The best hospital bag checklist for mom and baby! All the key things you don’t want to forget. As a third time mom, giving birth during a global pandemic I’ve got what you need- and only what you NEED.
I’ve had 3 c-sections now and I have this go bag packing down to the ultimate needs. I will also list for you what you can skip packing so there is no confusion.
Of course, always remember each person is different and has different preferences. Some things on my list may not resonate with you because you have different needs and/or preferences, but I hope it helps you when figuring out what to bring. Use this as a starting point when you go to pack and add things you can’t live without and don’t pack things you never use.
Each photo is a shoppable link(s) to the products mentioned.
What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Mom:
Pajamas for mom that are breastfeeding friendly if needed. The two nightgowns (grey & black) I wore while in the hospital, these were most comfortable for me because I was a c section. I needed to ensure that the doctors and nurses were able to see and get to my incision. Once I returned home, I was able to wear the top and bottom matching set. All were so comfortable and worn even weeks after recovery, only the grey gown was for maternity, so I have been able to continue to wear these which was a money saver. *Tip: Always remember to get darker colors, this will save you from showing any blood or stains.
My going home outfit was pretty simple. Since I was still very swollen and was recovering, I needed items that were loose fitting. These pants were perfect, they’re very soft and lay above the incision line. I wore these with an oversized maternity top and a cardigan.
For nursing bras I stuck to my tried and true, Bravado Designs. If you were able to check out my previous hospital bag post from 2017 (HERE), these were also a fave then as well. I have continued to wear them even after my bf journey ended. I love how seamless they are and how they are made to last. The ballet style is my all time favorite. I sleep in this style and have never experienced any discomfort. They just launched their NEW SS20 Vintage color collection, they have NEW limited edition colors – Antique White and Gemstone.
The toiletries I packed were minimal, of course I packed the usual suspects like toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, deodorant, glasses and contacts. If items were unable to be travel size, I took them out of their original packaging and placed them into ziplocks or reusable travel bags. I knew I would only be there 2 days and wanted to bring as few items as possible. I knew I would need to wipe down, clean and sanitize everything that came in and out of the hospital, so I tried to pack travel size items. The bag I used for toiletries is perfect because it hung on the back of the bathroom door and did not take up any space on that tiny sink counter that is in most hospitals.
Now hear me out- I know a noise machine sounds ridiculous BUT I will tell you it was the BEST decision ever. If you are a Mom already then you know how often they come into the room throughout the day/night. When you finally get the baby settled or your husband decides to get rest or nap, you will appreciate the ability to have the noise machine on. Every nurse that came into the room was impressed with this noise machine and said it was such a smart idea. My husband slept through all vital checks for me and the baby when this machine was running. The baby was able to sleep through my hollering when they came to do that “push thing” on your belly that is miserable and painful after a c section.
Due to the current situation, having my husband leave the hospital for food was not ideal. He needed to wear a mask any time leaving the room and be re-screened every time he returned to the hospital. He was limited to only drive up foods that were within a short distance from the hospital as well. Having snack to get us through till next meals offered was helpful.
The bag I used and why… The Lacie Weekender bag. I wanted a bag that I would be able to clean. Let’s be honest, we drop this bag onto the floor, toss it onto the sofa, tables, etc. This bag I was able to use sanitizing wipes and clean the entire outside, handles and straps once returning home. I have been using this bag for years. I love it, it has handles to carry it our a strap to wear if you prefer. I have packed this thing and given the zipper a run for its money and it has never disappointed. You can get 30% off with code SUMMER30! Depending on availability they have this bag in tons of colors.
I like having photos during and shortly after delivery taken, due to this I did pack some makeup items to allow me to look presentable. My favorite items that I packed in with my toiletries is this under eye brightener and this eye de-puffing gel.
If you do plan on breastfeeding, items such as disposable breast pads and nipple cream I would ensure to pack. If you have breast pads that are washable keep those for at home use. It is best to have items that you will be able to toss once leaving.
I knew I would need assistance with breastfeeding, its a journey I knew would be rough. I knew that pumping would be an option for me that might help if there were issues with latching. I was made aware that pumping right after birth helps to get your supply coming in. I personally chose to bring in my pump that way I was able to speak with a lactation consulant and ensure I was using it correctly, the sizing was right, etc. I LOVE my Medela Freestyle pump, it is easy to use, mobile and portable. I did not need to worry about being close by a plug to use it. It has a rechargeable battery that lasted quiet a few uses before needing to recharge.
I kept things very minimal for the baby because I knew I would need to clean and sanitize anything that I brought home. I love these carseat covers because you can easily toss them into the wash later (which I did). We brought these small wooden milestone props for a photo. They are lightweight and easily able to clean. The go home outfit and outfit she wore while there were these zip from the bottom footed pajamas. I love these because they come in packs with more than one and since they zip from the bottom, baby isn’t freezing during diaper changes.
What to leave at home for Mom: Robe, Blankets, Pillows, Hair Dryer/Straightener, Nursing cover, Nursing pillow, Pads.
What to leave at home for baby: Diaper bag, Swaddles, Diapers, Wipes, Formula, Hats, Baby Books, Sleepsacks, Burp Cloths.
Always make sure to ask during your hospital tour what is provided to ensure your essentials are provided.