What do you really need in your hospital bag?
Once it is getting close to giving birth you are thinking about what to actually put in your hospital bag for you and the newborn baby.
For weeks I thought about what to bring to the hospital with me, looked for all kinds of checklists what you really need online and packed a bit more of everything just to be save only to end up maybe using 1/4 of the stuff i brought and leaving with the bag as it was.
There are affiliate links in this post, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will be compensated if you click through and take action. For full disclosure click here.
When should I pack the hospital bag?
Considering that a pregnancy is usually around 40 weeks long but you could have your baby earlier it is a good idea to be prepared instead of packing last minute and throwing everything together while you are already in labor.
I started packing my hospital around 30 weeks already and then unpacked it and packed different things again.
I would suggest that you should have your bag ready to go by 35-37 weeks of pregnancy.
Hospital Bag checklist
Grab this completely free checklist for your hospital bag to make sure you don’t forget anything important.
For the hospital to check you in and process everything they will need your ID and Insurance card so make sure you got those with you when you go to the hospital.
Share any information with the nurses that could be important like allergies to certain medication, medical history and anything you can think of that your OB/Gyn told you.
If the hospital offers their forms for download beforehand you can already fill those out and just hand them to the nurse once you get admitted.
This is THE most important thing to bring to the Hospital.
Without the Car Seat you won’t be discharged and allowed to take the Baby home.
Get used to the Car Seat before so you know how to strap in the Baby and how to securely put it in your Car.
Clothes for your Baby
When you pack clothes think about:
– What season are you giving birth? Will it be Hot or Cold?
– do you want to have a special Bring Home Outfit or will a footed PJ do the job?
Babies can’t control their temperature for a while after being born so it is important to keep the baby warm but not hot.
I would recommend to take either a footed PJ and a Hat (just take the one from the hospital) and a blanket if needed and home you go.
Size newborn is usually perfectly fine unless you know before that you will have a really big baby then maybe pack a outfit in newborn and one in 0-3 months.
My baby was not wearing anything while in the hospital.
Most of the time we snuggled skin-on-skin (a really beneficial thing to do for baby and mom by the way)
Change of clothes for you
And trust me – take the extra comfortable ones. You don’t have to leave the hospital all glamed up with skinny jeans, a comfortable top and Yoga pants are just the best.
While in the Hospital i was wearing the Hospital gown most of the time. Nurses will come and want to check on you a lot so it is just a lot easier to lift the gown then getting undressed while in pain from giving birth.
For going home I recommend the clothes that fit you during your sixth month of pregnancy.
If you want to be extra comfy during your hospital stay – go ahead and pack that extra fluffy bathrobe for yourself.
You deserve to be the most comfortable possible!
Shampoo and Towel
I bought a travel sized Shampoo bottle just for the Hospital – it saves you room and does the job until you get home or buy a portable travel bottle and fill it with your shampoo from home (that’s also great for lotion).
Some Hospitals provide Towels, ask before or just bring your own with you in the hospital bag.
Hairbrush and Hair Ties
This is pretty self explanatory.
You can take your normal hairbrush or also buy a small travel version.
I got two of these adorable foldable hairbrushes and bring one of them in my bag wherever I go. It comes in many different colors and a mirror – perfect!
Toothbrush and Paste
I just bought a small travel Kit like this. Saves you space and you have plenty of paste until you get home again. Walmart always has some too. These little packs don’t need much space in your hospital bag.
Snacks! (and some Cash)
I am Breastfeeding and i got 3 meals a day but still felt like i was starving – i was hungry all the time.
Luckily i had snacks in my bag, a bunch of granola bars or other non perishable things are always good.
Have some cash on hand in case you want to go to the vending machine for other snacks or drinks. (or the hangry Husband)
So you can take the 20000 Photos of your beautiful baby.
Once your milk is coming in you will be leaking and nobody wants wet spots on their shirt all the time.
Bringing either disposable or reusable nursing pads is a absolute must have for your hospital bag.
After giving birth and all the changes in your body you won’t want to wear a regular bra.
You could either go without one completely or use a nursing bra that is very comfortable to wear.
I was wearing nursing bras already during the last weeks of pregnancy since the normal bras just got way too uncomfortable.
Cozy socks or slippers
For comfort and warm feet at all times. Nothing better than slipping out of bed to put on some comfy, cozy socks that will keep your feet warm on the trip to the toilet.
I had a sock/slipper mixture and it was the best.
And that is pretty much it – Of course you can take a book with you to kill time but i always either had a nurse, Family or other hospital staff in the room or just enjoyed the baby all to myself.
If you do have a birth plan take it with you.
Once you get administered to the hospital you can give it to the nurses and tell them your wishes.
The nurses are usually very nice and try to follow your plan as good as possible.
Keep an open mind that things can go very different than what you imagined in your birth plan.
What should Dad bring to the hospital?
Now that we have mom and baby covered we need to make sure dad has his hospital bag packed too.
My husband didn’t even bring half of the stuff but it would’ve certainly been useful.
This is a really simple hospital bag checklist for Dad:
- Phone and charger (his own so he doesn’t need yours)
- Snacks and Energy drinks or coffee
- Some extra cash
- Entertainment like a book, movies to watch on the phone (hello netflix)
- Own pillow
Hospital Bag FAQs
If you want to use one then yes you need to bring your own.
It’s a good idea to bring 2-3 different outfits in different sizes if you know your baby might be on the bigger side. You can leave your baby in diapers and swaddle blanket during your hospital stay or dress them in which case you would need a few more outfits.
No, the hospital provides you with a swaddle blanket and a hat but not any clothes.
That is totally up to you – comfortable clothes, the hospital gown or a special delivery robe. Unless the hospital has a specific policy.
Usually there is no need to bring it since it takes a while for your milk to come in and your baby needs to learn to breastfeed so it should be on your breast as much as possible.
Yes usually you can, you can also bring your own pillow. Check with the hospital you want to give birth in what they allow you to bring.
If you did not have any sever complications you can. This is more the case for birthing centers than hospitals though.
Depending on if you had a natural birth or C-section the hospital wants you to stay anywhere between 2-7 days. (that is if you had no complications)
The Hospital will usually provide Diapers and Wipes for the Baby and a squirt Bottle and cleaning supplies for your wound.
Also, if they offer you stool softener – take it! Trust me, it’ll make that first big business so much less scary.
Are you currently pregnant?
Make sure you got all the basics for your nursery covered!
Subscribe to our email list and get a free baby registry checklist.