This post may contain affiliate links. I earn a small commission on purchases made though those links.
I just want to lay it all out for you and give you the idea of what you could need in your hospital bag. But overall, I definitely recommend everything we talk about in this post.
This post is a what to pack in your hospital bag checklist.
The first time I was in labor I thought I had the packed the perfect hospital bag only to find that there was actually a lot of things I didn’t even think about. So once the second time came around I considered myself sort of a seasoned player to the game when it comes to hospital bags and knowing what you need and don’t need.
I created this list of everything you could possibly need it doesn’t mean you need all of these things but it’s better to weigh out your pros and cons and just be aware of what you could need.
Also just keep in mind that everyone’s birth experience is different.
First let’s talk about how your experience is going to go so that you can get a feel for why I’m recommending to pack these things.
Let talk about the hospital situation for a moment to get you fully prepared. After delivery you’ll be taken to your hospital room where you’ll be staying for the next 2-4 days. Every hospital is different and has different policies. Some hospitals supply everything you could need for baby and yourself and some don’t.
It’d be a great idea to ask your hospital’s postnatal ward in advance what they supply to give you a better idea of what you should bring.
Here’s the deal, hospital living can be kind of rough. Put it this way, typically, you’re going to be in 1 small room with 1 bed, 1 couch (or chair-bed), 1 bassinet, probably 1 bedside table and a bathroom with a shower.
Don’t get me wrong, staying in the hospital is not by any means terrible! But it’s just not quite as cozy as home would be.
Depending on how you gave birth, vaginally or c-section, you will be in recovery and not very mobile for at least the the first day or few hours. You could be in pain, have stitches and you will definitely be bleeding.
So you’re going to want to have packed everything to make you feel the most comfortable during this time.
The hospital beds aren’t the comfiest and you’re given a thin sheet, thin blanket and thin pillow. Which are all washed and reused. I’m not a germaphobe and I didn’t have any issues using what was given to me but I figured it’s nice to be aware of that.
Bringing your favorite pajamas, undies and even your own blanket could make the biggest difference when it comes to feeling comfortable after labor.
Side note: remember to make plans for your fur baby while you’re in the hospital having your human baby. Make sure someone will be there to feed them, refresh their water or let them outside.
One thing I tell everyone to bring is an EXTENSION CORD.
You’re probably like,
but think about it this way, you both have phones maybe cameras or whatever other tech devices you choose to bring, theres typically 1 outlet in the room and it’s right next to the hospital bed, that a regular phone charger could not reach the distance from the wall to the recovery bed.
Which means family phone calls, video chats and picture sending will have to wait. Which is fine for some people, but for us we were very excited to share details and photos with family.
Packing for three
The way I look at it, a hospital bag checklist should be broken down into 3 categories.
- the baby
- baby daddy
Each of you is going to need your own things and possibly own bags if you want to keep it really organized.
You’ll essentially be living out of your suitcase. Which is why I recommend packing three separate bags because really, who wants to go suitcase digging to find their stuff?
I recommend packing everything the baby needs in your designated baby bag, getting yourself a cute weekender bag, and your man a duffle or canvas bag. But of course a suitcase will suffice as well.
What to pack for Dad
If your man doesn’t know what to pack for his hospital stay, the good news is that, he’s not going to need much.
Hospitals have a cafeteria that is only open during certain hours. And because you could go into labor at any given time of the day or night and be in labor for possibly 30+ hours I highly recommend packing his favorite snacks (as well as some for you after labor, you will be hungry!) and a drink or two to keep him satiated.
Keep in mind that the hospital has vending machines as well but depending on where you are during your process of labor you may not want him to leave. Could you image explaining to your kid one day that daddy missed their birth because he went to get a bag of Doritos, LOL.
Besides keeping Dad fed, keeping him entertained in the next most important thing. It is possible that you’ll be labor for a very long time and if you get an epidural it could be a lot of waiting around and time (and probably nerves) to kill.
The next thing to take into consideration for him is that he will be sleeping on a chair or small couch thats probably as comfy as a rock. Anything to help him have a decent hour or 2 of sleep for the next few nights should defiantly be on the list, including pillows and blankets.
So what does Daddy need?
Hospital Bag Checklist for Dad:
- Portable charger
- Extension cord
- 1-2 pair of jeans or shorts
- Pair of shoes
- 3-4 Shirts (or this cool Dad shirt)
- 3-4 pairs of undies
- Joggers or comfortable shorts
- 4 pairs of socks
- Shower slides or sandals
- Toiletry bag
- Toothbrush and cover
- Entertainment (book, phone, Nintendo switch etc.)
- Charger for each device
- Bag to pack everything in
And of course any necessities, vitamins, medication, etc.
What does Mama need to pack?
When I was in the hospital I remember wanting a lot of things, in fact I even made my husband go home…twice. Depending on how far you live from the hospital this may not be an option for you. Or it may just not be very ideal in general. Which is why the second time around I knew exactly what I was missing.
I want to share with you everything you could possibly need to make your hospital stay as comfortable as possible.
Again, you can always call your hospitals labor and delivery ward ahead of time to find out a list of exactly what they supply for you and the baby while you’re there.
When thinking about what to pack for yourself the main thing to focus on is postpartum care. More than likely your hospital will have everything you need for your postpartum care while you’re there.
This typically includes, disposable mesh underwear, large pads, these squeeze bottles to clean your lady parts (and help make peeing burn less if you have stitches or tearing down there), numbing antiseptic spray, disposable ice packs and possibly pain meds.
The next most important thing to focus on is comfort.
Even though the hospital supplies these things for you, it’s possible you might not be the most comfortable and maybe you want real underwear. Which why I’d recommend bring some tummy control underwear.
Choosing dark colored panties and pajamas are also a great option because you will be bleeding and possibly a bit numb so it’s possible you wouldn’t know if you leaked off the pad, which is not fun, but darker colored items could save some embarrassment.
During this time you’ll also be learning how to breastfeed. Thank goodness for the lovely nurses that help you understand exactly how to get baby to latch. Those first few days in the hospital you wont need anything for breastfeeding besides possibly some nipple cream (for sore nipples) and maybe nursing pads to catch any leaking milk (but your milk supply might not be that crazy yet).
For more on what you’ll need for your breastfeeding journey check out my blog post for Breastfeeding Essentials + FREE Printable Nursing Tracker here.
The Belly Bandit is something I’ve used postpartum after every baby I’ve had. I love it because after the baby is out, your uterus is still very swollen, the belly bandit helps compress and support your uterus to shrink back down. Regardless of what you might think the belly bandit is actually incredibly soft and comfortable. I usually wear it around for the first week or two postpartum. I personally love wearing it because it makes me feel a bit more secure and confident having my empty uterus held together rather then shaking around.
Another recommendation I have is to bring your own water bottle this is because you’ll need a lot of water in your recovery. This will help with swelling, support making milk for breastfeeding, over all it’s good idea to start chugging water to help your body heal.
Of course you’ll want to pack your favorite, makeup remover, face wash, shampoo + conditioner, dry shampoo, hair ties, face moisturizer, chap stick, makeup etc.. bringing travel sized everything is so much easier then bringing your full sized products at home. You can even grab some of your own travel sized reusable bottles that you can fill yourself!
What to bring for Mama:
Hospital Bag Checklist For Mom:
- Duffle bag get checkered dupe here
- Toiletry bag
- 1-3 pairs of socks (fuzzy socks)
- High waisted cotton underwear
- Shower slides
- Comfy blanket
- Water bottle
- Some cute slippers to walk around in
- Face moisturizer
- Shampoo + Conditioner
- Dry Shampoo
- Face cleanser
- Makeup remover wipes
- Portable charger
- 2-3 Stretchy bras
- Going home top (nursing wrap top)
- Comfy maternity leggings
- Belly wrap
What does baby need?
Thankfully the hospital will supply all of the diapers, diaper cream, wipes, formula, and pacifiers you could possibly need during your stay. They will even supply baby’s first little onesies, hat and swaddle blanket.
What you need to pack for the baby is the fun stuff! The cute little outfits, hats, mittens (some babies are born with very long nails), and a cute blanket or swaddle blanket.
Other things to make note of is that you will need to bring babies carseat into the hospital. Some carseats are a 2-in-1 stroller which is also incredibly convenient.
Extra things you can bring to the hospital for baby is a letter board for cute name revel photos, a cute baby pacifier, hand sanitizer, suction bulb, and a nursing pillow.
Things you do not need to bring to the hospital: breast pump (supplied by hospital if needed), prenatal vitamins (supplied by hospital), baby bottles.
What to bring for baby: