Hospital Bag Checklist | Essentials

Let me tell you that when I checked into the hospital to deliver Porter I looked like I was moving in for about a month. I had BAGS of stuff y’all. I researched every possible hospital checklist post out there, took it all with me, and used none of it. So in hopes you don’t make the same mistake I did, I am sharing my essentials list with you because, honestly, this is all you really need!


  • Toiletries | In this particular department, bring whatever is going to make you feel the most comfortable and like yourself for your post baby stay. For me, that is dry shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, and my star line up of face wash, face oil, and day moisturizer. That is pretty much it! If you want to throw along a travel size shampoo, conditioner, and a blow dryer then go for it, but having to spend the energy on washing my hair just isn’t worth it when I am exhausted from delivery. However, feel free to bring it along if it’s important to you!
  • Top Mop Supplies | For the majority of my stay my hair is going to be up and out of the way, especially as me and this little man learn to nurse. So therefore I make sure I have my favorite hair brush and extra hair ties for my signature hospital stay hairstyle.
  • Lip Love| If you have ever been in a hospital then you know how dry the air is so it is always nice to have some chapstick nearby. I love this clean beauty balm that contains natural ingredients which is perfect for kissing fresh new baby skin with.
  • Slippers | You will be up and moving around a bit since walking both in your room and down the halls is essential for recovery and your sanity too! With that in mind, don’t forget to pack your slippers!
  • A Big A** Water Bottle | Even on a normal day I always drink a ton of water but post recovery it is really important to flush your system and make sure you are staying hydrated. The hospital does provides cups for you but you don’t want to have to wait for a nurse to bring you more or drive your partner crazy asking him to refill it a million times. I brought my extra large water bottle with me and was so happy I had it. I would fill the hospital cups with a ton of ice and use it to refill my cup several times.


Comfortable, Stretchy Clothing | Post delivery and for most of that first day I probably won’t feel much like getting dressed. Not until the second day do I feel like I can shower and get into my own clothes. Plus, there is something soothing and familiar about the act of getting yourself dressed that I think is really important to do after delivery and can make a huge difference in your mood!

  • Pants (2-3 pair) : Most of the time you don’t immediately shrink back down to size (sorry to say) and you have a good amount of fluids left in you. I love to bring high waisted yoga pants which make me feel secured but still comfortable. I also have a pair of these wide legged pants that are perfect to wear post delivery and I love this cute floral print pair that are super soft and stretchy. Even though they are technically maternity they are perfect to wear for the postpartum period and beyond!
  • Bras (2) : I haven’t worn a bra with underwire since before I was pregnant with Porter – I honestly don’t ever plan to again – and if you are planning on breastfeeding, say goodbye from now until you are finished. There are two types of nursing bras I use: this one and this one. They are both comfortable and supportive but this one is seamless which is nice for wearing under clothes when I am out and about later post recovery.
  • Tops (2-3): If you are planning to nurse, keep in mind you will want to wear something with the ease of breastfeeding in mind – so think easy access! I have stockpiled these maternity tanks and I wear them throughout pregnancy plus they are easy to breastfeed in. Luckily they hold their shape well so you can pull down from the top. I have some leftover from last pregnancy but plan on getting more for this one and I will wear them during my postpartum period as well. I also love these nursing sleep camis which are less form fitting but super soft and easy to wear in the hospital.
  • Wrap or Cardigan | I am a cardigan girl and wear them constantly around the house. To me they are more comforting than a robe but if you have a favorite robe you could bring that instead. You will want to bring layers as hospitals usually run cold! I love the thumb holes in this cardigan and the lighter weight of this one.


You may think they need their own bag, and as much as you may want to pack one for them they really don’t need it!

  • Beanie | Okay, so I know the hospital usually gives you one but it is always nice to bring a special beanie for your babe and to have as a keepsake. I am a sucker for anything with ears like this beanie but also think having a customized one is so sweet.
  • Swaddles | The hospital will provide these but I always like bringing the few I buy specially for baby.
  • Onesies (1-2) | You will want to have a couple favorites packed for going home in like a soft organic cotton snap onesie and a cute but easy outfit like this jumpsuit. You can also bring some stretchy pants to put on top of a onesie if you want to keep it simple.


  • Cell phone & extra long (6′) charger cable!
  • Insurance Card/ID/etc | they will ask you about a million times and you will need to sign a lot of paperwork on your way in and out
  • Boppy or other nursing pillow (if you are planning on breastfeeding) | This is one thing I am so grateful I brought – even when you try forming all the pillows around you it doesn’t put you or baby in the best position and loses its support easily. Make sure this is sitting ready next to your go bag!
  • Car Seat | You don’t need this until you are being discharged so you can leave it in the car but make sure it sits in a designated spot with your bag. Things can get hectic when baby is coming so you will want everything in easy reach on the day of. You can also bring your car seat cover which your winter or summer baby will enjoy with added protection from the cold or sun!


  • Pads | Every single list I have seen tells you to bring pads but the kind the hospital gives you are big enough and absorbent enough for what you will need – trust me.
  • Underwear | Besides the pair you wear on the way in, you don’t need to pack any extra. I packed a bunch of large cheap cotton panties that I planned on wearing and tossing but nothing really compares to the mesh panties that the hospital provides for you. These and the hospital pads are seriously great!
  • Newborn and Postpartum Care Items | The hospital will provide everything you need for your new baby. My hospital is a ‘baby-friendly’ one so they will not not provide a pacifier but will provide everything else: wipes, diapers, snot sucker, socks… you name it. We came home with a bunch of extra stuff for baby and me too! The nurses made sure to give me an extra squirt bottle, package of Tucks, and topical spray before I left which are my top 3 must haves for down there care. I had each of these items in every bathroom in the house that I would use so I was never without!
  • Diaper Bag | I know, I know. This is another one you will really want to bring but you really don’t need it! Especially since you don’t need to bring any newborn care items. You will get plenty of use from it so don’t worry, but leave it home.
  • Breast Pump (If you choose to breastfeed) | I do suggest getting familiar with your breast pump at home but there is no reason to bring it to the hospital. If you ask, they will provide one for you! I plan on seeing the lactation specialist again during my stay, they are a great resource to take advantage of while you are there.

That’s it! My essentials list for your hospital bag. I packed way ahead of time for Porter out of obvious excitement but I plan to have my bag ready around 37 weeks for Baby Boy #2!

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