What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag: For First Time Parents

Well, the time has come for me to officially have my hospital bags packed! At my last appointment, the doctor told me I will be doing twice a week hospital check in’s & NST along with my weekly appointment with her AND my appointments with my specialist. Basically, I am living in a doctors office. 

She said our goal is to make it to 37 weeks and in a perfect world, we will make it to my induction date at 39 weeks. However this last weekend I was SO happy to have my bags packed just in case since I started contracting every 4 minutes and lost my mucus plug (TMI, I know). 

Around the beginning of my 3rd trimester, I started asking for advice on Instagram of what I need to pack for me, hubby, and baby to the hospital and man did I get A LOT of advice. I love my Instagram community but after speaking with my hospital, I felt like I was told to bring a lot of unnecessary items (and that’s saying something coming from an over-packer like myself).

So I am sharing with you lost 1st-time parents like myself everything you need to know to prepare your hospital bags. 


This is a hard one because I see so many people have their bags packed at the 36-week mark. But labor is SO unpredictable and so many women have gone into labor at 36 weeks (I swear it’s the new 40) and didn’t have their bags ready. So for me, I had my bags started at 32 weeks and finished totally by 34 weeks. This is different for everyone but it seriously doesn’t hurt to just get it ahead of time and have them waiting for a few weeks in the nursery. You will be so grateful you planned ahead rather than waiting til last minute. 

Nursery decor can wait, hospital bags can’t.

TIP: Because I wanted my bags early, I just bought cheap but comfy items for my bag so I wasn’t limiting myself at home. Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Target make it so easy & inexpensive to grab a few outfits, shoes, and toiletries for you and the hubby. You don’t want to worry about remembering to grab your toothbrush or shoes when your water breaks. 

Even though it is different for everyone, I would suggest making a list of things you will need and questions to ask your hospital at the beginning of your 3rd trimester (28-30 weeks) and then finalizing, buying, and packing by 34 weeks. 

What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag For First Time Parents


I am SO glad I asked at my hospital tour what they would have to support mom and baby postpartum. So many people told me to basically pack everything me and the baby owns for the hospital and after speaking to some staff, I was able to narrow the list WAYYY down. 

I know as first-time parents we want to do everything our way. Our perfect diapers, creams, etc but let’s face it- hospital staff know a lot more than we do and if the baby uses their products the first few days I know they will be more than okay. 

My hospital provides:

  • Breast pumps (but you will be feeding baby regularly if you are breastfeeding anyways)
  • Formula
  • Bottles
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Creams
  • Lotions
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Toothpaste
  • Face Wipes
  • Swaddles
  • Hats
  • Mittens
  • Pads for Mama
  • Underwear for Mama

And basically anything you would actually need after labor for mom and baby. 

There are a few things on this list I wanted to bring of my own, but because I knew they had so many support items I was able to get me, hubby, and baby packed in two very small bags. 


I have to say I packed the most for myself than I did for baby or hubby. But a lot of it was toiletries that I need just to feel more like myself after a big event like labor. You know after a long, hard, day when you just want to come home shower and snuggle up with your favorite blanket in your favorite sweats? That’s the feeling I used to pack my bag.

What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag For First Time Parents

So for me, I packed:

I was able to get all of this packed on one side of a small carry on bag & had the entire other side open for my hubby!

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Dad was a lot easier to pack for because he needed just a few toiletries and the rest are clothes. I will be making him a “Daddy Survival Kit” full of snacks and drinks so he doesn’t have to leave me 50 times to get something to eat or drink. 

What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag For First Time Parents

For Dad:

  • Toothbrush
  • Linhart Toothpaste
  • 2 Pairs of Sweats
  • PJ Bottoms
  • 2 Sweaters
  • 2 T-Shirts
  • Slides
  • Body Soap
  • 3 Pairs of Socks
  • 3 Pairs of Underwear
  • Wireless iPhone Charger
  • Extra Long Charger & Port

Men are just so easy to pack for hahaha. It’s kind of annoying, isn’t it?! 

But that’s about it and we were able to get it all in our small carry on size bag!


This is probably the one you have been waiting for…

Like I said, the hospital provides ALOT. I didn’t want to bring my nursing pillow and breast pump when they will provide me all of that and why would I want to waste my precious diapers and wipes when the hospital has plenty? Leave that stuff at home where 1- you won’t get hospital grime all over your nursing pillow and 2- you won’t have the support at home you will have at the hospital so TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.

So for baby girl, I packed the minimum and basically just planned for pictures. I am not lugging 50 bags, nursing pump, hospital bag, diaper bags, and so on when we check out. I want it easy peasy. 

What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag For First Time Parents

All I packed for her was:

One outfit, swaddle, and bow she will wear home and one set she will wear for pictures. Our hospital provides “Fresh 48” pictures and I encourage bringing clothes or props you want for it. 

And that’s it for the essentials for Mom, Dad, and Baby. 

Now I did pack one more small “comfort/gift” bag. 


This is for me and dad to make us feel a little more like at home while we are in a strange place & soaking in our new roles as parents. 

I wanted to also include something for the incredible nurses that help us go through this journey. I didn’t pack this in my comfort bag but had it in a separate box my mom will bring to the hospital. What’s nice is that I won’t be bringing any of the gifts home so we just have to worry about getting it there. 

I packed:

  • 2 Soft Queen Size Blankets I got for $9.99 at Marshalls
  • Fully Charged iPad
  • Daddy Survival Kit (I will save this and nurses gifts for another blog)
  • Nurses Gifts
  • Extra Charger
  • Pillow

And that’s it. I feel like it seems like a lot but in reality, we have two very small bags my husband can easily bring with him to the hospital in one trip and bring to our car when we check out in one trip. 

I will update this blog (or write a new one) after I give birth because I’m sure there will be some things we might not use or maybe even needed. But for my first time, I feel pretty solid in everything we are bringing and I know the hospital will support us in anything extra we may have forgotten!

I would love to hear what you brought in your hospital bag that you couldn’t live without?!

Drop a comment below or shoot me a message on Instagram!

Good luck mamas and here’s to a safe and healthy delivery!