What Do I Need in a Hospital Bag?

Your due date is nearing, you’re putting the finishing touches on the nursery, and anything on the calendar is penciled in because you know this babe could make its entrance into the world any day now! With that anticipation comes the question: What do I need in my hospital bag?


With a million lists online, it can feel overwhelming to understand what you actually need to bring, so we talked to a few new mamas to get their take on what they actually used from their hospital bag and what wasn’t as necessary. Here’s what we found out!

What to Pack in a Hospital Bag

Empty tote bag for hospital goodies

Most hospitals will provide diapers, supplies for your recovery like pads and peribottles, and often samples and supplies for your newborn. Don’t be shy about packing up all the goodies you need - you deserve them after growing and birthing a human!

Extra long phone charger

Multiple moms confirmed this was a must, and it’s best to get a spare one specifically for your bag since it’s an easy thing to forget if you’re rushing off to the hospital. Whether it’s for snapping photos, watching movies to pass the time, listening to music, or calling family members with updates, you’ll be glad your battery isn’t dead. Here’s a charger that comes in 6-foot and 10-foot options so you’re covered no matter how far the outlet is from the bed! Or if you’re a multi-device family and know you’ll have a couple phones and iPads to charge, a USB outlet charger can be helpful.

Easily accessible nursing tank, gown, or robe 

“Hospital gowns are NOT nursing-friendly unless you undress from the waist up, and when you already don’t know what you’re doing, it can make things awkward with nurses coming in and out all day,” says mama of two Amanda. Even if you don’t plan to nurse, you’ll want the support and comfort as your milk comes in.

Slippers or grippy socks

“Hospital floors are dirty and you may be up walking during labor or just to the restroom,” said new mom Andrea.

Going home outfit for baby

While it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, bringing home your new bundle is a memory you’ll have forever. Even just packing a couple cute accessories like these cute newborn headbands or a suede bow can add a sweet touch to newborn photos or a going home outfit.

suede bow

Image: @sbacenet

Clothes for both parents

Comfy clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty (even comfy maternity clothes) are a good bet for mom. And even if you think your spouse will remember to pack, it’s easy to forget things when you’re in a rush. “We somehow forgot to pack my husband’s pants. If we could redo that, we would have just packed his clothes in a packing cube ahead of time,” said new mama Stephanie.

Nipple cream/butter

No explanation needed, but if you’re nursing, you’ll be glad you have it.

Nursing pads

Some hospitals will provide these, but it’s best to pack a few in case.

Toiletries for both parents

In case you’re at the hospital awhile, having your own soap, face wash, shampoo, and conditioner from home is nice. And don’t forget hair ties, toothbrushes, toothpaste, contact lenses & solution, and lip balm or lotion if you want it.

Comfort items

If you have a favorite pillow or soft blanket, it can be comforting to have something familiar from home with you,” says Andrea.

Honey sticks

In case of the need for a C-section, you’re often not allowed to eat during labor. One mom we talked to swears by honey sticks for a tasty way to help keep your energy up during the process.

Non-perishable snacks

Because, well, ya know! Snacks are a necessity after all the work you just put in! Toss in a few protein bars, dried fruit, nuts, or any favorites.

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