Hospital Packing List: All the Thing You Think You Need & What You Actually Need

Every first time mother is guilty of it, over packing for the hospital. I see so many lists on Pinterest and other blogs with literally hundreds of items to take the the hospital. I wonder how cave women were able to give birth without their air buds and exercise ball?

Just remember, everything you take with you is going to exposed to everything that the hospital has to offer: Germs and Strangers.



Anyways, if you’re like me and want to keep it nice and easy then here is the list for you.

  1. Small suite case or gym bag
  2. Any medication you take daily, in case the hospital doesn’t fill it in a timely manor while in labor or after. (they should know ahead of time but can be slow)
  3. Tooth Brush & tooth paste
  4. Deodorant, please.
  5. Shampoo & Conditioner, Don’t waste your time with the huge bottles, just grab a quick 2-in-1 travel size. No one is going to be looking at your hair, and you may not even have time for a full shower. First you get the magical warm bath. Just wait!
  6. Dry Shampoo, a brush, hair ties, and a few bobby pins. This is called the ‘Mom Ponytail” Welcome to the club. If you’re feeling extra fancy throw in a hair tie for that, ‘She must work out’ look.
  7. 2-3 pairs of granny panties, need room for the mattress size pads you’re going to be wearing.
  8. 2 nursing bras & nursing pads. Don’t go crazy… won’t be changing your outfit every 2 hours so go light on the clothing.
  9. Comfy Clothes AND NOT TO MANY. I packed 2 pair of relaxed yoga pants, 2 tank tops, a light robe, and 1 nice nursing shirt to wear home. I hate to break it to you but most of day 1 you won’t need pants… maybe even into day 2.
  10. Couple pairs of socks, skip the slippers unless you really are a princess and can’t wear normal shoes or socks. 😀
  11. Make-up, not like full face, need to impress all the fake people on Facebook, but just enough to look nice for a few family pics. So I packed Tinted moisturizer, mascara, lip balm, and setting powder. Throw in some concealer if you’re feeling a little extra.
  12. Electronics: Phone & Charger. That’s it. Guess what? Your phone has a camera, it has access to music, and all kinds of other things with the magic of Wifi. Why bring the camera, ipad, laptop, or any of that stuff. Everything you bring has the chance to be lost or stolen or worse: CONTAMINATED lol. But really, leave the stimulation at home, use this time at the hospital to relax, learn, and focus on your new blessing. All that other crap can wait.
  13. Pillow & Blanket (you’ll see this on the skip list as well…) because those beds are HARD and uncomfortable. BUT, leave it in your car and only get it if needed. The hospital I delivered at had easy access to our vehicle, if your’s does not, you might need to go ahead and bring it in. Luckily I was able to leave the big stuff in my car just in case I needed it.
  14. Snacks. Don’t go overboard on this. It’s hard to know what you’ll be craving once baby is out or even what you’ll be able to eat. Grab a few ‘safe’ options and leave it at that. Don’t bring half of the grocery store. You’ll just be dragging it back home. Bring some chewing gum for sure.
  15. Haakaa breast pump. This is a great little silicone manual pump that can catch any let-down on the opposite side while you are feeding. It’s great to have and easy to pack (small) in case your milk does come in quick.


The hospital will have many of the things you will need so skip these unless you really feel the need to be way over prepared:

  1. Pads and giant mesh underwear, they will have your mattresses ready for you!
  2. spray bottle… might not know why, but you’ll get one 😉
  3. Band aids and all the other over the top medical stuff. Seriously I saw a list that said “pack a small first aid kit” Um….ya….I’m in a HOSPITAL.
  4. Breast Pump. This is really up to you but most hospitals have a pump there or you’ll be able to get one for free with your insurance coverage BUT more than likely you won’t use it. For most women their milk doesn’t fully come in until day 2-5, so pumping isn’t really an option or need.
  5. Towels. Hospital has them, plus why would you want to bring your home ones and have them contaminated with all that extra stuff…eh.
  6. Kleenex *this one is up to you. Hospitals have sandpaper kleenex so pack your own gentle ones if you have a soft nose*
  7. pillows, blankets, and bedding. Your bed will be ready and waiting. Leave the linen at home.
  8. Exercise ball

Baby Bag & All the Baby Stuff:

  1. Diaper bag
  2. 3-5 Newborn diapers
  3. wipes
  4. 1-2 bottles, unless breastfeeding
  5. Formula, unless breastfeeding *Hospital will send you home with some as well*
  6. 1-2 outfits, meaning a sleeper or onsie and pants, and a going home outfit. Believe me your baby isn’t going to be doing a fashion show. I bet he or she won’t even wear an outfit until day 2. They usually just hang out in their little standard issued hospital onsie & hat wrapped in a blanket.
  7. Pacifier *Hospital has some too*
  8. Blankets. I normally pack a fuzzy warm one, and a light swaddle type. I enjoy the swaddle/muslin blankets not for swaddling but for covering while breast feeding.
  9. burp cloth
  10. Car Seat

Keep the baby bag light and simple. No need to stuff it full of half of baby’s stuff. You aren’t going on a cross country journey and you can add all the ‘extras’ later once you are home. Baby doesn’t need toys, a full wardrobe, or a matching hat & suspender outfit. Also the hospital will let you take all the diapers, wipes, soap, and formula left over. Basically everything left in your room. You already paid for it so take all the goodies! Less you have to pack.

Here are a few things I packed, and never used with baby number 1, lesson learned for baby number 2:

  1. Nursing pillow, I use it at home but didn’t need it there, tons of pillows!
  2. Fancy “birth” robe that I thought I needed on Etsy.
  3. Cute girly Headbands for my fashionista. Headbands are the last thing on your mind. Sleep and Boob Milk are all that matter.
  4. Jeans, I mean really? Who did I think I was?
  5. My full makeup bag. I won’t show the pictures but ya….didn’t use the full face of makeup.
  6. Hair Dryer & Straightener. Again, Who am I?
  7. Gym Shoes to wear home. Riiiiight. Flip Flops are all you need. Moms don’t have time to tie their shoes.
  8. Way too much food. Much like the shoes, there is no time to eat. The hospital also has a magical delivery service with food. Eat it, you’re paying for it.
  9. Ipad, Camera, and Ipod. None of these left my bag. I had my phone and visitors to talk to before baby arrived. Once baby arrived It was all about baby, sleeping, and nursing.
  10. Books. Why did I think there would be so much down time. I didn’t sit down and read a book before baby. Why did I think having a baby would suddenly give me the time or energy to read?

Honestly when it comes down to it you need just the basics for you and baby. Before you know it you’ll be home and instead of dragging a ton of crap to and from the hospital, just bring what you need. Less stress before baby, and definitely less stress once you’re home. I’m sure once I publish this and read it a few days later I’ll think of a few things, but it’s a good start.


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