Hospital Bag Essentials Checklist
A complete hospital bag will help ease your hospital stay by keeping you comfortable, clean & entertained.
You’ve no doubt been keeping a mental checklist of essentials you want to have ready for when baby arrives, but in this exciting, chaotic time there’s only so much our minds can remember. If this is your first baby, then even starting to plan can feel daunting. Don’t stress—we’ve got the ultimate list of all the new baby must-haves to include in your baby registry.
What you buy for you baby depends on several factors: where you live geographically, home size, and even lifestyle preferences, among others. To assist with choosing the best products for your family on your new baby checklist, we’ve also researched and reviewed our favorite baby products to help you figure out which products best suit your needs.
As cute as it is seeing a baby hang around in just their diaper, they’re going to need some real clothes eventually. Where you live will help determine the kinds of clothes you should stockpile, so remember to keep that in mind.
Sleepers, sacks, and gowns—Babies toss and turn and can get tangled in their blankets. Sleeper sacks stay on their body all night and keep them warm.
Swaddles—Swaddles are lightweight blankets meant to keep your baby’s arms from flailing about as they sleep and also mimics the tight snuggling they feel in the womb.
Socks—You’ve got to keep those baby tootsies warm!
Hats—Depending on the season or where you live, you may want to grab a few beanies or sun hats to protect your baby from the cold and sun.
Undershirts + Onesies—Grab a mix of short and long sleeve shirts and onesies.
Sweaters or Jackets—It’s always important to have some options for warm layers.
No-Scratch Mittens—New babies have got a whole lot of learning to do, including that fingernails can be really sharp. Let’s not have them figure it out the hard way.
Ever heard of nesting? Getting a nursery prepped and ready for your new baby is an instinct that many mothers simply can’t ignore—but where to begin? Here’s a list of all our essential items, and if you’re looking for a little more aesthetic inspiration, check out our nursery ideas blog post.
Crib—Your baby can use a crib from infancy to several years, so choose a crib that you’ll love for a long time.
Bassinets + Cradles—Some families may not have the space for a crib, or just simply prefer co-sleeping during infancy. A bassinet is a perfect nursery addition.
Rocking Chair or Glider—Parents and babies will love the coziness and hypnotizing effects of a great rocking chair or glider.
Monitor—Don’t stress about leaving your baby to sleep alone in their room. Keep close tabs on them at all times with a baby monitor.
Nightlight—So baby doesn’t have to wake up in a pitch black room, and you won’t have to trip over toys to check up on them while they sleep.
Dresser—There’s a lot of baby stuff, so keep it all organized in their own dresser.
Storage—Yes, a dresser is great for clothes, diapers, and bedding, but what about the multitude of toys your baby is bound to collect? You’ll be looking for more storage solutions in no time.
Gentle Laundry Detergent—Baby’s skin is incredibly sensitive, and our usual laundry detergents are simply too harsh. Look for all-natural—and better yet, organic—detergents to keep baby’s clothes clean and their skin happy.
Wherever baby falls asleep, it’s should be as cozy as can be. A variety of blankets and plenty of sheets are must-haves, and you can’t forget swaddlers to bundle up and comfort a wiggly, fussy baby. This is also a great time to get items that complement the nursery’s aesthetic.
Fitted Sheets—So much softer—and cuter—than anything that comes with the mattress. You’ll want several changes of sheets!
Heavier Quilts + Blankets—For when the nights get colder.
Bumper—Prevent any unwanted head bumps and limb snags in the crib with a cute, cushioned bumper.
Receiving Blanket—Similar to the lightweight blankets you receive at the hospital, a small collection of receiving blankets are a great way to keep baby warm when heavier blankets are too hot.
This is every parent’s favorite part, right? Just kidding. Even though changing diapers isn’t always fun, if you’re equipped with the right diapering essentials the job will become a whole lot easier.
Changing Table—Whether it’s a changing table or a dresser topper, it’s definitely a must-have. Keeping your baby in place will make the process much smoother.
Diaper Bag—Keep all your to-go baby essentials organized when you’re out and about.
Unscented Wipes—Unscented is key! Scents and perfumes can be too harsh for baby’s skin, so keep it natural.
Cloth and/or Disposable Diapers—No matter your preference, you need something to catch the poop. Think about your family’s lifestyle and needs, and then stock up!
Washcloths—Basic, but necessary to keep baby’s tooshie so fresh and so clean.
Diaper Cream—Show those diaper rashes who’s boss.
Changing Pad—You’ve got to make sure baby is comfortable during changing time, too.
Dirty Diaper Bin with Bags—Dirty diapers should have their own bin or hamper, and you can help tame stinkiness with odor blocking diaper bags.
Rub-a-dub-dub, little babe in a tub! Baby bath time can be tricky, but—oh my!—is it cute. Bath time can be a blissful breeze and fun for everyone when you have the proper essentials.
Shampoo + Bodywash—Skip any products you’re using for yourself, and stick with brands for babies. They’re gentler on their hair and skin.
Washcloths + Hooded Towels—Choose small, soft washcloths to lather baby up with suds. Hooded towels are not too light and not too heavy, and will get baby dry and keep them warm from their head to their toes.
Bathinette—You can’t put baby directly in the bathtub, of course. A bathinette with keep them safe and sturdy during bath time.
Hairbrush—You’ll want to look for a soft-toothed brush or comb to gently detangle and style baby’s precious locks.
Newborns need to be fed around the clock, so it’s important to keep plenty of milk on hand for when they’re hungry. Here are all the must-haves for pumping, storing, feeding, and more.
Bottles + Nipples—You know, to give your body a break here and there.
Breastpump—Manual, automated, or an on-the-go kit and caboodle.
Milk Storage Bags—For storing, measuring, and labeling.
Nursing Pads—You should always be prepared to catch those sneaky leaks!
Nipple Cream—Nursing can be abrasive on mom’s sensitive skin, so a great nipple cream will help soothe and smooth.
Nursing Pillow—Settle in and get comfortable during feeding time with a cozy nursing pillow. Many pregnancy pillows [LINK] can also double as nursing pillows.
Dishwasher Basket—Keep all your small baby products safe inside your vigorous dishwasher.
Bibs—For all the crumbs, spills, and food scraps. Gotta catch ‘em all!
Burp Cloths—Protect your shoulders from spit up with a soft and absorbent burp cloth.
Formula—Nourishing food for families that aren’t breastfeeding.
Drying rack—A gentle way to air dry delicate dishes.
There are a number of products that are essential to always have on hand for the inevitable stuffy noses, boo-boos, and colds. Make sure you have these products on your shopping list, because you definitely don’t want to be caught in a sticky situation without them. Better safe than sorry!
Nasal Aspirator—Help your baby breathe easy and un-stuff their nose with a nasal aspirator.
Bandages—Better yet, shoot to keep a bandage First Aid kit handy at all times.
Baby Nail Clippers or Scissors—Baby fingernails are sharp, so keep them clipped short to avoid unwanted scratches.
Humidifier—To help ease and prevent stuffy noses, humidifiers add moisture to the room to help with stuffy noses.
Digital Thermometer—Forehead thermometers are not as accurate on newborns, so we recommend under-arm or rectal thermometers.
All-Purpose Wipes—Sanitize all the things!
Sunscreen—Say “no way” to sunburns.
Hospitals typically won’t let you leave after delivery without a proper infant car seat, and eventually you’re going to take your tot with you around town for errands and appointments. It’s important to consider your home type, location, space capacity, and other factors before choosing the best gear for your family.
Stroller or Travel System—Joggers, umbrella, singles, doubles… There are plenty of strollers to choose from.
Infant Car Seat—Some parents prefer an infant car seat [LINK] whose carrier can click in and out of its base and compatible stroller.
Convertible Car Seat—Convertible car seats are a great option for a car seat that can grow with your baby, but they’re meant to stay in the car.
Carrier—Hold baby close to you and still have your hands free.
Swing, Rocker, or Bouncer—Keep baby close and entertained when your back needs a break.
Pacifier—A great, calming solution for a fussy baby.
There’s no getting past baby arrival prep, and we understand there’s a whole lot to do. However, being proactive and organized is the best way to handle a hefty to-do list, and it’s okay to have your loved ones lend a helping hand by purchasing gifts through your baby registry. You got this!