You’ve reached the third trimester and can see the pregnancy finish line! This is often when providers suggest thinking about getting a bag packed and ready to go if you plan to birth in the hospital. 

Packing your hospital bag can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re a first time parent. You might be asking yourself: How do you know what you’ll need? What if you don’t pack enough? What should my partner bring? Is there anything I need to bring for the baby? 

Don’t worry, I’ve got answers to all your questions. In this blog we’ll go over checklists of everything you need. Keep reading to see the must-have items to pack in your hospital bag for the entire family. 

Items for Birthing Parent

When packing your hospital bag, think of items that make you feel at home. You may be in the hospital for a few days, so you want to be comfortable. The hospital will provide things that you need like grippy socks, postpartum underwear, gown, and basic toiletries. 

  • Pillow and blanket
  • Slippers or flip flops
  • Long Phone charger
  • Chapstick
  • Hair brush
  • Hair ties
  • Bluetooth speaker or headphones
  • Birth affirmation cards
  • Electric candle or string lights
  • Water bottle with straw
  • Prenatal Vitamins
  • Stool softer (check with your doctor/midwife)
  • Eye masks
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, moisturizer, and soap)
  • Two pairs of pajamas
  • Two pairs of stretchy pants
  • Tees or Tanks
  • Two sets of nursing friendly bras or tank tops (if you plan to breast/chestfeed)
  • Robe

Items for Support Person

Your birth partner will likely be with you for the majority of your hospital stay so they should also pack with the intention of being there for a few days. You don’t want them to have to run back home or to the store for items they forgot to bring, like:

  • Pillow and blanket
  • Slippers or sandals
  • Two changes of clothes
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, and moisturizer)
  • Phone charger
  • Gum or mints
  • Chapstick
  • Water bottle with straw
  • Snacks
  • Cash (for vending machines)

Items for Baby

The hospital will provide much of what your baby will need during your hospital stay like diapers, wipes, pacifiers, hats, receiving blankets, shirts, and if needed, formula. However, it is nice to have personalized items for baby. 

  • Going home outfits (one newborn, one 0-3 months)
  • Baby blanket or swaddles
  • First stuffed animal
  • Announcement board/sign/outfit (don’t forget sharpie if announcement sign needs it)
  • Nursing pillow such as Boppy or My Breast Friend pillow
  • Car seat (already installed in car)

Although the hospital will provide much of the necessities for you and baby, bringing your own items from home can help you feel more relaxed and at ease. Hospitals are often an unfamiliar and sterile environment, so anything you can bring to make you feel comfortable will help make for a more positive stay. 

Don’t forget to leave room in your bags to take home extra items the hospital provides like pads, mesh underwear, diapers, and wipes. Most hospitals have policies stating they are unable to use items that have been opened, so feel free to take them with you!

Are they certain items you know are must-haves for your hospital bag? Tell us in the comments what you’re bringing!

About the Author Kristen Schell

Kristen is a birth doula, photographer and childbirth educator. She wants to help families feel inspired by what birth can be. It can be beautiful, empowering, supported, and evidence based.

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