One Awesome Hospital Bag Checklist to Save You Time

Advice from mom of 2 about when to pack, what to pack, and how to pack your hospital bag!

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What to pack in your hospital bag – advise from a mom of 2

If you don't deal with packing your hospital bag now, you'll hate yourself later. I know I did!

I am a mom of two little ones, so I have some experience in packing a hospital bag.  For our first daughter, I overpacked…a lot!!!  My poor husband couldn’t even carry everything in one trip and had to go back to the car for more stuff I “had to have”.  One of the main reasons is I was not prepared and shoved things into the bag at the last minute.  At the time, I didn’t have an awesome hospital bag checklist to use! 😉

For the second baby, I scaled down quite a bit and only packed the things I remembered using the first time.  I made a list and used just about everything on that list.  Now, I have made a prettier version of this list for you!

This list includes everything I had in my bag for me, Daddy, baby, and big sister.  For our first child, I had a non-scheduled C-section.  So going into our second pregnancy, I had a strong feeling I would have the same surgery.  When it came time to pack, kept that in mind and only packed what I used the first time.

When to pack your hospital bag

For our first child, I was not prepared when it came time to go to the hospital.  I worked as a staff accountant at the time and it was tax season.  I still had another week until my due date and I had a great plan for getting everything done in time.

When I went in for my weekly baby checkup, my doctor informed me the baby was measuring very small so we would need to induce labor that night!

My plan went straight out the window!   Nothing was packed in my bag!  I was running around like crazy trying to get it packed and run to the hospital.  At that time, I wished I had packed sooner and had a checklist to make sure I had everything needed.

For our second child, I had the majority of the bag packed two months ahead of the due date (just to be sure!).  Anything I didn’t use on a regular basis I packed up early.  Other things that I used on a regular basis were on a list sitting next to the bag so I could quickly check off and pack.

I’m so glad I packed so far ahead of time because we had the same surprise with our second child where we had to deliver early. This time, it was 2 weeks early!

Learn from my experiences.  You should pack anything you don’t use on a regular basis in your 30th week of pregnancy.  Then keep the rest of the list near your bag so you can pack it when you need to head to the hospital.

How to take charge of packing your hospital bag! Free printable checklist! Plus tips on: what to pack, when to pack, and how to organize your bag.

Who to pack for

Download the full hospital bag list here!


For Mom

Things that you should pack for yourself would include:

  • Shower toiletries
  • No shower toiletries (i.e. face wipes, face wipes, and body wipes)
  • Hair ties
  • Contact stuff/glasses
  • A small bag for jewelry (or leave it at home)
  • Hospital shoes
  • LOOSE clothing in a dark color
  • A robe
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soothies (these are amazing!!!)
  • Hospital Gown

For Dad

Because my husband could leave to get something we forgot, we packed only packed a few things for him:

  • Phone charger
  • Some clothes
  • Toiletries to take a shower
  • Toothbrush

For Newborn Baby

The local hospitals here provide diapers, wipes, and diaper cream.  Bring a bag to take these extra things home.  Once opened, the hospital can no longer use them and they send them home with you.

If you are formula feeding or need to supplement for any reason, the hospital will provide.  The hospital also provided shirts/gowns and swaddling blankets.  So, for our babies, we only needed to pack a few things.

  • 2 – 3 outfits in different sizes
  • Empty reusable grocery bags for anything you get to take home
  • Car seat

For Sibling – Big Sister/Big Brother

When we had our second baby, my mom stayed with our oldest.  When they came to visit us at the hospital, I wanted her to have something special from her baby sister.  “The baby” got her a pack of crayons, two coloring books, and a few snacks!  I packed a gift bag and tissue paper in our hospital bag so I could make a gift for “big sister”.  Her eyes lit up when her new baby sister gave her a present!

  • A gift from her new little sister

Get the free hospital bag checklist!


Things I packed the first time that I never used

  • Towels – I used the hospital towels so I would have one less thing to wash when we got home
  • Boppy – The lactation consultant only wanted to use pillows
  • Laptop – NO TIME
  • Underwear – hospital provided mesh underwear
  • Hair dryer – loud noises wake up the baby
  • A “nice” outfit for myself to go home in – Going home I didn’t care what outfit I was wearing
  • A “nice” outfit for the baby to go home in – both girls wore a premie outfit home


The organization is key!  I organized my bag using packing cubes. I sorted them by type of use. For example, I had one with things I would need while I was unable to get out of bed like dry shampoo and deodorant. And another with things I would need to take a shower.

I would recommend labeling things or having different colors of cubes.  That way if you cannot get out of the bed you can tell someone exactly which bag to get you.

My packing cube categories included:

  • Can’t get out of bed bag
  • Shower bag
  • Makeup bag (I packed 3 things)
  • Husband’s clothes
  • My clothes
  • Robe and a hospital gown
  • Breastfeeding bag
  • Hair ties and brushes
  • Electronic chargers

I hope you can learn from me

After overpacking for our first child, I seriously learned my lesson.  I created a hospital bag checklist with only the things I actually used during the first hospital visit.  I would definitely recommend packing your bag early and trying not to pack everything under the sun.  If you need or forget something, the hospital may provide some necessary items.  If not, ask one of your visitors to bring it.  Download my free hospital bag checklist so you don’t forget the things you actually need.

Don't let your hospital bag overwhelm you! There are more important things to worry about. Take a look at advice from a mom of two on what to pack, when to pack, and how to pack. #babyiscoming #hospitalbagchecklist

If you are looking for a simple way to organize your diaper bag?  Take a look here!

Looking for an inexpensive solution to storing clothes for your next baby?   Here is the solution.

What to pack in your hospital bag for mommy, daddy, baby, and big sister/big brother.

Read this to find out what to pack in hospital bag for mom. FREE PRINTABLE HOSPITAL BAG LIST!

2nd time around mommy's actual hospital bag checklist. FREE PRINTABLE
Need help knowing when to pack, what to pack, and how to pack? Take a look at these awesome ideas.

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