When it comes to getting ready for the birth of your baby there are many things to do and packing a hospital bag is one of them! I remember when our first child was born – it looked like we packed the entire house, so funny! I had so many “just in case” items and things that just took up too much space. One thing is for sure you learn so much as you go and really get a feel and knowledge of what you really need and what can be left behind. Keep in mind I tend to have more of a minimalist approach but I have never been without anything I actually needed! We birth through a Mid-Wife center inside the hospital and are typically only there for about 24 hours total, of course, if you are staying longer you may need to double up on some clothes, etc. Here are some of my personal must have hospital bag necessities. I have also included a packing list from my doula to compare and include other items for husband, etc! For more Favorite Pregnancy and Postpartum Essentials click here!

You can shop all items by clicking on the photo to be directed to site!

Large Duffle Bag with Cosmetic Case


Toiletries/Post Partum Toiletry Items 

Toothpaste, toothbrush, lip balm (lips get so dried out during and after labor), deodorant, disposable facial cleansing wipes, minimal make-up essentials (concealer, powder, mascara, eyeliner – only if you’re wanting to touch up for pictures), hair ties/clips, hair brush. *I typically will take a shower once I get home so I don’t ever feel the need to bring along shampoo, body wash, lotions, or face wash(all personal preference on this one, especially if staying more than one night/day). If you do plan on showering I highly recommend packing flip flops so you aren’t going barefoot.


Perineal spray is so nice to have on hand for those post birth bathroom trips and overall soothing. You certainly want to avoid using the toxic aerosol spray the hospital provides. You most likely won’t need nipple cream for the hospital but doesn’t hurt to bring along and doesn’t take up hardly any space! Alternatively organic coconut oil works as well in place of nipple cream if you prefer that instead. I also pack Organic Vitamin K drops as a just in case for baby. We forego the synthetic vitamin K dosage given via shot and use organic drops over the first month or so but I still pack them in my bag even though baby most likely doesn’t need until arriving home. 


Nursing bra/Sport Bra – 1 of each is nice, I tend to wear sport bra during labor and nursing bra remainder of time. Remember under wire is not suggested if you plan to breastfeed. Comfortable cotton underwear – I have never been a fan of the mesh panties they provide but some women love them. It is all personal preference, but I do recommend bringing a pack from home such as Haynes or Fruit of loom. The hospital should provide pads but you could always bring a pack if you prefer a certain size and fit. Pajamas – top/pant set with buttons. A pair of comfortable stretch like yoga pants- I use my maternity leggings, nursing camisole, and one comfortable t-shirt. Cheap house slippers to wear around the room – I always discard them when leaving hospital so I am not bringing any potential germs home with us! Going home outfit, I always wear a very loose and comfortable dress or maternity leggings and top. 







In Labor Necessities

Diffuser and essential oils are something I can not go without during labor. Depending on where you birth they might already be provided(my doula brings a diffuser so it is one less thing that takes up space in my bag), I bring my own preferred oils. Lavender is great for calming and relaxation and peppermint is great for any nausea and/or boost of energy.  


For Baby

Baby really truly only needs a couple of essentials for the hospital. Things like hats, blankets, diapers, even clothes will be provided by hospital. I use what they have during our stay and then use my regular go to’s at home. I pack 2 outfits, both being footed and having the fold over cuff mittens for hands. I suggest one outfit in size newborn and one in size 0-3M because you never know how big or small baby will be, along with a separate pair of mittens in case the hospital outfits don’t have the fold over cuffs(they typically do but mittens is always good to have on hand to avoid them scratching their face). You should be able to use the hospital blanket they provide for the car ride home in case it is breezy or chilly, you can also use it as a carseat cover when leaving the hospital. Yay for multi use of items right?! *Footed outfits are so much easier and more comfortable to wear in the carseat going home, I would avoid gowns for this reason.


Favorite After Labor Snacks

Don’t forget to pack some healthy snacks for you and your partner!


I hope this helps you mama’s get a realistic idea of what to pack in your hospital bag for the future and as you can see it can be very simple! Thanks for reading and feel free to share with any expecting mom-to-be’s!

For more Favorite Pregnancy and Postpartum Essentials click here!


Packing List for Birth Hospital From My Doula

Courtesy of Nashville Doula Services 

(*)What I actually bring/use. 

For Mama for Birthing:
 Photo ID*
 Insurance card*
 Birth plan*
 Water bottle (one with a straw is helpful)
 Snacks (include coconut water or another electrolyte drink)*
 Hair rubber bands / clips*
 Lip balm*
 Comfy clothes (e.g. loose skirt, tank top, big shirt, sports bra, bathing suit, etc.)*
 Slippers – get cheap slippers because they may get dirty at the hospital*
 Flip flops or easy slip-on shoes for going to the bathroom*
 Socks
 Whatever you want to help you relax (e.g. music, birth ball, aromatherapy, massage oil, etc.)
o Essential oils and diffuser (doula will have this!)*
o Music player or use phone
 Your own toilet paper because hospital toilet paper is so thin
****Cooler for placenta if you plan on encapsulating***

For Partner Hospital:
 Water bottle
 Snacks*
 Cell phone & charger*
 Camera or video camera*
 Toiletries*
 Cash & credit card*
 Comfortable shoes*
 Comfortable clothes*
 Bathing suit (If you want to get in the shower or birth tub with your partner.)*

For Mama Postpartum Hospital:
(These items can be packed separately and brought in after the baby is born.)
 Snacks*
 Cell phone & charger*
 Toiletries (including contact lens products and any medications, if applicable)*
 Ibuprofen or arnica (It will save you money to bring your own.)
 Comfortable pajamas that allow for easy nursing access (You do not need to pack a nursing bra or
tank. A shirt or nightgown that buttons down the front or a tank top you can easily pull down will
work well at this stage. However, some women like the support of a nursing bra. It should not
have an underwire.)*
 Robe and slippers*
 Postpartum underwear, think Fruit of the Loom (Optional—they’ll give you postpartum
 A comfortable going-home outfit (e.g. loose skirt and nursing-friendly shirt)*
 Pen & pad (to write down questions, memories, etc.)
 Extra pillows or a boppy

For Baby:
(These items can be packed separately and brought in after the baby is born.)
 2 or 3 going-home outfits that can accommodate the car seat strap between the legs, include socks
/ booties; hats*
 Warm baby blanket (The ones provided are a little light-weight for going home in winter.)
 Car seat snuggie or outdoor gear for baby if it’s winter
 Installed, rear-facing, infant car seat*

Postpartum At Home Supply List

For Mama:
 Stretchy, mesh underwear (given at hospital or order online at www.inhishands.com)
 Full, dark-colored, comfortable, 100% cotton underwear*
 Cloth or disposable menstrual pads (all sizes, from overnight to panty liner and everything in
between, avoid the Always brand)*
 Witch hazel (soothing astringent to soak pads in postpartum)*
 Hydrogen peroxide (great for getting blood stains out of fabric)
 Peri bottle (given at hospital or order online at www.inhishands.com)*
 Herbal sitz bath blend (Earth Mama Angel Baby has a great blend)*
 Mama Butt Spray from Earth Mama Angel Baby
 Shallow plastic container for sitz bath
 Pre-fold cloth diapers (wonderful for leaky breasts & burp cloths)*
 WishGarden AfterEase (tincture for afterpains, especially important if you have birthed or
miscarried before)
 Advil / ibuprofen (for afterpains, soreness, and swelling)
 Prenatal or daily vitamin (if taken during pregnancy)*
 Nursing pillow(s)*
 100% pure lanolin cream or lanolin free cream from
Earth Mama Angel Baby*
 Water bottle*
 Red raspberry leaf tea*
 Healthy, nutritious meals and snacks*
 Extra towels and sheets

For Baby At Home:
 Cloth and/or disposable diapers*
 Cloth and/or disposable wipes*
 Diaper pail and liners (necessary for cloth diapers)
 Pre-fold cloth diapers (wonderful for burp cloths, airing out; messy diaper changes)*
 Seasonal clothes*
 Newborn hats*
 Baby blankets for swaddling*
 Moses basket, bassinet, or co-sleeper*
 Infant car seat*
 Sling or other infant carrier (I recommend the Moby and/or the Ergo.)*
 Thermometer (one that can take axillary and rectal temps)*
 Bulb syringe (take one from the hospital, these are the best)*
 Clean & Clear Detergent to wash baby clothes, blankets, and burp cloths*