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pregnant woman writing hospital bag checklist

8 Essential Items To Add To Your Hospital Bag Checklist (to make your stay much more enjoyable!)

Mar 24, 2020

pregnant woman writing hospital bag checklist

8 Essential Items To Add To Your Hospital Bag Checklist (to make your stay much more enjoyable!)

Mar 24, 2020

If you’re pregnant and working on your hospital bag checklist, consider these 8 items to make your hospital stay MUCH more enjoyable.

Googling “hospital bag checklist” should cover you on the essentials. You basically just need to bring comfy clothes, an outfit for baby, and any must-have toiletries.

For the most part, my hospital bag was well stocked. If anything, too stocked. But, there were a few key things that I either forgot or intentionally skipped and I wished I had packed for Aden’s birth.

I wrote down this packing list for mom and baby to remember for the birth of baby number two.

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Pregnant mamas, here are my must-have items to pack in your hospital bag for when you give birth…


Towel » I thought it was silly when other moms recommended bringing your own towel to the hospital. It seemed bulky and unnecessary.

But then I gave birth in a brand new state-of-the-art hospital and the “towel” they gave me to dry myself after a shower was a scratchy piece of cloth that hardly qualified as a hand towel.

If you’re even the slightest bit high maintenance, bring one. This is 100% going on my hospital bag checklist for next time.

A super duper long phone charger » Listen, 6 feet won’t cut it. Hospital beds can be far from the wall.

I was in labor for 24 hours and my battery life was hanging on by a thread while I was texting my family and friends with updates.

A crazy long iPhone charger like this one would be good to have in Labor and Delivery. You could also get a cheap extension cord and use your normal phone charger, but I’ve heard some hospitals don’t allow them.

Pacifiers » Most hospitals are doing the whole Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative thing. (Many members of the scientific community are critical of the BFHI). This means that hospitals won’t provide a pacifier.

These are really small and were great for Aden when he was brand new. Stick a couple in your hospital bag just in case!

You’ve probably heard this before and it’s true: your nipples are likely to be indescribably sore from breastfeeding at first. Like, salt in a wound sore. pacifier pack hospital bag

Your baby will need soothing and your boobs might need a break, so a pacifier is your best friend once baby’s stomach is full. (FYI, nipple confusion isn’t a thing).

» TIP: Don’t forget to sterilize your pacifiers before you pack them! Here’s a list of what else you should do 1 month before your due date.

A swaddle for dummies (aka sleep-deprived brand new parents) » If you’ve never swaddled a baby before, the worst possible time to learn is when you’re the most exhausted human on the planet.

I highly recommend including a velcro or zip-up swaddle on your hospital bag checklist.

I can’t begin to describe how glad I was to have brought one to the hospital with us.

The Labor & Delivery ward will provide receiving blankets, of course — and you can always ring for a nurse to help you swaddle. However, it’s SO much easier not to have to do this each time you change the baby’s diaper.

newborn baby hospital receiving blanket father

Here is newborn Aden swaddled in a receiving blanket. It wasn’t long before we switched to the zipper swaddle we thankfully brought with us to the hospital!

Every extra millisecond of sleep is golden when you’re the parent of a newborn. Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about the safety risks of swaddling wrong… loose blankets are a no-no.

This swaddle was my favorite when Aden was a newborn. We had it in zebra print

Adult diapers » The hospital will give you disposable mesh underwear and giant pads. They work fine; they’re just kind of bulky and the pad doesn’t stay put.

hospital bag checklist pack adult diapers postpartum

As soon as I got home I switched to Depends… much easier! Next time, I’ll include these on my hospital bag checklist.

Your own pillow » This one depends on how good of a sleeper you are. Hospital pillows are made out of plastic. Sanitary but NOT comfortable.

If you’re the kind of person who can fall asleep anytime / anywhere, then you can skip this one.

Haakaa » If you’re pregnant and you’ve never heard of the Haakaa, you’re welcome. So many moms are obsessed with this thing.

It’s the perfect small item to pack in your hospital bag. Have a nurse or lactation consultant show you how to use it during your stay. Who knows, it might even get you an extra drop of colostrum.

Huckleberry » This one’s cheating a little, because it’s technically not something you pack. I suggest downloading the Huckleberry app (or any similar one such as BabyTracker) before heading to the hospital — it’s just one less thing to have to think about later.

Your doctors and nurses are going to ask you to keep track of feedings, pees, and poops. Our nurse gave us a physical pencil and notepad for this… don’t you know I’m a millennial?

An app will make your life easier, and you might find that it’s useful for many months. I’ve used several apps and Huckleberry is my favorite.

BONUS TIP »  Here’s one thing NOT to include on your hospital bag checklist: your medications! For safety reasons, the nurses won’t let you take anything that is not administered by them. For peace of mind, verify that your hospital has a list of your current medications and that they will be providing them during your stay.

Final thoughts on making your hospital bag checklist…

Don’t stress about packing your hospital bag too much.

Oh, and don’t stress about the actual bag itself… bring a duffle, rolling suitcase, whatever. Doesn’t matter at all.

Pack the essentials and don’t worry about how you look while you’re there. Once you’re admitted, you’ll see very quickly that not much of this matters. The hospital will have you covered on 99% of what you need.

Check out this related post: 35 Things to do Before Baby (while lying in bed!)