Creating your baby registry is one of the most exciting getting-ready-for-baby tasks a mama takes part in (other than, you know, growing a life). But even though sorting through adorably teeny this and itsy bitsy that can be loads of fun, that doesn't change the fact that there are SO many products from which to choose—not to mention slight variations in version for each. And how do parents know if you even need that *very specific* item to begin with, since each baby's likes are so different? It helps to have an expert guiding you through the what's-actually-worth-it process, whether it's veteran parents in your life who will likely offer up suggestions, or stores like buybuy BABY that handpick the must-have options and make registry building super easy for you.

From strollers to car seats and swings (because you'll definitely be needing a swing at some point), here are our top picks for first-time parents of the items you'll be glad you put on your baby registry, trust us.

UPPAbaby VISTA stroller

UPPAbaby VISTA stroller

The best recommendation is the one from someone you trust and if you ask around, it won't take long for you to learn that UPPAbaby® is one of the most beloved stroller brands by new and seasoned moms alike. The VISTA is their crème de la crème, and it comes with all sorts of high quality features (think an ultra-sturdy frame and all-wheel suspension to help absorb all those bumps on the road) that will keep your babe comfortable no matter where your walk takes you. Plus, it comes in a bunch of great colors and transitions to a double as your family grows.

$959.99

Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat

ChiccoKeyFitcarseat

When it comes to keeping your little one safe, a car seat is probably the most important piece of gear you'll buy. While you'll hopefully never need to test it out, the KeyFit® seat keeps your little peanut extra secure with things like side impact protection—plus, thanks to handy bubble indicators, installing it correctly doesn't require a rocket scientist[JS9] . It's all about making your life easier while helping you breathe easier, too!

$199.99

4moms mamaRoo classic infant seat

4momsmamaRooswing

All hail the infant swing 🙌. Whether your cute new bundle is generally calm or has more of a defiant streak, chances are there'll be a time when you need some hands-free soothing. Enter the mamaRoo, a beyond useful swing that looks as cozy as it is. Strap the nugget in, choose one of five distinct motion patterns, and let yourself enjoy that moment of solitude on the couch (without leaving baby unsupervised, of course).

$219.19

HALO Bassinest premier series swivel sleeper

HALOsleeper

Being a new mom is all about snuggles and, if we're being honest, surviving those sleepless nights. And since the American Association of Pediatrics' current recommendation is to have your baby sleep in your room for at least the first 6 months of life anyway, why not have your little one spend his or her early nights snoozing in a bedside bassinet to save some time in the middle of the night? The HALO Bassinest is designed to nuzzle right up next to your bed, too, so you won't even have to get out from under the comforter during those 3am feedings.

Graco Table2Table premier fold 7-in1 convertible high chair

Gracohighchair

Spoiler alert: Your little babe is going to grow up fast. While it may seem like they'll be in that just-learning-how-to-eat phase forever, they'll outgrow the full-fledged high chair in a blink. While you can definitely buy a variety of different seating apparatuses for them, you can also buy one that'll last with your growing baby. With seven different configurations ranging from an infant reclining high chair to a toddler table and little chair, this is the only one you'll ever need.

$169.99

Fisher-Price 4-in-1 sling 'n seat bath tub

Fisher-Pricebath

Bath time is arguably one of the cutest elements of parenthood. So rather than concentrating on holding your slippery little baby safely in the sink while also, you know, washing them, do yourself a favor and invest in an infant tub with an adjustable sling. It'll help make the bonding time fun of bath time more secure so you can focus on enjoying those beautiful sudsy moments.

$39.99

Hatch Baby Rest sound machine night light + time-to-rise

HatchBabyRestsoundmachine

Technology has brought us a lot of advantages, but one of the best? The ability to comfort your little one without ever leaving bed. The Hatch Baby Rest offers sound- and light-control from your smartphone so you can use the power of noise to help them back to sleep if they fuss in the middle of the night without requiring you to drag your tired self out of bed. Plus, when the toddler years come around, it doubles as a time-to-rise clock so that ball of energy knows when it's appropriate to barrel into your room.

$59.99

Fridababy baby basics kit

fridababybasics

Fridababy has made a name for itself with its cheeky (but incredibly practical) products like the congestion-fighting NoseFrida® and the less-than-pleasant Windi. With this basics bundle, you can get four of their most popular—for nose, behind, scalp and nails—in one convenient package. It's not glamorous, mamas, but it's parenting at its finest.

$39.99

Graco 4Ever all-in-one convertible car seat

Gracocarseat

Whether or not you choose to purchase an infant car seat for the first months, you will eventually need a convertible car seat as your kiddo gets bigger, and the best options will grow with them. The Graco® 4Ever All-in-1 accommodates children up to 40 pounds facing backwards and up to 65 pounds facing forward. Plus, it can be used as a booster seat up through the age of 10. One less thing to buy until then, mama!

$314.99

Skip*Hop explore + more 3-stage activity center

SkipHopActivityCenter

Insider parenting tip: Invest in a few great toys that serve as a great way to help your baby learn and explore and stay safe (read: unable to crawl away when you turn your head for a split second). An activity center serves both of those purposes—keeps them entertained and contained fabulously. Even better, the SKIP*HOP® Explore & More 3-Stage has an extra-long shelf life as it converts to an activity table when they outgrow the harness. Plus, there's a snack bowl attachment, and as every mama knows, snacks mean victory.

$129.99

This article was sponsored by buybuy BABY. Thank you for supporting the brands that support mamas and Motherly.

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Babywearing allows newborns to be held close to your body and mama to snuggle with their new bundle of joy—but that's just where the benefits begin. When you're toting your baby with the help of a specially-designed carrier, you're also given back the two hands normally reserved for rocking, cuddling and soothing your little one. That opens up a whole new world when it comes to getting things done—particularly for #mombosses who are masters of multitasking.

We asked four of our favorites about the biggest benefits of their productivity hack of choice (babywearing) and how they got it all done using their carrier of choice, BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Free.

It helps soothe babies more easily

Daphne Oz wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Babies benefit from being in a carrier not only because worn babies cry less but also because a soothed baby means they're more likely to catch a much-needed nap. Rachel Zeilic, VP of Influencer Marketing at Who What Wear and Creative Director for fashion line Marjoelle, wore her son, August, in his early days for that reason. "It was a GREAT method to help him get to sleep," she says.

Sleep aside, decreased crying makes a huge difference in your busy days, even if your baby is super easygoing and loves carrier time, like that of Emmy-winning TV host, author and mama of four, Daphne Oz, whose youngest, Giovanna Ines (Gigi), is 4-months-old. "Gigi has always loved to be held. She's a very big baby, so babywearing is essential to give my arms a break. She loves to be snuggled as much as possible, and you can tell [being in her carrier] immediately soothes her. Sometimes she'll drift off or just rest her head on my chest and gaze around."

Mobilizing is a snap

Rachel Zeilic wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Like so many mamas, Zeilic needed to get out of the house frequently in those first few weeks for doctor appointments, but she found the sheer magnitude of getting out and getting the hang of a stroller pretty intimidating. Instead, she relied on her Baby Carrier Free and was out and about quickly after delivery. "We left the house from day one and we made a point every day of walking around the neighborhood," she says. "It was much more feasible [for me] than putting him in the stroller and going for a long walk."

Ariel Kaye, the CEO and founder of Parachute, was a big fan of babywearing with her now 11-month-old daughter Lou for the same reason. "Especially as I started to get more comfortable getting out of the house, what started as really short walks and gradually got longer," she says.

Carriers are especially friendly for city-dwelling mamas

Ranji Jacques wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Having a baby while living in a big city can be a challenge, but babywearing makes going about your day so much more simple. That's how Ranji Jacques, Fashion Director at Condé Nast, gets around New York City. "Everyone can agree that a baby carrier is a must-have, especially if you're in an urban area," says the mom of two to 3-year-old Diego and 1-year-old Lucienne. Why? Because steep curbs and storefront steps no longer pose a deterrent, and (bonus!) you can keep germ-covered surfaces out of baby's reach.

Take meetings with baby in tow

Rachel Zeilic wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

If you need to phone into the office or are a permanent part of the growing work-from-home mama population, strapping on baby allows you to talk shop and spend time with your little one. "I've honestly gotten so many conference calls and deals done with August in the carrier," says Zeilic.

So did Kaye, who would tote her daughter Lou in her BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Free on walks to Parachute's nearby brick-and-mortar store as not only a way of getting outside, but also checking in with work, too.

Tackle housework + make  errands easier (and feasible)

Daphne Oz wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

When you've got a new baby at home, getting the dishes done or folding a basket of (clean!) laundry is a huge accomplishment. But using the carrier can help you tick off your to-do list while spending time with your newborn. "Babywearing really helped me—like it made all of my everyday [tasks] so much easier," says Kaye, because it gave her back her much-needed set of hands.

Oz agrees that wearing her daughter has been a boon to her productivity. "I try to bring Gigi along whenever I can, since my time at home can be limited and [I'm] often stretched thin trying to get everything in order. She comes along to the market and for coffee and on other errands—and I love to use a carrier in the house so I can keep her with me while I'm heading from room to room putting things in order."

It can provide for everyday teaching moments

Ariel Kaye wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

When you're going about your daily tasks, babywearing provides a front row seat to turn it into an educational experience for the two of you. "It's a special way to be able to communicate with her—I can show her things, touch things," says Kaye. From folding laundry to self-care, opportunities to engage baby can happen anywhere. Just ask Lou, who loves watching mama Ariel do her makeup while happily hanging out in her BABYBJÖRN, a task enjoyed by Gigi and Daphne as well.

Plus, allotting some of your attention to quickie tasks feels more guilt-free when babywearing. "Even though I'm doing other stuff, I can talk to him and narrate what I'm doing," explains Zeilic. "I just feel like it's playing and bonding, versus feeling like I'm sacrificing time with him."

Hello, old favorite activities

Ariel Kaye wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Zeilic and her husband love to use their Baby Carrier Free for hikes—anything under an hour and she'll strap on the carrier, over an hour and Dad's on the job (good thing it's easily adjustable for parents of all sizes). Even if hiking isn't your hobby of choice, resuming your pre-baby favorite activities and feeling more like yourself post-baby is a welcome change to which most mamas can relate, Oz included.

She fondly remembers the sense of confidence and familiarity that accompanied a babywearing outing when her eldest children were a bit younger. "My first, Philomena, was only 20 months old when John was born and still such a baby herself. I remember going out to the beach on a calm day with Philomena to collect shells, and John was strapped next to my chest, snuggly and content. It was one of the first times I really felt confident as a new mother of 2."

You can travel light

Ranji Jacques wearing BABYBJ\u00d6RN Baby Carrier Free

BABYBJÖRN

Working in fashion, Jacques has a tendency to be flanked with a host of accessories or at least a go-to purse, but babywearing has helped her limit the amount she has in tow when out and about. "I strap on baby, grab a bottle of water and my wallet and I'm ready to go," she says. Minimalist multitasking has never been so chic.

This article was sponsored by BABYBJÖRN. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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If you're visiting a new mama, it's customary to bring a little something to celebrate. This person just went through a monumental, life-changing event and most people focus on bringing stuff for the new baby, who has no idea what has happened—they just want all the snuggles and food. But we say to go ahead and celebrate mama. You can bring flowers or her favorite dish from that restaurant she loves, a little note with a gift card—it doesn't have to be expensive or shiny, just something that shows you care about them.

If you need ideas, Frida Baby, the brand that creates those super useful tools (looking at you, nose-sucker) has you covered.

This Frida balloon was just launched by the company and it's funny, real and will most definitely make any new mama feel seen.

Check it out:

It's a Mom balloon

It\u2019s A Mom Balloon

Everyone is likely familiar with the traditional "it's a boy" or "it's a girl" balloon that every hospital store sells, but it's time to celebrate moms with this "it's a mom" balloon. Sure, it's funny, but also super real. Also, keep in mind that this ships flat so be prepared with some helium to make it float.

$6.99

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My favorite part of the day, hands down, is when my freshly bathed son is all snuggly in his PJs and he's about to sit down in my lap to tuck into a good book before bed. My least favorite part, though, is when he goes to his bookcase and grabs the same book we read earlier that day and the night before (and the night before that). I almost always say, "That one? But do you want to try something new?" (Spoiler: He doesn't.)

So I take a deep breath and remind myself about the research that says reading the same book to your kids over and over helps their brain development. And I dive into the world of Pete the Cat or Piggy and Gerald, and before we know it I'm wrapped up in the magic of that world, too.

We recently asked #TeamMotherly to share the books their kids want to read over and over (and over) and you didn't disappoint. Here's what you're reading (or, more likely, have already memorized):

What the Ladybird Heard

What Ladybird Heard

Kim says: "He's not even two yet and has it memorized!"

$9.31

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late

Danielle says: "These are at least twice daily for weeks. More if they're kept downstairs!"

$11.15

Aliens Love Underpants

Aliens Love Underpants

Hope shares: "After two years of constant reading pages are missing and/or torn but he still keeps going to them."

$10.83

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Nelly shares: "When I went to the hospital to have my daughter, my sister and brother-in-law watched my two boys. She FaceTimed me because they were crying and upset. They wanted mommy to read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom because Auntie Cj wasn't doing it right.

"I cried as I recited Chicka Chicka boom boom from my hospital bed. I wanted so badly to be there to hug them and read it in person. They were really missing their mommy and were worried about the doctor cutting open my belly to get the baby out. I recited it all from memory of course. I cried. My sister cried. And my boys finally stopped crying. 🤣

"I went home two nights later and read it to them, never more happy to read the same book for the 315th time. ❤️"

$5.00

Pig the Pug (and the rest of the series)

Pig the Pug

Michelle says: "We have them all and I swear he knows them word for word."

$10.78

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

Tara says: "Anything Pete the Cat and especially 'I Love My White Shoes'!"

$10.35

Good Night Good Night Construction Site

Good Night Good Night Construction Site

Nanako says: "Read it so many times I can recite the whole book!"

$5.00

I Love You Night and Day

I Love You Night and Day

Samantha says: "I have read this book to my son at bedtime since I was pregnant and he's 7.5 months. His eyes light up and he gets the biggest grin and laughs now when I show it to him. ❤️ It's one of my favorite special times with him."

$5.00

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Stefania shares: "My 3yo loves the book, the song, the movie and even the Bear Hunt yoga for a year. Needless to say, her 3rd birthday will be themed ...you guessed it 🐻🤪"

$5.00

Dragons Love Tacos

Dragons Love Tacos

Neveen says: "My 1.5 yo loves [it]."

$10.96

Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups

Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups

Rainy says: "Just had to hide [this book] bc we've been reading it on repeat (sometimes 4-5x in a row) lately."

$10.86

Home Sweet Home: a Lift-the-Flap Book

Home Sweet Home Lift the Flap Book

Pegah shares: "I can read it page by page without even looking at it. Pointless to read bc my impatient LO just goes to the flap lifting before I can finish a sentence 🤣🤣🤣"

$6.99

Never Touch a Dragon (and the rest of the “Never Touch” series)

Never Touch a Dragon

Lindsay says: "He doesn't like to sit long enough to read unless there's hands-on stuff involved 😂"

$5.74

The Bear Snores On

Mira shares: "Every time, over and over…"

$7.49

The Monster at the End of This Book

The Monster at the End of this Book

Rebecca says: "It's so much fun to read as a parent too."

$4.99

The Little Blue Truck (and the rest of the series)

The Little Blue Truck

Kate says: "I have the Halloween one memorized haha."

$5.00

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See

Kristina says, "My 2-year-old can recite it from memory because we read it so much! It's a game now when we aren't even reading it. 'What did the teacher see?' 😂"

$5.79

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Beejal says: "My 18-month-old daughter especially likes the page with all the food. It's so cute to hear her trying to say what each item is."

$5.76

Good Night Moon

Good Night Moon

Charliena shares: "We have to read [it] every night…"

$5.00

The Wonky Donkey

The Wonky Donkey

Leann says: "My little one is just altogether a fan of reading already..." (And check out this hilarious viral video of a grandma reading it to her grandchild.)

$4.99

May I Please Have a Cookie?

May I Please Have a Cookie?

Monika shares: "[It's] my daughter's fav book."

$4.99

10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes

10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes

Shawn says: "It's so sweet to count your LO's fingers and toes and give three kisses at the end 😊"

$6.89

Stick Man

Stick Man

Rosemary shares: " She loves all of [Julia Donaldson's] books. We have most of them!"

$10.49

Clifford’s Bedtime Story Box

Clifford's Bedtime Story Box

Thais says: "It has been almost six months of big red dog every single night. Thankfully, there's more than one book about Clifford."

$9.85

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

Janet says: "I guess it was so easy to relate to!!!" 😂

$7.29


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One cool thing about starting a new year is the newfound energy to declutter all the things. We know we're not alone with our urges to redecorate and restyle our entire home. Now is the perfect time to find places for all your kids' toys and books.

Honestly, why didn't anyone tell us that along with having kids, you'd also acquire SO. MUCH. STUFF?! Tackling your kids' clutter is no easy feat. That's why we're big fans of toy minimalism whenever possible, but sometimes you just need a place to hide the blocks and all of those teeny, tiny figurines.

We hear you. Here are 10 of our favorite stylish storage solutions to help you get organized in no time, mama:

Pillowfort low profile bookcase

Pillowfort low profile bookcase

We are swooning over the simple, modern look of this low-profile bookcase. It features three cubbies, which is just the right size for books and toys. It also stands at 20" tall—just the right height for easy access for little hands.

$64.99

The Heartland Wood Co rustic ledge shelf

The Heartland Wood Co Rustic Ledge Shelf

These custom, handmade wall shelves add the perfect touch of Joanna Gaines to any space. And they're also a great way to maximize space by getting books off the floor and onto the wall.

$29

Pehr designs pom pom bin

Pehr designs pom pom bin

I dare you to not love these pom pom bins. Sewn by hand, these cotton canvas bins come in a huge variety of colors and sizes, and add just the right amount of whimsy to your nursery or playroom.

$20

Ikea flisat book display

 FLISAT Book display

The minimalist, simple style of this book display will compliment (and declutter) any reading nook. The low profile will encourage your little ones to help themselves to their favorite story.

$19.99

Pillowfort wood toy storage

Pillowfort wood toy storage

Stackable shelving is one of our favorite organization hacks; bins customize perfectly to any space, making it easy to go as high or as wide as you need. These natural wood bins are some of our favorites both for their look and their function.

$19.99

Wayfair palm leaf basket

Wayfair Palm Leaf Basket

If you have to organize your life, you may as well have fun while doing it! We love the combo of natural elements and a pop of color that these woven baskets bring to any space. They even collapse when not in use.

$39.33

Crate&Kids mid-century bookcase

Crate&Kids mid-century bookcase

Is it weird that we want this bookcase for our room? Function meets (gorgeous, modern) style here big time with this gorgeous walnut and white storage solution. It's a bit of an investment, but like we said, we may just steal it when our kids no longer need it.

$299

Ikea trofast storage

Ikea Trofast storage

As if we need another reason to love IKEA. This customizable storage solution works for just about anything that needs organizing, from toys, books to shoes and stuffed animals.

You can choose your own finish, bin sizes, and bin colors, making it just the right fit for any space.

$80.99

Babyletto spruce tree bookcase

Babyletto Spruce Tree Bookcase

We can't think of a more charming, playful way to display your child's book collection. This book "tree" holds 12-15 books on each branch and secures to any wall in the house, making showing off your library not only fun, but practical, too.

$179.99

ZCreateDesign cloud shelf

ZCreateDesign  cloud shelf

Look to the sky—not under your feet—for all your little one's toys and knick-knacks. These handmade cloud shelves could not be cuter!

$27.80

Pottery barn kids elephant storage

Elephant Shaped Storage

Little ones can house small toys and books in this cute elephant-shaped basket. We love that it's a perfect size that won't accumulate too many items, which can hide its unique shape. Seriously, storage has never been sweeter.

$168.00

ECR4Kids storage cabinet

ECR4Kids storage cabinet

Truth is, you can't lose when it comes to having clear storage bins. They're great for housing things kids (and even you, mama!) often forget. This unit also includes four heavy-duty mobile casters that can be installed for effortless mobility. We're sold!

$169.00

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The amount of times I googled "what to pack in my hospital bag" when I was pregnant with my first is hard to quantify. As a first-time mom I had no idea what I would need or want, especially when it all also depended on the type of birth I would end up with. At around 36 weeks, I kind of packed a bag—it had maybe three items in it, all which I can't remember now because they were probably nothing I actually needed. The day I gave birth to my son, I didn't even have the bag with me, so all that time spent searching for answers was for nothing. When it came down to it, all I had was the hospital robe and socks.

This time around, I'm pregnant with twins and, as a second-time mom, way more prepared.

I've already packed my bag because I know anything can happen at any point and it will be staying in the car so we can have it with us at all of my appointments. I've also focused on including items I really love and ones that make me comfortable rather than products I can get at the hospital once I'm admitted. And if you are having a home birth, mama, you can still use this list to get everything together for the big day.


Here's what is in my hospital bag:

A bag for everything

Mommy Bag Navy

First thing's first, I need a bag to carry all my stuff. I chose this Llama Momma Company bag because it's big, has a wide opening and allows me to fit all my essentials, plus some more. The inscription on the side will also make it obvious to anyone helping you during your birth that those are the things you need with you.

$99.99

Hospital gown

Mama in a Box

Yes, you can get a gown at the hospital (and if you have a C-section, you will probably have to wear the one they give you during surgery) but they are pretty rough on sore nipples and your back is always totally exposed. This gown has buttons down the back for easy access, but also so your body can be covered after birth. The buttons on the shoulders are perfect for breastfeeding and skin-to-skin access. Most importantly, it's soft and comfortable on your skin. I've worn it a couple of times to sleep while pregnant to test it out and I have no complaints.

$49

Silicone ring

THE FLEX - BLACK

I feel naked without my wedding rings, but when I was postpartum with my son, my fingers swelled so much my husband almost had to cut them off of my hands. Not repeating that experience again. This silicone ring is comfortable and expands easily for your fingers to swell a little without making it uncomfortable.

$39.95

Organic nipple cream 

Lansinoh Organic Nipple Cream for Breastfeeding, 2 Ounces

This is one of those items I didn't know I needed and then assumed the hospital would provide. I was wrong on both fronts and my nipples really suffered during those three days of learning how to breastfeed a tiny newborn. Eventually, I learned that I couldn't live without a nipple balm. This one is baby and mom safe.

$14.14

A phone charger

AmazonBasics Double Braided Nylon Lightning to USB Cable, Advanced Collection, MFi Certified iPhone Charger, Red, 10 Foot

You have no idea how long your birth is going to take. Or, you might want access to your music so you can play your birth playlist. And, you will definitely want to snap some cute first photos so you'll need a charged phone for all that. I recommend getting a really long length in a really obvious color so no one trips on it if you have to plug it on the other side of the room. It'll come handy once you are home and trapped under a napping baby for 23 out of the 24 hours of the day.

$15.99

A camera

Polaroid Mint Instant Print Digital Camera (Blue), Prints on Zink 2x3 Sticky-Backed Photo Paper

Even though we'll probably take most photos with our phones out of convenience, I'm also packing this instant camera to have some printed photos of the babies for us to keep in their journal/photo book.

$89.99

Lip balm

Balm Dotcom

The air in the hospital will likely make your skin dry and if you are doing a lot of heavy breathing, your lips are going to be the first affected by the dryness. I super-duper love this lip balm—it's the only thing that keeps my lips moist and refreshed during the winter. This is one of the three items I did have on my first hospital bag.

$12

Compression socks

Dr. Segal's Energy Socks 15-20 mmHg Compression Socks for Women & Men -Confetti Black/Multicolored (Medium) - Great for Work, Travel, Pregnancy, Nurses, Running

You know what else swells postpartum? Your feet. My feet were waaaaay bigger after giving birth than they were at 37 weeks pregnant. Compression socks help with the swelling and also alleviate some of the pain that comes with it. These are ideal to have on while you are resting in bed or even to wear out of the hospital.

$29.99

A water bottle with a straw

 Roll over image to zoom in CamelBak Eddy+ BPA Free Water Bottle

This is one of the other items I had in my hospital bag with my first. My doula told me so many times to bring a water bottle because staying hydrated was going to be key. The straw makes it easier to for me to chug some water while lying down. This will also be great if you plan to breastfeed so you can easily stay hydrated during feeding sessions.

$10.99

Toothbrush

Doctor Plotka's Mouthwatchers Antimicrobial Floss Bristle Silver Toothbrush, Adult, 2 Pack

It's easy to forget these in the chaos of labor and birth, so I added them first to my bag after learning from my mistakes. Remember to add one for your birthing partner since they probably won't be thinking about details like these.

$8.99

A robe

Blush Rose Ribbed Robe

If you are planning to have visitors come meet the baby, you might want to pack a soft comfy robe to wrap yourself in while they are there. This one looks beautiful in photos, too.

$55

Crocs

Crocs Classic Clog|Comfortable Slip On Casual Water Shoe

Hear me out, I know Crocs are not the most stylish shoes. However, they are waterproof and have a great grip so you'll be able to wear them in the shower and around the hospital while you recover. Also, they are pretty wide which will help accommodate your swelling feet. I was skeptical and now I'm a convert.

$29.95

Hair ties

Thick Seamless Cotton Hair Bands, Simply Hair Ties Ponytail Holders Headband Scrunchies Hair Accessories No Crease Damage for Thick Hair (Neutral Colors)

Pack a million of them just in case since they tend to go missing. For me personally, there's nothing more annoying that having hair in my face when trying to push a baby out.

$9.99

Nursing bra

The Mesh Trim Maternity Bralette

I brought one bra to the hospital—the one I was wearing when I walked in—which needed to be cut off me for a C-section, leaving me with zero bras to wear for the rest of my stay. I'm bringing this one because it's incredibly soft and I'd like to attempt breastfeeding again (we stopped the first time around). This one has easy clips to access your boobs and is so comfortable I'll likely wear it on my way out.

$35

Nightgown

Maternity nightwear / Nursing nightwear

This is not yet in my bag as I'm currently wearing it to sleep almost every night. It's so comfortable and roomy that I'll make sure to grab it on my way out of the house when it's time to go. Sleeping in a hospital is not the easiest so I'll bring this in an attempt to make my stay a little bit more like home. It has a slit for easy access to your breasts in case you want to breastfeed in the middle of the night.

$69

Clothes for baby while at the hospital 

heather grey snuggle knit newborn gift set

We didn't have any baby clothes the first time around and our son spent his first four days of life in a hospital kimono and blanket. Sure, he seemed comfortable and will never remember it, but I was a little sad that I hadn't brought him anything to wear. This newborn set has a gown, cap, bib and blanket to swaddle your baby. And if your baby poops or pees through it, you can always use the hospital clothes as backup!

$59.95

A car seat

Doona Dusk Limited Car Seat at PishPosh Baby - Includes Free Essentials Bag + Rain Cover!

Okay, this technically doesn't go inside my hospital bag, but I will need it to leave the hospital so I added just remind everyone not to forget theirs. I went with the Doona Dusk limited edition because I'm expecting to have a repeat C-section and carrying a car seat is not in my plans after having major surgery. I can push baby around in this one and then have my husband load it into the car easily. Plus, I love the concept of Doona's two-in-one use of their car seat.

$599

Going home outfit for baby

Line Up Modal Magnetic Coverall

Going home outfits are very special and it's up to you whether you choose an outfit that has been handed down throughout your family or something brand you you've picked for your baby. I chose to go with these onesies that have magnetic closures to make life a little easier in the chaos of packing to leave.

$36

Leggings 

The GLOWE Maternity Legging

Mom needs a going home outfit as well, and I opt for comfort above everything. These Glowe leggings are so soft and really adapt to your body. I know my belly will still look a bit pregnant when I leave so I like knowing these will hold my mushy bump comfortably in place.

$132

A T-shirt with a message 

"RAISE GOOD HUMANS\u00ae" V-NECK TEE

I like T-shirts with messages on them, so of course I'm packing this one to make my exit from the hospital. A reminder to myself and those around me of what we should be doing.

$32

Sweatshirt

BFF SWEATSHIRT

Perfect to wear inside the hospital if you are cold or need more coverage and also ideal for wearing as you go home. The material is one of the softest materials I own and it has enough space for a postpartum bump.

$119

Postpartum undies 

CoreLove High Rise

Depending on how much you bleed postpartum, you'll be able to wear these to go home. I wore these the first time around and was more comfortable in the car sitting than I was with the thick hospital pads (but if you need those, wear them!). Once I got home, I changed into adult diapers with zero shame. These undies make going out more comfortable and are absolutely leakproof.

$36

Packing cubes

Bentoko 6 Piece Travel Packing Cube Organizer Set (Magenta)

To keep everything organized inside my bag and not lose track of any of my belongings. I started using these while I was traveling a lot for work and come to realize they are the best invention for when dealing with tiny baby clothes.

$29.99

Or if you find packing overwhelming you can get a service to do it for you

A bag for every budget

If you are super busy with work or chasing other little humans, don't think you'll be able to remember everything you need or just like for someone else to deal with the logistics of your hospital bag, you are in luck. Companies like Baby Boldy curate bags for moms-to-be so they have one less thing to stress about. You can choose from three different tiers -basic to fully prepared- which come in different prices ranges. They all have the basics you'll need at the hospital, plus you can always add on your personal stuff to their bags to be super ready to go.

$120

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