Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby's Arrival (with printable PDF!)
I was super overwhelmed packing for the hospital stay and when I get very overwhelmed, I tend procrastinate (which is typically not like me at all).
Thankfully for this scenario, I had to be induced.. so I was still packing up until the hour before we left for the hospital.
Here is my summary of what I suggest you pack even though I know everyone is different. This was a list based on many pinterest pins and searches, as well as advice from my social followers ;)
I included a printable PDF guide at the end of this post complete with links to some of the items listed below without all the commentary! ;) I've also created a separate "easy to shop" page in my Amazon store with items you can order on the site.
*Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small commission for referring you to the product. It does not impact the price you pay. Thank you for your support... it keeps this blog up & running!
General (Mama + Papa)
_ birth plan (especially if you have certain wishes - I made the mistake of assuming because I talked to my doctor it would be included on my chart and all would be informed - not. the. case. I love the visual template provided by Mama Natural.)
_ insurance card
_ telephone numbers for important birth team members (we had a doula, and I attempted to have my placenta encapsulated - long story - plus the pediatrician's office to schedule your first appointment. I just created a "note" in my iphone and shared with my husband so we didn't have to google there.)
_ face soap (my favorite: Beautycounter's Charcoal Bar)
_ dry shampoo (I didn't shower in the hospital, but Papa did! I like Primally Pure dry shampoo)
_ lip balm (my favorites: Primally Pure and Dragonfly Traditions)
Packed these in a separate toiletry bag for easy access.
_ long phone chargers (we have iPhones)
_ extension cord or multiple charger strip
_ robe (I love Soma robes! I suggest a long one so you don't have to worry getting in and out of bed.)
_ flip flops
_ sports or nursing bra* (*also listed under nursing)
_ outfit to leave (I suggest a maxi dress)
_ outfit for pictures (if an option. I was so glad I had a "pretty" outfit to take hospital newborn photos in - see below under "baby". This is a beautiful set!)
_ ponytail holders
_ music or hypnobirthing
_ makeup (seems high maintenance, but I was so glad to wash my face and put on some mascara, liner & gloss... especially before our hospital pictures - again, described below!)
_ nipple cream (I use the Primally Pure baby balm or Motherlove)
_ nursing pads (I prefer the disposable)
_ 2 nursing bras & tanks
_ nursing nightgown (I love Motherhood Maternity's nursing nightgowns)
_ nursing pillow (I have the Brest Friend pillow, though I don't know if I necessarily love it... full disclosure! I also just used stacked hospital pillows, but then I wasn't well "versed" in the pillow at home & wish I would have had it to consult with the LC)
I packed these in a separate bag so I could just grab my "nursing" bag whenever that time arrived! Obviously not necessarily if you are going to formula feed, though I encourage you to try to nurse - especially to give the baby the colostrum!
Optional/What I Wish I Had:
Items I packed that I did not use: a labor outfit. I was told "Don't put on the hospital gown, you'll feel like a patient and the cascade of interventions will follow." Well, when we arrived and got going, I just followed orders. I also put another hospital gown on backwards so my rear-end wasn't hanging out as I paced around the floor/hospital room. I did wear my nursing bra the entire time because it was easy to unsnap for skin-to-skin post labor.
I did not use the flip flops because I mostly walked around in my heavy soaks and slippers, but I kept them above because I could see others liking those, just get cheap ones to throw away.
I added the hands-free pumping bra because the hospital was very aggressive with me and pumping (since I did not want to supplement with formula). It would have been nice to not have to hand-hold the pump for 15 minutes after already nursing and syringing her the pumped colostrum, especially on 0 sleep in the middle of the night.
_ nut butters (I brought Nutzo)
_ protein bars (We brought a combo for Exo bars, RX bars, and Lara bars)
I ended up sneaking some food during labor of the Nutzo butter on the banana crackers and some bites of an RX bar. We ate the food throughout the stay at the hospital since their food was really, well, sad. Hubby went out and got us food a couple times, which was nice to also give him a break. I also packed these in a separate cooler bag.
I ordered everything from ThriveMarket.com -- use my affiliate link here and receive 15% off your order!
_ sitz spray (I liked the Motherlove brand)
_ natural calm (instead of stool softener they prescribe... I don't react well to them and this is much more natural).
_ magnesium mist (for tired muscles)
_ arnica cream & pellets (for pain & fatigue)
_ probiotics (I brought Prescript Assist since its shelf stable. To help with your first bowel movement and to keep a healthy gut, especially if you had to have antibiotics of any sort!)
I used a smaller toiletry bag for these so I could easily access them or tell hubby where they were easily.
_ coming home outfit
_ outfit or blanket for pics in the hospital (I got her Rose blanket from Sugar Plum Lane)
_ car seat (don't forget to put the base in the car!)
Our hospital offered professional baby pictures, which I was THRILLED to have. We photographed her in a beautiful rose blanket (her middle name ;) and I'm glad we had it (also super glad I had that nice looking PJ set). We put her in an outfit at the hospital, in addition to her coming home outfit, but the hospital staff keeps them snug in a swaddle if you don't want to bring extra outfits.
_ diapers (I haven't found a brand I love yet)
_ baby wash (I use Beautycounter's)
_ diaper cream (Our baby girl has pretty sensitive skin and got a bad diaper rash almost immediately. My favorite has been Beautycounter's Calming Diaper Cream... she stopped crying when we put it on when we changed her diaper.)
Depending how anal you are, you may want to bring the optional items listed above. Our hospital automatically used Pampers and I had 0 energy left to use differently afterwards. I wish, however, that I had looked into formula more. I brought Holle's Goat Formula and the hospital pediatrician was not on board to let me supplement with that because of some regulation that says goat's milk is not a good supplement. If you are trying to nurse, I would HIGHLY recommend you bring some type of formula you feel comfortable with your baby having should you need to use it (our peanut was small and her blood sugar was a little low at the beginning, and I felt immense pressure to get it above 50). I would have brought one of these formulas had I known I would have been given trouble: Plum Organics
_ 2-3 change of clothes
_ pillow & sheets
Are you a mama? What did you find beneficial for your hospital stay? Share in the comments below! xoxo