Minimal Hospital Bag: What’s On My List As A 2nd Time Mom

December 18, 2023

During my first birth, I barely used anything in my hospital bag. Most of the items on the lists I found on google ended up being a lot of unnecessary items that I never touched. I stayed for 2.5 days (2 nights) and had a vaginal birth.

I am packing lighter this time and being very intentional on including items I will need and using items that the hospital also provides. If you’re all about keeping it simple, below you will find a list for both you and your partner on what I recommend, as well as an optional list and what you do not need (because the hospital likely provides it).

What the hospital provides:

  • Baby essentials: diapers, pacifiers, wipes etc. All you really need is a going home outfit. Your own blanket/swaddle is totally optional. Personally just not a fan of swaddling in the blankets.
  • Nursing pillow. Unless you really want it, you’ll be totally fine being propped up with lots of pillows. The nurses/lactation consult will help set you up in bed comfortably so you do not need it.
  • Extra pillows/blankets. This includes for your partner.
  • Postpartum care; I plan to exclusively pump and will be using the hospitals vs my own while I am there. They also provide all the breastfeeding care so it’s a totally personal choice what you bring. If you don’t mind the hospital diapers or the peri bottle they have, then you can also leave them at home.
  • A birth ball or peanut ball. Just got to ask for it! Some hospitals may also provide the TENS machine, but not ALL. So if you plan to use one, either check beforehand or bring your own.

Links to my personal favourites:




For an uncomplicated vaginal birth you will likely be in hospital for 24-48 hours. For a cesarean birth, it may be a little longer. Ultimately, pack what makes sense for you and will make you as comfortable as possible. And remember, if your stay ends up being a little longer than expected and you live close to the hospital like I do, you can always get your partner to go home and grab you what you might need or family if they visit.

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