By TMoM Team Member Suzy Fielders

I’m far from a first-time mom as I have a 16-year-old daughter; however, as you can see it had been some time since I had a baby in the hospital. That changed in June of 2022 when I had another daughter. As it had been so long it was almost like being a new mom again when it came to things like what to pack for the hospital. For her I packed more than we really needed as I completely forgot.

Hospital bag

But when I had our third daughter in May of 2023, I felt much more prepared, and we packed very light! I knew this time we only needed the essentials.

New moms

To help other new moms – or moms like me who had been away from the baby-world for a while – I wanted to share things you should and shouldn’t pack in your hospital bag for when baby arrives.

First off, remember this is a very temporary stay unless you have complications arise. Then, you’d most likely be able to or want to have someone bring other things at that point. But you do not really need to have in advance.

What to Pack

  • Pajamas – highly recommend ones with a button-up shirt if breastfeeding. Trust me you will be much more comfortable even that short time in these versus those terrible hospital gowns.
  • Phone & charger – do not forget the charger!
  • Going home outfits for all!
  • Snacks – easily the most important thing on this list! If staying with a spouse or significant other be sure they have snacks too.
  • Basic hygiene products – I like using my own toothbrush and toothpaste so I packed that, but the hospital does supply those and shampoo and soap and a few other things. Don’t forget your brush or comb!
  • For contact/glasses wearers – contact case, contact solution, and glasses!
  • This one is optional – baby book for prints (however if you have a removable sheet just bring that) or the hospital does provide a souvenir sheet with prints you can always use in the baby book.
  • Change or two of clothes for your spouse/significant other/birthing partner.

What You do NOT Need to Pack

  • Diapers and Wipes – hospitals supply these for you while you are there, and you can always ask for more!
  • Underwear (except to go home in) – the reality is there will be a lot of blood and the pads needed are huge, so you can use the disposable ones supplied by the hospital.
  • Pads – another supply the hospital gives you and you can ask for more of
  • Tons of baby outfits – again you won’t be in the hospital long, so you really don’t need more than one or two. We opted to have everyone visit the baby for the first time in our home vs. the hospital due to COVID rules in 2022 still, so our baby just stayed swaddled in the warm blankets the whole time. We didn’t even need any baby outfits other than going home ones! This plan worked so well we did the same in 2023.
  • Books or things to do – trust me you won’t have time for it once the baby arrives and prior to the baby arriving you likely won’t be able to do much of anything among those painful contractions. The one thing you might want to consider is a tablet (and charger) with movies/shows downloaded for the wait area/pre-delivery room.
  • Diaper bag – you really don’t need this since they supply everything for baby from diapers to blankets during your stay there. Unless you have a long drive home from the hospital then maybe leave the bag in the car with the essentials for baby.
  • Formula – if you aren’t able to breastfeed or don’t plan on breastfeeding the hospital also will give you formula to use while there.
  • Documentation – other than showing your ID at the hospital check in you do not need any type of documentation for yourself, partner, or baby.
  • Masks – pretty much all the hospitals locally have lifted the mask mandates, so having one is completely optional at this point.
  • Make up or jewelry – they want you to wear no jewelry during birth in case of a c-section, so you do not need any of this. Honestly, I rarely wear makeup under normal circumstances, and I certainly didn’t have time to apply anything once the baby arrived. However, this is another one of those optional things but if you do bring makeup would recommend a minimal amount.

I hope this list helps the moms out there! For those who just recently had a baby, what items not mentioned were must-haves for you? Or what were things you brought that ended up being a waste of space in your bag?

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