The third trimester has arrived and you’re starting to wonder what on earth do I need to put in my hospital bag?
It’s natural to start coming up with a list of a million things that you may need, but in all honesty you’ll likely need much less than you anticipate. Not to say there is anything wrong with overpacking. This is an exciting day you’re preparing for, and you don’t want to leave anything behind.
The good news is that the hospital provides quite a bit and you just have to cover the rest. I packed so many unnecessary things my first time and even some my second time. Now it’s the third time around, and I want to share with you what a third time mom packs in her hospital bag!
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Before we get to what’s in my hospital bag, let’s talk a bit about what the hospital provides for you.
What does the hospital provide?
Be sure to check and see what your hospital provides. Remember, you are paying to be there, so utilize everything they have to give you during your entire stay. Every hospital is different, so I recommend asking your care provider what will be available to you at the hospital so you don’t have to pack it.
Items that are most commonly provided at the hospital are:
- Meals for mom during stay
- Labor gown
- Mesh undies and Maxi pads
- Witch Hazel pads
- Numbing spray
- Peri bottle
Common items for baby include:
- Onesies and hats
- Receiving blankets
- Diapers and wipes
- Formula (if desired)
Now that we have that covered, let’s look at my ultimate hospital bag checklist!
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Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom
Everything can go in one bag if you’d like, but I’m going to separate things into items for mom and baby. You’ll need much more for yourself than baby. You just gave birth after all!
My Hospital Bag
Before I get to what’s in my bag, here are the bags that I personally packed to bring to the hospital.
I love this medium sized duffle that’s perfect to pack for a weekend getaway or a couple day hospital stay. I’ve used a Vera Bradley Weekender for years and recently got the new deluxe version. It has several extra pockets for organizing and a pocket and sleeve for a small computer or tablet. My iPad will definitely be joining us for FaceTiming our parents at the hospital!
This is my favorite diaper bag, so it’s backed with everything we need for baby. Luckily that isn’t too much as you’ll see below. I probably could have shoved everything into one bag, but I like having things separate. This way my diaper bag that has lots of extra pockets can also act as my purse holding my important things!
Every mom is different and we all have different preferences for birth. While most refer to a birth plan, I like to consider it a list of birth preferences. Plans tend to go out the window while preferences give you a list of options with your most important preferences first along with different backups if things don’t necessarily go the way you plan during birth.
I did not have a birth plan going into my first and I have some different preferences going into my second that I wish I would have brought with me. Third time’s the charm, and I’m bring this list of birth preferences that I created online from a birth plan worksheet by Lucy the Laborer.
Insurance Card & Photo ID
Good to have on hand for identification purposes. Just make sure they’re in your wallet and that your wallet makes it into your bag!
I am always very hot in labor and my friend recommend I pack my hand fan that I actually use for running and Disney trips! This rechargeable one is a steal at just $12.99 and comes in a few different colors. I’m excited to have it with me this go around.
Birth Affirmation Cards
A dear friend of mine made me these beautiful watercolor birth affirmation cards for me, and I plan to pull them out while I’m in labor as a reminder that I am a strong, birthing goddess. If you’re interested in making some of your own or just need some phrases on your mind, here’s a list of 100+ positive birthing affirmations from She Births Bravely!
Lots of breathing and dry hospital air calls for chapstick. Great to have during and after labor! My personal favorites are Aquaphor and EOS. (P.S. the Aquaphor doubles as diaper rash cream and it’s great for your skin.)
Cell Phone and Charger
Must haves for labor and postpartum! You’ll need your phone to text updates, take photos, play music (if desired), call or FaceTime doula/family/friends (if desired), etc. I recommend an extra long charging cable since you won’t know where the electrical outlets are in your room. Got to keep everything charged!
Diffuser and Essential Oils
This is entirely optional, but if you want to diffuse oils during your labor, I recommend bringing yours to the hospital! You’ll have the best smelling room on the floor.
Related Post: Unexpected Ways my 3rd Pregnancy is Completely Different
I recommend having plenty of easy snacks on hand for you and your partner throughout your stay. You will be hungry immediately following labor and snacks are a MUST! They’ll help tide you over before your first post baby meal. (Which is the most delicious meal you’ve ever had no matter what it is!) Even if you’re able to order a meal fairly quickly after birth, it will still likely be a few hours post delivery that you’re actually eating. A lot has to happen before you’re in your recovery room.
Nightgown or Pajamas
Comfort is key while in postpartum at the hospital. I lived in my nursing nightgown and loved the ease and comfort of it. This time I even bought a two pack of my favorite gown!
Something warm to wear over your nightgown or pjs is nice to have. You never know how your body temperature will react after you give birth. It’s nice to have something to cover you more when people are constantly coming in and out of your room too! I got mine from Caden Lane Baby and can’t wait to wear it this postpartum period.
If you’re planning to breastfeed, these are a must! Perfect to wear under your pajamas or comfy clothes and allow easy access for breastfeeding. These bras are my absolute favorite and they even come in busty sizing if you have a larger chest and smaller band size!
Think of your typical toiletries for traveling! You likely won’t have any sample size items that you would get at a hotel so be sure to have all your bases covered.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hair ties and/or headband
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Dry shampoo
- Chapstick (mentioned above)
- Glasses or contacts (don’t forget cases for both)
- Face wash
This will be my first time to try these bad boys out, but I’m a firm believer in all the Frida Baby products. A friend who recently had her baby recommended them, so I figured I’d give them a try. I’ll be sure to update y’all once this little one arrives!
Earth Mama Perineal Spray
I discovered this spray with my second and love it! It’s a natural, herbal spray that you spray down there after birth. It has witch hazel and other soothing elements to help with the pain! It’s also really great for hemorrhoids if you suffer from those.
Warm, Non-Slip Socks
My feet always get cold in the hospital! My hospital has actually provided non-slip socks to me for my second, but I’ll admit, mine were much comfier. You can use something that you already have at home, or get some special socks like these “Baby You’re Worth It” socks! You can also find some fuzzy, cute non-slip socks that match your style or personality.
Just like the socks, it’s nice to have something to easily slip on and off in the hospital. You’ll be there for a couple of nights and there’s no need to keep putting shoes on! Pssst…I got mine from Walmart for just $14 and they’re so soft and comfy.
Going Home Outfit
You’ll need something to wear when you leave the hospital, but don’t assume you’ll be even close to your pre-baby size. I recommend something loose fitting and comfy in your 6 months pregnant size. Your uterus is still shrinking back down to normal size and you’ll definitely be sore. Pajama bottoms and a loose top or a loose fitting t-shirt or house dress would be perfect.
A few other items
Full coverage panties. The hospital provides amazing mesh underwear to wear with your pads, but some people don’t like them. You can pack a couple of your own pairs if that makes you feel more comfortable.
Your own pillow. Obviously the hospital has pillows, but you may want your own! Just be sure to have a distinguishing pillowcase (not solid white) so that you and the cleaning staff can differentiate.
Blow dryer and/or straightener. If you plan on doing your hair, you’ll need these because they won’t be provided! But let’s be real, you just had a baby, no one is going to judge you if your hair isn’t perfect.
Related Post: My Postpartum Experience after Baby 2
Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby
Like I mentioned above, many things that you would need for baby are provided by the hospital. You can leave your diapers and wipes at home; I promise they’ll get used quickly. Feel free to pack a few it if makes you feel more comfortable though!
Outfits for Photos
Be sure to pack a couple of outfits to take some of baby’s first photos in! Right now I highly recommend a sweet knot gown or footie sleeper. I love all the baby clothes from Caden Lane Baby and can’t wait to put my little one in this olive leaf knot gown!
There are also tons of options on Amazon at great prices. I have the cream colored gender neutral one below! I love that it came with a hat and a bow, so we can use the appropriate one when we find out the gender!
Pack a special swaddle blanket for pictures or just to use as something different than the hospital receiving blankets.
Going Home Outfit
Make sure to pack something for baby to wear on the way home! I recommend something as simple as a footie sleeper. You have to get them situated in their carseat for the first time, so the easier, the better.
Properly Installed Car Seat
Don’t leave for the hospital without it! You won’t be able to leave without a car seat. If you get the chance, have a professional look over the installation after you install it to ensure it’s as safe as possible. There are tons of places that will do this for free. Just Google “car seat inspection near me“.
That’s a wrap on your Hospital Bag Checklist!
I hope this hospital bag checklist has been helpful to you! My goal is to help you streamline your packing process and knock out the fear of leaving something behind. The good news is that even if you do, you’ll still survive! (Or you can have your partner run home/to the store to get what you need.)
Now sit back, take a deep breath and rest before one of the biggest days of your life. You’re going to do great, Momma!