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
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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
What To Pack In The Hospital Bag: Essentials For Mom-To-Be
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.
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).
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.
4 / Herbal Perineal Spray – Because, you know, real life.
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.
6 / Nipple cream (if you’re planning to breastfeed) – I’ll take all the help I can get in this area, thanks!
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.
What To Pack In The Hospital Bag: Going Home Outfit For Mom
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.
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.
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.
4 / Maternity Shirt– Since, you know, that bump doesn’t magically disappear. Packing this will provide extra comfort — aaaand it’s so cute.
5 / Beanie – Again, Michigan in November — but mostly because who knows what form my hair will be in upon leaving the hospital!
6 / Allbirds Sneakers – A pregnant woman’s BEST FRIEND in shoe form. They’re crazy comfortable and don’t even require socks.
What To Pack In The Hospital Bag For Baby: Newborn Going Home Outfit
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.
2 / Hat – Every baby needs a cute little newborn hat — will also be nice for the ride home.
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.
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.
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.
6 / Teddy Coat – The temperatures here will probably be pretty chilly, so this is to keep baby warm for that ride home!
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.
8 / Onesie – For a snuggly going home outfit.
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!
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This one’s for the pinners…