What You REALLY Need in Your Hospital Bag: Ultimate Guide for Mom, Dad & Baby

Here’s the scenario. You’re 8 months pregnant. The nursery is done, baby clothes are washed and put away, the crib has been assembled and you have spied on your dog through the baby monitor to make sure it works. Life is good right?

WRONG! You suddenly remember you haven’t packed your hospital bag yet! And so begins the many questions of what to pack and spending 2,323,465 hours on Pinterest trying to figure out how to do this.

I can’t tell you how many different posts I read about what to pack and tried to pick and choose what I thought I would need from each. That is why I have made the ultimate guide to packing your hospital bag, not just for baby but for you and Dad too! Hopefully this makes life a little easier and you don’t have to worry about bringing FOUR (yes, I brought four) bags for my labor and delivery.

Keep reading to download your FREE hospital checklist guide!

For Baby:

  • Two outfits 

I recommend bringing only two considering you are in the hospital for such a short period of time and the odds of both outfit getting dirty before you go home are very small. I suggest one for going home in and one for hospital pictures should you choose to have some professional ones done! Also a hat, even if it’s summer – it’s cold outside the womb!

We brought at least SIX outfits and do you know how many she wore before we got home? One 😉

  • 2-3 burp-cloths

Again, the need for burp-cloths isn’t to crazy right now… but don’t worry, it will be soon!

  • 3-4 Diapers/Pack of Wipes 

The hospital should provide you with these, but you never know for the ride home!

  • Blankets

For winter time, a fuzzy blanket to wrap over baby and the car seat when heading outside is a must! The hospital will provide you with recieving blankets, so unless you want a cuter one for pictures, it isn’t a necessity.

  • Two pacifiers

The hospital also provided us with a pacifier (the Avent brand), but this is one thing I wish we would’ve brought more of. Our favorites have been these Nuk pacifiers. They are 100% silicone and have no hard plastic, making it easy for her to gnaw on and sleep with. They also have a little slot to attach a paci-clip on, rather than a plastic clip that could easily break off.

  • Boppy/Nursing Pillow

We didn’t use this much past the first couple of months due to my decision to stop breastfeeding, but it sure came in handy at the hospital! It helped me hold her and feed her in different positions without sitting uncomfortably.

  • Car Seat

If the hospital lets you leave without having a car seat… you may need to rethink some things! We used a Graco carseat/stroller system similar to this and it made post baby life so much easier. I would recommend getting an extra base to for another car to make swapping much easier.

  • Halo Sleepsack

I really had no idea what these things were or how essential they would be! The hospital thankfully let us use one there, and we literally stopped on our way home from the hospital to buy one! We bought a fleece one to make sure she stayed warm and kept her arms in to calm the startle reflex.

For Mom:

  • Important Documents

ID, Pre-hospital admittance forms (I recommend pre-registering online if your hospital allows that), social security cards, etc..

  • Socks and/or Slippers

Between sanitary purposes and frozen toes, socks and/or slippers are definitely a must. I wore just socks and it was fine, but for next time I would probably opt for slippers – it would’ve been nicer to walk around in those.

  • Nursing Bras

Target nursing bras were amazing, and make sure to have a few nursing pads in case of leaks as well!

  • Cotton Underwear

These cheap underwear from amazon were the best items I ever bought. I wore these and ONLY these for the first few weeks post-partum.

[They give you mesh panties in the hospital and I did wear those my entire stay there; I wore the other ones home.]

I ordered a size larger than I normally did because of having to wear pads and ice packs the first few days/weeks at home. The best part was they weren’t expensive at all so if I had to throw a pair out it wasn’t a huge deal. Plus, they were so comfortable!

  • Dermoplast/Tucks

This is spray for “down there” and luckily the hospital I was in provided this for me. However, if they had not I would’ve been in trouble. This stuff was like magic! It helped cool and numb painful areas and I would definitely suggest bringing some just in case.

  • Extra pads

They should make some version of a “padsicle” at the hospital to help soothe sore areas, but I brought some extra just in case.

Small tip –> Ask your nurse to fill a glove with ice and lay it on top of your pad for recovery. This numbed the BEST and stayed cold the longest! 

  • Robe

Robes that are stretchy and soft make a great option for post-partum in the hospital. Also, if you plan on doing some newborn pictures in the hospital, you can get a cute patterned one!

  • Comfy shirt and BLACK pants

I wore an over-sized bright pink long sleeved shirt. It was cute which made me feel good, but also super comfortable which is waaay more important! Also, I am glad I opted for black pants because I didn’t have to worry about any “leaks” showing up.

  • Toiletries

I brought my own shampoo, body wash and face wash because I wasn’t sure what they would provide. When I did finally shower, I didn’t spend a lot of time in there but I am glad I had my own soap and deodorant!

I also packed some make-up… don’t judge!

This only included one eye shadow palette, eyeliner, mascara and some powder <– it helped me feel a little more put together for when visitors came the next day. I brought a brush for my hair and dry shampoo just in case I wasn’t able to wash it. I did NOT bring styling tools – trust me, you won’t be in the mood to dry or straighten your hair!

  • Hand sanitizer

I liked having some on me so that I didn’t have to get up out of the bed every minute to wash my hands! Although, I still recommend having everyone WASH their hands before touching baby, rather than sanitize. I was her mom so I felt okay with sanitizing every now and then, rather than washing every time!

For Dad:

  • Phone/charger
  • Camera with extra memory card
  • Snacks and waters
  • Extra outfit
  • Toothbrush and deodorant
  • iPad or Kindle for entertainment (when he’s not rubbing your back or feet)
  • Pillow!!! <– My husband specifically asked that I include this one so it must be important! He said the hospital ones were not comfortable at all.

What not to take:

  • Jewelry – You most likely won’t be able to wear it due to hospital regulations. Not to mention having to worry about losing it.
  • Baby Extras – snot suckers, finger nail clippers, boogie wipes, and all those other things are essential to have at HOME, but not needed at the hospital.

Like I mentioned before, we brought four bags to the hospital. This didn’t even include her car seat and pillows for us. This made leaving the hospital more stressful than it needed to be. There is no need to overpack. We had to make multiple trips to the car and worry about making sure we had everything. Let’s face it, the more stuff you bring the more it finds it’s way outside the bag!

I hope all of you new and seasoned moms can take something away from this list! If there is anything I left out or you had in yours, please feel free to comment below! I’d love to hear from you!

As promised, your freebie! CLICK HERE or on the graphic below to print out your FREE copy of the Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist!

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  1. Jade Ware
    April 24, 2018 / 2:22 am

    I love this! We definitely packed way too much stuff as well! We know for next baby for sure! Seriously keep it minimal and just stuff that makes you feel comfortable.

    • marriageandmommyhood
      April 24, 2018 / 2:49 am

      Yes girl! It just adds so much more stress that doesn’t need to be there! I’m glad I had more rather than not enough, but looking back it will definitely be easier next time to just keep it simple.

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