I am a planner. I like to know what I am eating for my next meal, what I need to get done this weekend, and as much of an advanced notice of events and outings as possible. I constantly have lists on my phone for various things – groceries, what I need to pack to go visit a friend with the kids, what chores need done at home.
Being pregnant and getting closer to labor, without knowing WHEN labor would happen, was extremely hard for me. If only the baby would’ve just told me when they were going to show up, it would’ve eased my mind.
I packed my hospital bags for my first pregnancy when I was 32 weeks pregnant. I emptied, repacked and reorganized each bag at least three times before I went into labor at 37w6d. I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed. With my second pregnancy I packed around 35 weeks and went into labor at 39w to the day. I was more at ease the second time around because I had saved my packing list.
I packed three bags for my first delivery – Mom, Dad & Baby
For my second delivery I had five bags – Mom, Dad, Baby, Pumping Supplies & Snacks.
I’ve compiled my lists for Mom, Dad & Baby, along with a printable, to make packing easier. Scroll down to find your guide.
If you want a copy of the Pumping Bag Packing List and another printable, click here.
Mom's Packing List
- Vera Bradley Duffel Bag
I have had this duffel bag for years and it is by far my favorite. It is also the perfect size for to pack for mom.
The hospital can get cold. Your body just delivered a baby and is going through a lot of changes. Pack your favorite cardigan or sweater to give you comforts of home and keep you warm.
- Nursing Dress(es)
Whether you choose to nurse, pump or formula feed, nursing dresses are still my favorite choice. They’re comfortable and loose and are a much better choice compared to hospital gowns. You don’t want to have to worry about pulling pants up and down as they can irritate your incision or your sore lady parts. The nurses also check on you regularly and need easy access to your stomach, so a dress just makes sense.
- Tank Tops & T-Shirts
Comfort is key. With my second delivery I chose to pump after delivery and I lived in my pumping tank top, which I wore under my nursing dress. I also packed 2 t-shirts for my trip home.
- Yoga Pants & Leggings
Again, comfort is key here. I packed my favorite pair of yoga pants for my trip home from the hospital. I would recommend a maternity pair as you will most likely still have a good amount of extra weight and skin. I tried to be optimistic and packed a pre-baby pair and they didn’t fit, which just added insult to injury.
- Special Items
Make sure you pack any special items you’ve purchased. Maybe you have a matching mommy & me set or something you want for pictures. Pack it away so it’s there when you need it. My great grandma knitted a blanket for Adriana so it was important to me that I had it at the hospital.
- Slippers & Flip Flops
The hospital is definitely not the cleanest place. I brought my favorite pair of slippers to use when I was walking around my room and a pair of flip flops for the bathroom. I did NOT shower while at the hospital, but if you plan to, the flip flops are definitely a must.
My feet are always cold. Always. Pack yourself a couple pairs of socks, or fuzzy socks even, to make yourself more comfortable.
You will want some comforts of home in your otherwise sterile hospital room. I packed a soft, fleece blanket from home for both of my deliveries. They’ll keep you warm and make the hospital feel more homey.
I packed a travel toothbrush & toothpaste along with my hairbrush and some extra hair ties. I did not want to shower at the hospital and opted to wait until I got home. If you do plan to shower, make sure you bring along your favorite soap, shampoo and conditioner. Here’s a link to my favorite toiletry bag to keep it all in.
- Tablet & Charger
Your recovery room will most likely have a TV but with limited channels. I brought my tablet along so I could stream shows online. Make sure you pack your charger, otherwise you won’t get much use out of it.
- Phone Charger
I purchased an extra phone charger and had it packed and ready in my bag. I didn’t want to risk forgetting it during the chaos of labor.
- Extension Cord
Your hospital bed may not be close to an outlet. For my second delivery I packed a small extension cord so that I was able to stay in bed while charging my devices. I also had it in case I needed to use my own pump if the hospital one wasn’t available.
I had been taking iron, a stool softener and prenatal vitamins every day. My iron levels are really low when I’m pregnant and breastfeeding and the extra iron tends to back things up a bit. You can ask for these items at the hospital but it usually takes longer to get them, so I recommend just packing your own.
- Important Documents, Notebook & Binder
You will be given a lot of paperwork while you’re at the hospital. I packed a three ring binder with notebook paper inside for any questions and things I needed to jot down. I also kept my birth plan and extra copies of my important documents (ID, insurance info, emergency contact) inside.
Baby's Packing List
- 8-10 Onesies
Newborns can be messy. They’re learning how to function outside of the womb, including eating and going to the bathroom. It is always better to have extra than not enough, which is why I recommend packing 8-10 onesies. If you’re going to have long sleeve pajamas, you can pack short sleeve onesies. Simple Joys by Carters were our favorite, and most cost effective, onesies.
- Footed Pajamas
Again, you will want to have extras just in case.
- 2-3 Hats
Babies tend to be bald or have very little hair when they’re born. Pack a couple hats to keep them warm. They will give you one of the generic pink and blue striped hats at the hospital, so don’t fret if you don’t have that many. Your baby may not even fit them… we had newborn sized hats and Adriana’s head was too big to even fit.
- 8-10 Pairs of Socks
Even if you have footed pajamas, you’ll still want to keep socks on baby’s feet. Socks are easy to lose so pack a few extra just to be safe.
- 6 Thin Blankets
I am obsessed with baby blankets. I have an entire 18 gallon storage tote in my garage with knitted, receiving and fleece blankets. You will use the thin blankets, or receiving blankets, to swaddle baby after they’re born.
- 2 Fleece Blankets
I brought a couple of heavier fleece blankets along to place over baby, on top of the swaddle. These are also perfect for taking pictures of your new babe. We have this one from when Adriana was born. It was a baby shower gift and I still love it.
- Burp Cloths
Burp cloths will help YOU to not get messy when baby spits up. You will probably need a clean one after every feed.
- 8-10 Bibs
If you are planning to nurse, you can skip this step. However, plans can change. I fully intended on nursing Adriana and wasn’t able to. I had to start pumping my second night in the hospital and was thankful I had packed some bibs just in case. If you are planning to bottle feed, then bibs are a must.
- Boppy Pillow
No matter how you plan to feed, the boppy is forever useful. We have two at home, one upstairs and one downstairs. Bring it along to the hospital.
- Going Home Outfit & Special Items
If you have a specific outfit you want your babe to wear for going home or hospital pictures, make sure you bring them along. Also any special items you might have. My great grandma knitted a blanket for Adriana and I knew I wanted to take it along to the hospital.
- Laundry Bag
There will be a lot of dirty laundry going home with you. Pack a laundry or even just a trash bag to put the dirty things into.
Dad's Packing List
The entire pregnancy my husband insisted he didn’t need to pack anything for the hospital. I obviously knew better, knowing him, and packed him a bag. Within an hour of being at the hospital he asked me if I had a sweatshirt, and I told him to check his bag. Then he asked for a charger, and I told him to check his bag. So yes, dad needs a bag.
- Gym Bag
While dad needs somet hings of his own, he doesn’t need quite as many as mom and baby. A smaller gym bag, or anything similar, will suffice.
- Comfortable Clothes
Labor can be long. If dad is planning to stay overnight, a pair of sweats is a great idea. He can reuse them every night that he is there.
- Extra Outfit
Matteo didn’t stay at the hospital the entire time I was there. He left to go home and shower and check in on the restaurant. I packed one extra outfit for him, just a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, for the second day. He brought his own back with him when he came for the night.
Labor and delivery was especially cold. Moms tend to feel warmer during delivery so they turn the temperatures down. Within an hour Matteo had said he was cold. I told him to go check his bag for a sweatshirt.
Same as mom, extra socks for dad will come in handy.
The hospital will most likely have somewhere for dad to sleep, either a pull out chair or couch. They also provided a pillow and a thin blanket. I was in labor overnight with both of my girls and Matteo was glad I packed a fleece blanket for him. He used it during delivery and overnight in the recovery room.
My husband went home to shower so I didn’t pack soap or shampoo for him, just a travel toothbrush & toothpaste. I bought it in the travel section at the store and it came with its own little plastic carrying case.
- Tablet & Charger
Same as for myself, I knew my husband may want to stream some movies or shows while we were at the hospital. I packed a second tablet for my husband along with the charger.
- Phone Charger
I packed an extra phone charger for Matteo so it wouldn’t be forgotten in the rush to get the hospital.
Matteo and I tend to watch and listen to different things, so I packed him a pair of headphones. This also helps if one of you is trying to sleep and don’t want to bother the other.
Hospital snacks aren’t the best and they usually aren’t cheap. Pack a couple of snacks for your husband. I packed some Pringles & cashews in Matteos’ bag. They’re his favorites and easy to pack. They stay fresh for awhile so you don’t need to worry about them expiring since you will most likely be packing the bag a couple of weeks ahead of time.