Hospital Bag Checklist: What You Need and Don’t Need to Pack

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Last time around, I went to every hospital bag checklist post that I could find on Google and Pinterest and packed everything from every list.

Please, do not do this lol.

When you’re at the hospital, your focus is all on your baby, you honestly won’t need much. Plus the hospital provides so much stuff and sends you home with a ton of supplies (you pay for it in your insurance). For this reason, I will take a different approach with packing my hospital bag with Baby #2.

Avoid overpacking with this hospital bag checklist:

For Mommy


  •  Insurance Card
  • Identification required by the hospital for admission/registration and required by the state for the baby’s birth certificate
  • Birth Plan 
  • Pediatrician’s Contact Information – the hospital will ask for the pediatrician’s name, phone, and address multiple times during your stay


  • Glasses or contacts, contact case, and solution
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Moisturizer
  • Lotion
  • Soap 
  • Hair ties
  • Hair Brush
  • Shampoo
  • Facial Cleanser
  • Lip balm
  • Towel and washcloth (the hospital will provide this, but I don’t like using towels from hospitals)
  • Shower Slippers
  • Nipple Relief Products – if you plan to breastfeed, this is a must. The breastfeeding classes told me it won’t hurt in the beginning, they lied. It does hurt, your nipples have never been pulled on like this before so it takes some getting used to. These products really helped to soothe the discomfort.


  • Comfy clothes –  last time I brought yoga pants and tops but I still had the IV in my arm and was going to the restroom so often that my pants and shirts were just an inconvenience so I ended up wearing the hospital gown the entire stay. Next time I’m going to order gownies with the nursing snaps.
  • Going home outfit – when you give birth, your body will likely look like you’re in your 2nd trimester of pregnancy because it takes time to lose the weight. Don’t pack an outfit that you could wear pre-pregnancy, instead pack a comfortable, loose-fitting outfit. I wore yoga pants and a t-shirt.


  • Camera – make sure it’s charged with an empty memory card
  • Phone Charger – extra long because the bed may not be very close to the outlet
  • Head Phones
  • Fun stuff – you’ll be in the hospital for at least a couple days, bring something to keep you busy (cards, book, dvds, games, etc)


  • Snacks– laboring is hard work and while you likely won’t be able to eat during labor, you’ll certainly want some food after you deliver! In case you deliver after hours, make sure to pack something you’ll enjoy eating.


  • Pillow – the hospital will provide this, but it may not be as comfortable as you like
  • Blanket – the hospital has plenty of blankets, but some people prefer to bring their own
  • Makeup – I didn’t pack makeup with my hospital bag for Baby #1 because I knew I wouldn’t take the time to apply it. Looking back, I do wish I brought makeup because I look awful in ALL my hospital photos.
  • Robe
  • Breastfeeding pillow (if you plan to nurse this will definitely help)
  • House slippers

For Baby:

  • 2 Going home outfits – just in case he/she has a blowout or spits up. Since your baby’s umbilical cord stump is still attached while you’re in the hospital, I recommend bringing onesies instead of two piece outfits. Two piece outfits can irritate the belly button area, so it’s best to bring onesies.
  • Mittens – our hospital told us not to bring mittens and I’m so annoyed that I listened to them. JC was born with long, sharp nails and scratched his face while we were in the hospital.

For Daddy:

He’s grown, Daddy can pack for himself cool


What Not to Bring:

  • Jewelry – you don’t want to have to worry about losing or forgetting any valuables
  • Diapers or wipes for baby – the hospital has all the diapers and wipes you’ll need and they’ll send you home with some
  • Maternity pads or adult diapers hospital provides pads
  • Underwear – this one is highly debated. Some people insist on bringing some because they don’t like the mesh underwear that the hospital provides. Personally, I preferred the hospital underwear. So this is at your own discretion.
  • Postpartum pads – the hospital provides ice packs
  • Nursing pads – I packed nursing pads in my hospital bag with Baby #1, not knowing that your breastmilk can take a few days to come in. The first few days, you just produce this thick (nutrient dense) liquid called colostrum and you won’t produce a ton so you won’t be needing nursing pads if you’re only going to be in the hospital for 2 or 3 days.
  • Baby blankets – the hospital will give you a couple of baby blankets so that’s one less thing to pack.

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Hey girl!

I'm MiMi: wife, boy mom, full time employee, and part time blogger. Modern Momsense is a judge free zone where moms can read honest stories of triumphs and failures that I hope can help make your journey through mommyhood easier. I love sharing information about pregnancy, breastfeeding and pumping, products I've tried, and caring for infants and toddlers. I also write about “adulting” topics specific to mom life.

Whether you’re a first time mom or a been-there-done-that mom, I hope this blog will be a source of information and encouragement for you. So make yourself comfy mama, you've got this!




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