Hospital & Diaper Bag Essentials

October 07, 2020 · by Brittany Douglas

With baby number two’s birth right around the corner, I recently crossed packing our bags for delivery off of our to-do list. 

Type one enneagram here, so I actually quite enjoy packing and organizing for things--to the point that I am usually and admittedly over-prepared. I’m no expert, but I thought I’d share what I’ve included and felt necessary for our overnight stay in the hospital, as well as what’s in our everyday diaper bag. I have found that when I’m staying away from home, there are certain things that just provide me with extra comfort, but I have included an asterisk by the things the hospital will typically provide you with should you desire to pack a little lighter.

What's In My Hospital Bag?

For Mama:

Water bottle/Favorite cup*

Snack for after delivery* - My husband and I are snackers, so I don’t go anywhere without packing something to munch on. Sure, the hospital has a cafeteria and probably loaded snack machines, but just in case the cafeteria is closed and the snack machines are bare, it’s best to pack a few things ahead of time.

Robe & loose-fitting nightgown*

Nursing bra/Nursing tank

Nonslip slippers or socks *

Headband & hair elastic


Toothbrush & toothpaste*

Deodorant wipes

Shower toiletries & hair products*

Camera, Tripod, Laptop, Phone Charger - Due to COVID, most hospitals are only allowing one visitor per patient. Knowing ahead of time that my husband and I will be alone, I’ve planned to bring our camera and tripod so we’ll have a few photos of the three of us after the baby is born.

Disposable undies* - The hospital will provide you with mesh undies while you are there, but you will most definitely want to have your own stockpile at home, trust me. These are a must-have.

Comfy going-home outfit

Neck pillow

Boppy pillow - So wonderful to have, especially if you plan to nurse. I’ve even heard of moms buying an extra one for themselves to sit on, as the donut shape is nice for providing extra relief from soreness during recovery. I personally just use mine for nursing and assisting with holding the baby.

Nursing pads

Chewing gum - Prior to the delivery of my first baby, I wasn’t allowed to eat anything other than ice chips for 15+ hours, so chewing gum was a nice distraction to the hunger.


Prenatal vitamins*

Insurance card, Social Security card, License, Birth plan - (This is information you will need for hospital documentation.)

Blank thank-you card for hospital staff - A nice gesture to leave behind once you’re discharged.

String lights for the hospital room - I realize how extra this sounds, but just trust me on this one. They make such a difference in the comfort and coziness of the room. I am someone who keeps twinkle lights up in my house all year long. They create instant coziness! Now, your husband may find it a bit ridiculous when you go to plug them in, but even he will appreciate them—especially when the lights don’t have to come on during those 3 am feedings.

Travel diffuser - Again, maybe a little extra, but I find it to be super calming.

For Baby:

Birth announcement plaque* - You will get the traditional birth announcement card, but just in case you want to get creative with something else.

Zippered onesie for sleeping

Going-home outfit


Mittens - It’s amazing how sharp and long a baby’s little nails can grow while they’re in the womb. Be sure to pack some mittens for their hands so they don’t scratch their little face.


Swaddle Blanket* - Yes, the hospital will provide a small blanket, but keep in mind, they aren’t always the softest things. 


For Daddy:
(If your husband’s like mine, he’ll throw all of this into a bag right before you leave.)


A book


Going-home outfit


Pillow & blanket*

Phone Charger

What's In My Diaper Bag?

Diapers (6-count)


Changing pad (Typically comes with any diaper bag)

Nursing pads (4-count)

Deodorant wipes for mommy

Hand sanitizer

Burp cloths (2-count)




Zippered onesie


Fingernail scissors - (Yes, scissors, not clippers. A personal must-have baby item. Makes nail-cutting much less scary for both mom and babe. I actually still use them on our three-year-old.)

Diaper rash cream

Bulb syringe

Nursing snack for mommy

Vaseline stick for mom and baby

Brittany Douglas

About Brittany Douglas

Brittany Douglas married her high school sweetheart in 2013 and has one child, Waylon West. She studied music at Indiana Bible College and is now a stay-at-home mom and youth pastor's wife.

Brittany and her husband serve at the Temple of Pentecost under the leadership of Bishop Wayne Huntley and Pastor Bryan Ballestero. They are also on the UPCI NC district youth board.

In her free time, Brittany can be found antiquing, taking pictures, or sipping on an iced latte in a downtown cafe window seat. She is passionate about the things of God, her family, and living life to serve and encourage others. Follow her on Instagram at @brittdougs.