Pack your hospital bag ahead of time using the free printable packing list included!

Being prepared when I leave my house, whether we’re going to the store, the park or a play date, is something that makes me feel more confident and in control.  And when it comes to packing my hospital bag, I like to do it ahead of time so I’m not worrying about what I do or don’t have when the time comes to leave for the hospital.  Even though I’m only about 37 weeks right now, many of the items I’ll be bringing with me can be packed ahead of time.  Whether you’re a first time mom or one whose done this a time or two, scroll through this list and see if there is something you might have forgotten to pack.  I’d love to hear what else you’d add!

This post is sponsored by NursElet and Reserved Only.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.  This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for your support!

With my first two babies, I didn’t pack my hospital bag until a week or so before they were born, but this time around, I’ve had a feeling that the baby will be coming a little early so I want to be prepared.  I’ve broken my list down into two parts: for me and for baby.  (You might want to consider packing items for your husband if he’s going to be spending a lot of time at the hospital with you.)

For Mom

  • Prunes: Let’s just start with one of the least obvious items, shall we?  *wink*  A older co-worker of mine gave me a bag of prunes with a baby gift for my first baby and suggested I bring it to the hospital with me to eat as soon as I could to start getting my digestive system running properly as soon as possible.  This has turned out to be one of the best pieces of advice I received and I always recommend it to other moms as well.
  • Lanolin: Lanolin has been a life saver for me when it comes to nursing and I learned to bring it with me to the hospital rather than waiting until I get home to start using it.  If you’re unfamiliar with lanolin, it is basically an ointment you can use to soothe sore nipples as a result of nursing.
  • Nursing Bra: If you plan on nursing, I suggest bringing your nursing bra to the hospital with you so you have something to wear underneath your gown or other clothing for a little added support.  We have a lot of family and friends around so wearing a bra when they are visiting helps me feel less exposed.  (I usually bring the softer nighttime nursing bra and leave the daytime nursing bra at home.)
  • Nursing Pads: While your milk may not come in while you are staying at the hospital, nursing pads are still helpful to have in the case of leakage or even just an extra layer of protection between you and your bra, tank top or whatever else you decide to wear while at the hospital.
  • NursElet Nursing Bracelet: Between the lack of sleep, adjustments inside and outside your body and taking care of a newborn, something as simple as remember which side you just nursed on can be really hard!  The NursElet serves two purposes: it can hold your shirt up while your nurse or pump and it also can be worn as a reminder of which side you should nurse or pump on next.  Personally, I need all the help I can get, especially during the first few weeks! (Use my exclusive code: SUNSHINE20 for 20% off your purchase thru 3/31/18.)
  • Prenatal Vitamins: You can save a little bit of money by bringing your own prenatal vitamins from home to the hospital.  This is because you are still supposed to take them even after having your baby and the nurses will come in each morning you are there with some prenatals for you to take.  If you take the vitamins provided by the hospital, you will be charged for them and I guarantee it will be a lot more than what you paid for your own.
  • Toiletries: I have a small zipper pouch that I keep my travel size items in whenever we go on a trip or vacation and I do the same thing with the hospital.  Included are shampoo/conditioner, body wash, face wash, mini shower pouf, mouthwash and toothpaste/toothbrush.
  • Chapstick: Bring this!  It’s one of those little things that make a big difference in your comfort and helps you feel a little more put together.
  • Lotion: I forgot to bring some of my own lotion with my second baby and my hands were so dry from all the hand sanitizer I was using.  I asked a nurse if they had some and she came back with a little bottle of plain smelling lotion that didn’t really moisturize my skin.  I actually had my husband bring me back some lotion from home for the rest of my stay.  It’s another one of those little luxuries that help you feel more human.
  • Makeup: If you plan on doing any pictures with your baby or family at the hospital, you may want to bring a little bit of makeup with you.  I am prone to dark circles under my eyes and it just gets worse with no sleep, so concealer is definitely going in my bag, along with a little bit of blush and mascara.
  • Brush/Comb/Hair Ties/Headband/Clips: Pretty self explanatory, but don’t forget one of these to keep your hair away from your face during delivery and afterwards.
  • Clothes: I just stayed in my gown the entire time I was at the hospital with my first two babies, but this time around I’ll be packing some loose sweatpants, comfy t-shirt/tank top and a cardigan or zipper sweatshirt to wear around my room, plus some clothes to wear out of the hospital.  And don’t forget socks!  As clean as they keep hospitals, I don’t like walking around without something on my feet.
  • Pillow/Blanket: Another suggestion given to me with my first baby was to bring my own pillow to sleep on.  It’s more comfortable than the hospital issued ones and it’s nice to bring a little something from home to lay your head on after a long day (or night).  Same goes for a small blanket if you tend to get cold or like more weight on you when you sleep.
  • Electronics and Chargers: I plan on bringing my laptop, phone and DLSR camera with me to the hospital.  Also make sure that your phone cord is extra long because sometimes they don’t put outlets in the most convenient places. (For iPhone or Android)
  • Book: I’ve heard from many moms that some of the only time they have to themselves is when they are in the hospital with their baby.  If you love to read, bring a book with you and see if you can’t get a few chapters in while you’re there.  Or download one to your device. *wink*
Pack your hospital bag ahead of time using the free printable packing list included!

Pack your hospital bag ahead of time using the free printable packing list included!

For Baby

  • Swaddling Blanket: With my oldest, I used the hospital issued blankets they have for swaddling.  But I really dislike how scratchy and stiff they are so with my second baby I brought my own swaddling blankets from home.  This time around, I have a darling mint swaddling blanket from Reserved Only that is so soft and I can’t wait to wrap my baby in it! (Use my exclusive code: SUN20 to receive 20% off your order.)
  • Take Home Outfit: I’ve loved picking out tiny newborn outfits for each of my kids to wear home from the hospital.  (I think this one and this one are so cute!)
  • Car Seat: My suggestion would be to install your car seat and base in the car ahead of time so that you have the car seat with you when you head to the hospital.  If you have other kids that have used the same seat, double check that it’s not expired. We just bought this one.
  • Binky/Pacifier of choice: Giving your baby a pacifier is a good way to help protect against SIDS.  If you have a specific brand you like, bring it to the hospital with you to give to your baby.  In my experience, the hospital has some on hand, but my kids haven’t liked them and we always end up buying different ones.  (We like these for newborn and these for when they get a little older!)
Pack your hospital bag ahead of time using the free printable packing list included!

For Dad

  • Snacks/Drinks: While you can always ask for extra snacks from the nurses, you may find that dad needs some different options to stave off the munchies.  Something else you could do is bring some extra change to use at the vending machines.
  • Pillow/Blanket: If dad is going to be spending the night, he may want some luxuries from home like his own pillow and blanket.
  • Electronics/Chargers: Waiting for baby to come can take a while so make sure he’s packed whatever electronics and chargers he needs to keep from getting bored.  (For iPhone or Android)
  • Earplugs: My husband spent the night in the hospital with me after our first baby was born and neither of us were prepared for how many times the nurses would come in during the night.  He really could have used some earplugs to help him get a little more sleep!

So there you have it!  A great list of what to pack in your hospital bag as you prepare for baby’s arrival.  And to make things a little easier, I’ve created a simple packing list you can print off to make sure you’re not forgetting anything.  Just click on the link below the image to be taken to the PDF version!
Click HERE to download

What else would you add to your hospital packing list?  Which of these things was a life saver for you at the hospital?


      1. Man I wish someone told me about prunes!! This is a great list, spot on would not add or take away anything, except if you have another child who will want to visit you and their sibling at the hospital have an entertainment bag ready for them as well, color books, take along puzzles, tablet… wish I did that before I had #2

      2. This is a great list! I kept my bag really simple when I had my three children. Clothes, personal care items, and baby's things. There are some lists that go on and on about things you should pack but really. I just didn't see the need for a lot of things. All I wanted was rest and baby snuggles!

      3. Awesome list! My first baby came way early so I wasn't ready – hadn't even packed my toothbrush. Wish I'd had this list then! Such great things to remember!

      4. I wish I'd had this list when my first kiddo arrived! I was packed and ready to go, but change of plans ended in a c-section and being unprepared for a few more things I needed!

      5. Wow the list is so helpful and exhaustive. I am sure be it first time mom or the second time, she is sure going to benefit from reading this post.

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