Integrative Nutrition for Women's Health 

Packing Your Hospital Bag: The Essential Checklist for First-Time Moms

Hey there, soon-to-be mamas!

I remember standing in the middle of my nursery, staring at an empty suitcase and feeling utterly clueless about what to pack for my hospital stay. Trust me, I’ve been there, and if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that having a packed hospital bag ready to go can really ease some of those pre-birth jitters.

So, let’s dive into creating your perfect hospital bag checklist, peppered with tips, must-haves, and a few giggles along the way. Whether you’re due in 2024 or beyond, this guide is for you!

When to Pack Your Hospital Bag

First things first, timing is everything. Aim to have your bag packed by 35-36 weeks. Why? Well, babies have their own schedules, and sometimes baby’s can come early! It’s best to be prepared than feel rushed when labor begins.

Essentials for Mom


Keep your ID, insurance information, and birth plan (if you have one) at the top of your bag. I had mine in a bright folder labeled “DO NOT FORGET” – a little dramatic, but it worked! It’s also important to have your pediatrician contact information ready since they will ask you about this at the hospital.

You can get some very inexpensive organizers on Amazon to keep things together:

Binder to take to hospital as a first time mom
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Pack a couple of comfortable gowns, socks (yes, hospitals are cold!), slippers, nursing bras, slip-on-shoes, and a going-home outfit. You can do a gown or simple pj’s since it was easy and comfy. Remember, comfort is key!

first time mom must have hospital gown
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comfy hospital outfit for new moms
Buy on Amazon – Click Here
Hospital outfit for new moms
Buy on Amazon – Click Here


Your toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, face wash, deodorant, and especially lip balm (hospitals are super dry) are musts. And don’t forget unscented lotion – I was so grateful for mine during my stay. Other things to consider are hair ties, dry shampoo, face wipes, and make up (it’s okay to want to feel your best!).

Hospital bag for new moms
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Comfort Items

A pillow from home (with a distinguishable pillowcase), your favorite snacks, and maybe a book or e-reader can make your stay more pleasant. I created a playlist of my favorite tunes, which was a game-changer during labor.

Consider also packing a long phone charger, bath towel, nipple balm, mood lights, and anything else you’d need to make your stay comfortable. I like to visualize myself going through the experience to see what things come up for me!

Health Items

Include prescriptions, prenatal vitamins, and any medications recommended by your doctor. Better safe than sorry!

For the Baby

2024 Baby sleeping


Pack a few onesies, socks, a hat, and a going-home outfit!

Going home outfit to pack in hospital bag
Buy on Amazon – Click Here


If you plan to nurse, pack nursing bras and breast pads. Even if you plan to breastfeed, bringing a bottle might be a good idea – just in case.

Care Items

Newborn diapers, wipes, a blanket, and most importantly, a car seat for the journey home. Don’t be like me and wait until the last minute to figure out how to install it! If you are feeling lost, you can check your local CHP office or local health department to find a technician who can help you install your car seat before heading to the hospital.

Items for Your Partner or Support Person

Don’t forget about your birthing partner! Snacks, water, a change of clothes, and something to kill time are essential. My partner was grateful for the snacks, especially during the late-night hours.


Packing your hospital bag doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With this guide, you’re well on your way to being prepared for one of the most exciting moments of your life. Remember, while it’s important to be prepared, it’s also okay to be flexible. After all, the best-laid plans often go awry, especially when it comes to childbirth. Plus, hospitals do provide a lot for new mamas, so if you forget anything, don’t worry!

To all the first-time moms out there, you’ve got this! Embrace the chaos, pack those bags, and get ready for the incredible journey of motherhood.

I’d love to hear your story!

Got any lifesaver items that you packed in your hospital bag? Or perhaps a funny story about something you brought but didn’t need? Share your experiences in the comments below – let’s support each other on this wild ride called motherhood!

Clinical Nutritionist

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Packing Your Hospital Bag: The Essential Checklist for First-Time Moms

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