What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag


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As the anticipation of your little one’s arrival grows, it’s time to prepare for the big day — labor and delivery. One of the most important tasks on your pre-baby to-do list is figuring out what to pack in your hospital bag. But with so many things to consider, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Don’t worry, mama! I’ve got you covered. In this blog post, I will share the essential items I packed in my hospital bag to ensure a comfortable and stress-free birth experience.

The below list may look long, but I promise it’s a lot more words than it is things! After having three hospital births, I’ve been able to start from packing suitcases to finally get my things in a travel bag! There are definitely essentials and there are things that are nice to have, but not necessary.

And I want to say this before moving forward — pack what you want and don’t feel guilty with the “these are the things you need” lists! I am one hundred perfect an over packer wherever I go — I much rather be fully prepared than not, and a good portion of that space is my makeup bag. So mama, if you are one of those people who feels better put together with a full face of makeup, I will very proudly raise my hand and scream “me too!”.

Let’s get to what to pack in your hospital bag!

Pregnant mama standing in the waves of the ocean with her hands on her baby bump

For Mama

For mamas, comfort truly is the key when thinking about what to pack in your hospital bag. When I was having my first baby, I found so many blog posts sharing all the cute outfits (for both mama and baby), the monogrammed delivery gown, all the blankets and pillows, fancy pajamas — basically all the things I’m leaving out of this list. Now, if that’s important to you, go for it mama! But really, truly you have permission to not be the most aesthetically put together mom who has given birth. Plus your postpartum self will thank you for not having to unpack a hundred items you didn’t actually use (and waste money on).


Pajamas – these are hands down my favorite pajamas. I wore them in the hospital after having a baby and I still wear them to this day! I highly recommend pajamas with buttons because it makes it so easy for nursing and doing skin to skin with your baby.

Nursing bra – these nursing bras are my favorite especially right after birth because you will be nursing a lot! They don’t require a snap, slide over easily, and are super comfy.

Underwear – I am so glad I brought these Depends underwear with me (organic option linked here). The hospital will provide you with mesh underwear and a large maxi pad. I found these to be a little too bulky for my liking and were uncomfortable. As far as everything else that you need (pads, soothing pads, perineal spray) the hospital provides it and will walk you through everything. They truly as so helpful!

Socks – I love the scalloped trim on these shorter pair of socks and I buy these taller socks every year because they are so comfortable!

Coming home outfit – I didn’t wear anything fancy coming home, just an oversized sweater and my maternity leggings. There are so many cute two-piece lounge sets that I would pack if I were to have another baby. Here are a few options — this sweater set, this ribbed knit set, or this waffle knit set.

Optional add ons if you have room — slippers and a comfy robe so it feels like you are at home and not in a hospital!


After delivering all three of my babies, I could not wait to shower. Laboring isn’t easy and it can be a bit messy, so it felt good to be able to clean up!

For your toiletries bag, think of all the essentials — face wash toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, hair ties, lip balm, moisturizer, makeup bag, makeup remover, deodorant, and nipple cream.

For my shower essentials, I bought little travel sized containers and put 1-2 days worth of product in them so I wasn’t hauling my full sized products with me. I packed shampoo, conditioner, body wash, a razor, and a loofah. Don’t forget to bring shower shoes!

For Baby

When it comes to baby, less is more. You don’t need to pack all of the diapers and wipes you stocked up on as the hospital will provide those, and I absolutely would take advantage of them! You may think you want all the cute outfits, but your little one is going to be doing skin to skin with you or swaddled up for warmth except during diapers changes (and spoiler alert, they need to be changed A LOT). Below will be some options to consider, but you definitely do not need to bring them all! I do suggest bring at least one thing in a few sizes. Babies are all different sizes and those ultrasounds are just estimates!

Knotted gown — these are so easy for diaper changes. This brand is super popular, here is an organic option, and I love this ribbed material of this one.

Pajamas — whatever you do, get ones with zippers (two way zippers are even better!). I personally love these organic sleepers.

Bodysuits — Jamie Kay has the sweetest colors of basic bodysuits, these plain white bodysuits are always so good to have around, too.

Beanie — I would always keep my little’s heads covered after they were born. These simple beanies are perfect!


Long extension cord and/or portable charger — bring two, one for you and one for your husband. No one wants to fight over a dead cell phone!

Sound machine — ever since we had our first baby in our bedroom with us when he was born, we cannot sleep without a sound machine! There are apps on your phone that could easily do this as well so you can skip the bulky one and play it on your phone.

Bible, book, Kindle, iPad — anything to keep your occupied as labor could be anywhere from really quick to really long. There typically is downtime before things really progress so it’s always nice to have something to ease your mind like a book or to watch a show.

Pillow and blanket — if you prefer to bring your your own absolutely bring it. I found these to take up too much space so I just used what the hospital provided.

Be sure your husband has a bag packed too — or if you are like mine just pack it for him because the hundred reminders don’t seem to help 😉

Car Seat

Probably the most important thing to bring because you can’t take baby home without one is a car seat! And my advice is learn how to use it before you have your baby. Funny story — we had installed our car seat in my car before my first was born but I never checked how to use it! I know it seems like a no brainer how to strap a baby in, but we couldn’t figure it out for a good ten minutes. Turns out, I had the premie insert in the seat and that’s why my healthy 8 pound baby wasn’t going in. Whoops!

What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag

And there you have it — my list of what to pack in your hospital bag. As you prepare for the arrival of your little one, packing your hospital bag just one more thing to check off your to-do list, and when you do it feels like you are “finally ready”. Try to pack your bag well in advance of your due date so you can focus on the more exciting things of welcoming your little one when the time comes. Praying for a safe and joyful birth experience, mama!

Courtney is a Nashville Maternity Photographer here to provide you with a stress-free, luxurious experience a mama could only dream of. An experience where you don’t have to be the person to do it all, and she will help you finally get timeless images and heirloom artwork in your hands and home. She truly takes care of it all for you. If you are interested in booking a session, please reach out sooner than later! 


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  1. Great tips here of what to pack! And so nice of you to pack for dad too! 🙂


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