Having a good hospital bag checklist can really help you feel more prepared when it's time to head to the hospital bag.
Here's a complete guide on when you should pack, what you should pack, and even a printable.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom
Here's a brief summary of what mom needs in her hospital bag:
- night gown
- slippers or comfy sandals
- nursing pillow
- phone charger
- going home outfit (for you and baby)
- snacks or drinks for labor
Here's a more in depth look at why you need these:
Comfy Night Gown
After wearing hospital gowns, you will quickly want something of your own. This is why it's top on this hospital bag checklist.
Wearing your own clothes makes you feel more relaxed and at home, which is good for everybody!
We really liked this nightgown by Motherhood Maternity that was also nursing gown and had clickable straps that could easily unclip and make breast-feeding simple. Not only that, the material is beyond smooth.
You could also easily use these again even after baby, because they are THAT comfy!
While most hospitals can provide you with the bathroom essentials you might need, it's still a good idea to bring your own. Again, this will make you feel more relaxed and you know what works for you and what doesn't.
The bathroom essentials on this hospital bag checklist include shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrush, contact solution (if needed), hairbrush, and deodorant.
Now don't worry, you can easily purchase the sample sizes because most likely you won't be in the hospital for more than a few days.
This is another good idea because with pregnancy, comes swollen feet. Your feet may still be swollen even after giving birth, so having some comfy sandals or slippers can really make all the difference. These are my favorite!
If you are planning to breastfeed, than having a nursing pillow can really make the process go a lot smoother. Otherwise, you will be stuck with hospital pillows that just can't do what a nursing pillow can.
Another important thing that should be on your hospital bag checklist should be nursing tops. These are great for easy access to your boobs for when you are breastfeeding.
Makeup is another one of those iffy things you might want. If you tend to wear makeup a lot, then bring some! It can certainly help make you feel more yourself, which is the core to this hospital bag checklist.
Another great reason for bringing makeup is if you decide to have photos done while there. We had photos taken when we were in the hospital, and nope I didn't pack makeup. Sure wish I did in hindsight!
Another great item to have on your hospital bag checklist would be your phone charger...and phone of course, but you can't really pack these until day of! Now, if you have a spare phone charger, pack it now! That way there is no way you won't have one.
Having your phone serves as a multi-purpose tool. You can listen to music, play games, an scroll through Pinterest during your labor...and labor for first-time moms tends to take a LONG time.
If you have a birthplan, than I would suggest bringing a copy of it to give to your labor and delivery nurse. While you might have already discussed it with your OBGYN, there are times when a different doctor may end up being there for delivery.
This just helps ensure that everything goes as planned, or at least they try to!
Don't have one? No worries! Head over to my article about creating a birth plan, and print yours off today.
Going home outfit
You will hear this a lot with baby, but mom's need a going home outfit too! Pick out a maternity outfit that is one of your favorites, and wear this on the day you get to go home.
That way both you and baby can look good!
Health Insurance Cards
One of the last things to make sure to pack would be your health insurance cards. This will make things a lot simpler if you have them when you go to the hospital.
Hospital Bag Checklist For Dad
When you are prepping your hospital bag, don't forget about dad! His hospital bag checklist is just as important, especially because hospitals don't really cater to dads.
It's actually kind of sad, but true!
Here is the brief summary of what you should pack for dad when you go to the hospital:
- snacks or money for vending machine
- phone charger
Clothing for Dad
Make sure to pack dad a couple of outfits, socks and underwear. 2 pairs of each should suffice, unless you know you are having a c section, and then plan for 3 pairs.
It's also important to pack all the bathroom essentials your husband/boyfriend/significant other will need. This helps prevent the unnecessary trips he might have to take to go and get things.
Some of these can include shampoo, contact solution (if needed), glasses, razor & shaving cream, deodorant, toothbrush & toothpaste, and also a comb.
This is where I really messed up...twice! I forgot to pack these in our hospital bag. My husband had to go back and forth from the hospital to retrieve these items, because of my poor planning!
Another great thing for dad to have is a camera to take lots of photos of you and your new baby. Just prepare now and have that camera battery full before you head to the hospital...and plenty of space on the memory card.
Snacks & Money for vending Machine
Okay, so hospitals aren't hotels. They will provide meals for mom, but dads are usually on their own (or at least every time we ever went).
This is why it's important to pack lots of snacks for dad, and also money to buy drinks from the vending machine. Hospitals do have cafeterias where he could buy some food too, but it's going to be left up to him.
Just like with you, you are also going to want his phone charger. This helps him be able to update your family and friends on everything...so just don't forget to pack his phone charger too!
Hospital Bag Checklist For Baby
While you might be tempted to pack a bunch of things for baby, the reality is that the hospital will provide most everything you will need. This is why the hospital bag checklist for baby is the smallest.
Here is the brief summary of things you should pack for baby in your hospital bag:
- clothing, especially baby mittens
- car seat
- diaper bag stocked with necessities
The clothing you will need for baby can be limited to a going home outfit and some baby mittens. You could also bring some onesies.
It's important to have a lot of skin to skin holding (kangaroo care) and so putting outfits on baby in the first few days isn't going to be needed. Hospitals will keep your room plenty warm enough, and baby will also be swaddled!
Mittens ARE essential for the first few months because baby's nails will scratch their thin skin. You can find baby mittens in any baby clothing store or here on Amazon.
Having a carseat is also imperative. We used the carseats where you could click them into and out of a carseat base, in an effort to avoid buying more than one carseat.
You just need two bases if you have two cars. Also, what's particular cool about these Baby Trend car seats are that they will click into and out of Babytrend strollers.
You can find a complete list of the best baby strollers here.
Diaper bag + supplies
Now, as I said earlier, you won't need much for baby, but it's good to have your diaper bag with you. Also, stock it with one package of wipes and a few diapers.
While you most likely won't need these, it will come in handy as another bag that you can bring stuff home from the hospital in. If you haven't picked one out yet, check out my list of stylish diaper bags and backpacks.
Printable hospital bag checklist
What about a c-section hospital bag?
Are you expecting on having a c-section or your doctor has told you that is the most likely way things will go?
If so, you might want to know what should you pack for the hospital when you have a c-section. The reality is you don't really need anything different than a pregnant woman having a vaginal birth.
The only difference is that you might want to bring an extra set of clothes. You will usually have to stay in the hospital at least one more day than if you delivered vaginally. Unless of course you want to keep wearing the hospital gowns. 🙂
When should you pack your hospital bag?
The third trimester is the best time to pack your hospital bag, although you can definitely pack sooner.
After all, when you are in labor and/or told you have to go in for an immediate induction because things are going wrong, the last thing on your mind is packing all your essentials.
There you have it! Make sure to remember that there is a hospital bag checklist for mom, dad, and baby. This will not only make things go smoother, it will be help you be prepared for when you go into labor or are told to go to the hospital!
Start packing so it's one less thing to remember, especially when pregnancy brain kicks in. Good luck, and wishing you a smooth and safe labor/delivery!