This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.
When your due date is approaching, getting ready for baby means making sure the crib is up and that the hospital bag is by the door ready to go.
But what goes into the hospital bag?
Boy, did I overpack when I went to the hospital with my son. I checked Pinterest and blogs for all the items I needed to bring to labor and delivery when really I needed a whole lot less.
My hospital provided so many items and we barely opened the bag. During your hospital tour, ask questions about these particular items:
- Socks – I ended up just using the hospital provided non skid/non slip gray socks. Not the most attractive, but no one is looking at your feet.
- Diapers, Wipes & Diaper Rash Cream – I see this on so many lists. Not only did the hospital provide every single diaper we needed but even sent us home with diapers to last a few days.
- Breast Pump – If you should need one during your stay, you can more than likely rent one from the hospital.
- Towels for Showering – You’ll be taking a shower at some point after delivery with the help of your nurses. They provided towels meaning that nice robe I brought just took up space in the bag.
- Pads – Like diapers, I was provided with all the pads I could ever need and even took a few packs home with me.
- Mesh Underwear – Same as above. Hospital provided mesh underwear and sent me home with a lot.
- Tooth Brushes and Toothpaste – We brought ours, but I’m not one to care about which toothbrush or toothpaste I use if it’s just for a couple days.
- Soap and Hair Washing Items – The hospital is like a little hotel.
You can of course bring these if you want. Instead of a towel, you may want your comfy plush robe. But if you’re a minimalist like me, not having to bring a lot of these items next time will really help me save space. We went home with so much that I wish we didn’t bring so much ourselves.
13 Must Have Things You Need In Your Hospital Bag
- Cell Phone, Tablet (Optional) & Charger – For both you and your partner. I had a very long induction and thankfully had my charger with me to charge my phone.
- Loose Clothing – Thankfully I brought a loose fitting maxi skirt and t-shirt. I ended up having a C-Section and anything to tight would have caused more pain than I was already in. You can also pack comfy socks if the hospital provided socks aren’t for you. Frankly, I was in so much pain I didn’t care. A nursing bra is optional for your postpartum stay if you choose to nurse. I didn’t bring a nursing bra with me to wear at the hospital – just to wear home.
- Loose Underwear – Depending on your comfort level, this can be optional if the hospital offers (and probably will) the ultra sexy mesh underwear. You can bring loose fitting underwear of your own that you won’t mind trashing. Don’t bring anything cute. Nothing that happens after delivery is cute.
- Toiletries – Shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and toothbrush if not provided or you want your own. And deodorant of course.
- Flip-Flops – For showering once you’re allowed.
- Brush and Hair Ties/Head Band – My hair was a hot mess so this is a MUST pack for me.
- Clothing – A change of clothes for your partner is a great idea. We live close to the hospital so my husband ran home after delivery the next day to catch a quick shower and change. We brought extra underwear and socks for him, too.
- Pillow – Oh boy. Sleeping at the hospital for my husband was a really bad experience. His own pillow would have made sleeping a teeny tiny bit more comfortable. Probably unnecessary in the long run, but we’re bringing one for him next time.
- Snacks or Vending Machine Cash – You might not be able to eat, but make sure you pack snacks and cash for the vending machine for your partner because labor is long and you guys could both be up all night.
- Camera (Optional) – A cell phone can definitely do the trick, but bring the camera for your partner to take photos if you choose.
- Going Home Outfit For Baby – Don’t pack everything in the nursery dresser. Take one, maybe two, outfits for baby to go home in. Bring a blanket as well.
- Infant Car Seat – This is a must have to leave any hospital.
- Extra Large Tote Bag For All Those Baby Goodies the Hospital Gives You – Or even a suitcase. We went home with so much and were incredibly grateful for that.
Super Optional Items
- Bathrobe/Delivery Robe: TOTALLY up to you if you want this. I chose to just use the hospital gown. I was hooked up to so many different machines during labor, my C-section, and post partum stay that I needed to just be in the gown.
- Pillow: I said to bring one for your partner, but mom can also bring hers. I didn’t. There was more than enough there.
- Makeup: Okay, this is like superfluous and if you have room but I looked like I had been hit by a freight train. Mama could have used a little rouge.
- Pads: The hospital will provide but if you’re more comfortable with your own, bring that!
What items did you pack in your hospital bag? What couldn’t you live without?
You may also like: