Having a baby soon? Keep This Hospital Bag Checklist Handy

The big day is almost here. Woo-hoo! Just one thing: you haven’t packed your hospital bag yet. You’re pretty sure you shouldn’t bring a 12 pieceluggage setwith you for a 48-hour hospitalization, but even your work reading list is in better shape than your to-go list. Yes, packing for “baby day” isn’t exactly easy. Narrow things down with this hospital bag checklist that covers all the essentials!


Sorry, there’s just no polite way to put it – tampons are a major no-no right after having a baby. That said, hospital-provided mega-super-flow maxis are more like your newborn’s diapers than what you’d buy at the store. Grab a box (or more) of your favorite pads before heading to the hospital. Seriously. You will need it.

Additional protection

Some moms even recommend going beyond pads. Alex Capshaw-Taylor, knitwear designer and mum to 18-month-old, urges: “Buy yourself it depends. They’re so much more comfortable and convenient than the giant pad and one-size-fits-all underwear the hospital gives you. Payne backs up that sentiment, though she also recommends packing men’s boxers to “hold those huge pads and ice packs you’ll need after giving birth.”

Comfortable high-waisted underwear

You’ve been dreaming for months of getting back into that pretty little thong. But the need for pads means he’s not quite ready to make his big comeback. While your friends are busy telling you that comfortable clothes are essential after giving birth, they might forget to mention that what you wear under them is just as important.


Speaking of comfortable clothes, you might be considering buying the best looking pajamas possible to look good on your visitors. Just wait until you’ve been in labor for 12 hours and pushed a few more – looking stylish won’t be your priority. Childbirth isn’t exactly the cleanest thing you can do, and no one will care about how you look at the time. They’ll all be focused on the squishy little bundle of howling joy you just delivered. It’s the perfect time to be cozy rather than chic.

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Of course, the hospital will be happy to provide them to you. (Just paste the price on the insurance bill.) But you’re a cool mint gel girl, and the hospital’s standard variety is plain mint paste. Not to mention, you love a dentist-clean battery-powered brush, and all they give you is a manual. Your own toothbrush and toothpaste may seem insignificant now. But these little comforts of home will make the difference during your stay.

Lip balm

Lipstick? Not if necessary. Lip balm? Absolutely! Dry hospital air won’t do your lips a favor. Instead of chapping and cracking, keep some of your favorite balm in your bag. While you’re at it, add your favorite body and hand cream.

Hair ties, headband or barrettes

Even if you have time to shower, you probably won’t want to dry your hair. Keep it simple during your hospital stay and stick to a ponytail or throw on a cute headband to satisfy your style cravings.

Extra phone charger

The constant stream of “Congratulations!” the texts and Facebook messages you receive will definitely drain your phone’s battery. Make sure you can stay in touch with friends and family, take millions of photos of your new baby, and post as much as you want on IG while keeping your phone charged. If you only have one charger at home, buy a spare and put it in your hospital bag. You’re unlikely to remember to grab your regular nightstand charger when your water breaks.


“Bring snacks!” says Laura Craig, artist and mother of two children (four years and 18 months). “Hospital food left a lot to be desired and buying from the food court was expensive. The familiar food will not only keep you nourished, but will also be a comforting creature amidst all the changes of these few days. Danielle Payne, a paralegal and mother of two (four years and seven months), agrees. “I really appreciated the friend who brought me bagels and sweets on the first day. It’s better to have flowers!” She also says that Swedish Fish ended up in both of her bags (which is an idea we can totally accept, hospital stay or not!).

A homecoming outfit

For Capshaw-Taylor, that meant “a pretty dress and heels” to honor the “remnant of my pre-baby life.” For Payne, that meant more than what she ended up packing, which was a pre-maternity sweater dress that turned out to be too constricting and itchy. (Note!) She and Wenger both agree that while it may be a complete bummer, packing maternity clothes to wear after giving birth is the most comfortable and practical clothing option.

What else do you carry in your hospital bag? Tweet us your list of things to bring for baby’s day @BritandCo!

featured photoby Amina Filkins/Pexels.

Additional reporting by Megan Parry.

This article has been updated.

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