Baby’s almost ready, but are you? Here’s what to pack in your hospital bag.

We deliver our list of 18 essentials you won’t want to leave home without. Start packing now. 

When your baby’s ready to enter the world, you have to get to the hospital or birthing center FAST. There simply won’t be any time to pack, and quite frankly, thinking about what to bring will be the last thing on your mind. That’s why the month before your due date you should start packing a hospital bag. We’ve put together a list of 18 things you won’t want to forget, including links to some of our favorites.  

  1. ToiletriesYes, the hospital will give you some mini personal care items, but being able to use your favorites can be very comforting after a long labor.  And, if you end up staying more than a few days, your own personal care essentials can add a much-needed touch of home. Here are some of our favorites: 
  2. Lip balm 
    Lip balm is a personal care item, but it gets to stand alone in our checklist because it’s one thing you won’t want to be without during laborWith an ice chips only regimen, dry lips are practically inevitable so make sure you have a good moisturizing balm at the ready.  Our pick: Remedy Phytoplex Lip Balm 
  3. Baby blanket  
    Yep, you’ll get one from the hospital (and it may even be Medline’s famous baby blanket), but it’s good to be prepared with an extra blanket that you know you like. 
    Our pick: Kuddle-Up Supreme Thermal Blankets 
  4. Going-home outfits for baby 
    Pack two outfits since you don’t know just how big baby will be: one newborn and one size 0-3 months 
  5. Comfy going-home outfit for you. 
    Roomy clothes made of soft, stretchy fabric are a must. Black or dark colors help hide stains.   
  6. Pacifier  
    No matter what you call it (binky, paci, num num, etc.), a pacifier is a great baby soothing aid to have within reach in case baby’s upset. 
    Our pick: MAM Start Silicone Pacifier for Newborns 
  7. Super-Absorbent Postpartum Pads  
    Vaginal discharge after delivery is called lochia. You’ll want to have pads that can handle this heavier postpartum flow. 
    Our pickMedline Super-Aborbent Postpartum Pads 
  8. Perineal Cold Pack/Pad  
    This absorbent pad may look like a regular postpartum pad but it’s not. Designed for use intermittently for 36-48 hours after baby’s born, it’s hiding a cold pack inside. Simply crack the pad in half to activate much-appreciated cooling benefits.   
    Our pick: Medline Premium Contoured Perineal Cold Pack/Pad 
  9. Adult diapers 
    It might seem strange, but many moms say they feel more comfortable and secure in disposable adult pull-up underwear because it offers more coverage and protection than a postpartum pad.  
    Our pick:  FitRight for Women Disposable Underwear 
  10. Nonskid slipper socks 
    These two-in-one safety slippers keep your feet covered and warm and they let you skip slippers.  
    Our pick: Medline Nonskid Slipper Socks
  11. Perineal bottle  
    The hospital will most likely give you one of these handheld postpartum peri squeeze bottles, but you may feel better knowing that if you don’t get one, it’s right there in your bag.  
    Our pick: Medline Peri Squeeze Bottle 
  12. Hand sanitizer 
    Keep your own small bottle bedside and offer it to friends and family who come for a visit.    
    Our pick: Medline Sterillium Comfort Gel Hand Sanitizer 
  13. Maternity robe 
    Slipping into your own robe can help make wearing a hospital gown more bearable. Look for one that’s soft, roomy and comfy.  
  14. Nursing bra 
    No matter if you’re planning to nurse baby for a few days or a few years, you’ll want to start your breastfeeding journey with a comfortable nursing bra.   
  15. Nursing pads 
    Once your milk comes in, you’ll be glad to have nursing pads on hand. They slip inside your bra to help absorb leaks and keep milk stains off your clothes. Disposable pads are single-use (no washing!so they’re super convenient early on.  
    Our pick:  CURAD Disposable Nursing Pads 
  16. Lanolin cream  
    Lanolin is a tried-and-true natural solution that brings soothing relief from dry, sore, cracked nipplesAnd, best of all, you don’t have it wipe it off for breastfeeding because it’s safe for you – and baby.  
    Our pick: Medela Tender Care Lanolin Cream 
  17. Phone and charger 
    Your phone is your lifeline to the outside world and it’s most likely your camera too. Make sure it’s ready to go at all the big moments.  
  18. Important documents   
    Even if you’ve preregistered, it’s still a good idea to have your ID and insurance information with you.  
  19. Roomy bag to put everything in