Special Delivery: The 10 Items You Must Have in Your Hospital Bag

Preparing for the arrival of your little one is an exciting and joyful journey. As the due date approaches, one essential task on your to-do list? Packing that hospital bag.

With so much on your mind, it can be tempting to push things off that aren’t on the “immediate must do” list. But ensuring you have all the necessary items in your hospital bag shouldn’t be one of them. A proper hospital bag, all set and ready to go, can make the difference between birthing experience smoother and more comfortable. Here’s a curated list of the top 10 must-have items for parents-to-be to include in their hospital bag.


It stands to reason, right? Loose-fitting, comfortable clothing is a must. Pack a couple of nightgowns, pajamas, or nursing-friendly tops for the post-delivery period. Consider including a comfortable robe and slippers for added convenience.

Wish you could just find all your items at once? Seraphine gets you. That’s why they have this fantastic hospital bundle with the four main pieces you need. Made from super soft stretch jersey, their bundle comes with a cozy maternity ward robe, stretchy over bump pajama bottoms w/matching easy-fit pajama top (with lift up nursing access) and a maternity and nursing nightie with snaps at the front for easy nursing & skin to skin snuggles. Consider your labor wardrobe pretty much complete.

Seraphine, Maternity Hospital Bag Bundle for Labor $159

Because there’s a good chance you’ll be on your feet a bit while waiting for your little one to arrive, a cozy pair of non-skid socks is a must. These grippy, stripe lounge socks not only look cute, they’re made with advanced thermal yarn to keep you comfortable and secure on those cold, hospital floors. Bonus, they’re also moisture-wicking, so they will keep your feet toasty, not roasty.

Heat Holders, Original 7x Warmer Stripe Socks w/Grippers


A thick headband is the practical item for dealing with labor sweat. These knotted Scunci headwraps are as soft as they are pretty. They come in a pack of 2 so if need be, you can use one as a ponytail holder.

Scunci, Soft Knot Headwraps (set of 2), $4.99

Finally, you’ll want several pairs of maternity underwear, preferably something with a mid-rise (goldilocks size for your pre and post pregnancy body), plenty of stretch and flat seams or seamless. This jersey stretch three pack from Auden has all this and comes in cute color combinations.

Auden, Maternity 3Pack Under The Belly Maternity Underwear



Pack a toiletry kit with essential personal care items like toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and a hairbrush. Don’t forget to include any specific items you prefer, such as facial cleansers or moisturizers.

This quick convenience kit from Tom’s Natural contains already packaged travel-size items including Giovanni Tea Tree Shampoo 2 oz., Giovannie Tea Tree Conditioner 2 oz., Andalou Citrus Sunflower Shower Gel 1.7 oz., Andalou 1000 Roses Body Lotion 1.7 oz., and Tom’s Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste 1 oz., plus a travel Preserve Toothbrush. So you get six eco-friendly, natural hair, oral, deodorant and personal grooming necessities all ready to go for you.

Tom’s of Maine, Convenience Kit for Travel $9.99

One “must have” the above kit doesn’t include? A good lip balm. It may not sound like a necessity, but hospital air is notoriously dry. Stave off any cracked lips scenarios with a well-balanced and moisturizing balm, like tarte’s Lip Sip Vegan Lip Balm. As part of their Sugar Rush collection, this balm combines all sorts of good-for-you ingredients like jojoba, hazelnut, sunflower and orange peel oils plus a healthy dose of Vitamin E. What it doesn’t have is icky stuff like parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, petrolatum or lanolin. Comes in a clear option (shown below) as well as two light-tinted options – Cherry Slush (for cool undertones) and Fresh Pressed (for warm undertones).

Did we also mention that it smells and tastes like Creamsicles?

tarte, Sugar Rush Lip Sip Vegan Lip Balm $15

Of course if you already have your ride-or-die products and just need something to put them in, this compact but well-organized travel bag from Unique Bargains is what you need. The main compartment handles your larger items, while the 2 pockets (one outside and one mesh inside) keep small items separated and easy to find. It also has a handy hanging hook for taking into the shower.

Unique Bargains, Travel Toiletry Organizer $19.99


Labor can be a lengthy process, and having energy-boosting snacks and hydration options is crucial. Pack non-perishable snacks like granola bars, nuts, and crackers, along with a reusable water bottle.

What’s one of the best food for fueling that’s packed with energy but still easy to digest? That would be simple, high-quality rice. And whats the best way to enjoy rice? As a crispy treat! This 8-pack of puffed rices and toasted grains feel light and digests easily but are energy-packed with complex carbohydrates, all held together by fluffy, heavenly marshmallow. Yum.

Skratch Labs, Crispy Rice Cake Sport Fuel 8-Pack $17.95

Honey is full of quick, natural sugar energy, and it’s one of the most easily digestible foods, which is great when dealing with potential nausea during labor. Manuka Health’s on-the-go packets of Manuka honey are an easy way to harness the natural benefits of this versatile and potent superfood. Each box contains 12 individual servings of our MGO 115+ New Zealand Manuka honey which can be opened even easier than your standard honey stick. Just bend the sachet in half, snap and squeeze.

Manuka Health New Zealand, Manuka Honey On-the-Go Packets (set of 12) $11.99

Your mouth will get dry during labor, which is why mint and hard candy are usually recommended. Moreso, sour candy is a great method to provoke saliva production. And just to ally any concerns on choking, consider stashing a few sour lollipops in your snack bag.

Sour Patch Kids, Sour Candy Lollipops $4.99


Labor and delivery can be unpredictable, and having some form of entertainment can help pass the time. Consider bringing a book, magazine, or your favorite music playlist to keep your mind occupied.

For keeping all those devices at your fingertips, this folio organizer by Timbuk2 has you covered. Just zip to open and inside is plenty of room for your tablet/laptop (up to 14″), plus straps for your cords, and four pockets for phone, power bank, earbud carrier, etc. It carries and protects everything you need, all in one place.

Timbuk2, Stealth Folio Organizer $49

Some quick-pairing, water-resistant ear buds are a great way to relax to your Labor Playlist without concern of any dangling wire issues. These reasonably priced fellows from Belkin pack great sound in a small package. And if they’re lost, you’re not out nearly the same cost as your AirPods.

Belkin, SoundForm Bolt Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds $39.99


Ensure you have all necessary documentation, including your identification, insurance information, and any hospital paperwork. Having these readily available will streamline the admission process.

An easy way to have these at hand is a handy document keeper. This one from Enday has plenty of space for paperwork forms, plenty of pockets for ID, insurance, etc. It also zips all the way around to keep everything secure and it’s water resistant.

Enday, 3-Ring Zipper Binder $29.99


Bring items that offer comfort during labor, such as a favorite pillow, a cozy blanket, or soothing essential oils. These familiar items can create a more relaxed and positive birthing environment.

Like this chic shawl wrap made from ultra-soft knit with plenty of stretch. Use it as a light throw if the room gets chilly, a roomy wrap sweater when you’re walking the halls, and it makes for a ideal cover for nursing post-pregnancy.

Seraphine, Two Tone Luxury Maternity & Nursing Shawl Wrap


Hospital pillows aren’t designed for breastfeeding, so save yourself the sore arm issue and pack a nursing pillow when you go. This travel one from Boppy is easy to pack and carry, with all the ergo support you need in a compact size.

Boppy, Anywhere Support Nursing Pillow $29.99

Essential oils can be more than just a mood enhancer. According to the National Institute of Health, studies have shown that a mixture of sage, orange, chamomile and lavender oils can help “decrease labor pain and anxiety“. We’re all for that. Not all essential oils are the same in terms of quality, which is why our pick is Now Essential Oils. Their orange oils are cold pressed from fresh fruit peels and their lavender, chamomile, and sage are extracted through steam distillation. Subject to in-house purity testing, they are also vegan with no animal testing



Capture those precious moments by bringing a camera and/or ensuring your smartphone is fully charged. You’ll want to cherish the first photos of your newborn. And while it would be nice to say that labor runs like clockwork, we all know that’s not always the case. Pack chargers in your bag to stay connected and capture important moments.

When you’re packing more than a few devices (smartphone, camera, tablet, etc) it’s nice to not have to also pack a family of chargers to go with them. Belkin’s Boostcharge USB-C Power Bank 10K offers an 18W USB-C output with Power Delivery, so you can fast charge your compatible device (up to 36 hours for your smartphone) and a 12W USB-A output to simultaneously charge a second device (camera, tablet, etc). All in one power bank the size of a standard iPhone.

Belkin, 10K Boostcharge Power Bank $39.99


Pack a few essentials for your newborn, including a going-home outfit, a receiving blanket, and diapers. The hospital will likely provide some items, but having a few personal items can add a special touch.

If you’ve already picked out your baby’s name, a custom receiving blanket can be a wonderful way to welcome them to family and friends. Baublebar’s collection has over 50+ custom designs and colors to choose from. Blankets are super soft, knitted yarn and completely machine washable, with guaranteed no shrinking or fading.

Baublebar, Children’s Custom Blankets 31″ x 38″ $78

There’s going home outfits, and then there’s going home in style outfits. If you’re all about the latter, check out Red Bubble’s Baby One-Piece collection. They have (literally) hundreds of baby long-sleeve outfits made from soft, 100% cotton with designs ranging from sweet to sassy, cute to trendy. Prices range by item.

Red Bubble, Long Sleeve Baby 1-Piece $12.75 – $14.78


Include postpartum care essentials such as maternity pads, comfortable underwear, and any prescribed medications. These items are crucial for your comfort and recovery after childbirth.

This easy-tie top by Seraphine is called the skin-to-skin top, and it’s made to keep your baby right next to you. The soft, stretch cotton wraps around you both, allowing for better body regulation and soothing for your baby, as well as stimulating oxytocin and boosting milk supply for mom. It’s also great for having a little hands-free time when you are sitting down (Editor’s Note: as the brand mentions, this is supportive for sitting, not standing. Read the instructions carefully for use first).

Seraphine, Grey Marl Cotton Skin to Skin Top $59

Whether you prefer the cross top or the clip open, the one thing you should never have to deal with in a nursing bra is an underwire. Luckily these days there are plenty of options out there. Our two current running favorites are the Ballet Maternity/Nursing bra by Bravado and Kindred Bravely’s Signature Sublime Contour Nursing/Maternity bra. The Ballet is our cross top pick, made from soft, tencel modal fabric in a mauve floral design that’s just the prettiest. The Signature Sublime is a clip open with molded cups, and stretchy but supportive wireless construction for a classic bra look.


We love when products multi-task for us. These nursing pads by Dear Kate come in a pack of four and are reversible with one side black and the other nude. They’re also reusable, breathable (with no plastic films or laminates) and machine washable, which is great for you and the planet your baby will grow up in.

Dear Kate, Reversible Nursing Pads (set of four) $20


And our number one, which takes us all the way back to the beginning, is the hospital bag itself. After all that effort putting together your must have items, the last thing you want is to throw them all together in some random duffle, spending needless time rooting around for things.

This weekender by CalPak is called the Terra 26L and it holds a dizzying array of pockets for all sorts of items, as well as a generous center compartment ready to hold all your spare clothes. Made from recycled plastic bottles, it’s also a great eco-choice (plus it’s water resistant). The bag can be carried as a backpack, across the shoulder as a duffle, or if you want to include it with a piece of rolling luggage there’s a trolley sleeve in the back. So many choices, including the color (we’re partial to the lovely Juniper Green, but there are nine other color options for you).

CalPak, Terra 26L Laptop Duffle Backpack $175

In conclusion, packing your hospital bag is a significant milestone in the journey to parenthood. By including these ten essential items, you’ll be well-prepared for the big day, ensuring both you and your newborn have a comfortable and memorable experience. Remember, every birth experience is unique, so feel free to customize your bag with items that bring you comfort and joy. Wishing you a smooth and joyous delivery!

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