I'm giving birth soon—these are the 23 items I'm packing in my hospital bag

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

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

The very best of Motherly — delivered when you need it most.
Subscribe for inspiration, empowering articles and expert tips to rock your best #momlife.

Subscribe for inspiration, empowering articles and expert tips to rock your best #momlife.

Thanks for subscribing!

Check your email for a confirmation message.

One of my biggest jobs as a mama is to create a foundation for my kids to become trailblazers and problem-solvers. It's not an easy task. I'm constantly wondering what type of person they'll become and how I can ensure they'll be awesome citizens of the world. For me, part of raising and encouraging future leaders starts with exposure—the more I introduce them to notable leaders in history, the better they can envision their own future.

This is why I love when brands create inspirational clothing and accessories for kids. And this month, Piccolina, a lifestyle brand for littles, added an exclusive Black History Month capsule collection to their trailblazer tees series and they are too cute for words.

The Black History Month line honors heroic leaders like Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, Katherine Johnson and Rosa Parks on colorful tees. It even features illustrations by emerging artists of color like Monica Ahanonu, Erin Robinson and Joelle Avelino who are, in my opinion, just as important.

In addition to the tops, the collection features art prints that coincide with the shirts, making this a perfect addition to any kids room—and even mama's office. Perhaps even more exciting are the price points: The limited-edition tees retail for $28 and framed art prints are $60.

Maya Angelou trailblazer tee

Maya Angelou trailblazer tee

This cotton tee features a portrait of the award-winning author, poet and civil rights activist and is the perfect way for your little one to celebrate her inner storyteller. A portion of the shirts proceeds benefit non-profit organizations that support girls' education and empowerment, such as the Malala Fund and Step Up.

$28

While I'm not sure what type of person my little ones will become, I'm certain that introducing them to leaders will help them have greater self-confidence and reinforce that they are competent and resilient, too. And what mama can't get behind that? Now the hardest part is deciding which ones to purchase.

Shop

I'm usually that girl who shells out for premium leggings, and I still think they're fun as a treat, but I've now bought these so-called "compression" leggings in multiple colors. And since 74% of you told us in a recent Instagram poll that you live in leggings, we hope this practical hot tip can help make #momlife a little easier for you, too.

So why compression? While we'd never advise going to extremes, we're not opposed to a little help keeping everything in place. To be clear, this isn't about hiding—we're all for celebrating our bodies (and especially our bellies) at every stage. But adapting to an ever-changing shape can be distracting, and a little extra support around the stomach and hips can feel amazing after birth and help you focus on what's important.

What these $20 leggings have on even my most expensive pairs is that they are thickmeaning they don't snag in the wash, sheer out when I squat, or (heaven forbid) rip when I bend over. Their durability makes them perfect for both household chores and high-intensity workouts. They're also warm, making them well-suited for transitioning between seasons. And once your wardrobe fully changes over, the same brand makes compression shorts that are equally comfy.

Homma Premium Thick High Waist Tummy Compression Slimming Leggings

amazon leggings

As for the whole compression thing? Once they're on, I honestly don't notice anything but how flattering they are when I catch my reflection in the mirror. The 88% Nylon, 12% Spandex blend keeps it tight without feeling, well, too tight. Think of the compression like a gentle hug, or a guardian angel that just wants to bless your curves all day long. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to order another pair.

$19.95

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

I admit it: We struggle with screen time in my house. My 4-year-old is a rambunctious consumer of entertainment and most of his beloved forms come in the mini screen of my cell phone. I do, however, do my best to fill that screen with the most educational kid's apps that exist, and one of his favorites is the world of Sago Mini. Their apps are fun, playful, and yes, help him learn something too.

So imagine our excitement when we found out that Sago Mini is bringing that experience offline with an IRL kid's toy subscription service that sends open-ended toys to you about once a month. The service officially launched Tuesday, February 18th and it's perfect for kids aged 3-5. It costs about $19 a month or $15 a month if you pay for an annual subscription.

The Sago Mini box

The first set of boxes will have planes, road trip and fairy tales themes. ✨The box we tried was road-trip themed and it came with everything your little needs to get off the phone and into their imagination. I loved that even the box itself can be turned into a toy by disassembling it and rebuilding it inside out. Because we all know that sometimes our kid's favorite toy ends up being the box it was shipped in!

The kit comes with three make and play activities, all designed to build off each other. For example, our road trip box came with a felt "road" that my son loved draping all over the furniture, and a cardboard car with wooden wheels in one activity pack. Then the second activity pack had destinations your child can "drive" their car to like Grandma's house, school and a gas station.

I especially appreciated that they kept an eye on sustainability (and cute design!) when creating these play materials. All the paper materials that come in the box are made from recycled goods or sourced from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC certified). The best part? My son played with his set for a good few hours—and never asked for my phone once.

$15
Shop

Wouldn't it be nice to throw on mascara and instantly look well-rested? Let's set the scene: You've been up all night caring for your sick toddler and you look extremely tired. You quickly apply a waterproof, lengthening and volumizing mascara and poof—tired eyes begone. Sounds like a magic trick, right? But we have a few mascaras in our makeup bag that can do just that, mama.

These are our favorite mascaras to use that make us look well-rested and ready to conquer the day, even if we're running on just a few hours:

Tarte surfer curl mascara

Tarte surfer curl mascara

Whether you're prepping for hot yoga, a day at the beach, or just keeping up with the kiddos, Tarte's latest mascara is perfect for a mamas active lifestyle. It's a vitamin E- based mascara that delivers sweatproof, weightless volume without the clumps. Pro tip: Just do the top lashes for a more natural look.

$23

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna full frontal volume, lift + curl mascara

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna full frontal volume, lift + curl mascara

This popular mascara was designed to deliver Rihanna's full lash look, and we must admit, after three applications, our lashes turned out thicker and fuller than ever. The key to this formula is that it's paired with aflat-to-fat brush that customizes what you need. The fat side holds lots of product to quickly load and lift lashes, while the flat side defines and curls each lash.

$24

Maybelline lash sensational mascara

Maybelline lash sensational mascara

Not ready to spend loads of money on a beauty product? We hear you. That's why we love this liquid ink formula from Maybelline. It coats from all sides for full coverage with a featherlight feel. Just be careful with your application—it requires a good makeup remover to remove.

$9.99

L'Oréal voluminous lash paradise mascara

L'Or\u00e9al voluminous lash paradise mascara

If a deep black color is what you're after, this mascara will get you there in the best way possible. The soft wavy bristle brush gives lots of volume and the 200 bristles catch every lash for a full fringe effect. No, seriously—get the results you crave in only two coats!

$10.99

Stila Cosmetics magnum xxx mascara

Stila Cosmetics magnum xxx mascara

Suffer from thin, straight lashes that never seem to curl? This creamy, non-clumping formula is buildable and gives instant volume. It's also pretty cool that the blossom-shaped fiber wand is carved in a curved silhouette that dispenses just the right amount of formula on each individual lash for lots of volume.

$23

Marc Jacobs velvet noir major volume mascara

Marc Jacobs velvet noir major volume mascara

When we heard that this mascara was inspired by Marc Jacobs' first beauty memory of his mother shaving fibers from a velvet ribbon to create her own faux lashes, we knew this was something special. This mascara gives smudge-proof length and volume in three strokes or less.

$27

IT Cosmetics superhero mascara

 IT Cosmetics superhero mascara

If black mascara leaves you with raccoon eyes by the end of the day, this mascara might be your new bestie. Developed with plastic surgeons, and clinically tested, it provides both length and volume in one coat. Also, the formula contains collagen, biotin and peptides to condition your lashes as you coat.

$24

Too Faced better than sex waterproof mascara

Too Faced better than sex waterproof mascara

Without question, the original better than sex mascara lives up to its name, and the waterproof feature on this one is an added bonus. The hourglass-shaped brush was designed with extra stiff bristles to maximize the performance of this super black, collagen-fueled formula. But, once on your lashes, prepare to rub for a long time to get it off.

$25

Lancôme monsieur big mascara

Lanc\u00f4me Monsieur big mascara

This is one of Lancôme's bestselling mascaras and we get why. For starters, it's a creamy formula with a gel-like texture that does not require touch-ups. It also brings a ton of volume, without the flaking.

$25

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop
Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.