Congrats! Your sweet little baby will be here before you know it. You’re probably busy prepping the nursery, trying to navigate your way through all of those baby gadgets trying to decide which ones to buy, and just mentally prepare yourself for how your life is going to change. 

Some people pack their hospital bag super early, while others leave it till last minute. But sometimes it can be really difficult to know what to put in it? I know they’re a million lists you can find on Pinterest, but sometimes it’s hard to know which things on them actually are essentials and which ones are just overkill. 

Having had two babies I’ve been through this a couple of times. I’m sure everyone does it a little differently but I’ll share what I found helpful for my bag to the hospital. 

For Baby:

◦ Sleepers – you need something to bring your babe home in and depending on how long you have to stay at the hospital it’s always handy to bring an extra for a spare. More than one size is so key because when it comes down to it, you never know how big they’ll actually be when they’re born. Lots of people say you not to buy newborn size but what people don’t realize is size 0-3 months is actually huge and if your baby is on the smaller side you’ll definitely want newborn size. 

◦ Baby Mittens – baby nails are super super sharp! They love touching their face so to protect their delicate skin. 

◦ Hat – in the beginning babies can’t regulate their temperature and since you lose so much heat out of your head a hat for them for when you leave the hospital especially is really important. 

◦ Diapers, Wipes, and Diaper Cream – some hospitals provide you with some for you to use while you’re there but not all. It’s great to have your own ready to go. 

◦ Pacifier – don’t forget to sterilize these first! Don’t buy too many of one brand because babies can be pick and you might go through a couple different kinds before you find one that your baby will actually take.

◦ Burp cloths – because spit up happens! These will quickly become your new best friend. 

◦ Car seat cover – no matter what time of the year your baby is born is good to have something to protect them from the elements for your car seat when you’re taking them from the hospital to the car. There are different kinds depending on the season so look around and see what kind is the best fit for you. 

◦ Car seat – gonna need something to take them home in!

For Mom:

◦ Non-slip socks or slippers – you might be doing a lot of pacing even if it’s just in your room and hospital floors are slippery and cold. Bringing something along that’s comfy and your can wear on your feet is super handy. 

◦ House coat – a lot of the time you’ll just be wearing a hospital gown during your stay, but it’s nice to have something comfortable that you can throw on over top of them to give you a little warmth and  dignity from the breezy hospital gowns. 

◦ Loose pyjamas – after you’ve had baby you’ll want something other then your hospital gown to wear. Something that is loose and cosy is key!

◦ Nursing bra – if you plan on nursing then having these right away is super handy. 

◦ Sleep bra – if you plan on nursing these are also amazing because they’re not too tight but still give you a bit of support. 

◦ Adult diapers – now I know this doesn’t sound very glamorous but after giving birth you’re gonna bleed. Bering able to just change these and throw them away afterwards instead of messing with pads and accidentally getting blood on your underwear is great. 

◦ Nursing pads – you’re most likely gonna leak milk and rather than making a mess of your bra and shirt, do yourself a favor and bring a couple along. 

◦ Nipple cream – getting the hand of nursing definitely takes awhile. You kinda need to build up callouses on your nipples because they have to get used to a babe sucking on them constantly. Bringing along a nipple cream and using it from the beginning after nursing sessions will help save your nipples from cracking! 

◦ Toiletries – so as to how much you bring is up to you. Some girls want to have a full face of makeup at the hospital and others don’t care about going natural. Some of the main things you’ll definitely want though are deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, dry shampoo, body wash, and shampoo+conditioner (having a shower after it’s all over will feel amazing!)

◦ Hair ties – when you’re pushing it’s nice to not have your hair in your face 

◦ Chapstick – it’s super dry in hospitals!

◦ Going home outfit – something that is comfy and easy to throw on. Don’t pack your pre-pregnancy clothes because they most likely won’t fit yet (you’re body needs time for your organs to go back to their original place). If you’re there in the summer a loose maxi dress or winter, maternity leggings and a baggy shirt or sweater is great. Keep in mind even if you aren’t scheduled for a c-section it’s always a possibility, so try and pack stuff that wouldn’t rub on or sit directly on an incision if you end up having one. 

◦ Diaper bag – it’s better to have a diaper bag ready for the baby and your own bag of stuff otherwise all the stuff gets mixed together and it’s hard to find anything ( especially when you’re sleep deprived). 

◦ Phone + charger 

◦Water bottle

For Dad:

Pillow – if it’s overnight he’s gonna want something to help sleep as those pull out chairs for the Dads aren’t the most comfy.

◦ Change of clothes – you don’t know how long you’ll be there and I know my husband felt pretty grubby by the end. Having a change of clothes for him even if he couldn’t take a shower was so helpful. 

◦ Phone + charger

◦ Water bottle 


◦ Extra long phone cord – there aren’t very many outlets in hospital rooms and they’re never in convenient places. Having a long phone chord will allow you to still use your phone while it’s charging. 

◦ Bluetooth speaker – sometimes it’s nice to having music playing while you’re pushing and during contractions just to give you something to focus on instead of the pain. 

◦ Snacks! – especially during Covid the cafeteria may not be open. Bringing your own snacks is great. You may not want to eat during labor (some women do) but especially once you’ve had the baby you’ll be starving! 

◦ Camera – you might not want pictures of the entire birth, but even having your camera to snap a few cute ones of your sweet family after baby is born will be priceless. 

◦ Computer/iPad – if you’re getting induced it may take awhile and having something to do while you’re just waiting for the magic to begin is handy and helpful so that you don’t get as impatient (I was induced with both of mine so I know the drill).

◦ Exercise ball – they are super great to labor on and not all hospitals have them. Plus it’s always a good laugh and kinda satisfying to watch your partner sick there and blow them up 😂. 

This hospital bag checklist is just some things that I found helpful. I’m sure other people would add more things (although I will say I totally overpacked my first time and trying to cart around way too much stuff isn’t fun). I will link some of the actual products I got that I loved as well. 

Also don’t forget that after baby is born to give your newborn photographer a quick heads up by email or txt. Newborn photos are done within the first 8-14 days after the baby is born so it’s good for us to know so we can make sure we get your session scheduled in. 

If you’re wanting to know more about our newborn photography sessions in Edmonton, Alberta follow the link so we can send you some more information!

Congrats again Mama and enjoy this time before your little one arrives!


Edmonton, Alberta Newborn Photographer | What to Pack In Your Hospital Bag?


I am currently booking newborn sessions a few months out. While I can sometimes fit in last minute bookings, the best way to ensure your spot is to book early as I only take a limited number of newborn clients per month to ensure customer experience.

I offer my clients a customized luxury experience that is personalized just for you. I try and make the whole experience as stress-free as possible so you can focus on preparing for and then enjoying your new babe!

For more information and availability contact me now!

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