What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag – Part One

When should you pack your hospital bag? What should you put in your hospital bag?

How much is too much?

These are all valid questions when you’re packing a hospital bag for the first time. It is exciting but also terrifying because it means you’re getting closer to meeting your little one and becoming a mama. Pregnancy, like parenthood, feels like it takes forever but flies by at the same time, especially when you’re in the third trimester. I always had my hospital bags packed four weeks out from my due dates, just because I’m a planner and wanted to be ready. The uncertainty of when the baby will decide to make their appearance was HARD for me, but having everything ready definitely helped!

And because we have so much to talk about (packing for mama, baby, & your support person), we will be splitting each bag up into its very own post with links to my favorite items!

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag – FOR MAMA

Duffel Bag

I have had a Vera Bradley duffel bag for years now that I love. It’s large and cute and was perfect to use as the hospital bag for both of my babies. 

Nursing dress(es)

Even if you are not breastfeeding your baby, nursing dresses are loose and SO comfortable! After pushing out a baby, the last thing you want is tight, restrictive clothing. They even sell really cute matching dresses for mama & baby if that’s your thing (it’s mine!)


Your body will be going through many changes (and being moved through different rooms). Temperatures within the hospital can change as well as throughout your body. It’s always a good idea to make sure you have a second layer that can be taken on and off as needed!


My feet are ALWAYS cold! I have socks on all day at home, except when I’m sleeping. I packed multiple pairs of both regular and fuzzy socks for my hospital stay. 

Slippers or Flip Flops

I couldn’t wait to shower as soon as I could after my c-sections! I felt like a whole new woman afterwards. But I definitely wore flip flops in the shower, you know like back in the college dorm days. My feet are always hot, so I didn’t bring slippers. But for some, walking the halls in a pair of slippers will feel like heaven.


If you plan to shower while at the hospital, bring along soap and shampoo. If not, make sure you at least pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and some body spray! I didn’t want to forget anything during the hustle and bustle of getting to the hospital, so I purchased a travel set toothbrush & toothpaste and had them packed and ready to go in my bag ahead of time. 

Going home outfit

My favorite going home outfit for myself was just a maxi dress or a flowy shirt and my favorite pair of leggings. They’re comfortable and remind me of home; exactly what you want during this transition. 

Special Items

Did you purchase a mommy & me set for you and your little one? Don’t forget to pack it! 


I love fuzzy blankets and have many at home. At this point, I probably can’t sleep without one! I wanted to have feelings of home with me at the hospital so I brought a fleece blanket with me from home. 

Electronics & Chargers

Newborn babies sleep A LOT. And while you’ll definitely want to sleep as much as you can, you will have downtime. I had my phone and tablet with me so I could binge watch movies & shows on Netflix. Plus take ALL the baby pictures. And make sure you don’t forget the chargers! Buy the extra long ones! If you have extras, pack them ahead of time in a Ziploc bag. If you don’t have extras, make sure you have a last minute packing list so you don’t forget anything when you’re headed out the door!

Extension Cord

This may seem silly and my husband thought I was 100% crazy when I packed it BUT bring an extension cord! You have no idea where the outlets in the room will be and your charger might not reach your bed. It makes life so much easier if you can have everything within reach. And this one has regular plugs and USB ports!


You can ask for pills at the hospital, but who knows what they’ll charge! I always packed my medicines and brought them along with me. None of them were prescriptions (prenatal, iron & stool softener) so they didn’t need to test them, but be aware that they may need to if you bring prescriptions rather than OTC medicines.

Folder & Notebook

You are going to leave the hospital with SO MANY papers and information. It’s extremely overwhelming and you’re going to forget most of what they tell you because you’re in a daze the first few days. Bring a folder along for all the paperwork and a notebook to take notes as needed. 

Water Bottle

After having a little person come out of you, no matter how it happens, you’re going to be tired and thirsty AF. Bring your favorite water bottle, preferably something stainless steel to keep it cold! This one keeps drinks cold with ice for 24+ hours and it has both a straw and a larger spout that you can chug that water when needed. 


With my second child, I had an entire bag designated just for snacks. We left it in the car until I was moved to my maternity room, and again, my husband thought I was going crazy, but it came in handy. My daughter was born at midnight which meant I had to wait until 8AM for the hospital breakfast or 6AM for the café. Of course the maturity nurses can offer graham crackers and Gatorade, but that wasn’t going to cut it. When my husband went to the car for his stuff, he brought back my “after baby is born” bag where I had snacks and drinks to hold me over until breakfast (which, thankfully, was great). 

Some of my favorite snacks for the hospital bag were Body Armor drinks & Gatorade (help with milk production/staying hydrated!), chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered pretzels and chips.

What did you pack in your hospital bag that I don’t have on my list? What did you NOT pack that you wish you would have? I would love to hear your thoughts! And be sure to circle back next week for the next post in the series – What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag – FOR BABY!

*This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.*

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