The arrival of your baby is so close! How exciting! But that means that it is also time to start thinking about what to pack in your hospital bag so that you will have everything that you need while you are staying in the hospital after having your baby.

What should you pack in a hospital bag as an expectant mother? There is no easy answer to this question. Ideally the hospital would provide EVERYTHING, and some do, but many don’t.

What to Pack in Hospital Bag: First, Find Out What the Hospital Will Provide

If you are worried about being able to pack every single thing that you will need while you are in the hospital with your baby, don’t worry. It turns out that you might not need to pack as much as you think because hospitals are providing plenty of things that new moms need to be comfortable and at ease after giving birth.

More and more, hospitals are asking you to bring the basics like diapers, feminine pads and water bottles. Others, usually birthing centers, pamper you with Egyptian cotton robes, free local calls and cable TV.

I think it’s pretty safe to assume your needs will be met. You won’t starve, your incision will be cared for and your baby will be safe BUT if you have preferences, a hospital may not be willing to accommodate them so you will want to be proactive. Find out what the hospital will provide for you, as well as what they will provide for your baby, and then go from there. Fill in any gaps that they are going to leave by not providing what you require, and then rest assured that everything else will be covered, so you don’t have to go crazy packing a huge bag of things to take to the hospital with you.

Here are some things to consider regarding what to pack in hospital bag

  • If you prefer organic and natural products you will want to pack your own soap, moisturizer, lip balm and cloth (or environmentally friendly) diapers.
  • If you plan to breastfeed, bring nursing pads. Many hospitals do not provide these and there are many options (cloth, organic, disposable) so choose one that you like and have some handy.
  • If you would rather not be seen in a hospital gown, bring some comfy clothes.
  • Hospitals may ask you to bring your own feminine pads and many women really don’t like the large “feels like I am wearing a diaper” pads the hospital provides so bring your own and you will be much more comfortable.
  • Other nice-to-haves are a soft blanket for baby, refillable water bottle, slippers, baby wipes and lots of snacks (not too many moms rave about the fantastic meals at a hospital).

Patient care (ultimately your birth experience) varies depending on geographical locations, type of insurance, birthing center or hospital and the quality of care from staff. 

What to Pack in Hospital Bag for Yourself

According to Today’s Parent, one of the ways to make things easier when it comes to what to pack in your hospital bag is by thinking about what you need, and then thinking about what your baby will need. Again, you can do this after you have spoken with the hospital to determine what they will provide.

Here are some of the items that you might want to pack for yourself:

  • Pajamas, a robe, socks
  • Slippers
  • Flip-flops
  • A couple of nursing bras
  • A few pairs of comfortable underwear
  • Loose clothes that are comfortable for wearing in the hospital and on your way home
  • Your glasses and contact lenses
  • Toiletries
  • Nursing pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Moisturizer and lip balm
  • Maxi pads or maternity pads
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Pillow
  • Eye mask and earplugs to get the rest you need in a noisy environment
  • Your smartphone, tablet, favorite book, magazines, music player, etc. for entertainment
  • Your birth plan
  • Important paperwork, such as forms for the hospital, your ID, medical records, and your health insurance information 

What to Pack in Hospital Bag for Your Baby 

For your baby, consider packing the following, especially if they are not provided by your hospital:

  • Unscented baby wipes
  • Diapers for newborns
  • Receiving blankets and cozy blankets
  • Onesies, bodysuits, and sleepers
  • A hat
  • Booties and socks
  • An outfit for going home in
  • A car seat 

Again, if you have any questions regarding what you should pack specifically for your newborn, just ask the staff at the hospital, especially if this is the first time you are giving birth and you do not know what to expect. They can help you know what to pack in your hospital bag to put your mind at ease. 

Get Ready, and Get Excited to Welcome Your Baby!

This is a wonderfully exciting time so as you pack your hospital bag, think of things that would make the birth experience comfortable, relaxing and what you want it to be and pack accordingly. Before you know it, you will have everything you need packed and ready to go. Then, when it is time to head off to the hospital, you won’t even have to think twice about whether or not you have everything that will make your stay in the hospital as comfortable as possible.

For more ideas on what to pack in your hospital bag, view our Free Printable Hospital Bag Checklist