The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist: What to Pack When You're Expecting

Your due date's approaching and it's time to start thinking about your hospital stay. Packing your hospital bag is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times in the third trimester, as the reality that you're having a baby (soon!!) really starts to sink in.

But, knowing what to pack in your hospital bag can be daunting. Will I have everything I need for the baby? Do I have all my breastfeeding equipment? How many changes of clothes do I need?

The reality is that many of the essentials will already be available to you at the hospital. But it's often those little things that you might not have considered (ie. your pillow and an extra blanket) that are going to make both your stay 10X more comfortable. 

So mama, no need to stress - this ultimate baby hospital checklist has got you and baby covered, with plenty of pro tips and product recommendations. 

 

baby hospital bag

 

When to pack

Ideally, you'll want to start packing in your 36th week, just in case you deliver before your due date. Your pregnancy is considered full-term at 37 weeks, so it could be go-time at any point from then on (or in some cases, even earlier). There's obviously some things (like wallet, insurance, etc) that you'll need to leave until the very last minute, but we recommend having most items packed by 37 weeks, to save you from any additional last minute stress when your labor starts. 

 

What to pack

The essentials - for baby

 1 - 2 x swaddles (or blankets)

The hospital will of course provide blankets, but - let's face it - you want at least one cute pic of your newborn wrapped up in an adorable blanket. 

   
2-3 x onesies Keep those newborn fingers and toes cozy with tinies zipped footies. Made with organic pima cotton, these are ultra breathable and unbelievably soft. (Not to mention, the zip makes diaper changes a total breeze). With in-built feet and mittens, there's no need to pack newborn socks or mittens. 
   
2 x hats Tinies organic pima hats are ultra soft and stretchy - perfect for all newborn head sizes!
   
2 x baby bottles If you plan to bottle-feed, bring 2 different types of bottles, both with slow flow nipples. Your baby may take to one and not the other, so having options is always a good idea. comotomo and Dr Brown are mom-favorites. 
   
Carseat Make sure this is installed and inspected prior to arriving at the hospital. Upon leaving, you'll want to bring the carseat up to your hospital room and strap baby in - this will make the transition to the car 100X easier. 

 

The essentials - for mom

Wallet + insurance

You'll need ID and insurance to check into the hospital

   
Electronics Phone + laptop (if desired), just don't forget your chargers!! 
   
Toiletries

Toothbrush + toothpaste, face wash + moisturizer, dry shampoo, concealer, contacts

   
2 x change of clothes Think... comfy! Since you'll be sore, you may not want to be constantly changing in and out clothes, so something that can double as PJs and daytime wear is ideal. Skims has amazingly cozy, stretchy and stylish sweats in all sizes. 
   
Nursing bras / tanks

For nursing bras, you can't go wrong with Hatch or Blanqi

H&M nursing tanks are fabulous. Inexpensive, practical and simple - these are a must! 

   
Nursing supplies

If you're planning to breastfeed, we highly, HIGHLY recommend bringing Earth Mama organic nipple balm and Medela soft shells. This combo will soothe sore, chapped nipples in hours (no joke). 

You may also want to bring a box of formula as backup. It's common for babies to struggle with a latch in the early days and supplementation may be recommended. Hospitals provide formula, but if you a formula brand preference, don't hesitate to bring your own. 

(If you're planning to breastfeed, check out The Ultimate Nursing Checklist.)

   
Briefs Hatch undies box will get you through the postpartum healing phase! These are ultra comfy and seamless, so you won't feel blah wearing them.
   
Socks + slippers Hospitals are cold in general. Bring socks and slippers to keep your feet cozy! You may also not want to bend over too much, so slip ons are preferable if you plan on strolling the hospital floors. 
   
Snacks

Non-perishable, nutrient rich snacks - like protein bars, dates and nuts - are ideal for pre- and post-labor. Hospitals certainly aren't known for their food.. so packing some of your favorite snacks is never a bad idea!

Coconut water is another must. It's wonderful for replenishing electrolytes and keeping you hydrated during and after labor. If you don't have a mini-fridge in your hospital room, you should be able to store it in a communal fridge.

 

The extras - for mom

 Robe Skims robes are ultra cozy, what a treat!
   
1-2 x pillows You'll want all the comfort you (and your partner) can get. Bring at least one extra pillow, to give you both every chance of getting at least a few minutes of extra sleep. 
   
Blanket Hospital blankets just aren't enough. Highly recommend bringing your own for extra comfort!

 

    What not to pack

    • Diapers + wipes
    • Supplies for down there (ie. Witch hazel wipes, maxi pads, peri bottle
    • Painkillers + laxatives

     Baby hospital checklist

    Good luck, mama! You've got this. Do all the packing you can now, check your items off, breathe a sigh of relief... and don't forget those last minute items when the time comes!

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