My Top 25 Hospital Bag Essentials


February 24, 2023


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Preparing for the arrival of your new bundle of joy involves quite a few things, including making sure you have packed all of your hospital bag essentials. Take the guesswork and stress out of what to bring on you and your baby’s big day by using my list and ideas below. Be sure to share this post with other moms-to-be and save it to your “what to expect when you’re expecting” Pinterest board.

When should I pack my hospital bag?

Before we talk about what you should pack, let’s first answer another mostly asked question – when should you pack your hospital bag? Most end of the pregnancy preparation typically begins taking place at the start of the third trimester. From the baby shower to preparing the nursery, waiting until the last trimester is most ideal.

While you can start the packing process as early as you’d like, starting between weeks 32 to 35 is most common. This may seem a bit early but there are a few things to take into consideration. For starters, you want to make sure to leave room for any items that need to be ordered, shipped, and delivered.

In addition to possibly having to order items, you’ll want to give cushion room in the event you go into labor earlier than expected. And last but not least, as your near the end, you don’t want to have to worry if you’ve forgotten anything (pregnancy brain is real). To help you make sure you have all the essentials, check out my top picks below.

Top 25 Hospital Bag Essentials

The hospital will be well-stocked in the basic things you and your baby will need during labor, delivery, and postpartum care. At the very least, they will provide you with a gown, slippers, underwear (the disposable kind), basic toiletries, a baby diaper, and a baby hat. If you want more than that, you’ll need to provide it.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of things I recommend packing in your hospital bag:

  • Your favorite comfy throw blanket
  • A pillow
  • Slippers and a pair of socks
  • A nightgown
  • 2 nursing bras
  • Shower shoes
  • 2 going home outfits (one for you and one for the baby)
  • Body wash, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush 
  • Face care products
  • Lip balm (your lips get SO DRY in labor!)
  • A swaddle blanket for the baby
  • A long phone cord
  • Hakka (to collect colostrum)
  • Snacks and bottled water (or a drink with electrolytes)
  • Copy of your birth plan
  • Nipple cream

Non-Essential Things to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Assuming you do not have any complications during your labor, delivery, and postpartum, you and your baby’s stay in the hospital should be relatively short. If you have room in your bag, some other (less essential) items you may want to consider packing are:

  • A mini fan
  • Speaker (one that can connect via bluetooth for a playlist to be played)
  • Makeup
  • Robe
  • Diffuser and essential oils
  • Bottles

Essentials to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Your Partner

There are also a few things your spouse/partner could pack as well, possibly in a separate bag:

  • Book to read
  • iPad/Tablet
  • Lightweight blanket and small pillow
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Change of clothing
  • Personal care toiletries


Packing your hospital bag can be fun and exciting. To make sure you don’t forget the essentials, use my list above to make sure you’ve packed everything you need for a basic hospital stay. I’ve also included a few non-essential items as well as things your partner or support person can benefit from having on hand as well. Keep in mind that you don’t have to pack your whole house. If there’s something you absolutely need that was forgotten, the hospital may have it on hand or you can solicit the help of your partner to grab it for you.

  1. Stephanie says:

    These photos capture the expectation of a baby in such a beautiful way! Great tips included on preparation.

  2. Julie says:

    I haven’t ever been pregnant but I love your photography! Your pregnancy photos capture the joy and beauty of expecting a baby and are truly amazing. You have a wonderful eye for detail and composition, making each image truly special. Thank you for creating such beautiful memories to cherish forever!

  3. Lisa says:

    I love how you incorporate your photography into your blog posts. Lip balm is such a good recommendation as it could be so easily forgotten about but so vital!

  4. Nyxie says:

    My friend is due to give birth at the end of March. I’ll be firing this through to her to get her ready for the big day!

  5. Alita Pacio says:

    Great guide here. I think it’s fine to throw some items in at the last minute, like your toothbrush, but you’ll want your bag mostly packed and easily accessible by this point in your pregnancy.

  6. MELANIE E says:

    Those are all useful items to have in your hospital bag. I’d also suggest nappies for baby and rescue remedy for mum. Those are both essential.

  7. Lasonia says:

    This is a really comprehensive list of items needed for your hospital stay. You listed all of the essentials an expectant mom would need. The one thing I’d add is a car seat for baby to ride home in.

  8. A well-prepared hospital bag can help ensure that the entire birthing experience is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. A well-packed hospital bag can make all the difference, from essential items like comfortable clothing and toiletries to snacks and entertainment.

    What I love most about the idea of a hospital bag is that it helps to ease some of the anxiety and uncertainty that can come with childbirth. By having everything you need in one place, you can focus on the excitement and joy of bringing a new life into the world.

  9. Lovely! You like to move ready for any moment! This is what every expectant mama should have, by their side. Thank you for sharing your list.

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