September 7, 2021

The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist for Every Mom

Whether you're a first time mom or preparing for your fifth baby, this Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist has everything you, your partner, and your new baby will need for the hospital. Download my free printable checklist and you'll be ready to go!
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As a first time mom, I have been well aware of how much I don't know and it's given me a little bit of anxiety going into labor and delivery. The only way I've overcome most of that anxiety is research, research, research, which is probably why you're reading this blog post!

Now, because I'm a first time mom, there's still a lot I have yet to learn, but today's Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist is a very thorough, thought-out compilation of everything I've learned in the last 9 months from countless resources - Instagram accounts for mom/baby, influencers' Youtube videos, other acclaimed websites and blog, and my friends that have given birth within the last two years (including during COVID protocol).

I also made this list for any mom-to-be on a budget because, well, that's me! I only recommend specific name brands if my research concluded that they were worth the investment, but most of the items on my lists are very affordable.

I've included everything I've backed for me, my husband, and baby, as well as some extra things to consider, snack ideas, links for all the brands I love, and a free printable hospital bag checklist below. Let me know in the comments below if there's anything you think I should add to my list for next time!

Be sure to check out my favorite pregnancy products on my shop page and other pregnancy/postpartum blog posts for more information. You can also find fun tips, videos, and even workouts on my Instagram page!

Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom

  1. A good duffle bag: there are so many boutiques and baby companies out there that sell cute, leather weekender bags and baby bags. That's great! As a first time mom, I certainly didn't have that kind of money. I found this 55L duffle bag on Amazon and I love it! It's large, water resistant, and very affordable (like 90% cheaper than the leading brand!). It also comes in a few different colors and can fold into a small bag.
  2. Birth plan: this can be as general or detailed as you want, but I think it's important to know going into labor and delivery what YOU (and your partner) want for your healthcare. It's important to advocate for yourself! Now, there's no way every little detail is going to go how you plan, but knowing what you don't want in certain circumstances will alleviate some of the anxiety behind birth.
  1. Photo I.D. + insurance documents: you're going to need both when you arrive at the hospital or birth center. If it makes life easier for you, have your partner pack them with his things so you don't have to hand them over in the middle of a contraction.
  2. Comfy robe: for post delivery relaxing. I'm sure no one wants to stay in the messy, scratchy hospital gown after giving birth! I love this one from Target.
  3. Nursing-friendly pajamas: this just means the top is button-down. You want to be able to open your top without pulling it up or taking it completely off. This won't just come in handy for the hospital, but for your postpartum life filled with visitors! This set from Target is pretty affordable but also comfortable and cute!
  4. Nursing bra: I've heard so many good things about the nursing bras from both Target and H&M, but I went with this set from H&M because they were more affordable. Instead of one bra for $20 (Target), I got two for $30 (H&M). I also love this set from Amazon!
  5. Going home outfit: this doesn't have to be anything fancy or expensive, but you'll be grateful you had a cuter outfit for the classic "we-made-it-and-we're-going-home-as-a-family" picture outside the hospital. I wore this dress throughout my entire pregnancy and now it's my going home outfit!
  6. Flip flops: everyone on the internet agrees that although hospitals are clean, they are public. A little extra protection can't hurt!
  7. Disposable underwear: yes, I know the hospital provides these, but this brand is way better than the hospital and worth the few extra dollars. It also comes in a set with other postpartum care products that you will definitely want later on.
  8. Frida Peri Bottle: like the underwear, the hospital will provide a postpartum bottle for all your cleaning needs, but also like the underwear, this one is way better! No awkward angles or getting your hands dirty.
  1. Nipple cream: if you plan on breastfeeding. The hospital will provide some, but I prefer to bring a brand I know is all natural and clean like this one.
  2. Pillow + personal blanket: some hospital bag checklists vote yes, some vote it as a "nice to have" item. Personally? I can't sleep on any pillow other than my own, so I'm bringing mine!
  3. Bluetooth speaker: to play your birth playlist or any relaxing music you like. You have no idea how long you'll be in the hospital!
  4. Toiletries: of course, these are all grab-as-you're-leaving items, but don't forget the essentials like your toothbrush, toothpaste, hair ties, bobby pins, face wash, dry shampoo, deodorant, and any night-time routine items.
  5. Makeup: for your first picture as a family. This is a totally optional item on your hospital bag checklist, but I'm bringing mine! If you do decide to bring your makeup, don't forget makeup wipes or some kind of face wash. These makeup wipes are my favorite! I also love this bag - it's simple, stylish, and affordable.
  6. Chapstick: you're laughing because you can't imagine forgetting it, but don't say I didn't warn you. Pack it now while you're thinking about it!
  7. Portable charger + long cable: all the outlets are far away from the hospital bed, so having an extra long cable like this one will definitely come in handy. Since my husband and I already had a portable charger, we're just going to bring that instead.
  8. Journal: not only is this journal perfect for recording everything about your birth experience, it's a complete childhood journal for your new baby! I love that I only need one journal for each baby for all 18 years they're with me. I also got a postpartum journal to help me work through all the emotions that come with being a new mom.
  9. Reusable water bottle: I know everyone raves about the Stanley Cup, but I'm still a HydroFlask girl. No matter what brand you have, you'll want ice cold water for all of labor and as soon as you begin breastfeeding! If you don't want to bring one or invest in one, the hospital will give you one that has a straw.

Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby

  1. Pajamas: my little boy got cold at night and I was tired of having to swaddle him every single time I changed his diaper, so I'm so glad I brought pajamas for him!
  2. Picture outfit: you know that cute picture you want to introduce your baby to the world? Whether or not you have social media, that first picture is one you'll treasure forever. I chose this knotted gown because it is incredibly soft, easy to dress, and a little bit nicer than a normal onesie. There are SO many colors and patterns to choose from! Totally worth the extra dollars in my opinion.
  3. Baby blanket: for the car ride home. The hospital will have some for your room, but I liked having my own for when we went home.
  4. Swaddle: the swaddles at the hospital are a bit smaller and much thicker than I liked. As a first time mom, I had such a hard time swaddling with the hospital ones, so I'm so glad I brought my own. I got this 4 pack from Amazon for such a good price and I love the colors!
  5. Car seat: make sure you've installed it and checked it before you head to the hospital. I recommend getting it set at 36 weeks so you don't have to worry about it! If you haven't chosen a car seat yet, this is the one we have and we love it. It converts to the stroller so easy and it comes in a few different neutral colors!

Hospital Bag Checklist for Partner

  1. A good duffle bag: just like I mentioned earlier, this 55L duffle bag from Amazon is a great, affordable option that even dad will like!
  2. Comfy clothes: an oversized t-shirt should do the trick! Just pack something light and comfortable because there will be a lot of sitting and waiting.
  3. Going home outfit: this sounds silly for your partner, but if you want a nice family picture leaving the hospital and you and baby are all prepared, your partner should be too! Nothing fancy, just something nicer than sweats.
  4. Pillow + personal blanket: this is especially important for your partner because they most likely won't have a bed to sleep on for up to 48 hours and they'll be doing a lot less work than you will. Don't rely on the hospital to make them comfortable!
  5. Phone charger + long cable: be prepared for lots of sitting and waiting!
  6. Toiletries: pretty straightforward here!
  7. Reusable water bottle: to keep their water cold while they wait!
  8. Slip on shoes: your partner will have to get up more than he thinks, especially after delivery when you can't move. My husband forgot some and was so frustrated he had to put on shoes every time he needed to go down the hallway.

Extras Items to Consider

  • Camera + video gear: it's popular nowadays to have a videographer film your birth, but you can do it yourself too! Don't let COVID restrictions or a small budget keep you from capturing your special moments.
  • Comfy socks + slippers: the hospital will have socks on hand and you'll be in the hospital bed most of the time, but a little extra comfort is always a plus.
  • Diffuser + essential oils: I'm not huge into essential oils, but I know they're very helpful for some women. If they'll help you relax, they'll be a great option!
  • Heat pack: you can grab one on Amazon or make your own! I love this one because it doubles as a heating pack and an ice pack.
  • Eye mask: to help you sleep through all the blinking lights and machine glow.
  • Melatonin: especially if you're being induced. Get some rest before baby comes and make sure to share with your partner!

Healthy Snack Ideas for Labor and Post-Delivery

A tray of Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls drizzled with extra peanut butter and melted chocolate
A plate of Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites with one with a bite out of it
A pan of Vanilla Almond Granola
Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins cooling on a cooling rack
  • Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins: packed with whole grains, veggies, and protein. Just throw them in a large ziploc bag and stuff them in your hospital bag. I'm sure your partner will appreciate the snack, too!
  • RX Bars: I love every flavor they have, but especially the blueberry and the mint chocolate.
  • Smart Sweets candy: my new obsession! It's all your favorite gummy candies without the corn syrup. My favorites are the sour watermelon and the peach rings.
  • Nature's Bakery Fig Bars: my go-to midnight snack during pregnancy. They are THE BEST!
  • Sugar-Free Propel Juice Packets: for a boost of electrolytes during labor and post-devliery.
  • The Best Trail Mix (lactation-friendly!): packed with omega-3 fats, plant-based protein, and healthy carbs, this trail mix will be your new favorite snack!
  • Popcorners Protein Chips: really, any of the Popcorners chips are great, but these chips have a boost of protein and fiber in them too!

I hope this list was helpful! Each of these items helped me feel safe, comfortable, and prepared for labor and delivery in the hospital, as well as loving my new little baby.

Is there anything you'd add to my hospital bag checklist? What did you bring to your delivery? Let me know in the comments below!


I want my checklist!

Whether you're a first time mom or preparing for your fifth baby, this Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist has everything you, your partner, and your new baby will need for the hospital. Download my free printable checklist and you'll be ready to go!


Brooke Harmer








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