Hospital bag illustrationHospital bag illustration

How to Pack the Perfect Winter Hospital Bag Cross the finish line, mama.

By Sarah Hamilton

The Mama Style Store is a style and inspiration destination for pregnancy and post-baby. Save time and shop the most flattering looks to suit your bump from 60+ amazing brands all in one place. From early pregnancy to postpartum and beyond, you’ll find everything you need to stay stylish and comfortable at every stage of motherhood. Sarah Hamilton is a Mom of 2, and Stylist at The Mama Style

There’s something really special about packing your hospital bag. It’s kinda like… wrapping Christmas presents while counting down until your birthday, only multiplied by a thousand. While packing for a winter birth can require a little more planning, being organized will pay huge dividends when you’re actually in the hospital. You’ll be less likely to be frantically looking for things and, therefore, less stressed. And if there was ever a time to embrace zen, it’s labor!

Before you pack, make sure you’ve ticked off some life admin:

  • Pre-register at the hospital
  • Organize your paperwork 
  • Make sure you have all necessary ID documents
  • Confirm your insurance is up to date and you have any social security forms ready for baby
  • Have your car seat ready  and installed. Looking for a reco? We love the Maxi Cosi capsule seat. It also makes a great “hospital dad” photo!

What should I pack in my hospital bag?

Keep those stress levels under control. If you’re anywhere between 30 – 35 weeks pregnant, you’ll want to have your winter hospital bag sitting by the door. We suggest packing two or three bags – one for yourself, one for your partner or support person, and one for your babe. A good tip is to separate similar items into labeled ziplock bags for maximum organization.  As a guide, this list is tailored to a 48-hour stay, so feel free to tweak the contents based on your expected duration. Remember, it’s always better to be over-prepared  than underprepared. 

Our ultimate list for your perfect winter hospital bag isn’t just based on official hospital guides; it’s based on our own lived experience (see: things we forgot and wished we had) as well as the wisdom of our community of mamas who have been there and done that. 

Essential clothing for your hospital stay

Front-opening tops and nightwear are a must for easy nursing access and to make that beautiful skin-to-skin contact so much easier. Hatch has made this super easy with their HATCH to Hospital Box. Add a thicker plush or terry cloth robe for extra warmth for cooler weather. Don’t forget a warm sweater. This one from HATCH is perfect for your stay, plus all those delicious postpartum snuggles in chilly weather.

  • 2 x sets of PJs or night dresses
  • 2 x loose sweatpants
  • 3 x oversized T-shirts (you might get sweaty)
  • 1 x robe and slippers to keep you warm and snug. We love our Ugg boots for inside and out this winter. 
  • Some bleeding is completely, totally natural, and part of this miracle. A pack of adult diapers and disposable pads aren’t just practical; they’re a must-have. 
  • 4 x pairs of postpartum underwear. These are specifically designed to be kind to scars.
  • Don’t forget the nipple cream and a  breastfeeding pillow. For the nursing moms, these aren’t just essentials; they’re your best friends. We love the HATCH Nipple and Lip cream to keep dry, chapped skin at bay for both nips and lips. Yay for two-in-one things!
  • 2 x comfy nursing bras,  like these ones. For many women, it can take a few days for your milk to arrive once you’ve given birth. During your hospital stay, you may expressly colostrum or small amounts of milk only. With this in mind, it’s worth having your breast pump handy at home for your return. 
  • 1 x  laundry bag for dirty laundry and time saving when you get home. 

Perfect going home outfit

A loose-fitting, breathable matched set, with socks and sneakers or Ugg boots, will have you looking effortlessly stylish and feeling comfortable, which is key at this point. Hatch has made this extra easy for you with their Hospital Departure Bundle. Simply pop a wool coat or puffer jacket over your fit, depending on how chilly it is, and you’re good to go. 

Luxe skincare and toiletries

Winter weather calls for extra pampering, especially since the  hospital environment can be dry.. Pack your richest moisturizers and indulge in some self-care while you’re waiting or in recovery.When it comes to toiletries, pack travel-sized essentials like shampoo, conditioner, body and face wash, makeup wipes, moisturizing body lotion, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, dry shampoo, and a hairbrush and hair ties. 


Bring an extra long phone charger and even a power pack – because running out of battery is simply not an option. Think of it as your lifeline to the world outside, with a dash of “I’m about to fill this camera roll up with the best memories ever.” We also recommend bringing along a good book, some magazines, or other entertainment options to keep yourself occupied during times when you have no visitors or while you’re waiting for labor to progress. You’ll probably have all the best parenting apps installed, but add Insight Timer to your phone. It’s fantastic for meditation, music, and talks to help you calm your nerves. 

Snacks and a drink bottle

Whether it’s a scheduled C-section or a natural birth, you’ll be waiting, and you’ll feel snackish. Pack some high-energy bars, nuts, and fruit or your favorite dark chocolate or candy to keep you going. Being a mama is thirsty work, so pack a large refillable bottle, like this Bink bottle. Coconut water can help rehydrate you after labor and delivery. It’s important to stay ultra-hydrated  while breastfeeding. Not only does this help your supply, but breastfeeding thirst is unlike any type of thirst you’ve ever been, and you can’t change my mind. 

Special extras

  • A favorite smell to capture the memory. Bring your favorite scent and spray your pillow with it. Not only will the scent help you relax, but it will take you back to this special moment whenever you smell it in the future.
  • Your pillow and blanket can transform a sterile hospital room into a personal oasis. It’s another way to wrap your newborn in your familiar, safe smell. 
  • Birth is the most magical, emotional, and beautiful time of your life. You’ll be filled with feelings and emotions you’ve never experienced before, so bring a journal to capture your fears, joys, and honest thoughts you want to capture in the moment. 

Packing for baby

Choose outfits that are not just warm but also have that ‘aww’ factor. Include newborn and 0-3 month onesies and a cute hat if that’s your vibe. Here are some adorable outfits for the bougie babe: 

When it comes to swaddle blankets, we recommend opting for organic materials such as bamboo, cotton, and pure linen rather than anything polyester as this can irritate your little one’s sensitive skin and cause overheating. You might want to look at a sleep suit instead. We love Ergopouch sleepsuits for their snug swaddles and helpful guides to layering in cold weather. It’s giving baby burrito. 

Tender keepsakes

Whether it’s name circles, a letterboard for adorable birth announcements or  a Thread the Word blanket with your little love’s name on it, you might want to bring some special keepsakes to add to any photos you take.

Fully stocked diaper bag

You can add “restocking diaper bags” to your LinkedIn profile because this is your life now. Diaper bags are the new designer tote and you can find your perfect match here. A good rule of thumb is:

  • 1 packet of wipes
  • 2 spare outfits for those fun blow outs
  • 1 x spare sterilized pacifier if you are using
  • 1 x bottle and packed formula if you are using
  • 6 x diapers (we love Coterie diapers for their sustainable, hypoallergenic, super soft, absorbent and irritant free diapers)
  • 2 x small burp clothes
  • 1 x thick baby blanket and 
  • 1 x small toy. This little-known  sensory toy bell ring rattle has babies of every age captivated and, better yet, distracted. Keep this one in your diaper bag for distracting baby if she gets grizzly on-the-go. 

Packing your perfect winter hospital bag is seriously so exciting but can also be daunting. Everything else can be worked out as long as you have your basics. Promise. You’re doing an incredible job! Remember that while you’re the one packing, there’s a village ready to help you unpack, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your partner, your community, and other loved ones to support you on this special journey.