What To Pack In Your Maternity Hospital Bag
By the time you reach your 3rd trimester, you’ve probably already worked on your maternity hospital bag checklist. It’s also important to have a labor hospital bag checklist as you will want certain things that will comfort you during labor. Your bag should be packed with everything you need for mom, baby, and even your partner… plus a few extras and even healthy snack ideas because you know mama will need a snack!
It can be a little bit overwhelming to remember all the things you may need, so that's why we put together a thorough list of pregnancy hospital bag must-haves.
What to pack in the hospital bag for mom?
Mom’s hospital bag is essential, of course. Mom’s needs are at the top of the list. Start packing when you feel ready or usually between weeks 34-37. Pregnant women usually start getting ready to pack their hospital bag around 35 weeks, which is about five weeks before your due date. However, you may give birth before or after 40 weeks, depending on your particular situation! This is an exciting and nerve-racking time, so having a go-to checklist will definitely help ease any anxiety!
If you have one bag for you and your little one, make sure your stuff is at the top, within reach! If you have two separate bags, that may make life a little easier.
Basics for mom
- Drivers license
- Insurance cards
- Hospital forms (if you didn’t already send them to your doctor)
- Birth plan (if you have one)
Hospital Bag Essentials for Mom
If only we could wake up and have a pre-packed maternity hospital bag done for us! Just remember, if you start planning early enough, it will make life a little easier. However, if you’re unsure what to put in the hospital bag for mom, we got you covered.
Lightweight pants and/or pregnancy leggings to lounge in.
Two pairs of comfortable pajamas like these. We like pajamas with a buttoned top for easy access if nursing.
Slippers perfect to walk around the hospital room.
Easy slip-on shoes for the trip to your hospital (or birthing center) and home.
A comfortable going home outfit. Make it cute for the pictures!
Bring loose clothes, so you feel super comfortable. After birth, you will still look 6-7 months pregnant so bring clothes you wore around that time. Postpartum is not easy; you will be a ball of emotions, so take it easy on yourself!Extras for mom & baby
Labor and delivery takes its toll on mom. And the baby too. The comfier you are, the better off you are. Even if you are staying in the hospital, you want your experience to be as enjoyable and restful as possible.
A reusable water bottle - hydration is essential, especially if you are breastfeeding.
Overnight diapers for mom; trust us on this one. You’ll thank us. The hospital may provide you with mesh underwear and cotton pads too. We like cotton underwear to keep everything together. You may not know this, but you will bleed for at least a month post-birth. It’s mother nature’s way of saying, “here is your long-lost period.”
If you plan on nursing, you may want a comfy nursing pillow. We like this one.
A full-on postpartum mom kit by Frida mom. It includes items to help for postpartum recovery and pain relief (sorry, we are just keeping it real!).
Nipple cream if you plan on nursing.
Extra things you might need
- Glasses and/or contacts (you’ll have plenty of hospital paperwork to read!)
- Ipad with charger for movies (when your little babe is sleeping!)
- Pillow from home
Hairdryer, Hairbrush & Hair ties
Hairdryer (that’s if you find the time to wash your hair!). We like this travel one that you can fold, plus it has a retractable cord. A Hairbrush and extra hair ties.
The last thing you might want to do is put on makeup, but if you want to take a few pictures, we suggest this mascara and blush plus some lip balm!
Phone charger with an extra-long cord so you can charge and reach your phone at the same time!
Baby hospital bag checklist
Of course, this is the entire reason you’re at the hospital in the first place! You’ll need some items for your little one! The teeny tiny clothes are so adorable, plus you’ll need a few other essentials too!
OK, obviously this will not fit in a hospital bag, but it’s a MUST HAVE to take the baby home, of course- safety first! We like this infant car seat.
We love onesies that zip up, but because of the umbilical cord, either button onesies or two-piece outfits like this and this are perfect. Newborns tend to have sharp little nails so ones that can fold over their little hands plus have feeties work too (in addition to little mittens). Bring two sets of onesies and 1-2, 2 piece outfits to be safe. (button onesie)
Mittens to keep their baby soft skin safe from those sharp nails! Bring 2-4 pairs of mittens.
A cute hat to help keep them warm. They have adorable hats on Etsy that you can also get customized. One or two hats are fine. Sometimes hospitals provide you with hats too!
This is the most fun to choose! We love layette sets or cute customized outfits from Etsy.
Burp cloths are a good idea, especially if you plan on bottle feeding. You’ll need 2-3.
If you plan on bottle-feeding, you’ll need bottles! Some moms purchase a couple of different types of bottles to see which one their baby likes best. We happen to love Dr. Browns.
Swaddles are not a must, but some babies really love to be swaddled because it helps them feel like they are back in the womb. You’ll probably need 2. We like these!
Receiving blankets are perfect for cuddling! We like these from Burts Bees.
Diapers and wipes will most likely be given to you at the hospital (or birthing center), but if you are a little picky (like us!), then you will love these popular wipes (a baby must have) and these natural type diapers. Plus this diaper cream is great too. Only the best for the baby’s bottom.
Hospital Bag List for Partner
- Entertainment like an iPad or laptop (as if your labor isn’t enough to keep them occupied!)
- Extra phone charger
- A comfy pillow and blanket are ideal because sometimes the hospital extras just don’t cut them.
- Change of clothes and pajamas because they’ll most likely be staying overnight!
Unfortunately, the nurses and doctors probably won’t let you snack during labor (cue in the ice cubes), but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to bring in some yummy and non-perishable satisfying snacks with you!
Snacks are super important postpartum (as well as prenatal vitamins!). They help you add more calories and nutrients to your day, and mama, you will need it after birth. Your body will NEED those extra calories and nutrients not only for yourself but for your baby too (if you plan on breastfeeding).
Those vending machine snacks can be downright awful (and expired), so here is our go-to list brought to you by our registered dietitian and co-founder, Amanda.
- Lightly salted nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds)
- Trail mix (nuts, whole-grain cereal, dried fruit, coconut flakes, dark chocolate)
- Dried fruit (apple, mango, raisins)
- Granola bars (We like KIND, Larabar, Kashi)
- Whole-grain crackers with natural peanut butter
- Dark chocolate
- Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Roasted chickpeas
- Organic seaweed chips
Now that we discussed what goes into your hospital bag, how about which is the best bag to pack all of your stuff in?! You may not want a huge bulky luggage bag, but you need a big and strong bag for all of these prized possessions!
Here are some bags that you might like.
We love this one from Beis. It’s both pretty and functional. It’s a little pricey but it will last a while! We love that you can put shoes on the bottom in a different compartment than your clothes. It will definitely fit you and your little one’s belongings nicely!
The BAGSMART travel duffle bag is a large carry-on bag complete with an extra shoe bag (amazing idea!) and two extra compartments for electronics and toiletries. It’s also super cute!
We also love these two bags that you can grab on amazon by BAGSMART. The sports duffle bag is a fairly large bag that can fit all your personal belongings plus your clothes and your baby's clothes. We like it because it’s cute too!