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The Best Products to Pack in Your Hospital Bag
Updated on
May 23, 2024

The Best Products to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

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The Best Products to Pack in Your Hospital Bag.
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The Best Products to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Packing probably isn’t something you look forward to on a normal day, but packing your hospital bag for the arrival of your little one? That sounds extra overwhelming.

Turns out it’s not nearly as stressful as it sounds. Once you have your hospital bag checklist ready to go, it’s just a matter of choosing what items you want to include—and we’ve done the decision-making for you.

These are the 16 products for you and for your new arrival that deserve a spot in every hospital bag.

For You

In the Bag

Before you can start packing for the hospital, you’ll need a bag to hold your things and keep you organized. Fawn Design’s Weekender is the perfect choice. It’s the right size (large enough to hold all of your stuff but not too large that it’s unwieldy) and it’s made from a premium pebbled vegan leather. You’ll get plenty of use out of it long after your hospital stay.

Comfortable Accessibility

A robe is one of the first things to pack in your hospital bag. It’s comfortable, provides easy access for breastfeeding and IV lines and is a whole lot better than an itchy hospital gown. This one from Kindred Bravely has two belt positions and really deep pockets.

Complete Postpartum Care

Things like breast pads, nipple cream, grippy socks and mesh undies are all postpartum hospital staples—but it’s a pain to track down each item individually and then remember to pack them all. Bodily’s Care For Birth Box is a one-stop shop for all things postpartum. This curated collection contains four different bundles and covers everything you need for your postpartum hospital recovery and beyond, all in one beautifully designed package.

Smoothing Support

Your pre-pregnancy bras aren’t going to cut it postpartum, even if you don’t plan on nursing. You’ll want a wireless nursing bra in your hospital bag, and this one from Cake Maternity is a great choice. The molded fabric cups provide support and shape, and the seamless design is comfortable enough to sleep in. Each side folds down for easy access to breastfeeding if you decide to nurse.

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A Postpartum Basic

Lots of birthing people opt for comfy pants and a tank during their hospital stay rather than a gown or robe. This basic tank from Target is one of our absolute favorites. It’s affordable, soft and seamless and features a built-in bra with removable pads for lift and support. It works on its own or as a layering piece.

Soothing Relief

Nursing can be rough on your nipples, especially in the beginning. Stash our absolute favorite nipple butter in your hospital bag and start using it preventatively from day one. Unlike many other nipple creams, this one goes on smooth and isn’t sticky at all. It’s also 100% organic so you don’t have to wash it off before nursing.

Cool, Soothing Relief

You’re about to add a new word to your vocabulary: padsicle. A padsicle is a combo of a popsicle (well, sort of) and a maxi pad—a frozen pad, if you will. It combines instant cold therapy and an absorbent pad all in one, and provides amazing relief post-birth. Include one (or more) in your hospital bag packing list; trust us, you’ll be thankful you did.

Better Than Chapstick

If you haven’t spent much time in a hospital before, you may not realize how dry the air can be. Your lips will feel it first—which is why we recommend tossing a tube of this (amazing) lip balm into your bag. It’s hydrating, smells great and will leave your lips both looking and feeling good.

Ergonomic Support

There’s a huge learning curve in figuring out how to position your tiny newborn for feeding; a nursing pillow can help. The Boppy ergonomically supports you and your baby for breastfeeding or bottlefeeding. Sure, you can use a jumble of hospital pillows for (sort of) the same result, but having this on hand during your postpartum stay is a lot easier.

Hydration Station

It’s just as important to stay hydrated after you give birth as it was while you were pregnant. A large, stay-cool water bottle is a must have and will save you the trouble of having to fill up tiny plastic hospital water cups again and again. The Hydro Flask is one of our favorites.

For All Your Tech

It might feel a little weird to pack a giant extension cord in your hospital bag, but trust us on this one. Odds are you won’t have an outlet near your bed, so if you want access to your phone, laptop or a DSLR camera you’ll want an extension cord on hand. This one stretches for eight feet and has three outlets.

L&D Tunes

And speaking of tech, lots of birthing people want the option to have music playing during labor and delivery. While you can use just your phone, this portable Bluetooth speaker is probably a better choice. It clips right onto your bag (or even the side of a hospital bed) and gets you 10 hours of playtime.

For a Good Hair Day

Meet your new postpartum BFF: dry shampoo. Depending on how you’re feeling post-birth, you may not be up for washing your hair. Dry shampoo is a great alternative. This one removes dirt and oil and works on straight, wavy or curly hair types.

For Baby

For a Safe Trip Home

Don’t forget to pack some things for baby, too! If you’re planning on driving home from the hospital, you’ll need an infant car seat to transport your little one safely. Nuna’s Pipa Rx seat is one of the most popular among Babylist users thanks to its incredibly light weight, reliable safety features and sleek looks.

The Perfect Swaddle

While your hospital will provide you with swaddle blankets, many parents choose to also bring their own. If this sounds like you, toss in a set of these Little Unicorn cotton muslin swaddles into your hospital bag. They’re soft and lightweight, super breathable and come in a huge selection of unique, colorful prints.

Hello, I’m New Here

This first outfit is about as cute as they come. It’s perfect for introducing baby to the world (we’re looking at you, IG) and includes a cozy knit swaddle blanket, a top knot hat and, of course, a photo sticker.

Jen LaBracio

Senior Gear Editor

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.