a variety of lovely color options.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

4 / Robe – For extra warmth, walking around, or in the event you want to just be a little more covered up when the nurses pop in (or visitors, in a non-pandemic future).

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

5 / Scrunchies – Styling my hair is hard enough on a regular basis, I can’t imagine I’ll be doing much with it in those first few days (weeks, months? HA). Scrunchies are perfect for adding a little style to the mom bun, plus they don’t pull your hair and can be left in for days on end while still being comfortable. The Urban Outfitters 4 packs are what first got me hooked on scrunchies, and I have a ton of these sweet velvet ones, too.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

6 / Slippers – I’m a mega-fan of slippers and always have a pair on around the house. These UGG Fluff Yeah Slide’s may not be everyone’s fave option for style, but the rubber sole will be perfect for going to and from the bathroom, and having a strap on the back of the ankle allows them to stay with you with each step, so you’re not dragging them on the floor creating that awful flip-flop dragging noise. If these are still a bit too bulky for your taste, this simple slide-on is really cute and cozy, too.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

What To Pack In The Hospital Bag: Essentials For Mom-To-Be

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

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1 / Mesh underwear – These have great reviews on Amazon, along with The Frida Mom Disposable Underwear brand (although the Frida brand can often be sold out, so it’s nice to have the first option on hand). I’m told the comfort and convenience of these cannot be beat.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

2 / Electrolyte Packets – For an added boost to your hydration, these single packs are perfect for throwing in your bag and adding to your water bottle. I’ve also found that they help cover up any weird water flavors that you’re not used to when in a new place (insert awkward face emoji).

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

3 / Lip Balm – Sun Bum is one of my all-time fave brands — their signature scents always take you straight to the beach, and I love that they’re vegan and cruelty-free.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

4 / Herbal Perineal Spray – Because, you know, real life.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

5 / Water Bottle – I prefer large water bottles, and this 64oz has measurement markers to keep you on track with drinking water throughout the day.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

6 / Nipple cream (if you’re planning to breastfeed) – I’ll take all the help I can get in this area, thanks!

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

7 / Extra long charging chord – I have no idea where the closest outlet will be, but I DO know I will be taking a million photos and videos! This extra long charging chord will help solve any possible situations of being confined to a small area with my phone while it’s charging.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

What To Pack In The Hospital Bag: Going Home Outfit For Mom

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

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1 / Diaper Bag – I can’t even contain my excitement for this diaper bag. It has every organized pocket imaginable, comes with bonus features such as a diaper changing pad, pacifier holder, and hooks to attach it to your stroller, AND just looks so good. I almost started carrying this around as my purse a few months ago, but decided to keep it special for when baby arrives to add to all of the excitement. This bag is loaded up with the important documents needed for the hospital and everything for baby.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

2 / Vuori Joggers – Arguably the greatest pants ever. Vuori is a brand that has been a heavy staple in both my wardrobe, and my husband’s for years now, and I may or may not have gifted myself a fresh pair of their joggers to wear home. The waistbands are comfortable enough that I’ve been wearing them throughout my pregnancy, too.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

3 / Long Cardigan – With my due date being set for November in Michigan, I need layers! This is a great option to stay warm but not bulky.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

4 / Maternity Shirt– Since, you know, that bump doesn’t magically disappear. Packing this will provide extra comfort — aaaand it’s so cute.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

5 / Beanie – Again, Michigan in November — but mostly because who knows what form my hair will be in upon leaving the hospital!

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

6 / Allbirds Sneakers – A pregnant woman’s BEST FRIEND in shoe form. They’re crazy comfortable and don’t even require socks.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

What To Pack In The Hospital Bag For Baby: Newborn Going Home Outfit

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

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1 / Nursing Pillow – This has pretty much been one of the top recommended items of all baby things. I’m bringing this along to the hospital for as much comfort while breastfeeding as possible.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

2 / Hat – Every baby needs a cute little newborn hat — will also be nice for the ride home.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

3 / Car Seat (and base) – My sister has four kids and went through many car seats — her recommendation for the easiest installation and the best safety was this baby right here.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

4 / Muslin Swaddles – I packed two of these in the diaper bag. They’re so cozy and just get softer the more you wash them.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

5 / Pacifier – This brand of pacifier was just so freaking cute in my opinion, and when nearly all my mom friends said it’s the only brand their baby liked, I did a little happy dance and ordered many! Don’t forget this color pack and maybe this one, too. I mean just in case.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

6 / Teddy Coat – The temperatures here will probably be pretty chilly, so this is to keep baby warm for that ride home!

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

7 / Knotted Gown – If I’m being honest, this is being packed simply for a newborn photo I’m envisioning (#PhotographerLife). But it will also be a cozy little outfit that provides for diaper changes while we hang in the hospital.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

8 / Onesie – For a snuggly going home outfit.

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

The absolute best advice I’ve been given while pregnant? It’s to leave the diapers and wipes at home and take advantage of the goodies provided for baby in the hospital (meaning you don’t have to worry about bringing the right diaper size, too). The hospital staff refills the drawer as needed, and you can load up your diaper bag with the remaining goods before heading home!

If there’s any must-have item you would include that is not on my list, let me (and other moms) know in the comment section below!

Xx,
Amy

Let’s be friends on Instagram! Sharing my pregnancy journey, professional photo work, a daily dose of optimism + positive affirmations, and the random favorites that fill my days like cats & binging Gilmore Girls. See you there!

This one’s for the pinners…

It's here! The ultimate maternity hospital bag checklist for birth. Loungewear for mom-to-be, going home outfits for newborn & mama — + the essentials!

18 COMMENTS

  1. 1. Your own pillow. Hospital ones are NEVER the right firmness.
    2. Bluetooth speakers so you can listen to your labor playlist.
    3. All the snacks. Take however many snacks you THINK you need, and at least triple that. You will be STARVING as your milk comes in.

  2. I’m a postpartum nurse, and I have a huge suggestion if you are having a vaginal delivery: DERMAPLAST NUMBING SPRAY. Your hospital will have peri bottles, ice packs, and witch hazel pads for you, but not all hospitals carry the spray. Check if your hospital has sitz baths and donut pillows as well, and if not, consider bringing your own.

  3. I’m going to “that mom” this post and say that the teddy bear suit is cute, but not car seat safe! A cozy hat and blanket will be just as warm. I also love footie pants (like these
    ) for keeping tiny feet covered.

    • Following up because interestingly enough, a certified car seat specialist just informed me that one piece fleece jackets, like this one linked, are considered safe for the car seat (they said fleece is generally considered safe when it’s in a thin layer and fits properly, not oversized, unlike other winter jackets)! I was also directed to the instagram page @safeintheseat which had similar information. Thought I would pass it along for other moms in winter states, it’s good to know what the experts say!

  4. Bring a pair of your fave maternity pants\shorts from the 2nd trimester, just in case. Three babies and my tummy never went down enough (at the hospital) to wear regular pants home. I learned the hard way with baby # one! 😆 And CHAPSTICK.

    • Both of those are on this checklist (the joggers aren’t technically maternity, but they are bump-friendly and my go-to pair right now), so I’m glad to know you recommend them, too!

  5. My first labor was long and very tiring, and I would have murdered someone for lemon-lime clif shot blocks about two hours into pushing. Weirdly specific I know. But it’s good to have something that you can scarf between contractions (assuming the hospital lets you eat – some don’t). For after, salty snacks like nuts and pretzels, because you’ve been sweating for hours, and dried fruit to help with uh, getting things moving.

  6. Personally, I only brought things that I could clean easily after getting home from the hospitals, either Lysol wipe or in the washer. So, the slippers… maybe try to find a pair that you can throw in the washer afterwards!
    Another tip from a mom friend: grab a few of those baby food packets of prunes. They taste pretty good, and you really want to get everything, um, flowing quickly !

  7. Midwife here.
    I own that sunbum lip balm and happen to hate that it smells like you have sunscreen on your lips, but lip balm (in whatever scent/flavor you like) is a must. Heavy breathing really dries you out.
    Also, hospitals provide you with disposable mesh undies. I personally wouldn’t buy my own. I’ve worn them in a pinch after getting stuck at the hospital during snowstorms, etc. You don’t need special underwear to put large postpartum pads in. You will not be bleeding like you did in the the day after giving birth when you go home.
    Yes to bringing your own pillow and slippers.
    Bring your own snacks. A labor and delivery unit may have a policy about eating in labor or eating after getting an epidural, which means you will not receive a tray from the kitchen. But they cannot keep you from eating your own food. Bring easy-to-digest and chew, not too heavily flavored snacks. Energy gels and dummies are good, as is coconut water/electrolyte drink.

  8. Ditto on washable slippers. If your water breaks or you spill formula or your boobs drip or a diaper leaks, those fluffy uggs will be toast. I would just replace those fuzzy socks with the kind with grippies on the bottom (hospital floors can be *slippery* in socks!) Also an eye mask so you can get some sleep even if there are a million machines with lights or you end up in a room with streetlights outside the window. And your own toiletries, because the stuff at the hospital will just not be the same and if you’re in long enough to take a shower you will want your own shampoo. (I was in the hospital 2 weeks prior and 1 week after my last birth).

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