What do I really need in my hospital bag?

Whether you’re a first time mom or a mom veteran there comes a point in pregnancy where one asks “okay, I need to pack my bag but what the hell do I put in it?!” If you’re an expert planner like myself you will rely on your mom friends to tell you what their must-haves were. As a mom of three I feel seasoned enough to make you the ultimate hospital bag guide!

For Mom

  • The Paperwork: ID/insurance card/birth plan
  • Lip balm, seriously my #1 item. Hospital air is SO dry.
  • Organic Perineal Balm by Earth Mama, get at least two jars so you can use it heavily! Dermoplast spray works wonders too, but I thought this balm was heaven on earth. Get it here: https://tinyurl.com/y67aubjm
  • Bathrobe you don’t mind sacrificing for the cause, this was my most favorite accessory postpartum and they’re cuter than a hospital gown
  • 2-3 pairs of comfy oversize jammie pants
  • 2-3 Nursing tanks
  • Slippers or comfy socks for after birth
  • A COMFORTABLE going home outfit. Seriously we aren’t royals here, I made the mistake of wearing something “super cute” and NOT flattering on a still-looks-six-months-pregnant tummy with my first, never again. Take your maternity leggings and an oversize cardigan, you won’t regret it.
  • Your own pillow/blanket, hospital beds are already not the most comfortable so help yourself out by bringing your own cozy items. No need to have neck pain after that fresh hit-by-a-bus-no-wait-it-was-a-baby feeling.
  • 2-3 pairs of underwear to wreck, or Depends. Chainsaw Massacre got nothin’ on me.
  • Nursing pads. Optional: the cooling ones that Lansinoh makes are awesome and they won’t break the bank find them here: https://tinyurl.com/yyeh3tva
  • Nursing bras
  • Earth Mama Nipple Butter, it smells like chocolate and isn’t greasy like lanolin. Win-win.
  • Hair ties/headbands, if you only take one it will break take 2-3.
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Dry shampoo, she’s your new BFF.
  • Hair brush
  • Deodorant
  • Face wash
  • Glasses/contacts
  • A doula. I cannot emphasize enough how highly I recommend having a doula, moral support and a physical coach for you and your spouse because it’s not just about baby.
  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Stool softener, if you take ANY pain reliever this will be your saving grace. Also that perineal balm. For. Real.

  • Bath towel, less scratchy than the hospitals and bigger. Make sure it’s one you don’t mind bleeding on.
  • Body wash, the hospital does provide this and shampoo but yours is probably better
  • Hair product
  • Hair dryer, I personally can’t stand wet hair so this was a must have for me personally.
  • Makeup
  • Non-perishable snacks. If they want to eat you have to eat and midnight starvation is a real thing, just ask your new baby.
  • Flat shoes or flip flops
  • Birth ball

For Baby

  • Car seat *already installed*
  • Nursing pillow, these are worth their weight in gold
  • 2-4 outfits, if you’re in the hospital for a few days you’ll want more than just one to go home in.
  • Going home outfit
  • Swaddles
  • Binky (if you so choose, we love the Soothies)
  • Baby wash, you can postpone baby’s first bath until you’re home if you so desire.

**You do not have to take diapers and wipes as they will be provided for you, unless you are doing cloth or wanting a more natural alternative this is unnecessary**

For Dad

  • Pajamas
  • Slippers
  • Socks/underwear
  • Change of clothes
  • Cash for vending machines
  • Toiletries


  • Cell phone
  • Chargers
  • Camera
  • Tablet or other entertainment device, it’s nice to be able to watch your favorite movie in the middle of the night.
  • Bluetooth speaker, listening to your own music is amazing especially during labor.

I hope this was a helpful start! These were my essentials and yes the list is long but I wanted comfort in my hospital stay. My doula was my favorite accessory, momma you’re important too and she will be there just for you and dad. It’s amazing how much they can guide your significant other and find those little things in your labor that really work for you. As well as find alternatives when things really don’t work for you. You deserve all the support. Healthy mama and healthy baby.

Let me know how this list works for you!
Good luck and congrats!

-xoxo, Caarin

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