Getting ready for a new baby includes long lists, seemingly countless prep for your home, all the right gear, and hopefully, some self care while you have the time (*ahem* babymoons, for example). Whether you choose to plan well ahead or slap your hospital bag together closer to your due date, one thing remains true: assembling hospital bags is a must.
Hospital bags are all-in-one kits of the things mom, baby, and partner could need during their time at the hospital. Most hospital stays after childbirth are around 24-48 hours, not including labor and barring any complications. Having a complete hospital bag packed with the essentials (and a few of your favorite things) will help ease your hospital stay by keeping you comfortable, clean, and entertained.
Hospital bags are primarily for mom’s comfort and benefit, but there are a few items that should also be included for baby and even for partners or support systems. We’ve partnered with baby pros Jojo Maman Bébé to create three hospital bag checklists that will help ease the hospital stay before and post-childbirth. Print our lists to start preparing and add our favorite Jojo Maman Bébé items to your Blueprint baby registry.
Hospital Bag Essentials
You’re one rad Mamma Jamma! Here is our complete list of hospital bag essentials for mom.
- Slippers or non-slip socks
- Pregnancy/nursing bras
- Cell phone and charger
- Comfy clothes to wear home (loose, soft, weather appropriate)
- Toiletries (plus anything you want for post-birth photos)
- Nursing pillow
- Camera and charger
- Snacks, drinks
- Cord blood banking kit, if deciding to do so
- Insurance information
- A favorite pillow or blanket
- Birth plan
At this stage baby doesn’t need too much for the hospital stay and ride home, but make sure you pack them all.
- Infant car seat
- Going home outfit & backup (N and 0-3 month sizes)
- Sleepers and onesies, just in case
- Baby cap/hat
- Swaddle blankets
- Cozy receiving blanket
For Partner or Support System
- Some toiletries if staying overnight
- Change of clothes
- Snacks & loose change so you don’t have to leave
- Entertainment for long labor (book, tablet, cards, etc.)
- Cell phone and charger
- Pillow and blanket
When should you prepare your hospital bag?
Nine months may seem like you have forever to prepare, but the truth is that it can pass in a blink of an eye. First thing you’re celebrating the pregnancy news, and—boom!—baby is here. Where on Earth did the time go?
With the nesting, celebrations, childbirth classes, and general baby prep, time can easily creep up on you. This is exactly why we recommend getting your hospital bag together early. Not only does time move quickly, but you never know if and when you may have to run out the door to the hospital. Keep it somewhere handy where you’ll be able to grab it and go, like your bedroom closet, car trunk, or by the door.
We recommend gathering the necessities for your hospital bag early, at least 2-3 months before baby is due. Because so many of the essentials on our checklist are great registry items, new parents may consider waiting until after their baby shower to get their bag together. Baby showers typically occur 6-8 weeks before the due date, so you’ll have a good chunk of time to make sure your hospital bag is complete before baby arrives.
It’s never too early to pack your hospital bag, especially with the essentials. Give yourself enough time to revisit and revise your bag throughout your pregnancy, and use your baby registry to your advantage.