A Practical Hospital Bag Must-Haves List


Are you about to become a new mommy and feel COMPLETELY overwhelmed by the myriad of “hospital bag must-have” lists?! I am an anxious person, to-boot…and I LOVE a good checklist. I remember looking through endless blogs and lists. Some options seemed basic, do-able, to the point…others? HIGH MAINTENANCE. I remember the feeling of being incredibly overwhelmed and left my bag open for weeks as I added and removed things throughout the last trimester of my pregnancy. 

Although my labor and delivery were lovely, some bleeding complications left baby, daddy, and I in the hospital for a bit longer than we had expected. I am so glad that I had spent the extra time and research to make sure that our extended stay was as comfortable as it could be, given the circumstances. 

For today’s post, I have put together my list of favorite things to include in your hospital/go bag! 

[I was able to pack ALL of mine and baby’s things in this awesome bag here!]

New Mommy Hospital Bag Must-Haves

  • Clothing
    • Going home outfit for self. 
    • Nursing nighties (I wore these 24/7 while in the hospital for 4 days.)
    • Labor gown (I’m not a fan of scratchy hospital gowns; I bought this and absolutely loved it. It was comfortable and allowed access for fetal monitoring, checks, delivery, and immediate skin to skin! It also allowed for back access should I have needed an epidural.)
    • Disposable undies (the hospital did provide some, but I preferred these and wore them throughout my post-partum recovery.)
      • Note: most hospitals will provide you with disposable undies, large pads, and a water bottle for peri-area cleaning; I ended up preferring the bottle they provided over the Frida Mom one I had originally purchased!
    • Nursing Bra and pads.
      • Note: if you plan on pumping or bottle feeding; be sure to bring your supplies. Typically, you will have access to a hospital grade breast pump and disposable bottles, even some formula; but if you have specific preferences; be sure to bring them!
    • Slipper socks (expect some swelling and make sure you allow for extra room.)
    • Belly wrap/support (I loved my Belly Bandit.)
    • Flip flops/going home shoes (read above about poor swollen feet!)
  • Toiletries
    • Hair ties
    • Brush/comb
    • Chapstick (the hospital provided items are not my favorite.)
    • Toothbrush/toothpaste (read above.)
    • Travel sized shower soaps (bring your own; it makes a difference!)
    • Face soap/skin care routine
    • Basic makeup
    • Lotion
    • Face wipes
    • Deodorant
  • Other
    • Phone and a long phone charger (6’ or more.)
    • Home medications/list (you may be allowed to use some and not others; always bring your full list and home meds and your doctor and nurses will provide guidance.)
    • Hypnobirthing tools
      • Birth affirmation cards, essential oils, headphones/speaker
      • Note: Stay tuned for a future Hypnobirthing post!
    • Wallet with ID and insurance card
    • Birth Preferences/Plan
    • Protein packed snacks (I am insulin resistant and following a LC diet; sometimes the hospital attempted to be accommodating but it was often not followed.)

Baby Hospital Must-Haves

  • Swaddle (most hospitals will provide a fleece-based swaddle, I prefer something with stretch for better positioning and development.)
  • Footed one-piece sleepers (2-way zipper!)
  • Mittens or onesies with the hand flap
  • Going home outfit for baby (newborn and 0-3 mo)
  • Car seat and base
  • Note: most hospitals will provide diapers, wipes, and barrier cream for the duration of baby’s stay. If you intend to pump or formula feed, you will also likely have access to disposable bottles and formula; if you have preferences be sure to bring your own. It’s a good idea to call the hospital ahead of time and ask what they have available!

Don’t Forget Your Support Person!

  • Change of clothes x 2
  • Toiletries
  • Phone/charger
  • Skin care
  • Snacks
  • Small bills/change

Make sure to share with us/comment below with your hospital bag must-haves! What did you bring that you didn’t need? What do you wish you would have had?

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Bailey is a wife, mommy, and pediatric occupational therapist. She and her husband Tyler were married in the summer of 2012 and moved to Southeastern Idaho in February of 2014 shortly after Bailey graduated with her Master’s Degree. They welcomed their beautiful daughter, Arlo Mae, in September of 2021 after 6+ years of struggling with infertility. Bailey primarily works with pediatric patients as an occupational therapist and also serves as adjunct faculty at ISU. Bailey is a homebody and enjoys spending time with family, playing with her fur baby “Thorin,” collecting rocks and gems, drinking good coffee, and eating good food.


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