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If you came across this post, I am guessing you are in your third trimester and getting close to your due date. I am sure you are feeling a mix of emotions as you get closer to the big day! Hopefully this hospital bag packing list can you help you feel a little more prepared for delivery. Make sure to also check out my pregnancy essentials post!
First, I suggest packing sooner than later. Everyone, and I mean everyone, told me how you are always late with your first pregnancy. Well, my water broke at 37 weeks and it was go time! So, you just never really know. Luckily, I had just packed our hospital bags around 36 weeks pregnant. “Better over prepared than under prepared” is one of my life mottos and absolutely applied when packing for the hospital!
I had our bags fully packed and sitting with them was a list of the day of/last minute items. I will break down the packing list into a few different categories including items I packed and didn’t use. I hope this hospital bag packing list will be helpful to you!
Hospital Bag Packing List: For Mom
- Robe: I packed two robes but honestly hardly even wore either of them. I only wore the robe for pictures. I think robes are more of a personal preference and for me, I am comfier in pajamas. I included it on the list because if you like robes, it can’t hurt to have one packed. My robes were from Posh Peanut and were SO soft, highly recommend!
- Pajamas: Buy yourself a new, comfy pair of button down pajamas! Kennadi was born in January so I chose long sleeves and pants but they make the same button down pajamas in short sleeve with shorts. These pajamas are incredibly soft. I lived in the pajama bottoms and just a nursing bra in the hospital. When I got cold, I put the pajama top on and the buttons were perfect for nursing.
- Nursing Bras: I brought a few options (I didn’t try them on ahead of time and should have) and ended up wearing these nursing bras the whole hospital stay. They were the comfiest option and I ended up sleeping in these for the first few months post-partum.
- Slippers: Hospital floors are cold and you will be up and down a lot to get to the bathroom. Make sure you have slippers with hard soles; hospital rooms are always tile and can be really slippery! If you prefer socks, don’t bother worrying about packing any. The hospital will give you socks.
- Nipple Cream: Mamas aren’t kidding when they say breast feeding hurts! On top of your baby learning how to latch and attempting to breastfeed, the hospital will likely have you pumping too. Trust me when I say you will be very relieved if you packed your nipple cream.
- Hydroflask: I can’t stand warm water! The hospital would give me a pitcher of water and I poured it into my hydroflask to stay cold. It was also convenient to have the water bottle laying on the bed next to me. I imagine this would be especially helpful for mamas who have a C-Section.
- Toiletries: Bring the essentials (deodorant, lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste) but also bring shower toiletries. This is dependent on the hospital and how your delivery goes but I was allowed to take a shower 24 hours after delivery and it was SO refreshing. I was so happy I had packed body wash, face wash, and a razor! If you have been using stretch mark lotion throughout pregnancy, make sure to bring that with you for the hospital to continue to use.
- Makeup and Hair Brush: This is a personal preference but I felt better when I got up each morning and brushed my hair and put a little face makeup on.
Hospital Bag Packing List: For Dad
- Lounge Clothes: If Dad gets a bed, you hit the jackpot. For us, he had a makeshift bed that was essentially a lounge chair. My point is, Dads will want to have comfy sweat pants or shorts to lounge and sleep in, especially since you don’t know what they will get to sleep on.
- Toiletries: My husband could take a shower each day in the hospital and was happy he had packed his toiletry essentials.
Hospital Bag Packing List: For Baby
- Announcement Photo Outfit and Accessories: This was something that took me forever to decide on so once I did, I ordered everything and put it straight into the hospital bag. It was the one thing I didn’t want to forget! I chose a matching swaddle and robe set for pictures. I ordered the custom name sign from Etsy.
- Swaddles: This is super important in my opinion. Of course, the hospital has swaddles and will initially swaddle your newborn. But, very quickly it will be on you to swaddle them after each diaper change, feeding, etc. My husband and I were seriously struggling with their thick blanket material. After a few hours of frustration, I remembered I had packed a few swaddles. Two of them made our lives so much easier; these thin, stretchy material swaddles and the Velcro Swaddle Me swaddles The Velcro ones are by far the easiest but Kennadi was too small for them so we swaddled her with the stretchy fabric and then put the Swaddle Me one over.
- Going Home Outfit: Bring a few different sizes! You don’t know how much your baby will weigh or how lengthy they will be. I brought newborn and 0-3 month outfits. For us, they were all way too big but I had a few options for the newborn size and put her in the smallest sweat outfit we had.
Hospital Bag Packing List: Extras
- Extra Long Phone Chargers: Don’t forget your phone chargers! But, you want to make sure you bring extra long cords. Hospital rooms aren’t like hotel rooms. You might only have one outlet and (in our case) it could be pretty far from your bed. We ordered two new, long phone chargers a few weeks before my due date and just put them right into the hospital bag so we wouldn’t forget them.
- iPad or Laptop: This wasn’t on my packing list but thankfully my husband had his iPad with him. You can read about my full labor experience here but in short, we had several hours of just hanging out and waiting. Our room had a TV but nothing good was on and I wanted to watch my favorite show (Friends, of course) to help me stay calm. His iPad was perfect for this and we used it to watch other shows and movies during the rest of our hospital stay.
- Ice Chest: This is something most people wouldn’t think of but it is worth it. I think we all know how hospitals are with food and drinks… never really the best. We brought a backpack ice chest and had it filled with water, coffee, Gatorades, apple juice (my pregnancy craving) and soda. We also packed some snack options and we went through almost all of it!
- Folder with Pockets: We had to bring birth certificate information with us so I had used a pocket folder to keep it safe. This worked out well because I didn’t realize just how much paperwork the hospital would be giving us. It was so nice to have one spot to put it all in and then it was organized for when we went through it once we got home.
Hospital Bag Packing List: Items I Didn’t Use
- Donut Cushion Pillow: My friend gave me this as she didn’t end up using it since she had a C-section delivery. Well, I had a vaginal delivery and didn’t use it either. I tried to sit on it for the car ride home and it was way more uncomfortable than just sitting normal.
- Post-Partum Underwear: I packed some, not sure why, but don’t bother. The hospital will give you what you need and you definitely won’t be leaving the hospital in any type of normal underwear!
- Dermoplast and Tucks: I guess I thought I would have to supply my recovery items; this isn’t the case at all. Leave it all at home for when you get back from the hospital. They loaded me up with everything for healing (underwear shorts, huge pads, ice packs, numbing pads, Derm0plast, etc.) They replenished the stock in the bathroom constantly and sent me home with a few items.
- Diapers and Wipes: Again, not really sure why I thought we would need these. Of course, the hospital provided diapers and wipes for Kennadi. They actually sent us home with a whole pack too!
- Mom Going Home Outfit: Laughing at myself for this one. I packed some loose leggings and a sweatshirt to go home in. I ended going home in, you guessed it, the same pajamas and nursing bra I had worn the whole time. It was the comfiest and easiest for me. If you do choose to bring an extra outfit, make sure your bottoms have a lot of room for all the fun post-partum necessities.
Last thing, if you are starting to pack your hospital bag, that means it is also time to get your car seat installed properly! You do not want to be figuring out how to install it when you are in labor and ready to head to the hospital. We had the car seat in for a few weeks and had a baby blanket in the car seat for the drive home.
Time to make a shopping list, or fill your Amazon cart, with whatever you still need. Want an easy-to-read checklist for pregnancy and postpartum essentials and the hospital bag packing list? Click the button below for your free download!
Wishing you the best of luck with delivery! Have questions? Comment below or connect with me on Instagram! And don’t forget to subscribe to be notified of new blog posts.