What to Pack in Your Baby Hospital Bag

What to Pack in Your Baby Hospital Bag, Savannah Walsh and her family walking around in a field of flowers.

Is your due date approaching? Our expert mama helps us create the ultimate guide for what to pack in your maternity bag, including her hospital bag checklist for baby—and for mom too.

When it comes to preparing for a trip, there are two types of packers: those who plan, and those who, well, wing it.

Type A: the Rachels. If you’re a Rachel, you let out a groan the minute you know you have to pack. You won’t actually get started until an hour before you leave, then you’ll throw everything into a suitcase in a panic.
Type B: the Monicas. If you’re a Monica, you’ll get excited and instantly start thinking about your must-haves. You have a strategy for organizing everything in your suitcase based on what you’ll need to grab out of it, first to last.

Now, let’s say you’re packing for a dream destination… In fact, you’ve never been so excited to get anywhere. But before you arrive, you have to climb the highest mountain. Oh, and you have a bowling ball attached to your stomach the whole time.

So are you a light packer, necessities only? Change of clothes, a snack, your camera, and some comfy shoes?

Or are you like me, a classic overpacker? Three changes of clothes per day, a camera and a backup, day makeup and night makeup, your own pillow, a blanket and an extra blanket, fuzzy socks and thin socks, five snack options, five pairs of shoes, a blow-dryer (okay, I don't normally blow-dry my hair, but you never know when I’ll start)...What am I forgetting? Oh, right! Six magazines.

Packing a hospital bag for your baby’s birth is like packing for that dream trip, whether you’re a Rachel or a Monica.

I’ve always been an overpacker. The anxiety of not having exactly what I need with me at all times is overwhelming, so much so that when I had my first baby I packed not one, not two, not three, but FOUR hospital bags. We lugged them, along with a nursing pillow and my regular pillow, to the maternity ward (I do not recommend). But over the years (and over the babies) I’ve come to realize what you really do need at the hospital for your first, second, or tenth baby.

You most definitely do not need four hospital bags (oh, young Savannah, you do not!). But you do need two: one for mom and mom’s support person, and one for baby. And of course they should be packed with the right stuff.

The best way to make sure you’re ready for the hospital is to create a baby registry and fill it with everything you need. To get you started, check out my hospital bag packing lists...

Mom’s hospital bag checklist

  • Phone charger (an extra-long cord is ideal, as outlets tend to be far from hospital beds)
  • Slippers or fuzzy socks (for cold hospital floors)
  • Flip flops (for shower/yucky hospital bathrooms)
  • Comfy change of clothes (always have a big sweater!)
  • PJs
  • Going-home outfit (loose fitting)
  • Pillow (hospital pillows are no good)
  • 5 pairs of loose-fitting, seamless underwear
  • Toothbrush
  • Hairbrush and scrunchies!
  • Travel-size shampoo and shower gel
  • Breast pads (on the list of postpartum essentials, because there’s nothing worse than leaking all over your clothes!)
  • Camera (if you don’t want to use just your phone)
  • Earplugs (to help you sleep when you can)
  • A few light snacks like granola bars
  • Electrolytes
  • A book or something to possibly keep your mind busy!
  • A change of clothes for your support person

Baby’s hospital bag checklist

Swaddles

I’m a huge fan of swaddling babies always, but swaddles in the hospital are extra important. They can really help your baby adjust to their new world by reminding them of being all wrapped up in the womb.

In Canada

In the U.S.

Hat

A good, comfortable hat is a must in your hospital bag for a new baby. A lot of hospitals don’t provide baby hats at all anymore, and if they do, it’s not the most comfortable. Newborns lose a lot of their body heat through their heads, and hats are a great aid in those first days as they struggle to regulate their temperature.

In Canada

In the U.S.

Sleepers

I always bring three or four sleepers to the hospital. They’re the easiest outfit to get a baby in and out of, easy for diaper changes, and super comfortable.

In Canada

In the U.S.

Onesies

You want to pack a lot of onesies. And I mean a lot. Let’s just say that in the first day or two babies make a lot of “mess,” and you’ll want back-up onesies on hand. I pack five to seven in my maternity bag.

In Canada

In the U.S.

Burp cloths

Speaking of mess, I also bring a lot of burp cloths or receiving blankets with me, usually five or six.

In Canada

In the U.S.

In Canada

In the U.S.

Socks

Baby socks are a must-have. For one thing, their little feet get so chilly. But also, is there anything cuter than tiny baby socks?

In Canada

In the U.S.

Take-home outfit

When you finally get to pack your baby up in their car seat and take them home, you want to have them dressed in something “special,” because let’s face it, it’s all a big photo op. Just make sure it’s an outfit that’s comfortable for your baby too!

In Canada

In the U.S.

Nail clippers

This is one that most people wouldn’t expect but I highly recommend! Most babies come out with long, sharp nails and will scratch up their own face. I always have nail clippers in my baby hospital bag in case I need to trim them right away.

In Canada

In the U.S.

Bum cream

When your baby is born they’re brand new to this world, and that includes their skin. Their little bums can become sore really quickly from suddenly using diapers, so I always have some diaper cream in my bag.

In Canada

In the U.S.

Diaper Rash Ointment, Burt's Bees Baby
Diaper Rash Ointment | Amazon
$12.58

Nursing pillow

When you’re very first learning to breastfeed and latch your baby, a good supportive nursing pillow can make all the difference in comfort. It also helps support you when holding your baby, because those first few days mama is exhausted!

In Canada

In the U.S.

Whether you’re a Monica or a Rachel, I hope these pregnancy go bag lists will help save you some time, energy—and stress!

Find Something You Like?
You can add any of these items to your MyRegistry.com Baby Registry. Don’t have one yet? It’s easy! Create a Universal Baby Registry today, then add baby gifts from all your favorite stores.

Looking for More Baby Registry Ideas?
Find more baby gifts and baby registry essentials on our Baby Registry Inspiration Boards.

We are a Universal Gift Registry website where people can create a registry and add gifts from any store in the world. If you buy any of the products listed here, we may be compensated. Thanks for reading—we love you!

2 Claps
Applause from you and 1 others
Comments are closed