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the essential & realistic hospital bag checklist for mom, dad & Baby



Do you wonder what you should pack in your hospital bag?


I mean what do you really need?



With my second baby due very soon, I thought I’d create a checklist with all the essentials that either I had with my first delivery and found super helpful, or wish Id had that I will be packing for baby no. 2.


There are SO MANY checklists on what to pack in your hospital bag for labor and delivery but ultimately we’re all different and it’s totally up to you!


I hope I can provide a few tips and suggestions that are extremely helpful but not unrealistic!


The mistake I had with my first born was that I brought EVERYTHING.


I was so unsure what to expect that I brought an entire suitcase – and not the small travel size ones either!





What should I pack in my hospital bag for labor?


Firstly I like to categorize the essentials.


  1. Mom
  2. Dad
  3. Baby


Yes, it’s important to think of dad too! It’s essential that everything is thought of because on the big day you want everything to be organized and calm with zero stress!


What do I really need in my hospital bag?


Some people like to bring everything (myself included the first time around) but honestly, you won’t use half of it. Have the essentials and things that will provide comfort and help for you both during and after the delivery.


It’s ok if you still bring items you don’t really need but you really don’t need to go over the top. Plus there’s the unpacking to think of when you get back home.


What should I pack in my hospital bag for the C section?


You won’t need many more things to pack than you would for a natural delivery. The only things I suggest are extra clothes and underwear for you and baby as you will need to stay in the hospital for a longer period.


Make sure that you take clothes that are loose around your waist that is easy to get on and off.


What should I pack in my baby bag?


Below is a list of all the things I suggest to bring in your hospital bag:


What dads should pack for the hospital?


It’s unlikely that dad will be staying for the entire time as there will most likely be restricted visiting hours. Also, its good for dad to go home to get some rest so he can take over and look after your baby while you get some rest.


Do I need to bring my own diapers to the hospital?


Hospitals usually provided diapers for your baby but to be sure you should call ahead and check.


Also, if you want to use particular nappies, such as organic natural disposable or reusable cloth ones then you should bring your own.


I also like to bring a pack of water wipes and cotton wool to clean baby and bays bum in the first few weeks.



What should I pack in my baby bag for the hospital?



You can choose to bring a separate baby bag or keep everything together in your own bag.



If you want to bring a separate bag for your baby items, I’ve got this one and it’s amazing I highly recommend it!


Skip Hop Backpack Mainframe Structureir?t=lizzie20-20&language=en_US&l=li3&o=

All baby items will be listed in the below checklist.



When should I pack my hospital bag?



In my hypnobirthing course, it states “baby comes when the baby is ready” and really there’s not too much you can do about it!



That is unless you have a planned C – section.



Hospital bag size?



You don’t need a suitcase ladies (been there, done that!)


A small travel sized bag, ideally on wheels will be perfect.


the essential & realistic hospital bag checklist for mom, dad & Baby


What should I pack for an overnight hospital bag?


Below is a realistic list of all the hospital bag essentials things I suggest to pack:


For Mom


  • DARK old towels
  • Heavy + nighttime sanitary towels/pads
  • Cheap big knickers, a few sizes bigger than you don’t mind throwing away after. Black
  • Disposable briefs/knickers. I got these ones from Mothercare (LINK)
  • X2 Maternity/nursing bras
  • X2 pajamas
  • Dressing gown
  • Comfortable outfit for going into the hospital and for the leaving the hospital
  • Water bottle to refill
  • Lose baggy shirt or dress you can wear for the labor + delivery
  • Pillow – Essential in my opinion!
  • Hair bobbles + clips


Important items


  • Birth Plan
  • Insurance
  • Passport/ Id depending on hospital requirements
  • Passport photos (if needed depending on hospital regulations and birth certificates)
  • Mobile phone & charger (delete some pics to free up space before)
  • Camera + charger
  • Change for parking
  • Snacks and drinks for mom + dad (more on this below)




Note that all the products I’ve recommended are vegan-friendly, organic, and contain natural ingredients that are safe for you and baby!


  • Shampoo and Conditioner. Use travel size ones to save bringing big bottles.
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Cleanser
  • Facial moisturizer
  • Lip balm
  • Massage oil for labor. I’m using coconut oil but I’m sure I’ll get this one.
  • Essential oils. Rollerballs with essential oils can be useful and they are easier to use on the day. I love these ones and use them daily (LINK)
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Body moisturizer or Coconut oil
  • Cooling facial water spritz to keep you hydrated Great for when you’re tired too!
  • Hairdryer – optional. I packed a travel one for my first birth but I didn’t use it. Plus, I live in a warm climate so I didn’t need one. If you have hair that takes a while to dry (or you want nicer post birth pics ? then it might be a good idea to bring one with you).
  • Makeup – get a small bag of your essentials only. You won’t have the time or care about having a full face of makeup on. For me, it’s a tinted moisturizer, under eye concealer, mascara, and eyebrow pencil.
  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Arnica tablets  – can be taken after delivery and are helpful to reduce bruising and swelling


Hypnobirthing/Birthing Items


  • Headphones to listen to music (wireless is better)
  • Bachs Herbal Rescue Remedies Spray  to use in labor to ease anxiety and stress
  • Written affirmations and positive birth statements
  • Hypnobirthing music/relaxation tracks
  • Printable hypnobirthing relaxation notes for a partner to read
  • Birthing ball/ Gym ball. This time i’m bringing my own because they didn’t have one available last time. It sounds ridiculous but you’ll be glad on the day!


Breast and Bottle Feeding:


Setting up a breastfeeding station at home is a great way to have everything ready for you for when you arrive back so you can quickly and easily access everything you need.


For the hospital:


  • Breast pads, disposable or Re-usable 
  • Nipple cream – This one is THE BEST  and safe for your baby. You can also use coconut oil but it’s not as effective for painful, cracked nipples!
  • Nipple shield. This is optional and a bit of a controversial topic but if it helps the baby latch on and establishes breastfeeding then its a go in my opinion.
  • Formula – If your choosing to bottle feed. (note that hospitals usually provide this but double check beforehand and if you want  particular one for your baby then be sure to bring it)




  • Magazines, books etc


Honestly, I brought my kindle with me for my first birth and it was a total waste of time!


IF you have any time during labor and delivery, sleep mama sleep!


I suggest using these as tools before you go to the hospital to help ‘distract’ you and stay in a calming mood before labor is truly established.


I promise you that when you’re in established labor if Mrs. J.K Rowling is there in person, YOU WON’T CARE! ?


? Freebie Alert ?


Hospital Bag Checklist PDF


You can get the full printable checklist by subscribing HERE. You’ll also receive a whole resource library with additional resources for pregnancy, birth & healthy living.



For Baby:


  • Sleepsuits-X3
  • Vests-X3
  • Going home outfit. Optional but I’m so glad I had this for my first. It was extra special and it was great for all the first pics you’ll take!
  • Newborn nappies
  • Muslin cloths-X3 (you can never have too many!)
  • Baby Towel. (Sometimes the hospital provides this but it’s nice to have your own soft one)
  • Socks
  • Scratch mittens
  • Hat
  • Blankets. X1 cellular blanket for wrapping while baby sleeps +  X1 warmer blanket
  • Coat/snowsuit depending on weather
  • Cotton wool for cleaning baby bottom or use water only baby wipes
  • Newborn nappies
  • Presents for other children if needed
  • Baby sling or nursing wrap
  • Car seat – installed before you leave the hospital. Make sure you’ve installed it correctly and safely.


For Dad


  • Change of clothes + underwear
  • Notepad and pen
  • Toiletries
  • Magazines, books something to keep busy (while your resting of course ?)


Hospital bag snacks and drinks 


I highly suggest you bring lots of snacks with you. Labour can be LONG and TIRING.


And as much I think it’s us, mamas, doing all the work, it can be a long slog for partners too. So, packing enough food is essential.


However its equally as important to bring QUALITY, NUTRITIOUS snacks with you.


You are bringing a child into this world mama AND you are going through a time when you need all the energy you can get!


This isn’t the time to eat Mcdonalds!


It requires a bit of preparation before but it’s essential to give you sustained energy, keep your blood sugar stable and to recover quickly.


Its the one time when you really need to make an effort with what foods you are eating!


To make sure it’s as easy as possible for you, you’ll need healthy snacks that you can make ahead of time that is portable and easy to eat.


Try these meal prep tips, recipes and snack ideas that you can prepare before the baby arrives!


Over to you Mama! What are the essentials that you packed in your hospital bag? What do you wish you would have packed? Let me know in the comments. ??


the essential & realistic hospital bag checklist for mom, dad & Baby


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