Okay, you’ve got a birth plan, a baby name, and the
carseat is installed — but a good hospital bag is going to make your baby’s arrival smoother, too. As you enter your third trimester, you’ll want to get it ready for go time. The best hospital bags are roomy enough to hold everything you need with pockets to keep everything organized and accessible. Because you’ll want plenty of space to pack what you need for the hospital (think: postpartum underwear and peri bottles), plus some creature comforts, too. What To Pack In A Hospital Bag For Baby & Mom In an interview with our sister site Fatherly, Brooke Patmor, certified birth and postpartum doula at BORN Collective, suggested that moms bring not only the essentials, like a few changes of clothes (for baby, too!), slippers (a must), and personal hygiene products, but also to bring along some of the less obvious items that will make the stay a bit more comfortable — snacks (because you will be hungry), essential oils, witch hazel (for cooling your vag), and a speaker with a playlist ready to go. Some brands even offer luxury pre-packed hospital bags, which are super convenient.
When it comes to actually packing, it’s not as complicated as you might think. Honestly, aside from meeting your baby for the first time (who will not care what you’re wearing or even if you forgot your toothbrush), nobody is going to judge you if you look like a hot mess. And, you might. So don’t give a second thought to bringing your flat iron or favorite earrings. Leave those at home and focus on the essentials.
What Kind Of Bag Is Best For A Hospital Bag?
There are a few different bag styles and things to keep in mind when packing for the hospital as a mama-to-be. Here’s what you need to know before you choose: Duffel bags, and their slightly more structured cousin the
weekender bag, offer the convenience of being easy to stuff and go, and store down flat later. Some duffels have the added bonus of being machine-washable, so you can freshen them up after your hospital stay. On the other hand, suitcases are easy to maneuver and fairly roomy, although you might not get quite as many pockets/compartments. No matter which style you choose, springing for one with wheels will make trips down the hallways of the hospital easier.
And one more warning because it bears repeating — you
will be hungry and hospital food isn’t known to be great. Ready to find that bag for your snack stash? Scroll on down. 01 A Rolling Duffel Bag With A Cult Following
durable duffel bag with over 10,000 five-star ratings has two wheels and a long handle, so getting your stuff where it needs to go is that much easier. The four outer pockets are great for staying organized. And because it’s a duffel bag, it folds down pretty flat for storage. It also features carrying handles and a strap on the top of the bag. The unique prints available on this duffel — and there are over 30 of them — will make it easy to spot your mom bag right away. Helpful Review: “I purchased this bag to be my hospital bag for when I [gave] birth to my second baby. It's very roomy for being a smaller bag. It held all of my items no problem. The material is rugged enough and pretty. Also love that it rolls. Makes lugging it around as a pregnant woman that much easier!” Material: Heavy-Duty Polyester | Styles: 34 | Dimensions: 22 x 12 x 11 inches (L x W x H) 02 A Chic Weekender Bag With A Slipper Compartment
spacious weekender bag is super chic with its vegan leather accents and smooth canvas fabric. It has a spacious interior with two open pockets and even a shoe compartment that’s perfect for those fuzzy slippers. If you’re worried about it getting dirty, it has four metal feet on the bottom to keep it just off the ground. Helpful Review: “I bought this to be my hospital bag and when I initially opened it, it looked tiny. It fits way more than I anticipated and is also stylish!” Material: Canvas; faux leather | Styles: 2 | Dimensions: 20 x 11 x 9 inches (L x W x H) 03 An Overnight Bag with A “Wet Pocket”
Remember all that food you need to pack for the hospital? This is
the bag to put it in! It’s made from a water-resistant material with nylon lining, and the “wet pocket” is perfect for those treats that might leak. It also has a mesh pocket inside the wide compartment, and an exterior pocket for easy access. With top handles and a long shoulder strap, you have options for carrying. Or just slide the back pocket trolley sleeve over the handle of a suitcase if you’ve got more stuff, and you’re good to go. Helpful Review: “I bought this bag for my hospital stay with the birth of my daughter. This turned out to be the perfect size, fit in a change of clothes for me and baby as well as my toiletries and a towel for showering...(Seriously, bring a towel from home.. the hospital towels are small and thin!!). Very beautiful pink color, too. Absolutely love it!” Material: Water-resistant material (unspecified)| Styles: 24 | Dimensions: 21.65 x 7.09 x 10.63 inches (L x W x H) 04 A Hard-Shell Spinner To Invest In For Now (& Future Getaways)
The multi-directional spinner wheels on this
carry-on suitcase are a must-have when you’ve only got one hand free (you’ll have a baby in the other at some point). And the hard shell exterior ensures your belongings won’t get squished. The interior is fully lined with accessory pockets, and you’ll appreciate the expandable option and combination lock when you’re ready to take your first trip after baby arrives. Helpful Review: “I originally bought this to hold my hospital bag items for labor. I loved how easily it was for me to roll and how much i could fit inside. Ive been using it going back and forth from my apartment to my parents and it has no scratches yet.” Material: Plastic, High-density polyester lining | Styles: 11 | Dimensions: 13.5 x 9.5 x 20 inches (L x W x H) 05 A Pre-Packed Hospital Bag — So The Work Is Done For You
If having the essentials packed for you is more your style, this
pre-packed hospital bag by CallMidWives might be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s packed with a ton of stuff you’ll need, including a toothbrush and toothpaste, scrunchies, tea, lip balm, disposable underwear, nursing pads, nipple cream, and soft slipper socks. So, if you want to be basically done with a click? This is the one for you. (It’s also compact enough to slip into a larger bag, if you want to pack some extras, too.) Helpful Review: “This bag was a huge help when packing for the hospital. Had things I didn't think about.” Material: NA | Styles: 1 | Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 4 inches (L x W x H) 06 A Small (But Mighty) Duffel Bag
The succulent print on
this spacious duffel bag is adorable, but it comes in three other colors if prickly plants aren't your thing. This petite duffel is just the thing if you’re a seasoned packer and don’t like to tote along more than you need. The North Face brand is known for making quality products so whatever color you choose, you’ll know you’re going to get your money’s worth. The large main compartment, convenient pockets, and padded straps are just a few other reasons to love this bag. Helpful Review: ”I've gotten a lot of compliments on this bag! The build quality is excellent & the small sized bag has been perfect for me. I've packed it on several 4-night business trips - was even able to pack an additional pair of shoes in it.” Material: Recycled polyester with water-repellent finish | Styles: 4 | Dimensions: 20.5 x 9.5 x 10.5 inches (L x W x H) 07 A Lightweight Rolling Suitcase With A Classic Look
Travelpro rolling tote is meant for airline travel, so you can bet it’s durable and will last far past your trip to the hospital. Its high-performance ball-bearing wheels glide smoothly, and the spacious interior has a mesh pocket while the outside of the suitcase has zippered pockets to keep you organized. Plus, at just 5.4 pounds, it’s a fairly lightweight cruiser. Helpful Review: “Looks classy and great for carry on. Easily fits under the seat on planes. It fits a lot of stuff. I easily could fit two of my shoes and a weeks worth of clothes! Best part is, it doesn’t look “stuffed.” It holds its shape and have a very classy look” Material: Polyester with Duraguard coating | Styles: 3 | Dimensions: 16 x 8.5 x 13.75 inches (L x W x H) 08 A Stylish Weekender Bag With Faux Leather Details
The large, bottom compartment on this
weekender bag is ideal for keeping shoes or even a small toiletry bag separate from your clothes. The bag is crafted from canvas and faux leather, and the interior is lined with luxurious cotton and boasts several pockets. Carry it like a handbag or throw it over your shoulder. Helpful Review: “I used this as my hospital bag when having my baby. It's the perfect medium size and held all of my items and baby's while having some room in the top to add some of the supplies the hospital provided to take home. The bottom zip pouch is great for toiletries and shower shoes to keep them separate from the items in the main compartment. I also love how cute the design is.” Material: Canvas, faux leather, cotton | Styles: 12 | Dimensions: 20 x 10 x 13 (L x W x H) 09 Also Nice: A Hanging Toiletry Bag With Compartments For Everything
hanging toiletry bag folds out to display all of your personal hygiene products, and it’s a favorite with an impressive overall 4.8-star rating after 4,000 reviews. It has compartments for larger items, like full-size shampoo and lotion bottles, and smaller ones to hold toothbrushes and cotton swabs. Plus, the hook is super convenient to hang on the back of a bathroom door and have everything you need accessible. It easily fits inside a larger duffel or suitcase, too. Helpful Review: “I bought this so I can have all of my skincare and makeup in one bag that easily folds to put in a suitcase/bag and then hang in the restroom to keep all of my stuff off of the small hotel countertops. I worried that it would not be sturdy enough to hold all of my stuff and hang without it breaking but [...] It holds EVERYTHING I need and there is no tearing.” Material: Cotton-Like with plastic lining | Styles: 5 | Dimensions: 12 x 4.5 x 9 (L x W x H) 10 Worthy Add-On: A Comfy Robe That’s Pretty Enough For Pics
You’ll treasure those first pics with your new baby — and you’ll be really glad you packed this pretty
robe set for them. It’s super comfy with a stretchy fit and side pockets, and the floral print will lift your mood after L&D. The matching swaddle set and headband for your bundle of joy are absolutely adorable, too. The set also comes with some cute socks for a new mom (and you’ll be glad you have those in the chilly hospital). Choose from 17 variations in different floral patterns and colors. Helpful review: “The material is soft, stretchy, and has vibrant colors that didn’t run in the washer. I wish I would have had this for my other children. I would definitely recommend it for your hospital stay!” Material: Milk Silk | Styles: 16 | Available Sizes: Small — XX-Large Hey Ready for more? Sign up for Scary Mommy's daily newsletter for more stories from the trenches.