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Packing Checklist of Essentials for your Hospital Bag

Updated on September 30, 2014

Hospital Bag for Pregnancy

Photo by essie
Photo by essie | Source

When & What to Pack for the Hospital?

When you're eight months pregnant, during your third trimester, it's a good idea to have your hospital bag packed. At this point in your pregnancy, you could go into labor at any time several weeks before your due date.

Most moms recommend that you pack two bags for the hospital. In one bag, you will pack essentials that will need before you give birth. In the second bag, pack items that you will need after you give birth. This is completely up to you.

When searching the internet you will find that many people recommend that you pack several different things. What you pack, and how much, will depend on your personal preferences. I found that it was best to only pack the essentials.

Why only pack the essentials? When you're at the hospital several visitors will bring gifts for both you and the baby. These gifts will include flowers, gift baskets, gift bags, diapers, and essentials for the baby. The hospital will also give you things like formula, diaper bags, etc.

All of this stuff will have to be carried to the car when you leave the hospital and it can become overwhelming with trying to look after your newborn as well. Therefore, I recommend that you pack only what you absolutely need to take with you.

Here are a few suggestions....

Hospital Bag Essentials for Labor / Delivery

Hospital Bag

The first thing that you will obviously need is a hospital bag. Motherhood Maternity recommends this faux leather bag by Wendy Bellissimo for both style and convenience. Of course you can use whatever bag that you already have on hand.

The interior of this bag is quite roomy with six pockets and the exterior features three pockets. A changing pad is included to keep things sanitary when changing your baby at the hospital. The bag opens wide so that you can easily access your essentials inside.

Nursing Bra & Cami

If you have decided to breastfeed, or not, when your milk comes in (during the first days after delivery) your breasts will become tender.

Having a good nursing bra or cami will give you some comfort. Add breast pads to help absorb any leaks.

Nursing camis are especially nice because they eliminate the need for a nursing bra when you wear one. Also, the clips make it convenient. You won't have to wrestle with a shirt. Instead you just open the clips, lay the flap over, and feed your baby.

Leading Lady is one of my favorite brands for inexpensive nursing bras and camis. Bravado, however, is the best selling brand for nursing bras on Amazon.

For a complete list of nursing bras on Amazon, CLICK HERE. A wide selection of nursing camis can be viewed on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.

Please check out my Nursing Bra Buying Guide on Hubpages. You will also learn some of the top brands to buy in nursing bras.

Nursing Pads

For nursing pads, you have two options: reusable or disposable. I've used both! Disposable are the best at absorbing milk and keeping your shirt dry. If you work a full time job, these are a must-have.

Reusable nursing pads are generally made from a cotton round and can be thrown in the wash over and over again. These are the most thrifty option and great to have when you're at home. It seems like the cotton round fills up with milk faster and leaks onto your bra or shirt. The disposable pads turn the milk into a gel so this is generally not a problem unless you make a ton of milk.

Hospitals are Cold - Pack a Sweater for Your Stay

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Goose Bumps from Cold Hospital

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski
Photo by Quinn Dombrowski | Source

Maternity Slippers

Motherhood Maternity
Motherhood Maternity | Source

Maternity Hoodie, Maternity Slippers, & Warm Socks

Hospitals can be cold so you'll want to back either a maternity sweater or hoodie and several pairs of comfortable warm socks. You'll appreciate the long sleeves of your sweater to keep your arms warm and cozy.

When I delivered my last baby (1 of 3), my mother brought me a couple pairs of comfortable socks. I really appreciated this gift more than anything that I received that day. There is something about putting on a pair of new socks that really comforts me in the hospital.

Don't feel guilty about buying yourself a few new things (like socks) for your hospital stay. You will really enjoy any small luxury that you can think to pack to make yourself more comfortable. Warm socks are one thing that will not take up much room in your hospital bag.

Maternity Slippers are a must-have necessity for your hospital stay. At some point, you will want to get up and walk around the hospital. You may be able to walk to the nursery and watch as your baby gets his or her first bath. Bending over may be difficult so a soft, flexible, and comfortable pair of maternity slippers will come in handy.

Motherhood Maternity recommends the slippers to the right from Ghibi Women. The slippers are cashmere, feature a cute tie detail, and have a soft cushioned and flexible sole for extra comfort. These slippers are lightweight and easily fit into your hospital bag. Available in sizes small, medium, and large. CLICK HERE to order yours from Motherhood Maternity, today.

Flavored Chap Stick

Chap Stick is recommended for moms-to-be who are giving birth because of the breathing exercises that you will be doing.

Your lips will become dry and you'll be grateful that you packed some chap stick.

Pick one in your favorite flavor. You won't be allowed to eat anything so the tasty flavor may be comforting as you munch on ice chips.

Dry Shampoo - Spray or Powder

After you give birth, standing might be painful or uncomfortable.

Therefore, dry shampoo may come in handy for the day or so after delivery.

Just spray your hair and comb it through to remove any smells and/or grease that has built up overnight.

Some dry shampoos come in a powder form which are really nice too.

You open the top and shake the powder into your hair and then massage it in with your fingers.

Facial Mists

Facial sprays come in handy while you're in labor because you can get really hot.

A wet towel to the forehead and ice chips can help, but a good facial spray can help too.

Just mist yourself or have your spouse help and you'll feel better in no time.

Motherhood Maternity recommends this one, from Naturopathica, called Lavender Honey Balancing Mist.

The balancing blend of lavender and moisture rich honey helps to tone your skin while hydrating you; also with aromatherapy qualities to restore your mind.

This is one little luxury that you might just love even after you leave the hospital.

Newborn Baby Footie and Mittens

You'll need to pack your baby a few nightgowns. You may like the gowns which have the bottom open. These can make it easier when changing your baby's diaper in the hospital. However, it is recommended that you pack at least one newborn outfit with legs or feet because this will make it easier when putting your baby in the car seat when you leave.

Some sites recommend that you pack your baby a hat to keep their head warm. However, at two different hospitals that I've stayed at, they have given us hats for our babies. I think it would be pretty unheard of for a hospital not to supply you with a hat. So, a baby hat is one item that you may choose to pack, or not. You may want to pack one that matches your baby's outfit. That is up to you.

Another item that some sites recommend is a baby swaddle. Baby swaddles are nice to have on hand. However, the hospital will provide you with a receiving blanket which they will swaddle your baby in. If your baby gets anything on the receiving blanket, they will change it out. So, a swaddle is another optional item that you may choose to bring, or not.

Baby mittens, however, were not provided by the hospital. Mittens are essential for your baby because they keep your baby from scratching the delicate skin on their face. Not only that, but as hospitals are very cold, having mittens on your baby will keep their hands warm. Baby mittens were a must-have essential for all of my hospital stays.


Packing snacks in your hospital bag is mostly for your spouse, mother, or whoever you have staying with you in your room.

You'll only be allowed to eat ice chips up until you deliver your baby.

Giving birth can be scary and stressful. You'll want someone there who makes you feel safe.

Also, you will not want them to leave in order to get food. Most women deliver their babies at the very oddest hours when the hospital cafeteria will surely be closed.

So packing snacks will ensure that your loved ones stay by your side for most of the time during your labor and delivery.

You can eat the snacks after you deliver the baby; this will come in handy also if the cafeteria is closed. Most hospitals also keep nursing friendly snacks like sandwiches, jello, or yogurt for you too.

Packing Snack for your Loved Ones

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About the Author

Melinda Longoria, MSM has sold maternity clothes online since 2012. During this time, she has helped many other moms with their questions on her successful Facebook fanpage, Maternity Clothes Online, which has over 920 followers. She is also a mommy to three of her own beautiful children. Please feel free to post your comments and questions about Maternity Clothing in the below comment box.

Comments Please...

Are these suggestions helpful to you? Have I included all the hospital essentials that a mom-to-be might need for her hospital stay? Is there an item that was particularly helpful to you? What other items can you recommend for a mom-to-be to include in her hospital bag? What kind of snacks did you pack in your hospital bag?


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    • Melinda Longoria profile imageAUTHOR

      Melinda Longoria, MSM 

      4 years ago from Garland, Texas

      Billybuc, thank you for your comments. :-) This is one subject that I had to google myself when preparing for the hospital.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very useful information, Melinda!


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