Minimalist Hospital Bag Must Haves

You guys! I've had so many requests for this post and I originally planned on posting it pre-baby, but I'm glad I didn't because I used very little out of my hospital bag!

Apparently I'm meant to have middle of the night babies, because both of my boys were born between the hours of 4 AM and 5 AM the day before their due dates. Luckily we were all healthy and the hospital discharged us both times before we were even there for 48 hours.

Crazy fast, right?!

The fact that we had such short stays in the hospital really helped me narrow down my absolute favorite items to pack in my hospital bag, rather than overpacking and forcing my sweet, exhausted husband to carry all the things to our hospital room.

Nursing Tank - I love this Belabumbum layered tank, its so comfortable! (This color is on super sale!) It also had better coverage while nursing so every hospital staff member didn't get a show when they walked in the room.

Pajamas - Get yourself some really soft pajamas that are nursing friendly if you're going that route. The hospital sheets aren't great (big surprise!) so having something comfortable is key. I loved the tank and robe from my Belabumbum Starlit set but I left the light colored pants at home for before and after baby... post-birth isn't pretty and I loved those pants too much to ruin them!

Black Pants/Leggings - Bring 2-3 pairs. I love these affordable high waisted yoga pants for during the day so you can reserve these for your going home outfit. I personally like tight yoga pants for this because they keep those giant postpartum pads and ice packs (if your really lucky) in place.

Nipple Balm - A little tip from my lactation consultant was to let breastmilk dry on your nipples after a feed and it really does help the most! If you really need another layer of protection, I like this Earth Mama nipple butter.

Toiletries + Cosmetic Bag - I personally chose to buy the travel-sized toiletries that I needed so they were easier to pack in advance. For makeup, have all of your must have items (concealer and mascara for me!) in a travel bag sitting on your bathroom counter. That way you can use them and throw them back in the back each day, but they are ready to go if you have to run out the door for the hospital!

Extra Long Phone Chargers - Go ahead and order yourself the extra long phone charging cords if you don't already have them, they are a must!

Camera - If you don't have one, be sure to hire a photographer for a Fresh 48 session! I know the thought of having pro photos done is daunting, but I promise you will cherish them forever! We had a session set up for Finn's birth but were so exhausted that we pushed them to the 2nd day in the hospital, but then they discharged us and we had to cancel. To this day I regret not getting them done the day he was born, so I'm extremely thankful I took some of our own!

Towels from Home - Our hospital didn't even offer towels but I'm sure if I asked they wouldn't have been half as nice to use as ours from home. Make sure to bring towels that are something other than white, so they don't get mixed in with hospital supplies.

Flip Flops - For the shower and while walking around. I didn't want to take my slippers there because of the germs, so if you do bring cheap ones you don't mind throwing away after.

Going Home Outfit for Mama - Don't think too much about this! Get yourself some high waisted Zella leggings, a tank, and a cardigan and call it a day.

Sweater via Old Navy sold out (Similar). Tank. Leggings.

Going Home Outfit for Baby - Newborns are floppy so try to keep it simple and bring something easy to put on. You'll want to wash everything from the hospital as soon as you get home so they won't wear it for long anyway.

You really don't need any other clothes for baby. I know its hard to resist but save them for at home! If you do want to bring some things, think hats (they need to keep a hat on and two blankets at all times in most hospitals) and a swaddle blanket.

The hospital provides a snap shirt and diapers, and since skin-to-skin is so important when they are brand new, that's all we kept either of our babes in during our hospital stays.

Pillow from Home for Dad - Use a pillow case that isn't white so you don't get them confused with hospital pillows.

Snacks - Hospital food is hit or miss so bring some things that can fill you up easily like bars, almonds, etc.

Gift for the Nurses - Don't search on Pinterest for ideas, just buy a big bag of Dove chocolates or mini packs of MnMs and your nurses will love you. Both times I gave birth we did this and all of the nurses kept thanking us!

Honestly these are the ONLY things you need! Leave your nursing pillow at home (the lactation consultants prefer you learn to use with regular pillows in my experience), pads, Dermoplast, squirt bottle (if you tear you need this), etc. You can even leave underwear at home because the disposable hospital underwear are really good at holding the giant pads in there, and you won't risk ruining any of your own.

After packing just these essentials I easily fit everything for Finn and I into one bag plus my camera bag and it was SO much easier on all of us!

If you need help finding the perfect nursing bra don't miss this post or shop the post below!


  1. I love that you shared this post - I started packing my hospital bag last night! Thank you!!

  2. Thanks for this post friend! Even though I've done this before, I still need a refresher!

  3. Hello! This is helpful! Can you share where you got the pink top that's in the third picture (going home outfit)?


Powered by Blogger.