Post may contain affiliate links. Are you about to have a new baby and a little lost on what to pack for the hospital? Maybe you’ve already been through it before but want to take a more natural approach this time around. I had a baby a couple years ago and did everything the “standard way.” This time around I wanted to try a more natural approach so I created a complete hospital bag checklist for crunchy moms like me! I have already been testing out natural mom and baby products so I had a pretty good idea of what to include this time around. My checklist covers necessities and luxury items for mom, natural postpartum care products, along with extra tips. I also will be doing newborn cloth diapers & cloth postpartum pads from day one and will touch a bit on how I plan on doing that at the hospital. I will list out several ideas and naturally focused options to help get you started on your hospital journey with your new baby!
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Mommy Items & More!
- Birth Plan: If you have specific instructions on how you want to deliver and what medications you are willing to take, you will want to include this in your hospital bag for sure. Just keep an open mind that things may end up different than you planned.
- ID & Insurance card: This is a MUST-HAVE Item that should be at the top of your list to bring!
- Medication: If you are on certain meds that you must take daily, be sure to pack those in your bag as well.
- Cash: It’s always good to have extra cash on hand but especially important if you are stuck in the hospital at 2 a.m. and all of the restaurants are closed. This will allow your partner to grab some snacks from the vending machines.
- Snacks: You may not be recommended to eat or snack while you are about to deliver but it may be a good idea to pack up a few treats for after or for your hubby or other children if you have them.
- Camera & Phone: You will probably want to grab a decent camera and your phone to keep your loved ones updated.
- Chargers: No matter what electronics you decide to bring you will want to grab your chargers.
- Makeup: It’s nice to bring a small bag of makeup to freshen up for pictures or just to feel a little more like yourself after delivery if you choose.
- Toiletry Bag: You will want to pack a small bag that includes your bathroom essentials like your toothbrush, deodorant, face wash, exedra. Some moms like to pack their own towels as well because the hospital towels can be small and thin.
- Books, Magazines, Music: Some women like to pack magazines or things to keep them entertained. Some deliveries take a while to get started, especially if you are being induced. My phone kept me entertained along with talking to loved ones.
- Essential Oils & Diffuser: Essential oils bring a calmness to the room and can be great air purifiers. This may be something to consider bringing along with Lavender, Frankincense, Tea Tree oil, or any of your favorites!
- Your Pillow & Old Pillow Case: I love my pillow because it makes me feel a little more at home and is more comfortable than the ones that the hospital provides. Make sure to bring an old pillow case that you don’t mind getting dirty. Try to mark if it is plain white so it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital pillows.
- Comfy Socks & House Shoes: You will want to grab a pair of comfy socks to wear around and a pair of slippers. Remember, after giving birth everything is about comfort! Your feet will be swollen most likely so you don’t want anything tight.
- Flip Flops: I didn’t include this in my hospital bag but some moms like to pack a cheap pair of flip flops so they can step in and out of the shower without touching the floor with their feet.
- Stretchy Pants: If you want to cover your legs grab a pair of sweatpants or stretchy pants. Most women will still look pregnant for a few days after delivery so you don’t want to pack your pre-pregnancy pants.
The hospital will supply you with more than enough baby gear to get you started but here are a few items you may want to bring.
- Going Home Outfit: You will want to pack at least one going home outfit. I packed a few different sizes just in case my baby came out smaller or bigger. Also, keep in mind the weather and pack accordingly.
- Baby Socks, Mittens, Caps: Your hospital may or may not provide you with these items but some moms like to bring mittens to keep baby from scratching their little face. My going home outfits had built-in mittens and booties so I didn’t have to worry about it. All hospitals provide baby caps I believe.
- Baby Receiving Blankets: Some moms like to bring their own custom swaddling or receiving blankets. The hospital will provide these.
- Car Seat & Canopy Cover: This doesn’t exactly go in your hospital bag but it is a good idea to get your car seat installed and have it safety checked by a fire station around 34 weeks or so. You can do it earlier if you like, no harm in being a little extra prepared! I advise grabbing up a car seat canopy to block out the wind or bad weather and to help keep it dark for when the baby is sleeping.
- Newborn Cloth Diapers: If you are not planning on cloth diapering or just waiting til you get home then don’t worry about bringing these. If you are then you will want to bring a few newborn or extra small sized cloth diapers along with disposable or reusable inserts to help keep your diapers cleaner. The hospital is going to supply you with diapers during your stay regardless if you decide to cloth or not.
I received newborn cloth diapers from Thirsties Baby, Bumgenius, Charlie Banana, and GroVia to include in my video. I was not paid to review and all opinions are my own.
Postpartum Care Products
- Cloth Postpartum Pads: I am bringing one heavy 15 inch, seven heavy 14 inch pads and an extra large bamboo insert. I chose organic bamboo velour and minky toppers because those are some of the most gentle fabrics for your skin. You can purchase many quality postpartum pads on Etsy shops like MadeByMothers and Homestead Emporium. You can also sew your own with upcycled fabrics around your house.
- Disposable Non-Toxic Pads: If the idea of using cloth postpartum pads is a bit overwhelming, I recommend purchasing disposable pads from a brand like Seventh Generation as they leave out the toxic chemicals and perfumes. You may still need to use the big hospital pads that they provide for the first few days of heavy bleeding and then switch out to overnight pads. Aff Link: Seventh Generation Overnight Pads
- Wet Bags: I have one wet bag to store my cloth postpartum pads but you can use a plastic or regular bag if you choose. I also have a wet bag that includes a dry pocket for clean items. This one is for going back and forth to the bathroom with my “hoo-ha” care products. We have one giant wet bag or diaper pail liner that I will toss all soiled diapers, clothes, and pads in until we get home to wash. You could use a good sized trash bag for this.
- Healing & Soothing Vaginal Spray: I purchased a glass spray bottle and filled it with equal parts witch hazel and aloe vera gel. I added a few drops (around 5 of each) of healing essential oils. I believe I included Lavender, Tea Tree, & Clary Sage. I may have included 10 drops of Lavender because I love the smell. This healing spray will be used in place of the numbing spray they provide at the hospital. You can use a cheap plastic bottle if you don’t have a glass one although glass is better at storing or keeping essential oils. You will want to spray this lovely concoction directly on your cloth pad during each change to help sooth and heal your vaginal region. I found witch hazel and aloe vera gel at WalMart for a good price. You can also purchase at the drugstore.
- Heating Pads: After delivery, you will experience postpartum contractions that can be very painful as your uterus begins to shrink back to its normal size. Some mothers like to include heating pads to help soothe the pain without taking any or a ton of medication.
- Mom Washer: Now your hospital will normally provide you with a standard plastic peri bottle but if you want to try the one I am packing for the hospital you can check out my Aff link here: MOM WASHER
- Granny Panties: The hospital will normally supply you with stretchy mesh panties while you are in labor and some for after delivery. Some women love them and some hate them. I found them to work great and thought they were very comfortable so I didn’t bother packing my own undies for the trip. If you are not sure if you will like the mesh panties or not, go ahead and grab some cheap granny panties from WalMart or Target. I went ahead and purchased me some for late pregnancy and post delivery because they are so comfortable. I don’t have to worry about stains as I will toss them once I am done recovering. Oh and yes, I am rocking the granny panties while I am typing this up! 😛
Breastfeeding & Nursing Gear
- Nursing Cover: Like I mentioned in the video, you will get no privacy during your stay so it is really nice to have one of these. I found a coupon in a pregnancy magazine and ordered mine. You can use a big receiving or muslin blanket as well.
- Nursing Bras: It is a good idea to pack a couple of nursing bras so you can get the support you need and breastfeed a little more easily. You can also use a couple of sports bras and just pull down when you need to feed. You can find nursing bras in most stores and online. I haven’t found one yet that I absolutely love so I don’t have a link to share with you.
- Comfortable Robe: I highly recommend packing a comfortable robe for your trip. I have one made specifically for new breastfeeding moms in mind called the Mommy Brobe. It has a built-in nursing bra and deep pockets. Aff Link: Mommy Brobe
Here is my complete review of the MOMMY BROBE if you want to check that out!
If you are interested in trying out any of my recommended breastfeeding products, you can click on any of my affiliate images above. I do make a small commission if you purchase any of the products and it is at no extra cost to you!
- Comfortable Nursing Gown: Yes, the hospital will provide you with a generic hospital robe but normally your butt is hanging out of the back lol. I suggest bringing your own to change into after delivery. You want to get one that will cover you well, fit loosely, and have an opening or button down for breastfeeding. I ordered this one from Amazon, Aff Link: Maternity Nursing Gown
- Nursing Pillow: Some new mothers like to bring a nursing pillow like the Boppy to help prop the baby up while breastfeeding. I have a couple that I keep at home but I didn’t pack them in my hospital bag to save space. Aff Link: Boppy Nursing Pillow with Cover
- Bamboobies Nipple Cream: If you plan on breastfeeding at all you will want to pick up a tub of quality nipple cream. I have tried out Lansinoh, Medela, and Bamboobies. The Bamboobies Brand and is by far the best because It rubs on so much smoother than the other brands. It’s made from completely organic ingredients and is safe for baby. It also doubles as a pumping lubricant and will heal any sore or cracked nipples. Aff Link: Bamboobies Nipple Cream
- Reusable Nursing Pads: I highly recommend using cloth nursing pads over disposable ones because they are really soft and much cheaper in the long run. You will want to pack a couple pairs of these even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding to prevent soaking through your bra. Some women don’t leak as much as others but it’s good to stock up on a few just in case. You can use small cloth wipes if you are in a pinch. My favorite reusable nursing pads are the Bamboobies brand and you can check out my Aff link here: Bamboobies Nursing Pads
- Non-Toxic Disposable Nursing Pads: If you are not going to try reusable brands you may check out a more eco-friendly option that Bamboobies makes. They are made with less toxic ingredients. Aff Link: Bamboobies Disposable Nursing Pads
- Cloth Wipes: I love using cloth wipes to clean up any drips from pumping or breastfeeding. They are soft and can be used for so many other things. I packed a couple in my hospital nursing bag. My favorite deal is a 24 pack from Amazon. They are super soft and small and can be used for cloth diapering and wiping off dirty hands. Aff Link: Cloth Wipe Pack
- Silicone Nipple Shield: Sometimes your hospital will give you one of these if you are having trouble with breastfeeding. I highly recommend grabbing one of these if you plan on breastfeeding for a while. They help protect your nipples from a bad latch when you are learning, easing any discomfort you may feel. These may not be a hospital bag necessity but a good to have item at the very least. If you have inverted or flat nipples then I recommend grabbing one or two of these for your hospital bag so that baby can get a good latch. Aff Link: Medela Nipple Shield
- Pump Bag: You can definitely use a regular bag for this but I prefer my PumpEase waterproof bag made for carrying my nursing supplies. When I was in the NICU I used it all of the time and after when traveling with my pump supplies. I now use it for my cloth pads. This bag is a nice size for keeping your nursing supplies together but isn’t completely necessary for packing in your hospital bag. Aff Link: PumpEase Wet Bag
Here is a super quick video I created showing off some tips for packing around nursing supplies for a day trip!
Checklist for Dad, & Siblings!
- Toddler Backpack: If you have other children or a toddler like me you may want to go ahead and have a little backpack made up with extra diapers, trainers, or underwear. Pack some extra clothes, snacks, sippy cup, toys, and maybe an iPad or Kendle to help keep them occupied!
- The Dad Bag: You may have your partner go ahead and pack a small overnight bag with an extra pair of clothes, snacks, cash, toiletries like his toothbrush and deodorant and maybe a book or iPad. He may want to bring his own pillow as well. It may be a good idea to keep the camera with him so he can take pictures if you haven’t already hired a photographer.
I hope my hospital bag checklist helped you to better understand what you will need at the hospital. I also hope I encouraged you to take a more natural route to your postpartum care. If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment below. I would love to hear from you!