If you or someone you know is having a baby, here's a definitive hospital bag and checklist for mom and baby!
This post has been updated on May 2019 after having four babies! These are MY VERY FAVORITE products that I absolutely recommend having you pack in your hospital bag for when baby decides to make his or her arrival!
After having four kids, I"m sharing with you the ultimate hospital bag packing checklist! These are products you should pack. They are not the essential, but rather the things I will guarantee will make your stay a little easier at the hospital (it's not minimalist, but also not heavy packing either).
Hospital Bag for Mom and Baby Essentials from Experience
Having had four kids now, I think I know the essentials as well as the "luxury" items from home that would help me the hospital stay with baby a little more comfortable.
With baby number one, I packed anything and everything. What I didn't realize was that my hospital would provide a lot of the things that I thought I needed - like water bottles, gowns, pacifiers, and even outfits for the babies (albeit they were hideous). Although they did provide a lot of the items, it was nice just to have your own "things" there.
Although not all of them are essentials and bare minimums, this list encompasses everything that I will be bringing for our baby boy. It was kind of nice for me to do this exercise, as it provided me some time to actually think through the items I loved!
Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom
1 - Hospital Bag. If you have a duffle bag packed for the hospital, chances are - you way over packed. This is one of the best times to try out that new diaper bag you got during your baby shower! I love the JuJuBe bags because they are made beautifully and they are roomy. This bag comes complete with a detachable, washable organizer with tons of pockets that I will be using to organize my makeup, toiletries, and the other items on this list!
2 - Nursing Bras. Comfortable nursing bras are a MUST. For most mommas, you will not fit into your pre-pregnancy bras just yet. Your body will change drastically in the next few days following baby (typically, your nursing parts will grow, and grow, and grow). I would stay away from any wired bras. I would recommend the Bravado Original Nursing Bra and Body Silk Seamless Bra because they are made of stretch material that will adapt to your changing body throughout both pregnancy and nursing!
3 - Flip Flops or Slippers. Bring flip flops for sure, as you do not want to take a shower barefoot in the hospital shower (shudder). Slippers are optional, but they might be more comfy than the ugly socks the hospital typically gives you!
4 - Undies. Bring granny panties in the event that you may not like the mesh ones the hospital provides you with (chances are, you won't).
5 - Belly Band. This definitely is a luxury item. I had a visitor with my first baby (I won't name any names) that said, "I don't remember having a pooch after my delivery." I would recommend the Belly Bandit to start tightening that tummy after baby. I definitely need this, as I weigh more with this baby at 37 weeks than with my other babies a few days before they were born. Not looking forward to my gym routine.
6 - Cute Robe for Photos. Obviously, this is a luxury item. Your family and friends will come visit you and take photos of you, so why not look good in those photos that you know will end up on Facebook? These maternity floral robes are super cute and will be perfect for photos.
7 - Nursing Cover. Although you shouldn't have to "cover" to nurse at the hospital, I find it awkward when you have visitors (like your dad or father-in-law) when you have to nurse. So bring this just in case! The cover from Covered Goods is amazing. It doesn't just cover the front, it goes over the front and back! Although used mainly as a nursing cover, it can be used as a car seat cover and a scarf! If you deliver at a hospital, chances are you will be transporting baby through hospital halls. Enough said, cover that baby car seat up.
8 - Comfy and Cute Hospital Outfit. It's always nice not to greet your visitors in your hospital gown or the cute robe. Why not have a cute strapless maxi dress that is super comfy packed? This maxi dress you can pretty much feed in because it's cotton and you can pull it down! It's under $25!
9 - Going Home Outfit. Kind of like how Kate Middleton's going home outfit was a big deal, yours will be too, but not quite as much fan fare. Make sure you have options! I remember with my previous babies, I underestimated how big my postpartum tummy was going to be. The dress from Amazon Kate Middleton nursing dress look alike is a gorgeous option!
Feeling Good Essentials for After Delivery
10 & 11 - Makeup and Lip Balm. Don't bring your entire stash, just the essentials to cover up blemishes. Lip balm and chapstick are a must. For some reason, laboring causes dry lips 🙂
12 - Flat Iron and Blow Dryer. Hospitals typically don't have them. Bring them unless you plan on having your hair in a pony tail the whole time. I am obsessed with this BabyBliss Nano - I traded it in from my 12 year old Chi and haven't looked back.
13 - Travel Mirror. Its just nice to have this portal mirror near by so that you are not having to walk to the bathroom for a touchup in the event that there is Kodak moment waiting to happen!
14 & 15 - Brush and Hair Ties. Enough said.
16 - Toothbrush and Tooth Paste. I wouldn't recommend using your brain to remember to pack this right before leaving for the hospital. Just buy a new set for you and your partner and pack it in the bag!
17 through 23 - Toiletries. These are the items I plan on packing: face scrub, deodorant, lotion, makeup remover wipes, shampoo/conditioner, mouth wash, and bar soap. Just visit the travel toiletry area of Target and Walmart. I promise you that you do not want to use what the hospital provides you with.
24 - Prenatal Vitamins. For those nursing mommas, you will still need this!
25 - Boobie Cream. For nursing mommas, the hospital will provide you typically with the Lansinoh cream. It may or may not work for you. Bring options.
26 - Nursing Pads. I wouldn't bring the whole pack, maybe 3 sets. Chances are, if you are anything like me, milk production didn't really begin like crazy until 7 days after birth. I know it sounds like I'm all about Lansinoh, but really, their products are amazing and this is not sponsored. DO NOT go for the CHEAP nursing pads. It will ruin your shirts, I promise. Get these.
27 - Fully Charged Phone. Make sure you have this with you to get in touch with the family!
28 - Phone Charger. Do not forget this!
29 - Camera. If you don't have a DSLR yet, I would recommend getting one with your new baby! DSLRs provide you so many more options of capturing those picture perfect moments with your baby! The point and shoots have gotten better for sure over the last few years, but DSLRs provide so much versatility. Anyway, for the purposes of this list, pack a camera. I would seriously recommend getting a Canon Rebel with at least one lens!
30 & 31 - Camera Battery Charger & Battery. Do not forget these! Also, don't forget the memory cards either!
32 & 33 - Laptop (or Tablet). Depending on how you plan on laboring, you may have some in-between downtime. Bring your laptop or tablet for entertainment. I'll be bringing my Macbook Pro to blog my experience 🙂
34 - Power Strip. This is definitely a luxury item. But when you need juice, you'll be glad you brought one.
Checklist for Baby Hospital Bag
35 - Nursing Pillow. While you are trying to learn how to feed or retraining yourself on how to feed baby, its always nice to have a nursing pillow to make the experience easier. I LOVE my Boppy Pillow - its lasted two babies - and I think my third too!
36 - First Pacifier. For newborns under 2 weeks old, I've yet to find a pacifier that works well! However, the Soothie pacifiers come super close! To add cuteness to a pacifier, I purchased the WubbaNub Elephant pacifier. The hospital will more than likely provide you a Soothie pacifier without the animal. I just think its cute 🙂
37 - Swaddle Blanket. You should always learn how to swaddle with a receiving blanket, but these swaddle blankets by Summer Infant are AMAZING. My girls (who were movers and shakers) LOVED to be swaddled super tight, and these did the trick! No more untucked receiving blankets!
38 - Sleepers. Sleepers are outfits that have an open bottom so you can change diapers easily. I would just bring one in the event you don't like the one the hospital provides - I remember them providing this neon green one for Ansley (they also provided the hat). She's still cute though.
39 - Receiving Blanket. Bring just one for photo purposes if you have a cute one for photos!
40 & 41 - Hat, Mittens, and Socks. The ones that the hospital gives you are ugly. Pack a cute set!
42 - Car Seat. My Chicco Keyfit 30 has been tried and true for all four of my babies! The hospital will not let you take your baby home unless the nurse sees you put the baby into a carseat into your car (at least, that's what mine told me). To read about my Chicco Keyfit 30 review, click here. Seriously, read all the reviews on Amazon here.
What to Pack in the Hospital Bag for Dad and Siblings
Siblings: My girls will be with the grandparents, not with us. However, I will be trying to find in the next three weeks a "I'm a big sister" shirt for both of them. This is not packed yet, but what counts is that I'm planning for it right? They are not staying the night, but I will have the shirts with me so that no one forgets!
That's pretty much sums up what to pack in the hospital bag to prepare for baby's arrival for pretty much everyone in the family.
Once baby is here and you're ready to think about going back to work, check out my post on pumping essentials for moms going back to work.
Baby Essentials Posts You Might Love
- Hospital Bag for Pregnant Mom
- Newborn to 3 Month Old Baby Essentials
- 3 to 6 Month Baby Essentials and Roundup Product Recommendations
- 6 to 9 Month Old Baby Essentials
- 9 to 12 Month Baby Essentials, Products, and Gear Recommendation
- Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials
- Tips to Return to Work after Maternity Leave
- Breast Feeding Nursing Covers
- Breast Milk Stash and Managing Post Baby Weight