What Does the Hospital Supply When You Have a Baby?- The All-Inclusive List


Unlike most birthday party goody bags you’ve ever been given, this one is a “create your own”, and it is the most practical one you’ll likely ever be given.

Ok, so maybe it’s not quite as good as a birthday party “goody bag”, but the things inside are what you’ll need for both you and your baby the first week or so after giving birth.

There are some really great “freebies” you can snag from the hospital after giving birth. And, even though your insurance technically pays for them, it’s kind of like a small shopping spree of much-needed items you won’t pay for when you leave.

While packing my hospital bag, one thing I wondered when I was preparing to have my first baby was, what does the hospital supply when you have a baby? Diapers? Wipes? Blankets? And I had no idea what to expect for myself after giving birth.

Because I was unsure of the answer to that question I ended up REALLY overpacking. Many of the things I had in my hospital bag were provided by the hospital. So, to help you pack your bag more efficiently, here is what (most) hospitals provide for newborns and new moms. AND, I’m going to include pictures of some less familiar items so you can see what I’m talking about.


*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. I only recommend products I love or would personally use.



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Items to take home for baby:

  • Extra diapers

I am yet to hear of a hospital that doesn’t provide you with diapers for your baby. What’s super nice about this is that whatever diapers you have left on your baby changing station when you leave, you get to take home. And, if you have an awesome nurse, they’ll replenish your diaper stash right before you leave so you have a few extra diapers to take home with you.


  • Extra wipes

Much like diapers, you also get to take whatever wipes they give you. And, as I’m sure you’ll soon experience if you haven’t already, babies are MESSY! You seriously can never have enough wipes. They puke and poop all day long. Take all the wipes!



Our baby station had this really amazing baby hairbrush. It is SUPER soft and awesome for sweet little baby heads. I like that the bristles are soft and super flexible. Also, from my experience, the brushes are really great for helping to remove cradle cap if your baby ends up with that. Ours was white, but each of our kids has LOVED to have their hair brushed with this thing. Try it yourself and you’ll understand why! Promise, I won’t judge!


That little blue bulb looking thing, that is a bulb syringe. Sometimes they may be a different color, but most often, they’re blue. If your baby experiences baby chest congestion, you’ll want to have one of these. All you do is squeeze the syringe and then gently stick the tip of the syringe into your baby’s nose. Slowly release pressure off of the bulb. With any luck, you’ll help unclog your baby’s nose. Be careful to not stick the syringe in too far because you can scratch the inside of your baby’s nose.



Read NEXT!: What to Wear After Giving Birth- for that awkward “I can’t fit into anything yet” stage!



  • Baby Hats

There is something to be said about your baby’s first hat from the hospital. Many people will take this little hat and put it in a baby keepsake box or a shadow box. Baby heads need to be kept warm, especially until your baby learns to regulate their own temperature. We were given a couple of hats with each of our kids. I am super glad this is the image that came up because it reminded me of how important it is to make sure you have several pairs of mittens! It’s not advised to cut your baby’s nails right away because they are very tender from being in amniotic fluid for so long. BUT, your baby’s nails might be super long and they’ll scratch themselves. Take a couple of pair to the hospital with you, just in case!


  • Baby Wash

We were given a sample of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Wash at the hospital. They used one to wash our baby after delivery, and then there were one or two extras on our baby cart. In my opinion, you can never have enough trial-size items. They are great to pack in an overnight bag. I have also taken then on vacation when flying with our kids.


  • Baby lotion

I am sure you have added plenty of this to your baby stockpile because it was on your baby registry checklist, BUT, much like soap, you can really never have enough travel size baby lotions either. I like to keep one in the car, my purse, and of course, the diaper bag.



If you are not planning to breastfeed, or if you need to supplement, hospitals will usually help you out by giving you a decent supply of ready to use formula to help you get started. You likely have some at home, but those little bottles of formula that you just have to add the nipple to are super convenient, but also REALLY expensive. Take advantage of what the hospital is willing to give you and ask for coupons. Usually, they have some high dollar coupons they can pass along as well.



Baby’s are messy. And it’s funny because with every kid you add to your family, you somehow seem to forget how messy newborns are. Our changing pad is waterproof, which also means it’s easily wipeable, but who wants to be doing that the first week or so. I found it so much easier to take one of the disposable changing pads and put it on the changing table, or in our case, the pack n play changing station. That way if it got messy, I just tossed it with the dirty diaper. The ones you get at the hospital will just be plain white, but these are SUPER CUTE!



Read NEXT:  Non-Baby Items to Stock Up On Before Baby (You probably haven’t thought of this!)



Items to take for you:

The peri bottle was one of my best friends after both vaginal delivery and a c-section. There is something to be said about not having to wipe. Seriously. TMI- things get messy down there. And, you’ll need to be clean, but at the same time, if you’ve had any degree of tearing, you aren’t allowed to wipe for fear of tearing your stitches. The peri bottle gets filled up with warm water, and you spray down there to keep things clean. It’s awesome! *I would recommend asking for an extra if you’ll be using more than one bathroom on a regular basis. You don’t want to have to track one bottle down all the time!


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These things were another one of my lifesavers after giving birth vaginally. They help to clean things up while also applying witch hazel to the skin. Witch hazel is great for aiding in healing. The hospital is likely to have an off-brand name, but they were so great, that we stopped on the way home and bought TUCKS brand pads. If you experience any kind of hemorrhoids, you’ll want these for a while.


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My nurse walked me through a routine that was easy to follow and helped me care for myself while healing. We would take a pad, place a line of tucks pads along the middle, and then spray the Dermoplast spray over the tucks pad. The pad would them go inside the mesh underwear and I was good to go. The bottle they gave me at the hospital had plenty in it when I left, and I didn’t even have to buy more.


{PS- The hospital won’t supply this amazing dry shampoo for you, but you should 100% take one with you to the hospital!}



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I never knew so much blood could safely come out of one person. Needless to say, I wasn’t really sure what to expect after giving birth. But, I quickly learned that you can pass clots up to the size of a golf ball and be OK. CRAZY, right? For at least the first week or so, you’ll want to make sure you have enough protection in your underwear to catch anything that may come out. Sorry for the visual, but it’s just reality. Those pads are MUCH larger than the ones you’ll buy at the store, so take what they’re willing to give you.



Read NEXT: The Most Important Baby Gear to Have BEFORE Giving Birth



Here is a sample of the SIZE of the GINORMOUS pads I brought home from the hospital! That big thing in the back… that’s a pad. NO JOKE! I took the big pad, then put the pad with the blue in the middle on top of that, put tucks pad on that, and sprayed the numbing spray on that. It all then went into those mesh white underwear laying on the right side, and that was my magnificent get-up for a week or so.

what does the hospital supply when you have a baby


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I can’t imagine you’ll be preparing for any type of boudoir shoot right after giving birth, but if you are, these are not the undies you’ll want to take. BUT, without a doubt, they are the best things for helping your lady parts heal. They are comfortable because they are flexible, and, you can wear them for a few days before they start to fall apart. Obviously if they become gross, you’ll want to replace them with another pair, but otherwise, I see no issue in using them for a couple of days. My discharge nurses were always awesome and gave me several extra pairs, but I will share a little secret with you that you can buy them online.


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Whether you plan to nurse or not, your boobs will fill up with milk. Of course, the likelihood of your nipples hurting is greatly increased if you are nursing, but you may want to snag one just in case. If you are nursing, it’s important that you utilize the lactation consultant the hospital provides. Even though I knew what I was doing after having my first, I would have the lactation consultant come in a double-check my baby’s latch a couple of times before leaving the hospital. At my hospital, they even had Lanolin samples that were awesome. I never had to buy more from the store!


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If you’re reading this and you’re yet to give birth, you may already be using nursing pads. Some women begin to leak breast milk weeks and even months before giving birth. Every mother and every pregnancy can be different. There are several different styles and materials used for nursing pads. There were some that I really didn’t like and others that I loved. Some have adhesive that can be applied to the inner lining of your nursing bra, while others just sit inside your bra. Either way, take the samples they give you at the hospital. Even if you don’t need them now, you might need them down the road.


What is a waffle pillow? Great questions! I didn’t know either, and I certainly didn’t know why I might need one. They look similar to a waffle, hence the name. They are great for alleviating pressure on your bottom. Especially if you have any kind of tearing, ask for a waffle pillow or two. We actually ended up taking 2 of these home from the hospital after my last delivery. They were great for the car, the couch, a kitchen chair, anything that is going to apply immediate pressure to your bottom.


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The Hospital (SHOULD) Send You Home With Supplies After Giving Birth

At the end of the day, keep in mind that your insurance is covering all of these things. Don’t be afraid to ask for something if you know you’re going to use it. I mentioned some things the hospital gave me plenty of and other things I ended up needing from the store. At each of my deliveries, the discharge nurse always told us to empty out the baby station because whatever was left they would have to throw away. I know every hospital is different, but for us, we weren’t allowed to take those really amazing hospital blankets, but some do, so make sure you ask. It’s been a while since my last baby, but I also think we may have even taken home some tiny little t-shirts.

I hope I have helped you know what you need to pack in your hospital bag and what you can leave at home. Of course, you’ll need more than the things mentioned above, but the things here are what MOST hospitals will provide for both you are your baby.


blessings to you, Lisa






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