a minimalist hospital bag checklist • Mid Century Mom (2024)

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Okay I’m not actually a minimalist but the idea appeals to me. I love to throw things away and strive for nice organized spaces with minimal visual clutter. It doesn’t usually happen but it sounds so nice!

Probably the area where I am the truest minimalist is when packing. For some reason I love to pack light. It’s like a little challenge! I refuse to check bags when flying and feel a sense of accomplishment if I can fit a whole trip’s worth of clothes in a carry-on.

For shorter trips I always combine my bag with my two kids’ stuff.

Because of this light packing thing, I have not over packed my hospital bag with either of my previous babies. But even though I’ve done this twice now I found myself checking over the internet to be sure I am not missing anything necessary.

For the most part I am blown away by the extensive list of “must haves!”
For people who like to pack heavy, I guess this is great! But for people like me who have an aversion to overly full suitcases, I wanted to create a minimalist’s guide to a hospital bag for labor and delivery.

a minimalist hospital bag checklist • Mid Century Mom (1)

What to pack:

  • New pajamas – I guess it’s not very minimalist of me to suggest going out and buying new jammies? I never said I didn’t like to shop! I always buy myself one nice new set to change into after that glorious first shower after child birth. Checkout these adorable pajamas a minimalist hospital bag checklist • Mid Century Mom (2) I purchased for this time around!
  • Pony tail holders and a brush – I found myself laboring with my hair down with my first baby and it just felt so gross. Toss a few in there because, let’s be honest, you’re probably going to end up wanting a messy bun! I don’t really brush my hair since it’s curly so I didn’t actually bring a brush but this time around I may bring my favorite in shower comba minimalist hospital bag checklist • Mid Century Mom (3).
  • Phone charger – Don’t let your phone die the day you want to take 58369502 photos of your newborn! To reach the hospital bed you can be extra prepared and bring one of those with the extra long cord.
  • Toiletry bag – To make it easier on myself I do a few small sized items in a ziplock. Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and face wipes. Use them there then pitch them or bring back home to save for your next short overnight.
  • Socks and shoes– I packed two cozy pair of socks and just wear a pair of flip flops so I don’t have to pack them. If you’re due in the dead of winter I’d plan to wear something like Uggs or mocs into the hospital though so you can also wear them home, and pack flip flops for the room.
  • Going home outfit for you – I am opting for a plain lounge-wear type outfit in black. Yoga pants or leggings are great here…anything stretchy.
  • Baby clothes – In a gallon ziplock I include two baby onesies, a blanket for the car ride home, and the fancier going home outfit. These tiny things easily fit in the bag that I just toss into my bag. Tiny baby doesn’t need a whole duffle bag!

What you can leave at home:

  • All that stuff you have read that you need for recovery – mesh underwear, maxi pads, tucks pads, squirt bottle, etc. The hospital has supplied me with more than enough of this each time.
  • Diapers and wipes – The hospital provided these as well!
  • Your own pillow and blanket and towels– If you are super attached to these items, then I get it. I just never recall having an issue with the hospital bedding or towel. The towel was only used once to dry off after a shower. These are large items to lug in and out!
  • Tons of full sized hair products, blow dryer, straightener, etc. – Possibly because I am a curly girl, but I was either in messy bun mode or I scrunched and let it air dry.
  • Food or water bottles – The hospital where I delivered brought me a large hospital branded re-usable cup of water and just kept refilling it like crazy after birth. They were ALL about my water intake. For that reason it would have been a waste of space to pack my own yeti/thermos. Also as long as you have a parent or partner there they can most likely run and get you a vending machine snack or food from outside the hospital pretty easily after labor if you don’t want hospital meals.
  • Magazines, books, movies – Let’s be real here, your phone is all the entertainment you need if you end up laboring for forever (so bring that charger!) Don’t worry about lugging in this extra stuff.

The “maybe” item:

Make up – This is up to you. I did bring my make up bag in my hospital bag with each delivery. I used it with my first and then never unzipped it with my second. It is not a need at all, but it’s pretty easy to pack so if you think you want to do your make up there you may want to include it!

Of course you pack however you see fit, but if you lean towards the under-packing side I don’t think you will be missing anything with this minimalist list.

Also, a bonus is—there isn’t much to unpack! You won’t find yourself on day two of being at home trying to finally take a shower and looking for your full-sized shampoo only to realize it’s in the trunk of the car
with a whole load of laundry.

And you won’t have to come home needing to wash your favorite blanket and pillow. Can you tell I hate unpacking and laundry?

What was a must-have for you at the hospital?

I am so excited about my cute new pajamas!

a minimalist hospital bag checklist • Mid Century Mom (4)

a minimalist hospital bag checklist • Mid Century Mom (5)

a minimalist hospital bag checklist • Mid Century Mom (2024)


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