Ultimate Hospital Packing List For Expecting Parents

Springfield MO maternity photographer captures pregnant mom sitting on field holding belly

One of the most asked questions for expecting moms nearing their due date is what is the best hospital packing list for their hospital bag.  I have made an ULTIMATE list from what hundreds of moms suggested ranging from minimalist to extras that moms thought were nice to have.

Here is the ultimate hospital packing list of everything will ever need.

Must bring for you:

  • 2 or 3 changes of clothes for you. Think loose and comfy. Still maternity clothes.  You will be sore everywhere, so whatever is comfy and loose. I wore loose athletic shorts and Maternity shirts. Even a maternity dress would be good, especially if you have a C-section.  Just make sure your boobs are easily accessible if you plan on nursing.  They make nursing dresses and nightgowns that are both easy and comfortable. 
  • Phone charger.  I suggest getting an extra-long one so you can use it from the hospital bed.
  • Flip flops or sandals for showering and walking around your room
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Hair comb
  • Sports bra or nursing bra if you plan on breastfeeding.  My nurses had me wear it during labor unless I planned on not wearing any bra at all.
  • Shampoo
  • Towel.  My hospital did not provide one to me when I had any of my kids. Many moms said their hospital did. I would pack one just in case.
  • Ponytail/ scrunchy
Kansas city maternity photographer captures pregnant mom in field as storm rolls in

Must bring for baby:

  • 3-4 Baby’s outfits.  Make sure you have layers, regardless of the season.  Many hospitals are FREEZING, in my opinion.
  • Carseat
  • Baby blanket.  I delivered at Cox with both children, and they provided a swaddle as well as a few baby blankets, but I always brought my own just in case.  As well as for the ride home.
  • Pacifier if you choose to
  • Socks
Springfield MO newborn photographer captures family at birthing center in springfield holding newborn and smiling down at her

Optional but are usually nice to have:

  • Robe, if you plan on wearing your own instead of hospitals during labor. I chose to wear my own when I had my youngest, and I wish I had done it with my first, too. It was so comfortable to walk around in, soft, and easy to nurse once the baby was here.  I thought it would be a 1x use, but mine was short, and just pulled it up when I delivered, and it was completely dry and stain-free by the end.  Just make sure it’s easy for nurses and doctors to put monitors on your belly, easy to get IVs in your arms, and easy for you to move your legs as needed. I opted for a ¾ sleeve, thin, thigh-length robe and loved it.
  • If you plan on getting an epidural, I suggest activities. I am SUPPER slow laborer (days), so I brought iPad and coloring books with both my kids once I got my epidural. It can get long, and you can’t move.
  • Bobby pillow
  • Chapstick
  • Fuzzy socks
  • PJs for you.  I personally just stayed in loungewear the whole time, so it wasn’t necessary, but I know some people prefer real PJs.
  • Your pillow
  • Makeup
  • Headphones.  I LOVED having some to help me relax during labor to help me tune out everything else that was going on and focus on my breathing.
  • This isn’t technically something to bring, but on your phone, I liked a relaxing playlist of songs I made to listen to.  It helped me relax by listening to music that was calming to me.
  • Essential oils
  • Letterboard for photos
  • Cute swaddles/ bows/ outfit for pictures
  • Snacks.  Post-delivery hunger is REAL, and I’ve never been more hungry in my life.  I ate CONSTANTLY.
  • Cash for the vending machine
  • Lotion.  My skin felt so dry after birth. The lotion was nice.
Kansas City Newborn photographer captures family picking flowers with toddler and newborn baby

For your support person:

  • pillow
  • blanket
  • food.  You will get hospital food, but they will not provide your support person with food.  
  • 2 changes of clothes
  • Hygiene items
  • Water Bottle

Items your hospital typically provides but may be nice to bring your own:

  • Nipple cream if nursing
  • Nipple Guard if nursing
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Heavy Pads for postpartum bleeding
  • Postpartum underwear. I suggest granny panty style unless you go with disposables.  The hospital typically provides disposables, and they are AMAZING, in my opinion.  They are so comfortable.
  • Swaddlers for your newborn
  • Burp cloths
  • Breastpump
  • Bottles and formula if you are planning to bottle feed
  • Diaper Cream
  • Baby Lotion
  • Baby soap
  • Baby hairbrush

I hope this hospital packing list is helpful as you near your due date.

Are you looking for a newborn photographer?

Hey, I’m Jessica, a maternity, newborn, and family photographer based in Springfield MO specializing in capturing families from pregnancy to your baby’s first year. I help with everything from finding the perfect outfits, location, planning, preparation, and more! I even have a motherhood client closet as well as a Bump To Baby Membership for exclusive discounts and perks for bundling multiple sessions. For more information, click HERE.

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