A Second Time Mom’s List of Hospital Bag Essentials

One of my favorite moments of pregnancy is packing my hospital bag! There’s something so special about picking the items that will be with you when you welcome your baby into this world, and something about your bag being packed that makes baby’s arrival feel so real. 💗 With Levi’s birth, I wanted to pack what I thought were “essentials only”, but I was a first time mom so I really had no idea what I would need (and I can be a notorious overpacker). After his arrival, I was so surprised to hear my husband praise me for packing so light and using every item we packed! This time around, I’m keeping the same list with a few minor tweaks, so I thought I would share my list with you to hopefully avoid overpacking and having to lug way too much around in the middle of active labor (plus having to move it from room to room and then having to unpack everything when you get home).

{This is a sponsored post and does contain affiliate links. Please note that all opinions are my own, and that I reached out to the companies I partnered with to create this post because I truly love their products and wanted to share them with you!}


  • 1 cozy sweater to keep you warm – I got mine from Morning Lavender and it is seriously so. soft.
  • 1 light robe that’s easy to nurse in – I love mine from PinkBlush (they have the prettiest options!)
  • 1 loose fitting top because you will still look about 6 months pregnant after delivery – I love these nursing tops on Amazon!
  • 2 tank tops (they go under the sweater, robe, or Amazon nursing tops) – I am obsessed with these Pull-Down Postpartum + Nursing Support Tank Tops from Blanqi. Not only are they made to nurse in, but they’re also designed with built-in postpartum recovery support fabric!
  • Leggings – I’m bringing these High-Waist Postpartum Nursing + Support Leggings from Blanqi for added postpartum support and a high waist so it’s not uncomfortable on my lower abdomen (they are sadly currently out of stock but restocking soon!)
  • Nursing bra – I love my nursing bra from The Dairy Fairy. It is so soft and beautiful, and made to be easy to nurse or pump in! They have several different designs and colors, and they are just so beautiful.

  • Mints
  • Lotion
  • Hand sanitizer – I love this brand because it’s safe for baby and smells amazing
  • cozy socks or slippers
  • Nipple butter (trust me, you will want this!) – this brand is also great
  • Nipple shield – this is more of a precaution in case you and your baby have trouble latching. *this is a totally normal and extremely common thing. if this happens to you, please don’t feel like there is something wrong! with Levi, he latched amazingly on one side and made me bleed on the other… so I used the nipple shield on the sore side to 1. teach him to latch properly and 2. allow me to heal without more pain.
  • Breast pads – these help with leaking! I loved these soft, organic reusable breast pads from Amazon
  • Belly oil – the first time around, I didn’t pack belly oil and regretted it! my belly was so, so itchy after shrinking so significantly, so quickly. I love this oil from Motherlove and have also heard great things about Earth Mama’s Belly Oil.
  • Chapstick (I also bring nose spray – my lips and nose get so dry in hospitals!)
  • Oat Mama Lactation Bars – these bars are something new I’m adding this time and I’m obsessed. They are great for helping you with your milk supply, and are also a delicious snack for those late night nursing munchies when the hospitals kitchen is closed!
  • Phone + phone charger (I recommend getting an extra long cord so it reaches your bed!)
  • Water bottle – I love this one from Amazon with a straw and an ice pack
  • ID + Insurance Card
  • Toiletries bag (dry shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, boppy pins, hair ties, travel bottles of shampoo + conditioner, etc.)
  • Camera + charged battery
  • *iPhone memory card reader – this is totally not necessary, but it doesn’t take up a lot of room and I love being able to have my camera photos on my phone in seconds when it’s time to share the good news!
  • SNACKS!! we were so glad we packed snacks! with Levi, the hospital served us dinner at 5 and then closed the kitchen, but when you’re post-labor and nursing a baby, you get hungry A LOT… we brought pretzels and peanut butter to-go cups, single cups of macaroni & cheese and oatmeal, crackers, chocolate, etc.
  • Going home outfit – make sure it’s loose and comfy!
  • *The hospital will provide you with all the postpartum goodies you will need: mesh underwear, witch hazel, numbing spray, pads, etc. Feel free to ask for extras of everything to take home with you! You can also grab more at CVS or Walgreens… I was super thankful for that tidbit!

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  • Blanket – it gets chilly in the hospital and babies can’t regulate their own body temperature yet, so we bring our nice, soft cozy one from Sweet Magnolia!
  • Swaddle – the hospital will provide you with the standard swaddles, but they’re never as soft as the ones you buy yourself. I love our Max + Moose for a thicker, warm swaddle!
  • 2 footed sleepers – with Levi, we kept him in his sleeper and wrapped in a swaddle overnight. (I was glad we brought 2 because he peed through his first one the first night) I’m pretty obsessed with these sweet organic footed sleepers from L’ovedBaby! They are ridiculously soft and also super cute.
  • 3 onesies – I love to keep my babies in sweet little onesies during the day with a cute beanie and some little mittens. These organic kimono onesies from L’ovedBaby are organic for baby’s new skin and super cute! (I got the long sleeved ones because they have the fold-over mittens attached)
  • Beanie – most of your body heat escapes from your head, so a little beanie for baby will help keep him or her nice and warm! The hospital will provide you with one, but I like to bring my own as they are way cuter and often much softer.
  • Pacifier + pacifier clip – your baby may or may not be a pacifier baby, but if your baby is a pacifier baby, you’ll want to have your pacifier with you and ready to go (babies tend to gravitate towards whatever pacifier they are first introduced to – so if you are wanting to use a specific type, make sure to pack it in your bag just in case!) and pacifier clips help keep it from falling on the floor and/or getting lost. we love ours from Madeline’s Box! I’ve used their brand for both babies now and I love them so much.
  • Mittens – I always bring a pair of mittens with me because newborns don’t have the ability to control movement in their teeny arms yet and tend to scratch themselves. Our mittens are from Sweet Magnolia and they are the softest organic bamboo there ever was!
  • Going home outfit – I just use one of the onesies and add some cute accessories to dress them up! For our little Abby, I’m bringing some knee high socks from Magnolia Kids, a bonnet (Briar Handmade) + bow (Billy Bibs) to choose from, and our Max + Moose swaddle blanket.
  • Car seat – this is a requirement, you must have this to leave the hospital with your baby. period. I install mine at 36 weeks to be sure it’s ready to go in case we go into labor in town and things progress faster than expected. We have a Britax B Safe-35 Elite Infant Car Seat, and while it’s a monster (so. heavy.), I know our babies are safe in it!
  • *I also bring my own Seventh Generation diapers, but the hospital will provide you with plenty of diapers!
  • *You may also want to bring your baby book & request a stamp of the baby’s hands & feet to include in it, but it’s not an essential item. I love our Promptly Childhood History Journals and have it packed for Abby because I didn’t bring it with Levi and never ended up getting his hand or footprints stamped (because: newborn haze)



  • Gift to sibling from baby – we got Levi this sweet Noah Dog from Cuddle + Kind that his little sister will “give him” when he comes to meet her! I love this company so, so much because not only are they Fair Trade and handmade in Peru, but with every purchase of a stuffed toy, they are able to feed 10 children through the WFP School Meals Program and the Children’s Hunger Fund. (We also have the sweetest little lovey from Wild and Blissful Collection that Levi will “give” Abby)
  • Dollar bills & coins for snack machine – I read this somewhere when we were packing our hospital bag for Levi and it was some of the best advice we found!
  • Small, portable essential oil diffuser + calming oils for delivery
  • Things for Dad:
    • toiletries
    • clothing (cozy pajamas + 2 outfits)
    • phone charger
    • wallet with ID + insurance card
  • *Gifts for hospital staff – this is not a requirement or an essential but it makes an impression on the hospital staff (who will be your bffs for the next few days) and I know are so thankful for the sweet thoughts! with Levi, I brought a cookie assortment from Trader Joe’s and it was a hit, so I did the same this time except I put them in little individual baggies so that it feels like more of a “gift” for our nurses!
  • *If you’re interested in the “Mommy Things” and “Baby Things” bags, I bought them from this shop on Etsy.

That’s it! That is my list of hospital bag essentials! I hope this helps you when packing your hospital bag! Did you bring anything else with you to your birth? Tell me in the comments below!

*Side note! This is not an essential, but I recently stumbled upon this amazing new company called Haven + Pine. They have an incredible “Labor + Delivery” box that is filled with sweet little things that you can bring with you to the hospital! I’m not bringing everything, but I am taking a few things that I think will make the hospital room and my birth experience a little more magical (including those sweet little twinkle lights, a “Wonderfully Made” print for her hand and footprint, and a banner with her name on it to hang from her bassinet!)

21 thoughts on “A Second Time Mom’s List of Hospital Bag Essentials

  1. Thank you so much for this!! I am going to save it because we are trying for baby number two and this will be so helpful!


  2. The “mommy things/baby things” etsy link isn’t working!!
    This whole post is absolutely adorable! My best friend is having her baby in August, and I’m wanting to get her some really great stuff as she’ll be a new mommy. I love this list!


  3. Such a good list! I was super unprepared when I went to give birth to my third. I hadn’t packed ONE ITEM. 😩 I ended up having to send my husband back home with a list. 🙈


      1. I carried my 3rd the longest out of my three, and literally didn’t pack a single thing. With my first, I was fully packed before 30 weeks–gave birth at 38 weeks. My second, I was packed around 35 weeks–gave birth at 37 weeks. With my third, I don’t know if it was mom brain or just exhaustion, but I had her at 39 weeks and literally took nothing with me to the hospital but my ID and insurance card! Lol.


  4. I WISH I had this list for both of my hospital trips…I hardly had anything because I just didn’t know what to bring! Thanks for the resource!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like hardly having anything gets you closer to the essentials (especially with everything the hospital provides) than overpacking… I had a friend who wayyy overpacked and the poor thing and her husband had 6 bags, 2 pillows, couldn’t remember which bags had which items, and it was just so stressful for them. After seeing them struggle with that, I realized how many moms need help knowing what to bring and what not to bring! 💗


    1. I hope it helps her be as prepared as possible! 💗 Another tip I was given (if she’s a first time mom) is to bring a notepad to write down anything important the nurses, doctors, consultants, etc. tell you in those first few days in the hospital! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. First of all, that bag is gorgeous! Second, I am a list person, so one tip I usually give expecting moms is to bring a little pad of paper and a pen to write down questions for the doctors. You see so many different doctors, nurses, and lactation specialists in those first few days and you have SO many questions! Thanks for sharing this awesome list :).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This blog post is visually stunning – LOVE your photographs – so calming, peaceful and beautiful! This is a great list! I packed pretty minimalistically with my first and now that I know what I really need, I’m going to allow myself to ‘splurge’ a little on the PinkBlush nursing robe, the Blanqi leggings, etc. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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