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Hospital Bag Essentials For Your Newborn: A Checklist

Hospital Bag Essentials For Your Newborn: A Checklist

Preparing for the arrival of a new baby is an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming, especially for first-time moms. Besides shopping for baby gear and setting up your nursery, you also need to pack your hospital bag. In this guide, I’ll talk about the diaper bag must-haves for the hospital, when to start packing your diaper bag for the hospital, and where you can buy a diaper bag. 

When do I pack the hospital bag?

Your hospital bag should be ready when you’re 37 to 38 weeks pregnant, or a month before your delivery date. It’s best to get your hospital bag ready to go by then, just in case you go into labor early or need to head into the hospital early. 

Although I had my hospital bag ready to go in the 37th week, I technically started packing a week before (in the 36th week). I had a hospital bag checklist ready, so I started slowly packing my diaper backpack in the next 3 weeks. I packed the hospital bag necessities with my partner and we constantly made sure to have everything we needed for my delivery date. 

Anyway, once your hospital bag is packed, you can leave the bag by the door when you’re about to leave. This saves up a lot of time, especially when the contractions start. You can also leave it in the car first while you settle other things, like grabbing baby gear or if your partner needs a last-minute toilet break like mine did!

 

 

@brooklynfranklinn pack my hospital bag with me!!! #hospitalbag #hospitalbagessentials #hospitalbagchecklist #hospitalbagchecklist #hospitalbagforbaby #hospitalbagmusthaves #fyp ♬ Loving Me - Janine

 

What do I pack in the hospital bag?

Hospital bag list for mom

1. Comfortable clothes

Pack loose and comfortable clothes for your stay in the hospital and a going-home outfit. For my first child, I packed 3 sets of outfits and I included lightweight items like comfy shirts, baggy sweatpants, and loose dresses. As a C-section mom, I mainly stuck to loose dresses because they were easy to wear and didn’t take much time to put on because I was exhausted after my birth. For your feet, comfy slippers for easy movement around the maternity ward. 

Most importantly, don’t pack tight-fitting bras and clothes, and go for items that you can comfortably nurse your baby in. If you tend to get cold pretty easily, you can consider bringing a jacket or a cardigan, a scarf for your neck, and a few pairs of socks too!

 

2. Toiletries

Bring your toiletries, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, shampoo, hair conditioner, a gentle face wash, and some skincare including sheet face masks and face moisturizer

If you don’t have time to shower, or if you’re not up to showering before or after giving birth, here are some things you can bring in your hospital bag: Body wipes, dry shampoo, deodorant, lip balm, body lotion, extra hair ties, and makeup removal wipes. If you have contacts, bring the contacts case and a small bottle of the lens solution. 

For showers at the hospital, bring a bath towel, flip flops, and a bathrobe. My bathrobe was such a lifesaver because it ensured I stayed warm and dry after my showers. 

 

 

@jessicaluxee and a phone charger ✨ #hospitalstay #hospitalbag ♬ original sound - jessica 🫧 2024 bride

 

3. Important documents

Ensure you have all necessary documents such as your ID, your birth plan, insurance information, and any hospital paperwork. On that note, have copies of your medical records for the nurses or medical team to review your medical history. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your wallet!

 

4. Nursing essentials

If you plan to breastfeed, pack nursing bras, a nursing pillow, nursing covers, nipple balm or cream, and nipple covers. I also packed nursing tanks and other breastfeeding dresses which made nursing a lot easier. 

 

5. Sleep essentials

Whenever I’m at the hospital, it’s hard for me to fall asleep but these items helped a lot for the first two nights: A pillow, ear plugs, a sleep mask, and a light quilt to layer on if I was too cold. 

 

6. Snacks and water

Pack snacks for energy during labor, and bring a bottle of water that you can refill every day. Snacks also kept me satiated for a bit when my husband was outside getting food for me, and I packed the ones I liked: granola bars, trail mixes (mostly for my husband who loved nuts), Goldfish crackers, and pretzel sticks. 

Tip: Choose a bottle that has a straw, or bring along your reusable straws for easier sips of water throughout the day


 

@ausher81818 we crushed this snack bag last time I was in labor #hospitalbag #laboranddelivery #thirdtrimester #hospitalbagchecklist #thirdtimemom #momsoftiktok #pregnancytiktok #hospitalbagessentials #nursesbasket #thirdtrimesterbelike #fyp #duemonth #duedate #37weekspregnant ♬ original sound - Anna Usher

 

7. Entertainment

You’re going to be waiting a lot so you can bring any form of entertainment to keep you and your partner company. Like magazines, books, a Kindle, or a tablet. My husband also brought his laptop in case he needed to work because he was working remotely for a week to be there for me. 

 

8. A Bluetooth speaker

I also brought a Bluetooth speaker because I wanted spa music played to help me relax while I gave birth. For other moms, you can also come up with an upbeat music playlist if you don’t want to listen to 8-hour-long spa ambiance music. 

Tip: Bring an extension socket for you to charge your devices in case their batteries fall flat while you’re at the hospital. 

 

9. Post-partum recovery essentials 

On top of nursing essentials, snacks, and water, I also needed to take care of my body after my delivery. My postpartum essentials list included:

  • Adult diapers
  • Disposable underwear
  • Ice packs
  • Maxi pads
  • Peri rinse bottle
  • Perineal spray

Download our postpartum care guide on our community here


 

@thepostpartumnurse Postpartum peri care - the essential items you will want: (the hospital should provide all/most of these, but getting extra is a must for when you get home) 1. Disposable panties or adult diapers 2. Peri spray bottle 3. Pads 4. Ice pads/perineal ice packs/homemade diaper pads (see my video on how to make) 5. Dermoplast numbing spray 6. Witch hazel pads (Tucks pads) #poatpartum #postpartumcare #pericare #newbaby #newmom #baby #birth #homebirth #hospitalbirth ♬ Quirky - Oleg Kirilkov

 


Hospital bag necessities for your newborn

1. Baby clothes

Pack several baby outfits and onesies, mittens, baby socks, and a hat. Depending on the season of your delivery date, pack warmer baby clothes for the colder months and lightweight clothes for the warmer months. My first baby arrived during the late spring, so I included lightweight baby sleeping bags in my hospital bag checklist.

Tip: Bring extra baby clothes in case of spills!

 

2. Baby blankets and quilts

Besides baby clothes, bring a blanket to keep your baby comfortable and warm during your stay at the hospital. Bringing along a baby quilt isn’t necessary, but it can add extra warmth in the colder months. 

 

3. Diapers and wipes

You’re going to be frequently changing your baby’s diapers, so bring enough baby diapers and wipes to last throughout your stay at the hospital. 


 

@kaylakosuga Its getting real guys 😅 pack my hosptial bag with me #fyp #hospitalbag #packmyhospitalbag #packwithme #laboranddelivery #laborbag #pregnancy #pregnantlife

 

4. Changing pad

I wanted to make sure my baby’s diapers were changed on a clean surface, and I brought a diaper-changing pad from home for this. To keep my hands clean, I also washed my hands frequently and used a hand sanitizer. 

 

5. Car seat

The car seat is one of the most important items in our hospital bag checklist, and you should have it installed in your car at 37 weeks. My husband installed it while we were packing our hospital bag, and it was one of the things we tackled first. 

When installing the car seat, make sure it’s secure, and the straps or buckles should not be too tight or constricting for your baby. As a safety measure, I sat at the back of my car so that I could monitor my baby (and fawn over him). 

 

How do I pack the diaper bag for the hospital?

When packing your hospital bag, start with the essentials for both you and the baby. Use diaper bag organizers or packing cubes and separate the compartments based on different categories of items. Keep documents and important items in a readily accessible pocket. Check and double-check your list to ensure nothing is forgotten.


 

@mswendysandoval Pack my hospital bag with me at 38 weeks pregnant 🤍 #hospitalbag #packwithme #nesting #38weekspregnant ♬ original sound - Mswendysandoval

 

Using a diaper backpack as a hospital bag

For those who are looking for practical diaper bags, you can get them from baby stores, department stores, or online retailers. Websites like Amazon, BuyBuy Baby, and Target offer a wide range of options to suit different needs and budgets. You can get them as a traditional tote bag, or a diaper backpack, which was what I did. 

A diaper backpack can be an excellent choice for a hospital bag due to its spaciousness and organizational features. We choose BabbleRoo’s diaper backpacks for exactly this reason! Their diaper backpacks are designed with multiple compartments which help in keeping items organized and easily accessible, making them a top choice for me. 

Check out our guide on how to buy the perfect diaper bag from our community here!

By preparing your hospital bag ahead of time, you ensure that your stay in the hospital as a new mom is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Whether you choose a diaper backpack or a tote diaper bag, the right hospital bag that’s packed with care can make all the difference in your birthing experience.

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