My Hospital Bag Packing List

(Updated March 29, 2021. Scroll down to see which items I actually used from my hospital bag!)


Preparing for my first child meant that I was putting together my hospital bag packing list over the course of a couple months, and I started actually packing a solid month and a half before my due date. (I think I have already established that I'm pretty Type A!) I had my carry-on size rolling suitcase organized and ready to go.

Thinking back, I feel like I packed a lot of things I ended up not using, and when it was time to come home, I crammed a lot of the hospital supplies in my suitcase. (Also, after five days in the hospital, we definitely needed the rolling cart to haul all our stuff down to the car...things accumulated quickly, especially with my husband making trips back and forth to the house.)



After reading a blog post from The Lafayette Mom, I realized I should start working on my hospital bag packing list for this time around. The list Amanda wrote out was very helpful in giving me ideas for practical items I wouldn't have thought to pack otherwise. I've tried to pare down what I will bring, and focus on what I remember actually using or needing during my last stay. However, my plan of bringing a smaller duffel bag didn't pan out, and I'm back to the same rolling suitcase I used two and a half years ago.


Because Ariana stayed in NICU for her first two days, I started pumping while in the hospital and accumulated quite a collection of pump supplies. When she was around a month old, I discovered the Haakaa pump and wished I'd had one from the beginning. I kept it in storage and cleaned and sterilized it recently, plus I received a brand new second one as a gift. (This is how much I love this item.) My new one comes with a lid, so that's the one I ended up packing in my bag. Ready to nurse smarter and waste less milk from the get-go!

My reusable coffee mug, water cup and straw are coming along again with the intention to reduce some waste in our hospital room. I purposely packed a huge cup for water to help ensure I drink enough. 

One thing to note: my bag and packing list covers me and the baby. Last time, I kept on my husband for weeks to pack his bag, and I think he finally shoved a few things in a backpack a few days before our scheduled induction. This time around, he packs when he packs. :)


It's been almost six weeks since I had my baby, and I'm finally getting around to updating my packing list to share what I actually used. I still overpacked, but our hospital stay was much different from our first time around. Instead of unexpectedly being in the hospital for five days, we ended up only being there for one night. Because we were able to go home a night sooner than we expected, I didn't need a lot of things I would have used otherwise (for example, I ended up not taking a shower in the hospital, so I didn't need my shampoo and conditioner.) 

I've bolded all of the items I used at some point in our stay (approximately 10 hours in our labor and delivery room and about 24 hours in our recovery room). Hopefully this may help if you are prepping your own hospital bag!

My 2021 hospital bag packing list

  • Onesies, nightgowns, mittens, pacifier and going-home outfit for Bébé (We used one nightgown and she wore a onesie home, rather than the special onesie pictured above that was way too big for her.)
  • Swaddle sleep sack (we borrowed one from the hospital for Ariana but it was huge, so this time I wanted to bring our own in the newborn size.) (VERY glad I brought this!)
  • Button down pajamas, robe, slippers, grippy socks (I only used one nightgown after changing out of the hospital gown. The slippers were one of my most-used items! Bring some with a hard sole that can be easily disinfected after you leave.)
  • Nursing bra/tank top and nursing pads
  • Outfit for me to wear home (I wore the same pants home that I wore to the hospital, but wore a different shirt. It was not what I would call an "outfit", ha.)
  • Extra masks and a mask chain (I'm relieved that I don't have to labor in a mask, but we will need to wear them when anyone comes into our labor/delivery and recovery rooms, so the mask chain will be handy.) (I actually only needed to use the mask when going into the hospital, being transferred to our recovery room, and on the wheelchair ride down to the car. I never took the mask chain out of my case.)
  • Toiletries for me (shampoo/conditioner, toothbrush/toothpaste, contact lens solution/case, facial wipes, lotion, makeup)
  • Chapstick (I absolutely bought a tube just to pack in my bag.) (I used the one that I always have in my purse, but I DID use it a lot - so make sure you have at least one tube. I kept mine on my tray table during labor!)
  • Postnatal vitamins
  • Haakaa pump and small pump bottles to store any extra milk (cleaned and sterilized)
  • Sound machine (if you don't already have one, save a white noise playlist or download an app on your phone. I've also downloaded my favorite sleep music track from Headspace.) (I used my phone!)
  • Small Bluetooth speaker and charger (not a necessity, but I love to have music playing and I did make a Spotify mix for labor.) (Loved having the speaker and listening to my playlist. I had it going during delivery but couldn't tell you which song was playing when my baby was born!)
  • Stainless steel coffee mug with lid, water cup with lid and straw (The hospital gave me a large reusable cup that I used for water and Powerade. I am actually still using my hospital cup at home to help make sure I drink enough water.)
  • Phone charger and extension cord


Things on my packing list the first time around that I'm not bringing this time

  • Flat iron and blow dryer
  • Boppy pillow
  • My own pump (I think we did bring it last time, but used one of the hospital's pumps instead.)
  • Our own blankets (I did bring my own pillow last time and was glad for it, but I'm not sure I'll bother with it this time.)
  • Snacks (This time, I'll probably just send my husband out on snack runs, or that'll be something I throw in the car last-minute.) (After I published this blog post, my husband told me he wanted to make sure we packed snacks, so we had a separate bag for them. We didn't eat a lot of the snacks, but it was nice to have.)
  • Birth plan (I'd already spoken with my doctor about the major things, and like everyone says, things don't go according to plan. The piece of paper never left my suitcase, ha.)
  • Framed photos for the room
  • DSLR camera (Another thing we did use, but that I'm not bothering with this time. I may still change my mind though!)

With just a couple remaining items that I'm still using every day, the hospital bag is packed and ready to go whenever Bébé is!

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