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Part of feeling prepared for your little one to arrive is to efficiently pack your hospital bags with all the possible necessities you can think of. It’s easy to get carried away but it’s also hard to make sure you have all your bases covered. If this is your first baby, you likely don’t know the details of how this is all really going to work out and what will help you get through it. This list of hospital bag necessities is of the must-have variety. Items such as make-up or hair dryer are not here. You can certainly have a baby without those things and still be comfortable. Feel free to pack your luxury comfort items but it’s quite possible you won’t even touch them!

This list is broken down into separate bags: Labor Bag, Recovery Bag, Partner’s Bag and Baby’s Bag. If you know that you will be laboring and recovering in the same room, you can easily pack your labor and recovery items into one bag.

Labor Bag

  • Birth Plan (one for the nurses, one for the doctor)
  • Music (ipod with headphones, or headphones for your phone)
  • Slippers
  • Robe
  • Lip Balm
  • Hair Ties/Headbands
  • Water bottle (hospital may provide, but you may prefer your own container)
  • Camera

Recovery Bag

  • Nursing Bras
  • Nursing Pads
  • Nipple Cream (if you’re planning on nursing the baby)
  • Nursing Tanktops
  • Comfortable bottoms (leggings, sweats, pj pants)
  • Toiletries (keep it simple)
  • Lots of beverages and easy healthy snacks
  • Chargers for your phone and camera
  • A comfortable going-home outfit (bring options)
  • Heavy sanitary pads
  • A few pairs of postpartum underwear
  • Boppy Pillow (or other nursing pillow)

Partner’s Bag

  • Two changes of clothes
  • Pillow and blanket (if there is a couch or chair to sleep on)
  • A book, tablet, etc. for entertainment in case your labor is LONG
  • Snacks and drinks, change for the vending machine
  • Check Book (this is in addition to any cards or cash you have with you)

Baby’s Bag

  • Going Home Outfit
  • Seasonally appropriate accessories (hat, blankets, mittens, socks, etc.)
  • Pacifier
  • Swaddle blanket (hospital will provide, but you may wish to use your own)
  • Sleep gown (hospital will provide, but you may wish to use your own)
  • Soap for baby’s first bath (hospital will provide, but you may wish to use your own)
If you know ahead of time that you will be having a cesarean, please read our post on C-Section Recovery Essentials for extra things to pack into your bag!
Joel Muniz Kodmxennaas Unsplash



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