What do Newborns Wear in the Hospital? (2024)

Packing a bag to take to the hospital is a third trimester rite of passage. A quick Google search turns up plenty of packing guides and strategies for what you should pack, but what do you need for your baby? Are you supposed to bring diapers? Blankets? Clothes? How do I know how to bring when I have no idea what size they'll be?What do newborn babies need in the hospital, and what are you responsible to bring with you?

Of course, you can bring anything you think you’d like to have with you, but in true Poppylist fashion, we’ve narrowed it down to a handful of basic items that will be optimally helpful (and take up just a little bit of space in your bag) from baby coming-home outfits to swaddles.

Newborn Swaddles or Gowns

What do Newborns Wear in the Hospital? (1)

So, what DO newborns wear in the hospital? Surprisingly to some, you’re not responsible for bringing outfits for your baby to wear during your hospital stay. Most hospitals prefer to dress babies simply, either in just a diaper and swaddled in a flannel blanket, or in a side-snap bodysuit or basic gown (all of these items will be provided for you). This is preferred because nurses, pediatricians, pediatric specialists and other care providers will be by your room frequently to perform vital sign checks and other newborn procedures. Non complicated outfits are key, and frankly, more comfortable for your baby (who has never worn clothes!).

Poppylist parents love the newborn swaddle blankets from Lou Lou &Co.

Bassinet Sheet and Receiving Blanket

After baby is safely earth-side, your hospital will supply you with everything your newborn needs to be safe, warm, and comfortable during the duration of your stay. This includes a bassinet, flannel blankets/swaddles, diapers, and even little hats. There’s no expectation or responsibility to bring these items with you, but many parents like to bring a few comfort items from home. A bassinet sheet and receiving blanket are the most common nice-to-have items, especially if you want to take styled photos of your baby to share with excited family and friends.

We love these baby blankets from Kyte Baby. They're cut from bamboo rayon, and are super cozy and buttery soft to the touch. The stretchy material is warm, breathable, and perfect for cuddling your newborn baby! It comes in over 20 colors, too!

We'd suggest washing all outfits, blankets, and swaddles in hypoallergenic detergent before bringing them to the hospital, as packaging/manufacturing can often cause the fabric to irritate your baby's sensitive skin. Here's one option from Seventh Generation.

Baby Coming Home Outfit

But there is one outfit that’s important to have— the going home outfit for baby. Most parents like to pick out something special for this first outfit, but it’s completely up to your preference and taste. Keep in mind the baby’s umbilical cord stump will likely be clamped, so side-snap bodysuits, tops with tie closures, or gowns will be easiest and most comfortable. And, since it’s impossible to size accurately for a newborn, having a few options on hand (maybe one in 'newborn' size, and one in 0-3 months)is a good way to be assured you’ve got something that will fit. Parents also sometimes try to coordinate their robes/pajamas with their newborns, so that's an option too (but of course up to personal preference)

We've curated our favorite new baby outfits to bring them home in style (and comfort):

Baby Girl Coming-Home Outfit

  1. Footed Onesie in Peony by Bonsie Baby (Use promo code POPPYLIST for 12% off!)
  2. Matching Swaddle &Top Knot in Foam Stripes by MakeMake Organics
  3. Newborn Footie &Hat by Little Me Baby
  4. 100%Organic Cotton One-Piece Coverall &Hat by Burts Bees Baby

Baby Boy Coming-Home Outfit

  1. Organic Cotton Kimono Onsie &Pant Set:in Plaid by Make Make Organics
  2. Baby Bundle Bag Set in Star by Bonsie Baby (Use promo code POPPYLIST for 12% off!)
  3. 100% Organic Cotton One-Piece &Hat by Burts Bees Baby
  4. Unisex Layette Set by Monica &Andy

If you're having a rainbow baby, then this is the Primary rainbow stripe set going-home outfit your newborn baby needs! Need more guidance on building your newborn wardrobe? Check out our comprehensive article and checklist here.

More Hospital Essentials

Car Seat

There’s one item you’re required to bring to your hospital birth–the car seat. Don’t forget it, as the hospital will not discharge you without it. If convenient, you can leave it in your car during labor and delivery, and your birthing partner can fetch it once you’re ready to buckle up baby and head home.

The hospital will have someone on staff who will come into your room at some point during your recovery stay to inspect the seat and answer any questions you have about using it safely. In most hospitals, this is a requirement that must be completed before you’re issued discharge paperwork. For more details on car seat safety, read this detailed article.

As far as must-haves go, if you’ve remembered your car seat, you’re set. You don’t actually need to bring anything else for your newborn with you. But there are a few more items most parents recommend.

With these basics tucked into your hospital bag, you’ll be covered for the duration of your short stay. If the birth is uncomplicated, and mom and baby are both doing well, you’ll likely be discharged between 24-48 hours, and you’ll head home to snuggle, bond, and recover.

Breastfeeding/Nursing Support Essentials:

  1. Haakaa Colostrum catcher. We have a lot of Poppylist moms who love this product, but I didn't end up using it at the hospital or even after. Not for any specific reason, but I felt like my baby was latching well and getting the colostrum she needed. It didn't appear that I had any extra to collect.
  2. Frida Instant heat warmers. My milk didn't come in for almost 5 days post-birth, and these instant heat warmers provided so much relief during those first few days while my milk was coming in and then in the weeks after. It always helped with my breast milk letdown, and I love how easy they are to reuse. This is one of those baby products I didn't have with my firstborn and wished I had!
  3. Lansinoh Latch Assist, nipple everter. If you struggle with flat, inverted nipples that don't stay hard for a long time, then this breastfeeding product is for you. I used during every nursing session the first few weeks, and it's incredibly helpful to draw out colostrum in those first few days. This is one of those 'must-haves' and a must-have just in case!

For a comprehensive list of everything mom needs for the hospital, click here to read: Hospital Bag Checklist: Overnight Essentials You Need For Mom and Baby.

Additional Resources:

  1. The Baby Registry:A First-Time Parents Guide
  2. What Clothes Do INeed for a Newborn?
  3. Poppylist's Top 20 Most Registered Baby Items of 2023
What do Newborns Wear in the Hospital? (2024)


What do babies wear when they are first born in the hospital? ›

Bassinet Sheet and Receiving Blanket

After baby is safely earth-side, your hospital will supply you with everything your newborn needs to be safe, warm, and comfortable during the duration of your stay. This includes a bassinet, flannel blankets/swaddles, diapers, and even little hats.

Do newborns need clothes in hospital? ›

Small babies need little

In the hospital, blankets and onesies are typically provided. If you'd like to bring baby his/her own clothes to wear during your stay or a special outfit, please do so, but it isn't required. Don't forget a seasonally-appropriate outfit for baby to wear home!

What do babies wear under a swaddle in the hospital? ›

A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby in one more layer than you would wear to be comfortable in the same room. This can include a onesie, socks or booties, and a hat if necessary.

What should newborn wear to sleep in hospital? ›

As a general rule, babies should be dressed in a dry vest and babygro with one or two light blankets over them. A folded blanket counts as two layers. Consideration should be given to your baby wearing a hat in the first six hours of life after skin to skin care has finished.

What does baby wear immediately after birth? ›

A long-sleeve kimono or wrap-style shirt. These especially come in handy during baby's first days. The shirt, which snaps across the front, doesn't have to be pulled over your little one's head—which many babies dislike—and it's easier on the sensitive umbilical cord stump, which needs air to dry out.

What should I wear to the hospital to deliver my baby? ›

It's a good idea to wear something loose and comfortable during labor. Your hospital will likely give you a hospital gown to wear during delivery, but you can also bring your own nightgowns, slippers, socks, and nursing bras for after the birth.

What do babies wear with an umbilical cord? ›

Use comfortably fitting—not tight—onesies, or just dress baby in diapers and T-shirts.

What do babies leave hospital wearing? ›

What do babies wear immediately after birth? Typically, hospitals provide basic clothing and swaddles for newborns. Many hospitals recommend just bringing with you a going-home outfit for baby, although you're welcome to bring baby her own clothes to wear throughout your stay.

Should I bring my boppy to the hospital? ›

Make a plan for breastfeeding.

If you desire to breastfeed, bring items to make the process more comfortable. We recommend that you bring a feeding pillow, like My Breast Friend or a Boppy, as well as the breast pump you plan to use.

How many onesies should I bring to the hospital? ›

2x Singlets or bodysuits (per day)

Newborn bodysuits or singlets make for easy layering when worn under a growsuit or sleepsuit. Bodysuits with press studs are a great choice during the day, as they don't ride up when picking up your little one.

Do hospitals still swaddle babies? ›

In many hospitals, babies are placed on the mother's chest for the first hour or two, and then swaddled to give the mother a break and help with temperature regulation as the baby transitions from the womb to the world.

How many outfits does a newborn need? ›

In this case, “outfit” means shirt/onesie, pants, and a pair of socks. 0 – 3 month – Plan on two outfits and a sleeper each day, but don't overbuy in this range as your child will grow quickly. 3 – 6 month – Plan on one to two outfits a day plus a sleeper. You may also need bibs for drooling.

Why do hospitals put hats on newborns? ›

As hospital temperatures are much lower than temperatures inside the womb, infant caps are instrumental in helping babies adjust to a sudden drop in temperature. Additionally, a newborn's head is much larger than its body size as compared to adults; hospital hats help infants regulate temperature shortly after birth.

Do hospitals provide newborn clothes? ›

Most hospitals provide long-sleeved baby shirts, infant hats, and swaddling blankets for newborns to wear. But you'll want to bring an outfit for your baby to go home in. Make sure it has legs (so not a baby gown) so the car seat strap can fit between them easily. Car seat.

How many bottles does a newborn need? ›

Newborn babies generally feed between 10 and 14 times in 24 hours, with feeds becoming a little less frequent as they grow. If you are exclusively bottle feeding your baby, whether formula or expressed breastmilk, you might want around four to six bottles and teats to get you started.

What do babies wear when they are newborn? ›

As a general rule of thumb, you should dress a newborn in an extra layer to yourself. Usually this will be in the form of a newborn bodysuit (or vest) layered underneath their sleepsuit.

What does a baby wear in NICU? ›

Clothing is avoided for most preemies because it may interfere with temperature regulation and access to any needed intravenous lines, says Karleen Sigvartsen, BSN, RNC-NIC, a neonatal intensive care unit nurse at Children's Hospital Colorado.

What should I first wear for new born baby? ›

A good rule of thumb is to give your baby 1 extra layer of clothing than what you're wearing. For example, if you're in a t-shirt and jumper, dress them in a vest, sleepsuit and cardigan or jumper. If you feel chilly, your baby probably does too.

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