In my honest opinion, I don’t think you need much of anything for baby when you go to the hospital. The hospital/birthing center will usually provide you with everything that you need to get through those couple days that you stay. Diapers, wipes, formula (if you choose), binkie, a swaddle and even a little onsie. Granted, it is nice to have your own things, and I like that also. With Sylas, being the first time mom that I was, I brought the whole nursery with me and used virtually none of it. He stayed in the little onsie and swaddle that they gave us. The only clothing items I used were his coming home outfit and a pair of socks because he kept getting his tootsies out of the swaddle. I breastfed but they gave me formula to help stimulate him to latch better. They provided diapers and wipes and even sent me home with two little packages. So really, you shouldn’t need any of these things. So this post is more of a “what I usually have in my diaper bag on a regular basis.”
As a second time mom, I don’t find that I need the humongous bag that I had last time. One that is about the size of my purse is just fine, even for a newborn. In it, I like to keep the usual things like a small handful (3-4) of diapers (more if we are going to be out for more than a couple hours), a package of wipes, and a change of clothes (again, more (2-3) if we will be gone a while). I also like to keep a swaddle blanket in there in case it is too cold/windy/sunny for baby. I breastfeed so I keep lanolin and a spare pair of breast pads for me in lieu of a bottle. I keep a binkie in there even though Sylas rarely took one, this baby could be different and be dependent on them. A changing pad usually comes with any diaper bag you buy. And lastly I keep a wet bag in there too. If you don’t know what that is, it is essentially a lined baggie to keep soiled clothes separate from the clean things. They are also good for stinky diapers that need a place to stay until you can find a garbage can. Not much right? As baby gets older, I usually just take a single diaper and a pack of wipes and stuff them in my purse for grocery shopping or doctor appointments. All of the articles you read on the parenting websites go way overboard with all of the things they think you will need for baby.
As far as what I will be using of those things when we are in the hospital, it is a short list. An outfit to come home in, and maybe the swaddle. I am going to try muslin swaddles this time around. They weren’t really a thing when Sylas was a baby so I thought I would see if I liked them. I might even just pack his things in my bag so that we don’t have so much stuff in our postpartum room (ours aren’t very big). I hope this helps anyone out there trying to decide what to stuff in their diaper bag!