What you really need to pack in that hospital bag (and what you don’t!)

what you really need to pack in that hospital bag


If you’ve never done the whole hospital delivery thing, packing your bag can feel daunting.

The hospital has most necessities. So don’t overthink it. But here are a few things you don’t want to forget to make your stay more comfortable.

For you:

>Toiletries/makeup/hair products

*Don’t forget dry shampoo and a blow dryer.

>Nursing Tops (2-3)

Here’s my pick straight from Amazon. They are long, fit well and are surprisingly great quality for $20. I didn’t have any nursing tops with my first baby because I just didn’t think they were necessary–and they aren’t, but they sure do make things easier, especially during those first few weeks when you feel like you are nursing constantly.

>Pajama bottoms (2-3)

>Nursing pads

I love these reusable ones.
They are so much better than the disposable ones that get gross and soggy. I bought a 6 pack (3 overnight, 3 regular) and that was plenty to get me through a year of breastfeeding.

>Very big, cheap underwear

You’ll want these to wear instead of the weird hospital underwear they give you. Then you can toss them out!

>Nursing bras (2)

Personally, I just wore nursing tops with shirts or sweaters thrown over, but if you want to wear nursing bras and regular shirts instead, that’s totally up to you. I love Motherhood Maternity’s nursing bras. Although they are pricey compared to other brands, they last a really long time! Mine were in great condition after using them during both my stints as a nursing mom (that’s 2 years!). I recommend buying two for nighttime wear, two for daytime, and a nurisng sports bra too.

>Going home outfit

Make sure this is something comfy and by all means don’t pack pre-pregnancy jeans unless you really want to cry. Maternity tights and a sweater to go over a nursing top is a good call.

>Labor & delivery items

This will be detailed by your birth plan. Think earbuds, birthing balls, magazines (if you are getting an epidural).

>A ginormous water bottle

Some hospitals give you big gulp style cups but others just give you small Styrofoam cups and you have to refill them approximately 1200 times a day.

>Nursing pillow

This is a really popular, well-loved one called My “Breast” Friend 🙂 Many moms swear by it!


Every nursing mom I know swears by this stuff. Use it often!

>Comfy socks

>House shoes/slippers

For your baby:

>Swaddle blankets

I like these from Summer Infant with the easy Velcro strips. They are lifesavers for tired parents.

>3-4 outfits

You will want to pack several things for your baby to wear unless you want him or her to wear the plain white onesie from the hospital. And you’ll also want to pack newborn sizes and 0-3 month size clothes. I love these kimono style onesies because they make changing newborns so easy.


They have hats at the hospital, but if you may want to bring some of your own too.


The hospital usually only has one type of paci. I recommend bringing a few different kinds because you never know what your baby is going to prefer.

Don't forget to pack these essentials + a list of everything you DON'T need!

You might need:

>Your own pillow

Sleeping in hospitals is rough. You and your spouse will be way more comfortable with your own pillows.

>Portable speaker

Having a little music in the room was so nice with both of our babies. Some hospitals do provide these now, so check on this one.

>Sound machine

Hospitals aren’t noisy, but you might want one if you are used to sleeping with a fan or some sort of white noise.

What you DON’T need:

>A breast pump

Your hospital has great hospital-grade pumps and you may like them so much you decide to rent one from your hospital.


Unless you have special dietary needs, don’t worry about bringing snacks.

>Diapers + wipes

They have these at the hospital and will send you home with some too. Unless you want to use a special kind of diaper—no need to worry about this.


They also have these at the hospital and will send you home with plenty.


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