What You Really Need to be Packing in Your Hospital Bag

Packing your hospital bag should be very simple and doesn’t need a ton of planning. Hospitals provide a lot of the essentials for both you and baby during your stay so you really won’t need much.

The majority of new moms overpack the necessities due to a fear of the unknown. I think we all rather be overprepared rather than underprepared. But because hospitals provide so much for us mommies, there’s a lot you can cross off your list.

If you’re like me, you will come up with a list of what you need and maybe a few little extras to be comfortable. Then when you get to the hospital you’ll realize you barely needed a lot of those things.

What You Really Need to be Packing in Your Hospital Bag

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What The Hospital Provides For You

Hospitals are responsible for suiting the major needs of their patients. It’s not like going to a hotel, where they pamper you, but they will be providing a lot of your needs.

Depending on the kind of hospital you will be delivering at, they will provide more or less all your basic needs for the entire delivery process as well as your stay afterward.

This includes:

  • Hospital Gown
  • Blankets and Pillow
  • Socks
  • Special Underwear and Pads (it’s weird at first but so necessary)
  • 3 Meals a Day
  • Cup for Water or Ice
  • Some Bathroom Essentials (depending on the hospital)
  • Breast Pump, Bottles, and Parts

Rooms should also have a TV if you need some background noise or can’t sleep between everything going on.

Hospital Birth- What To Pack in Your Hospital Bag

What The Hospital Provides For Baby

Before giving birth, I didn’t realize how much hospitals actually provide for baby care. Hospitals cover pretty much everything! 

Your child will be diapered, clothed and swaddled at all times without you needing to bring or provide any of these things. They can also provide baby formula if needed- just make sure to check the expiration. 

Bassinets come packed with diapering needs and clothing for your stay and extra for you to keep. Nurses may even teach you how to change a diaper and try to help you nurse your child. So take advantage of that service while you can.

Even if your child ends up in the NICU, they will provide absolutely everything! Nurses may even let you take some extra onesies and blankets home and they will definitely send you home with diapers, wipes, and formula if your baby needs it.

Hospital Birth- What To Pack in Your Hospital Bag
Hospital Birth- What To Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Your Hospital Bag Essentials

What you really need to pack are things for yourself.

On average, mommy and baby will be at the hospital for 2-3 days and you will be wearing a hospital gown for most of that time.

This is the perfect time for you to break into your new diaper bag. It will be your first experience using it as a purse for you as well as for your baby’s necessities.

Some moms bring clothing for after the delivery to be more comfortable.

No one is expecting you to look your best, and trust me you might feel like a hot mess after delivery. But you might consider doing some sort of mom/baby photoshoot while at the hospital, in which case you may want a different outfit.

For comfort, the top items you should bring include socks, slippers or sandals, and a good jacket or robeHospitals are very cold and nurses recommend going for walks within the halls after delivery.

If you plan to nurse, you may need things like nipple cream, nursing bras, and maybe breast shells for cracked nipples. Check out my nursing essentials post. The hospital can provide a pump, milk storage, and bottles if needed.

Bring your addictive devices (phones, tablets) and chargers or power banks for all those baby pics and to watch Netflix of course. An extension cord may also come in handy.

Pack your basic toiletries, like your toothbrush, deodorant, and things for the shower if you choose not to use what the hospital provides for you.

A few snacks and water for you and your partner may also come in handy. 

Essentially, your bag should cover the basics of a sleepover and a comfortable outfit to go home in for you and baby. And don’t forget the car seat!

Packing Your Hospital Bag

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October 19, 2018 10:24 pm

Ahhhh. I remember packing my hospital bag. I was so excited. I packed it at least 3 times before I got it right. Great guide

Mahogany Daughtery
October 20, 2018 4:56 pm

I was so eager to meet my little one that I packed my hospital bag well in advance. I did however manage to forget the charger to our camera but luckily it remained charged.

October 20, 2018 7:22 pm

Very helpful info for the first time mama to be’s! I totally overpacked with my 1st kid and then under packed for baby with my 2nd because I thought they would have everything that my 1st baby did at the hospital. Like onesies. So I sent my husband home Toby… Read more »

October 21, 2018 1:20 pm

This is a great list! Looks a lot like the list I made when packing. 🙂

October 23, 2018 12:17 am

Such a good list! My most important items were a phone charger and jogger sweats so they didn’t hurt my c section incision!