Do you feel like you are ready for the BIG DAY?

With my first pregnancy, I tended to research everything and then I tried to plan everything to the last detail. As I got closer to the due date, it felt like it was taking forever for my son to arrive. I was finding ways to keep myself busy and be as prepared as possible for the birth of my son. Part of me getting ready was having my hospital bag packed by Week 36. I knew that there was a chance he could come at any moment.

Once I was at the hospital, we quickly figured out I only needed a few items. Lucky for us, the hospital was about a five-minute drive from our home, so my husband was able to grab what I needed.

Some of you might not be as lucky. So I have created a list of the essential items you will need when planning your hospital bag. This doesn’t mean you can’t add any other fun thing to it.

To help make sure you don’t forget anything, go ahead and download my FREE Essential Maternity Hospital Bag Checklist. It includes both what you will need to bring as well as a section with all the other optional items.

Here is my list of the essential items you need for your BIG DAY:

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.


1. Snacks

This is number one on the list for the reason it was the very first thing I needed after I gave birth to my first son. I was in labor for 18 hours and during that time you are not allowed to eat. All you get are ice chips. And on that day I had only had breakfast before I headed to the hospital, so by the time I was allowed to eat again…I was starving!

Pack a couple granola bars or whatever tickles your fancy. This will tide you over until either your husband brings you some delicious real food (like that sandwich you have been denied the entire pregnancy) or if you made it in time for the hospital to bring you a meal.

2. Glasses

This is for those who wear contacts. If possible, take out your contacts before you head to the hospital. As I said earlier there is a chance that the labor could take a long time and you will definitely want the convenience that glasses provide.

3. Slippers

Oh my goodness…here is a must-have item. Bring the most comfortable pair that you own, because your feet will thank you. At some point, you are going to want to get up and stretch your legs, and the hospitals can be really cold. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have some comforts. Click the image below to buy some fuzzy slippers if you need some.

4. Comfy Clothes

This is mostly for going home, but you never know if you are going to want to change into your own outfit while you are at the hospital. I recommend bringing your maternity clothes because they are typically made to be looser. Also, don’t forget to bring a maternity bra if you intend to breastfeed your baby.

5. Maternity Sleep Outfit

Once again the maternity style is the way to go. The maternity nightgowns I bought doubled as nursing gowns as well. This is what I wore while I was staying in the hospital. It was so very comfortable, which was much needed since my body was really sore. Both Amazon and Motherhood Maternity have a great selection of nursing nightgowns. Click the image below to check out the options at Amazon.

6. Phone Charger

Please don’t forget this. Your phone will end up being essential when you are just sitting there with nothing to do. Most hospitals will require you to stay for at least 24 hours before they release you. A large portion of that time you will be staring at this beautiful new life, but the reality is that newborn babies don’t do much. So when you are nursing or when they are sleeping it is nice to mentally check out and see what else is happening with the world.

Plus you want to make sure you have a charged phone to take all tons of pictures of the cutest new family member.

the essential items for your hospital maternity bag

7. Boppy / Nursing Pillow

I am sure you have heard about the Boppy and there is a reason for that. This pillow is great for giving your support while feeding or holding your baby. Even though your baby will only be six or seven pounds, eventually your arms will get sore. Babies love to be held and this is an important time in developing that connection between you two. So take all the support this modern world provides. Click the image below to check out the Boppy at Amazon!

8. Bring Your Own Toiletries

At some point you are going to be allowed to take a shower and by golly does it feel amazing. If my legs had been stronger, I probably would have stood in the shower for an hour. So remember to pack the basic toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc), because this one task allows you to transition from the “I just gave birth” to “I am one good-looking mom.”

9. Baby’s Going Home Outfit

I love the idea of picking out your baby’s first outfit. Every time I would look at what we choose it made me feel so excited and happy. If possible, choose an outfit with some special meaning. For example, we chose my firstborn’s outfit during our babymoon trip to London and Paris. It is the only baby outfit of his that I have not given away.

Bonus Tip: Try to buy the outfit in two sizes (newborn and 3-month). If your baby tends to be on the bigger side when born, then they may not fit in the newborn outfit.

10. Baby’s Car Seat

So while you can’t put this in your hospital bag, this is an extremely important item to have with you when you go to the hospital. In fact, the hospital won’t even allow you to leave with your baby without seeing the car seat installed in your car. So I would make sure to install this when you are preparing your maternity hospital bag and just have it sit in your car ready for the Big Day.

If you haven’t decided on a car seat yet, here is the one we have used with both our children. It is a very affordable jogger stroller and car seat travel system. We love this jogger because it has real tires for wheels and not plastic. Plus you can get a second car seat base for a much less expensive cost to move the car seat between multiple cars instead of buying a second car seat.

Well, there you have it.

As you can see you don’t need much. The reality is that you will only be in the hospital for a short time (assuming there are no complications with either you and the baby). Feel free to bring more, but in general, the hospital will provide a lot (like nipple cream, diapers, wipes, etc.).

Don’t forget to grab your FREE Essential Maternity Hospital Bag Checklist so you are ready for the BIG DAY!

Preparing for the newest addition can be stressful, especially if you are a first-time mom.

And that’s okay. It is a sign that you are already a good mom. I read so many different blog articles while I was pregnant and in a way that I never realized, they helped prepare me for the unknown. So take all the help that you can get and remember that you got this.

Was there an essential item that you used not noted on the list above? Tell me about it and why it was essential for you in the comments below!

Happy Days ~

CaitieJ Signature

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