Must Haves for Your Hospital Bag (Without Over-Packing!)

Pregnancy / Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

My hospital bag was packed and ready to go when I was 30 weeks pregnant (despite my husband’s asking, “Isn’t it a little early?”) I pinned some great articles on what to bring. Thinking I had my essentials, when it was actually go time, I realized that I had packed way too many items.

Looking back, I really only used 10% of what was in my labor bag. I’ve narrowed down what feel actually helped me in the delivery room and beyond.

(This post contains affiliate links. You can find my disclosure policy here.)

must haves for your hospital bag


Must Haves for Mama

Comfy Clothes- I packed two days worth of loose, comfortable clothing to wear. When I say loose, I mean don’t pack your pre-pregnancy jeans. You’ll get back to them! But then last thing you want in recovery is to have tight clothing on you. This 2 in 1 Maternity Nursing Nightgown is a life saver! 

Flip Flops- You can pack grippy-socks, too. I wish I had brought flip flops with me because I was using the shower. Sure, hospitals are sterile, but still. The sandals are nice to have if you plan on utilizing bathing facilities in your hospital. Plus, they’re easier to get into for the ride home!

Postpartum Undies- I laughed a little bit when I packed these Always Discreet Undies in my hospital bag. LET ME TELL YOU– you definitely want these. Postpartum bleeding is intense and those mesh undies they provide at the hospital just were not as comfortable. Seriously, order a pack. You’ll thank yourself later.

Nipple Cream- If you’re planning on breastfeeding, I strongly recommend you pack some nipple cream. Both you and your baby will be learning how to nurse and that can be a painful process right at the beginning. I used Lansinoh Salve religiously during my first week postpartum. It saved my nipples from cracking and bleeding.

Chapstick- You will most definitely need this! Breathing in and out cracks your lips so badly!

Toiletries- Toothbrush/toothpaste, mouthwash, dry shampoo (unless you’re a pro and decide to shower the next day with real shampoo. I thought I was going to, but I was too cozy in bed with my newborn!), hair ties, hair band, hair brush, face wash/cleanser, lotion, makeup.

Energy Gels- Okay, I didn’t actually use these in labor, but I really wish that I had some. I planned to have an all-natural, drug-free birth. Unfortunately, when it came time to actually push, I was completely drained and had literally no energy to push. All the while I was kicking myself for not packing a pick-me-up. I’ve since talked to some moms and they have recommended GU Energy Gel. If you’re more on the crunchy side, honey packets will also help!

Phone Charger

Must Haves for Baby

Diapers- Most, if not all, hospitals provide newborn diapers, but it’s still a good idea to pack a few anyways.

2 Onesies/Sleepers– Pack different sizes. I had the cutest coming home outfit packed for my daughter and it was HUGE on her. She ended up wearing the shirt that the hospital gave her. Side note, I know this isn’t a newborn size, but look how cute this onesie is:

Hakuna Ma's Tatas


2 Swaddle Blankets- These Muslin Swaddle Blankets by CuddleBug are the BEST to swaddle in! They’re breathable and stretchy- perfect for wrapping your baby burrito in.

Nursing Pillow- The lactation consultant showed me some cool ways to use my Boppy Nursing Pillow with my newborn! It’s definitely worth bringing.

Car Seat


Extras to Have

Affirmation Cards- Although I didn’t use all 30 cards that I made, it was nice to have them so I could pick and choose ones that would help me focus on labor. I made mine with index cards and had them taped around my delivery room!

Music Playlist-I had some music to dance to during contractions, meditation drum beats, and of course, Fleetwood Mac to push to. My daughter was born to Dreams. We also had a bonding playlist.

Lastly, I whipped up a checklist so you can easily pack your bag for the big day! If you love it, please be sure to share with your other mama friends. Enjoy!


free hospital bag checklist


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