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The No Nonsense Guide To The Hospital Bag Checklist (Freebie)

Inside: Wondering what to pack for your hospital birth? Learn all the essentials and download a free printable hospital bag checklist. Plus, banish overwhelm when getting ready for baby with this guide. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure here

I’ve been in your shoes.

You’re preparing for the arrival of your baby and you have no idea what you need to pack for your hospital birth. You don’t want to forget anything, but you also don’t want to cram everything you own into your weekender bag.

I get it. I was like Santa with an obsessive twist. I wasn’t just making the list and checking it twice; I was checking it 10 times. Per day.

I was terrified I’d miss something and somehow everything would be derailed if I left my brush/lotion/robe/whatever at home. So, I loaded up my hospital bag.

Imagine trying to squeeze just one leftover pickle into a new pickle jar. You might be able to do it, but you’ll have a mess on your hands.

And guess what happened?

I had a ton of junk I didn’t really need. In a hospital room, that was already too small.

Because of that, I created this minimalist’s guide to the hospital bag checklist. These are all the things I recommend bringing with you when the big moment arrives.

Short on time? Compare all hospital bag picks on one page here.

The Minimalist's Hospital Bag Checklist | If you're a mom to be you'll love this guide that explains all the right things to bring when preparing for a hospital birth. It's realistic, simple and straighforward! #pregnant #pregnancy #pregnantlife #baby #maternity

The Minimalist’s Hospital Bag Checklist

Car Seat:

On a budget?

Don’t forget about the most important piece of gear you’ll need for bringing baby home.

This infant car seat is one of Amazons best sellers because it’s stylish, so affordable and safe for babies.

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy Tips



A robe is great for layering over the hospital gown for a little extra coverage and to help you feel less like a patient. I bought a plain, black non-maternity robe in one size up to that I still use today.

Loose Fitting Pajamas:

If you think you’ll want to venture out of the hospital gown, then you will need a pair of comfortable, loose-fitting pajamas. This pj set is cute, flowy and made for nursing in.

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy Tips

Comfortable Bra:

If you’re planning on breastfeeding, make sure you bring a nursing bra. If not, bring any comfy bra.

I bought and am in love with these nursing bras by Bravado. Even when you’re done nursing you can still use them because they come with some hardware that turns them into regular bras. This bra is the most comfortable bra I’ve ever worn!

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy TipsNursing Pillow:

Although not an absolute necessity, I still listed a nursing pillow as an essential because it helps immensely with getting baby into the perfect nursing position. I’ve talked about this AMAZING nursing pillow in this post about baby registry essentials, but if the Boppy didn’t work for you, definitely give this one a try! If you’ve already had kids and you don’t use one, skip this.

Click here to read reviews, see colors and check prices. 

Warm Socks:

I prefer bringing warm socks over slippers because my feet were cold even when I was lying in bed. If you’re planning on walking around when you’re in labor make sure the socks have some sort of traction or non-slip grip on the bottom.

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy TipsNursing Pads:

For most women, nursing pads are non-negotiable. I struggled with low milk supply and tender breasts so I loved the softness of these washable nursing pads. If you think you’ll be a heavy producer you may want to opt for disposable pads like these ones.

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy TipsFull Coverage Underwear:

With the amount of bleeding your body will be doing, you’ll want full coverage underwear like these ones to hold those giant pads you’ll be wearing. Plan to buy a size up from your pre-pregnancy size.


Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy Tips

Flip Flops:

The one thing I’d bet you’ll do while at the hospital is take a shower. I know I wouldn’t want to shower in the hospital without some cheap flip-flops to protect my feet. Don’t forget these!

Hospital bag checklist printable

Deodorant, Lotion, Toothbrush & Toothpaste:

Toiletries like deodorant, lotion and a toothbrush and toothpaste will also be a necessity. I haven’t tried this natural deodorant (although it’s been on my purchase list for a while) but it gets rave reviews on Amazon.

This lotion is one of my favorites and feels luxurious.

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy TipsWeekender Diaper Bag:

This chic diaper bag by Petunia Pickle Bottom is big enough to fit almost all your essentials and when you’re done at the hospital it’s the perfect sized diaper bag for short trips.

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy TipsTravel Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Brush & Hair Ties:

A few necessities for your hair will go a long way in making you feel prettier after the birth of your baby. Just pack the travel sizes so you don’t take up too much space in your bag.

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy TipsTowel:

Despite what you may be thinking, this towel isn’t for showering at the hospital. I would leave a towel (and maybe even a garbage bag) in the car when you’re close to your due date. Then, when it’s time, you can place it on your car seat, just in case your water breaks while driving to the hospital.

Nipple Cream:

If you plan to nurse, do NOT forget nipple cream. It’s amazing how quickly a bad latch can hurt your nipples. This natural nipple cream is the best I’ve tried at bringing sore, cracked nipples back into normal shape.

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy TipsHealthy Snacks:

Unless you had a big meal right before birth (ahem, I went to Red Robin while I was having contractions), then you’ll want some snacks while in labor or afterward. Opt for healthy snacks like Kind bars or apple chips to help you feel good.

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy TipsMakeup:

For me, some sort of makeup is a necessity. I love this CC cream because it’s affordable, provides great coverage, and it’s so easy to apply.


Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy Tips
Cell Phone & Charger:

I can’t live without my phone and even though you’ll probably be sleeping most of your downtime it’s nice to have with you to get a hold of family and to take pictures of your new little one.

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy TipsChapstick:

I bring this ultra-moisturizing chapstick with me wherever I go! Currently, I have 4 of them scattered throughout my house and purse so I’m never without one.

What To Pack In Hospital Bag For Baby

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy TipsSwaddle Blanket:

Most hospitals will give you a receiving blanket when your baby is born, but for our 8 lb baby, it came undone in roughly 3.2 seconds. Bring your own swaddle blanket, like this affordable set so you don’t end up frustrated with the hospital blankets.

Your baby will thank you.


Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy Tips


Bring a few changes of clothes for baby in a variety of sizes (likely newborn and 0-3 months) in case you have a big baby that won’t fit into newborn clothes. These onesies are gender-neutral, organic and adorable.

printable hospital bag checklist

Baby Mittens:

Our hospital didn’t give baby mittens so you’ll want to bring your own if your hospital is the same. Most of the time your baby will be swaddled, but when they’re not you want to make sure they don’t scratch their face.

These white mittens look like socks, but they’re Amazon’s (and parents) top baby mittens choice because they actually stay on your little one’s hands!

Baby Nail Clippers:

Nail clippers and mittens might seem like overkill, but there’s nothing sadder than a newborn baby with a face full of scratches.

These nail clippers are Amazon’s pick because they’re easy to use and allow you to see the nail bed while cutting.

Hospital Bag Checklist | Newborn Advice | Pregnancy TipsBaby Hat:

Even though our hospital provided a newborn beanie it was nearly paper-thin and it didn’t seem to do much. If you’ll be bringing home baby during the winter months you’ll especially want to be sure you have a thicker baby hat, like this one.

Burp Cloths:

Make sure you pack a few burp cloths in your hospital bag. I like ones like these burp cloths that are organic, larger and a great price. 

If I did it all over again, these are the things I’d bring with me to the hospital. Is there anything else you think is essential that I missed? Let me know in the comments below.

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Don’t forget to download your free printable hospital bag checklist below! 

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Friday 13th of October 2017

This a great list. I forwarded it to our daughter, who's having her first baby. Yes, it's our first grandchild as well and we are over excited. Love the ideas and the suggestion for depends. Thank you.

Sam T

Friday 13th of October 2017

Thanks, Tricia. I hope this does help and congrats to you and your family; how exciting!


Thursday 6th of April 2017

This list is perfect! I would add, bring a wet bag to take home anything that got dirty during your stay. And instead of big panties, this time around, I'm bringing Depends, because I was too afraid of messing anything up last time, and for me, those mesh panties they give you are impossible to stick the pad to securely.

Sam T

Thursday 6th of April 2017

Oh, a wet bag is a great idea!! I had to shove my stuff in a plastic bag we found lying around. You'll have to report back on how the depends treat you ;)

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