Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom and Baby for Nashville Moms

Former labor and delivery nurse of 10 years here, hi, hello…I’m glad you’re here ? This is a question I encounter often across social media and local mom groups. So I’ve decided to put together my own personal hospital bag checklist for mom and baby! Second trimester is a great time to create your checklist. Then slowly start adding those items to your bag. By 32 weeks gestation, I highly recommend having your bag packed, set out and easy to find so that when it’s time to head to the hospital, you’re good to go! Make sure your partner knows where the bag is, too 😉

Before we dive into the what to include on your hospital bag checklist for mom and baby, you should know this. Hospitals often provide most of the essentials that you’ll need for your stay. I can speak most specifically from my experience having worked in Nashville at both St. Thomas Midtown and most recently, Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, TN. Pads, mesh underwear, perineal care items, pain meds, and even breast pumps will all be provided. For baby, they’ll provide all the diapers, wipes, bathing items, swaddle blankets, pacifiers, and formula for bottle fed babies. So, this checklist goes above and beyond the basics and are suggestions so you can be your most comfortable.

Mom’s Hospital Bag Checklist

~Comfortable clothing

2-3 sets of soft pajamas. Much more comfy than those scratchy hospital gowns. A going home outfit. I love a nap dress for mom’s going home outfit. You’ll look beautiful (you know you’ll want photos), but most importantly you’ll be super comfortable.”Granny panties” that you don’t mind throwing away. Even with those gigantic pads the hospital provides, leaking is inevitable. You can also sub granny panties with Depends underwear and forgo the hospital pads altogether.

~Personal hygiene items

Tooth brush and toothpaste, skin care essentials like face wash and moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Make-up: this one is totally optional of course. I personally feel my best when I have make-up on. I knew I’d want lots of photos during and after leaving the hospital. So make-up was a must for me. Don’t forget the deodorant!

~Hair dryer and curling iron

~Nursing bras, breast pads, nipple ointment

~Snacks and drinks

~Phone chargers

~Pillow and blanket

~Sound machine

A newborn sleeps in his hospital crib at Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, TN

Baby’s Hospital Bag Checklist

~Newborn clothes: The hospital will provide baby’s gown for your stay. So I recommend bring an outfit for going home only. Possibly an extra one in case you plan to have hospital photos done.

~Car seat: Probably an obvious item, but you’d be surprised how many parents often forget this at home.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ready your car seat manual AND have your carseat installation checked by a certified carseat technician. You can find these at your local police station, fire station, and often health department. Williamson County Health Department does offer this service!

How long will I stay at the hospital after having a baby?

Generally speaking, after an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, you can expect to stay 1-2 nights. Most insurances pay for 2 nights, but check with your individual provider to be sure. After an uncomplicated cesarean section, you can expect to stay 2-3 nights. Again, check with your insurance provider to confirm what they cover. While earlier discharge is possible, most OBGYNS and pediatricians will want you to say a minimum of 24 hours after delivery. If you tested group beta positive in pregnancy, your pediatrician will likely want baby to stay 48 hours for closer monitoring.

Hospital bag checklist for mom and baby

I hope this has been helpful! It’s really nothing to stress over. The good news is that even if you wake up in full blown labor with no time to pack, it’s ok. The hospital has you covered for anything essential you could possibly need. In fact, that’s what happened with 2 of my 3 deliveries. I literally just showed up! Then later sent my husband with a list of things to bring.

Nashville Newborn Photographer

Speaking of items on your checklist, if you’re in your 2nd trimester, it’s time to book your Nashville Newborn Photographer. Most newborn photographers book months in advance. Most can also only take a limited number of newborns due to the unpredictably nature of exact birth dates. I’m an expert in baby safety as well as creating beautiful, fine art photography for your family. I take a natural, baby led approach to newborn photography. My clients enjoy a luxury experience including wardrobe, hair and make-up, and custom artwork design. Your newborn session can take place in your home or in my studio in downtown Franklin, TN. Reach out HERE if you want to start planning!



Kristie is an experienced Nashville Newborn Photographer + Maternity and Family Photographer. Her work has been featured in places like Nashville Baby Guide, The Kindred PathMaury County Living, and multiple other local online and print media sources.

Her clients enjoy a luxury portrait experience from start to finish, which includes Kristie’s assistance in planning every detail. Clients are drawn to her use of natural light, bright and natural editing style, and her unmatched attention to detail. If you would like to learn more about the KLP experience, let’s chat more!

To ensure a true luxury and full service experience for clients, KLP only books a limited number of sessions each month. We are currently booking into Fall 2023 and we would love to get you on the calendar before dates are full. 


March 23, 2023

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Since 2013, Kristie is a Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin published photographer who specializes in motherhood, newborn, and family photography.