Baby’s Hospital Bag Checklist: Why You Need One & What Goes Inside

Your due date is only a few weeks away. Congratulations! Pregnancy is a unique journey for everyone. You might feel like pregnancy has been a breeze – you feel glowing and you’re soaking up every moment. You might have had a more difficult pregnancy with aches, pains, and you’re ready to be done. Whatever your experience has been, you’ve most likely been prepping for your birth experience and welcoming the baby home. 

If you’ve chosen to labor and deliver in a birthing center or hospital, you’ll need to pack a bag for you and baby! 

Not sure what to bring? Whether you’re a minimalist or an over packer, here’s the ultimate baby’s hospital checklist so you’ll be ready to go to the hospital..

When to Pack the Hospital Bag

Unless you have a high risk pregnancy, it’s not necessary to have your hospital bag for baby packed until you’re 35-37 weeks pregnant. But of course, you do what feels right to you. For your own personal hospital bag, pack things you’ll need for your labor and postpartum journey.

How Long Should I Plan to Be in the Hospital After Having My Baby?

As far as planning for how much you’ll need, a normal vaginal delivery might expect 1-2 night stay in the hospital. C-sections or deliveries with any unforeseen circumstances can expect close to a week stay. There is no way to plan perfectly and see the future, so just do your best! Your spouse or birth partner will be able to leave the hospital to grab anything you need and often hospitals will have some of the essentials available as well.

Why You Need a Baby Bag for the Hospital

In the midst of all the chaos and beauty of labor, being organized in advance is really helpful and you’ll be glad you did it once baby arrives. Most of the time, plans don’t go as planned, so having all the essentials easy-to-access will take a load off your mind! 

You’ll have plenty of items to pack for yourself, and adding all of baby’s things in there might feel a little cluttered. So grab your diaper bag and pack it up for baby!

Hospital Checklist for Mom and Baby

Hospital Bag Checklist Items for Mom

While anticipating the arrival of your little one, don’t forget to pack essentials for your comfort and well-being during your hospital stay. Here’s a checklist to ensure you have everything you need:

Comfortable Clothing:

  1. Maternity Robe or Pajamas: Bring comfortable, loose-fitting pajamas or a robe for the duration of your stay. Opt for something easy to breastfeed in if you plan to do so.
  2. Slippers or Non-Slip Socks: Hospital floors can be chilly, and comfortable footwear can make moving around more pleasant.

Personal Care Items:

  1. Toiletries: Pack your favorite toiletries, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and any skincare essentials. Consider travel-sized options for convenience.
  2. Hair Accessories: Bring hair ties or clips to keep your hair off your face during labor and delivery.
  3. Nursing Bras and Pads: If you plan to breastfeed, pack a few nursing bras and breast pads for added comfort.
  4. Nipple Cream: Help soothe and moisturize sore nipples with a quality nipple cream.
  5. Comfortable Underwear: Consider bringing high-waisted, comfortable underwear, especially if you have a cesarean section.

Postpartum Care:

  1. Maxi Pads: Pack a supply of maxi pads for postpartum bleeding. The hospital may provide some, but having your preferred brand can add to your comfort.
  2. Perineal Spray or Balm: Soothe discomfort in the perineal area with a perineal spray or balm.
  3. Postpartum Underwear: Disposable or washable postpartum underwear can be convenient and comfortable during the initial days.

Entertainment and Relaxation:

  1. Entertainment: Bring a book, magazine, or tablet for entertainment during downtime.
  2. Music or Relaxation Tools: Consider creating a playlist or bringing items that help you relax, like essential oils or stress-relief tools.

Documentation and Miscellaneous:

  1. Identification and Insurance Information: Ensure you have your ID, insurance information, and any necessary documentation.
  2. Birth Plan: If you have a birth plan, keep a copy in your bag to share with your healthcare team.
  3. Chargers: Bring chargers for your phone and any other electronic devices.

Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so feel free to tailor this list to your personal needs. It’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. Best of luck on this beautiful journey!

Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby

Yes, there’s a lot to think about as you plan to bring your little one home. And if you’re a Type A like me, there is nothing like a good list to help you feel organized. Here is the ultimate (but not conclusive) newborn diaper bag checklist!

Things that will go in the diaper bag:

  1. A coming home outfit (hello cute photos!)
  2. Baby sleepers – Whether you’re there for 1 night or more, it will be nice to give your baby warm PJs to sleep in. Hospital rooms get cold!
  3. Baby mittens – Baby mittens are an essential to protect their faces from scratches. Their nails are surprisingly sharp for being so little and difficult to keep trimmed in those early weeks.
  4. Socks – Another easy way to keep your little ones warm. 
  5. Hat or headband – Most hospitals give your babies a cute little beanie that you’ll most likely take home as a keepsake. You can always pack an extra just in case one gets dirty during your stay.
  6. Swaddle blankets – When done safely, swaddling is a great tool to utilize in infants because it mimics the cozy feeling they had in the womb.
  7. Burp cloths – This might be something your hospital has on hand, but they will get dirty so it never hurts to have extras.
  8. Bottles and formula if you don’t plan on breastfeeding
  9. Photo props – Ok, I admit it’s not a necessity, but if you have a vision for your birth announcement photo, don’t forget to pack what you need!

Things that won’t fit in a diaper bag but you still need:

  1. Infant car seat
  2. Nursing Pillow
  3. A newborn-ready stroller that fits an infant car seat (then you don’t have to carry the car seat all the way down to the car)

SHOP Newborn Ready Strollers

SHOP Nursing Pillow

Other things you can bring (if you’re particular) but most hospitals provide:

  1. Diapers
  2. Wipes
  3. Baby shampoo and body wash
  4. Baby lotion
  5. Diaper rash cream

A few things to note:

Hospitals typically send you home with complementary items for your baby, such as newborn diapers and a package of wipes, so you’ll need room to take those things home.

Plan to leave some room in your hospital bag as well for items like postpartum care products that most hospitals send home with new moms.

This hospital bag checklist for mom and baby is a great place to start, but it’s also a good idea, since every hospital is different, to call and ask ahead of time what they will supply so you know exactly what to pack in your hospital bag.

Wondering if you have all the newborn essentials?

Here are 13 new baby must haves that will give you the best first year. 

More Pregnancy and Postpartum Resources:

Make the Most Out of the Newborn Stage

10 Game Changing Baby Sleep Products to Help Children Sleep Better

Diaper Bag 101 – What You Should Pack

7 Things People Forget to Add to Their Baby Registry

Vittoria Allen

Vittoria is a writer based in San Diego. A lover of good food, slow living, and a good novel, she shares her life with her husband and two daughters trying to squeeze out the beauty in every moment.