13 essentials for your hospital bag

As you approach your due date, your nesting urges will definitely kick in when it comes time to pack your hospital bag. It can seem like you never have everything you need, but I've put together a list that might help with the overwhelm, and making sure you have everything you really need.

By Lizzie Horton

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All About the Mom Founder, Lizzie loves to share tips, reviews, and stories that other moms might find useful and entertaining. Lizzie’s List is the roundup of all of her favorites and there’s something for everyone!

When I was about to give birth to each of my children, knowing I had a hospital bag packed and ready to go was one of the few things that relieved some anxiety and stress. I was so excited to meet my babies and so eager to get to delivery day, that I spent a lot of time planning out the perfect additions to my bag. It’s important to be prepared to make sure you are ready for your hospital stay, and it is really nice to bring some of the comforts of home with you.

With that in mind, here is the list of items I recommend taking with you to the hospital to make your hospital birth go as smoothly as possible. We hope you enjoy reading the hospital bag checklist below. We wish you the best of luck at your upcoming birth.

Xo, Lizzie

What should mom bring?


The first thing you will need is your photo ID. You will also need your insurance card and information, and sometimes hospitals need you to fill out forms to preregister. It never hurts to get this done ahead of time and it makes the check in process much easier. Many future parents create a birth plan in advance of their child’s birth. It’s a great idea to bring a few printed copies of that as well.


Toiletries of your own can make your hospital stay much more comfortable. Bring the ones you love that make you feel clean and fresh. I always brought travel sizes of my own shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotions. I also brought hand cream and foot cream. Often times what they have in the hospital is harsh, medical-grade toiletries that don’t smell or feel great on the skin.

Eyeglasses and Lip Balm

Don’t forget your glasses! You will want to be able to see that beautiful baby when you give birth. I also needed lip balm. Once you arrive at the hospital, you may not be able to eat or drink for a while. Using lip balm was a great way to keep my lips fresh during delivery and make me feel a little better.

Cellphone and Chargers

Between texts and calls and photos you’ll undoubtedly take, a full phone battery is critical! I strongly recommend putting a cell phone charger into your hospital bag. It’s easiest to pack a spare charger ahead of time so no one is charged with remembering to grab it when it’s time to go to the hospital. Also, remember to bring it home with you when you leave!

Warm Socks

I would also bring a couple of pairs of non-skid, warm socks with you to the hospital. These will make you feel cozy and also help you walk through the halls of the hospital before and after labor. Hospitals can be somewhat chilly and their own socks might feel uncomfortable. Since most mothers stay in the hospital for two to three days after giving birth, a few pairs of warm socks will help keep you comfortable during your stay.


I have also found that it is a good idea to bring some of your favorite snacks with you in your hospital bag. You will be there a few days, and hospital food isn’t always the best. These snacks will help you stay fuller longer and allow you to get your milk supply up if you plan to breastfeed. These will need to be non-perishable snacks though as they don’t have refrigerators for you in your hospital room. Don’t forget to pack a few for your partner, also! They may get hungry during delivery!

Sugar-Free Lozenges Or Candy

Labor can be a long process. One thing that I like to mention when it comes to labor is that your mouth can get quite dry. You probably won’t be able to eat or drink anything except ice chips while you’re in labor, so it goes without saying that you’re going to have a pretty dry mouth after the baby arrives.

A little-known solution for this is to bring some sugar free lozenges or hard candy in your hospital bag. It’s important that the candy or lozenges are sugar-free, like these since anything with sugar might make you more thirsty.

Nursing Friendly Pajamas

Hospital gowns are great for going through labor, but after the baby arrives, you’ll want to feel more comfortable. Bring a few pairs of lightweight nursing pajamas. There are so many styles. I always liked having gowns because it was more comfortable post-delivery, but button-up styles like these work well too. These will get dirty, so having three pairs would be ideal. Otherwise, you are stuck in your hospital gown.


Hospitals are chilly places! Plus, if you plan to have family for friends visit to meet your new baby, you may comfortable in a robe like this. Having a robe to throw on allowed me to have a little more modesty and cover up some. It also kept me warm!

Outfits for baby

You will want to bring a few outfits for your baby! I love the kimono style tops like these for babies because they don’t have to go overhead. I find these lightweight and soft for babies’ skin. I also like zip-up sleepers for ease of use. Since your baby may spit up or make a mess, I would bring a few. I also like bringing mittens in case their nails are sharp after they arrive into the world, and a baby nail file. And lastly, don’t forget a going-home outfit! Many families decide to make this a beautiful outfit since pictures will likely be taken.

Of course, if you have a girl, you may want one of the cute hats with a little bow like these! They make for great pictures.

Car Seat In The Car

Don’t forget to properly install a rear-facing car seat in your car before you head to the hospital. You will need this to get your baby home safely. You can always drive to a fire station to have them check out the car seat to make sure it is installed properly.

Essentials for the partner hospital bag

Camera and Camera Accessories

The birth of a child is a huge occasion for everyone. I recommend including a camera on your hospital bag checklist for this reason. You will want to record as much as you can during the birth of your child. I also advise that you bring some camera accessories, like a camera charger, an extra memory card, and batteries.

Of course, you can simply use your phone to record videos during the birth of your child and the rest of your hospital stay. However, a camera is more professional than a phone. A camera can help you capture all the important moments in this process with higher-quality video and audio. Don’t forget your charging cables!

Prescription Medication

You should bring all prescription medications you have to take daily. It is possible that the hospital stay could take longer than the standard two days after the birth of the child. Since that is the case, neither partner should go without prescription medication that they need while they are at the hospital.


You will want to freshen up as well, so bring enough clothing for a few days. Include underwear and pajamas if you plan on spending the night. You may also like to have an outfit for a family photo if you choose to do so at the hospital before you go home.


Not only will you likely be hungry during delivery, but you will also probably get hungry once you are moved to a normal room. I would highly recommend bringing some of your favorite snacks to keep you satisfied.


There are many items that I recommend you bring with you to the hospital during the birth of a child. These are just some of the more important items. I would also advise that you keep your family in the loop when mom-to-be gets close to delivery. That way, your family members are more likely to be prepared to come to the hospital and help if necessary. Having a child can be a hectic experience, but putting together a good hospital bag checklist is an important step in preparing for this experience!

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