It’s been a little over 4 years since I gave birth to Savannah, but I thought it would be fun to share what I brought in my hospital bag . . . and what I actually used, aside from a general “What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag,” which I’ll add later, too. Look through this hospital bag checklist for mom and let me know if you’ve tried any of these items and what you packed for your little one’s arrival!
Updated Oct. 2022
This post may contain affiliate links.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom and Baby
There are so many hospital bag checklists out there but most of them include many things that you likely won’t even end up using. In this post, I am sharing what hospital bag items you’ll actually use when you give birth, all of which are actually useful and that you will be thankful that you brought along!
Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom and Baby:
- Hospital Bag Itself
- Soothing Kit
- Push Dress
- Baby Outfits
- Personal Care Items (the basics)
- Clothes for Discharge
- Birthing Ball
- Birth Plan
Those ten things are necessary for your hospital bag. Some extras include phone chargers, your kindle, your favorite snacks, a nursing gown, your own pillow and blanket, and comfortable pj’s. But in all honesty, you really do not need those things and you likely won’t even be thinking about them when it comes to your birth and after-birth stay.
Here is a deeper dive into each of the items shared in my hospital bag checklist mentioned above.
1. Soothing Kit
Something like Earth Mama’s Mama & Baby Collection kits offers things like a healing sitz bath, baby cleanser, perineal balm, and more. Everything to help you heal in postpartum and ensure the baby’s skin is taken care of too. I just love this box as a gift and all the organic care items in it.
2. The Hospital Bag Itself
I bought a bag by Heidi Klum at Motherhood maternity and I just adored this bag (sadly don’t have it anymore and can’t find the image online). But here are a few other options you might love!
I set up a Push Playlist and put it on my iPod (Yep, this was that long ago) for me to listen to at the hospital to take the focus off any pain and make it more fun. Yea, that didn’t happen. There was even a point where I wanted everyone silent so I could focus. Now, I highly recommend Hypnobabies tracks. I’ve used them for my other births and they really helped me through contractions/waves and being more mindful in daily parenting life in general, too. Code hypno1528 saves you 15% off your order!
4. Push Dress
Instead of wearing an uncomfortable hospital gown, I wanted to wear something of my own while delivering so I bought a Pretty Pusher birthing gown. Once at the hospital, I changed into my Pretty Pusher and started labor. Since I was only 1 cm dilated but S’ heart rate was over the top, the hospital induced me and broke my water. Going in, I planned on natural birth, but by about 9 cm I asked for an epidural because their breaking my water quickly like that was quite painful. They had me take off the Pretty Pusher and wear one of their gowns then because the slit in the back wasn’t low enough (I think Pretty Pusher has made it lower since then). Side note: I regret getting the epidural because I was so close without it, and it made it hard for me to feel when to push on my own.
5. Baby Outfits
I wasn’t entirely sure how much Savannah would weigh when she was born so I had a few newborn outfits picked out for her and kept in my hospital bag. When she was born I actually just kept her wrapped in the blankets until the hospital photographer came around for a picture, and discharge when I dressed her up to go home. For this hospital bag checklist, I would suggest bringing 2-3 outfits in different sizes!
6. Personal Care Items
This includes makeup (yep, I thought I’d be wearing that and have pretty birthing photos but it didn’t happen), which I put on after my first shower the next day, a toothbrush & toothpaste, and all my shower items. I’m so glad I brought this stuff. Whether you think you’ll shower at the hospital or not, bring it! A hairbrush and hair tie are also great choices that should be included in your hospital bag checklist.
7. Clothes For Discharge
I packed a change of clothes for me to wear the next day, too. Changing my clothes after a shower and finally being able to use the bathroom without complications (yea, I went there, TMI town), well, it was so nice. I was up late delivering Savannah, then all night just staring at her in awe once she was born, so the shower was necessary to wake up and get refreshed.
8. The Birth Ball
So my birth ball (a stability/balance ball) didn’t actually fit in the bag, because mine was already inflated, but I totally prepped for labor with workouts using The Birth Ball and bringing it to the hospital to work through contractions. I leaned over The Birth Ball when sitting in the hospital bed and when in a rocking chair in the room. I was on The Birth Ball most of the time and everything went very smoothly with it until the hospital staff told me I had to go into bed without it because they were breaking my water and wanted me to lie down. This was one of my favorites from this hospital bag checklist!
9. Birth Plan
Yea, I packed my birth plan because it is mentioned in every hospital bag checklist and immediately handed it to an RN (like she was going to read it), then I went into the hospital room and the “birth plan” was a thing of the past. What I learned from this is that birth is always different each time, and with each person. It can be very unpredictable so it’s great to have a plan, but you need to understand that things will likely not go that way. Another bit of advice I have from that experience is to advocate for yourself. This is where a birth plan is handy. You can note down important things for you to remember.
Since I was in a hospital room I had to make sure whatever I did was within their rules, but it was also my birth, so I should have been more vocal (and brought more advocates) about what I wanted in my birth. I learned about doulas after having my daughter, and I kind of like the idea.
For useful birth plan examples, check out this post.
The hospital gives you grip socks to walk around in after giving birth, and I recommend you use those instead of any other soft slippers or socks you might bring. I could barely walk after birth because of the epidural and would have slipped if I used my own non-grip slippers.
Here are some slipper options with grip to add to your hospital bag:
I hope this hospital bag checklist helps to give you a few ideas of what you may or may not need in your birthing bag. If you’ve already given birth, please share your did and didn’t needs in the comments below!
For more baby posts, check these ones out: