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The last time I had a baby was over eight years ago. Eight years! I am pretty sure things have changed since then. Back then, I definitely overpacked. You can say I pretty much packed my house and the nursery. But now, I am wiser. These days, hospitals, at least the ones in my area allow you to take whatever you need before you leave the hospital and provide whatever you need while there. In an effort to make things easier for you, mom-to-be, I’ve curated a list of The Only Items You Need to Pack in Your Hospital Bag when you’re admitted for labor and delivery.

Related: KeaBabies has Budget-Friendly Baby Must-Haves for Expectant Parents

Beauty and the Bump NYC took the guesswork out of packing a hospital bag, and put together a list of the Only Items You Need To Pack In Your Hospital Bag.

Must-Have Items for Mom to Pack

Important Paperwork

The hospital where I am delivering provides all of the hospital paperwork in advance. We can mail it prior to being admitted, which they prefer or bring it. Depending on your hospital’s preferences, put together a folder that will remain in your hospital bag that contains the following:

  • Completed Hospital Admission Paperwork
  • Birth Certificate Paperwork
  • Photo ID
  • Insurance Cards
  • Proof of address


Some hospitals may provide toiletries for use during your hospital stay for labor, delivery and maternity care. However, people have preferences. I know I do, so if you’re like me you may want to bring your own.

  • Body wash
  • Shower gloves or loofah
  • Unscented body lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Facial cleanser
  • Cotton pads
  • Toner
  • Face cream
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Tooth floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Lip balm/Lip loss
  • Nipple ointment
  • Hair ties
  • Hair bonnet
  • Brush
  • Comb

Clothing for Mom

During labor and delivery, you are not going to want to wear your good clothing because things can get really messy. What matters most is what happens after. You want to look decent enough for photos and guests, yet comfortable enough for whatever post-delivery throws at you. Plus, you’ll need clothing options that are practical for all of the poking and prodding nurses will do after the baby arrives, and for breastfeeding (if you choose).

  • Flip Flops for the shower
  • Full coverage underwear
  • Post-partum compression panty
  • Robe
  • Loungewear or sweatsuit
  • Slippers
  • Socks
  • Nursing-friendly nightgown or pajamas
  • Nursing bras
  • Breast pads
  • Going home outfit for you


Waiting for your baby to come can get boring so you’ll need something to keep you entertained in between resting and contractions.

  • Cellphone
  • Laptop or Tablet
  • Cellphone Charger
  • Laptop or Tablet Charger
  • Books/Magazines


Packing healthy snacks and things to keep you hydrated during your stay is good because hospital cafeterias aren’t always 24-hours and sometimes you can’t even bear to have a full meal. Keeping hydrated is also essential during labor and post-delivery. Bring bottled water, it’s cheaper than getting it from the vending machine. 

  • Bring a water bottle and/or bottled water
  • Snacks I’ll pack include: Kip’s Granola Bark (Cocoa Crunch & Cinnamon Crunch), Complete Eats Soft-baked Cookies
  • Prune juice – you’ll need this for when you have to “deliver” your post-delivery poop

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Baby

Items for Baby

You’re going to the hospital specifically for one thing: to have your baby. Everything for the baby, from diapers to formula, to blankets and shirts will be there. From experience, they’ll even take your baby to bathe them. Therefore, the items needed to pack in your hospital bag for your baby should be minimal.

  • Going home outfit for baby
  • Unscented Baby Wash + Lotion (If you’re picky about the products used on your baby)
  • Hat
  • Blanket/Swaddle (for photos)
  • Going home outfit for baby
  • Car Seat + Car Seat Base (of course this can’t fit in a bag)

Related: Baby Registry Checklist: Essentials for Baby – First Three Months

Remember, the hospital will provide you with a lot. During my last hospital stay, we left with a peri bottle, Tucks pads, sanitary napkins, chucks, diapers, formula, and more. Try not to overpack. A lot of the necessities you will need will have already been provided by the hospital.

Beauty and the Bump NYC took the guesswork out of packing a hospital bag, and put together a list of the Only Items You Need To Pack In Your Hospital Bag.

Related: Top 5 Items You Need to Add to Your Baby Registry