Preparing your hospital bag in advance can help prevent any last-minute scrambling or missing items once you arrive at the hospital. It can also help to ease anxiety! By checking another item off of your To-Do list, you will feel more prepared and be able to focus on other important tasks. Knowing what to pack in your hospital bag for labor can be challenging! I have created a list of the essential items to make it easier for you and then updated that list to create a Minimalist Hospital Bag for those minimalistic moms out there.
Feel free to pack as early as you want, I didn’t pack my bag until I was 38 weeks but there was no real reason to believe that I’d be giving birth any earlier than my expected due date. I’m also known for procrastinating… So feel free to pack whenever it feels best for you!
When preparing my bag, I kept a separate list near the hospital bag of items that I wasn’t going to pack until I was sure I’d be heading to the hospital soon, such as my toothbrush or contact case. Most births are not as you see in the movies, where you are rushing out of the door without a moment to spare. While this is possible, it is not likely in normal and healthy births. Even though you will be preparing for The Postpartum Period and your Postpartum Care Items, it may give you something to do while in early labor!
Minimalist Hospital Bag Items
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- ID, Insurance Card, and any other necessary hospital paperwork
- Birth plan (if you have one)
- Nursing Robe/Gown
- 2 nursing bras – I love these cute and comfortable ones from Lively. Use my code AMB-breazieboo to receive $10 off of your first purchase.
- Nipple cream
- Nipple pads
- Soothing Gel Pads for Breastfeeding
Trust me, you’ll want this during labor. This is my absolute favorite chapstick, it feels luxurious.
- Makeup Remover Towel
- Scrunchies/Headbands/Hair ties
- 2 pregnancy sized outfits (spoiler alert: you won’t be fitting into pre-pregnancy clothes immediately!)
- Prenatal Vitamins (and any other supplements or medications)
- Donut Cushion to sit on for the drive home (you’ll thank me for this later!)
For Both Parents
- Pajamas (2 sets)
- Travel-sized toiletries
- Face wipes (I preferred wipes over a facewash to minimize effort)
- Shampoo/conditioner (or just dry shampoo if you’re like me!)
- Body Wash
- Extra-long phone cord
- Laundry or plastic bags for dirty clothes
- Shower flip flops/sandals
- Snacks – For energy and nourishment. Don’t forget to pack some for your birth partner as well. Here is a list of good (and healthy!) snacks to put in your hospital bag.
- Refillable water bottle
For Your Birth Partner
- 2 outfits
For Your Baby
- Nursing Pillow and Cover
- Sleeping outfit
- Mittens (to keep your baby from scratching themselves)
- Nail Clippers This is the one item that I did not anticipate and wish we had packed. The hospital did not provide any service to cut our baby’s nails and I was surprised by how long his nails were after birth!
- Coming home outfit
- Car seat (with the base already installed in the car)
- Diaper bag (filled with the essentials!)
Make sure you check out the original list of Hospital Bag Essentials to see if there is anything else that you feel you would like to have. Hospitals will provide basic items, like swaddles for your baby and disposable underwear for yourself. Be sure to bring your own if you have a strong preference for your own items.
You can find all of my hospital bag items on my Amazon Storefront’s Hospital Bag List.
Need more love?
Check out these other helpful articles:
- Full Hospital Bag List
- Diaper Bag Essentials
- Good (and Healthy!) Snacks for your Hospital Bag
- Newborn Essential Items
- Everything you Should Know about Breastfeeding