Everyone wants to know what to pack for the hospital, and when to pack and where to put the bag (s) and even what to do if they forget something, really, really important. So I am going to make this answer an easy one. The less you pack the less you have to worry about bringing home. And it's often overwhelming bring a newborn baby home. So in this case, you sweat the samll stuff, your baby, and forget the rest.
Everything you need is readily available in the hospital. They have toothbrushes and soap and lots and lots of giant sized Kotex, with bloomers to keep 'em on. The hospital gowns may not be the latest in fashion but they are ready to wear, in unlimited supply and someone else will wash them. Please remember your glasses as you may not want your contacts all the time. Your baby's layette also is supplied at the hospital. Diapers, wipies, undershirts, booties and mittens and caps plus receiving blankets for swaddling tight. Please remember that you are paying for all the extra baby supplies on the isolette so take that home for sure. Those big blue plastic-backed liners are fabulous to lie on the changing pad at home so you aren't changing the cloth one all day long. And they work just as well in the bassinette and pack-n-play too. All the extra diapers are yours and the wipes and the individual foil-wrapped alcohol and neosporin. Don't forget your peri-bottle: it's yours.
There is a gift shop in most major maternity hospitals that sells essentials and even specialty shops that sell nursing bras ( you can be fitted properly by an expert after you deliver )and cute little nursing gowns and pajamas. The hospital provides socks with traction soles and they feed you too. But snacks are nice and money for your significants comes in handy for the cafeteria and all the deliveries you may want to order.
You should be pre-admitted to the hopital but it's probably a good idea to have your insurance card and driver's license. Take your addresses and phone numbers so you can call all your eager folks. And you can take a camera and CDs of your choosing. You may take your own pillows and your boppy. Just remember what you take with you, you'll want to take home and with all the extras from the hospital, that's a gracious plenty with a baby on board. The CAR SEAT should be installed and ready for its passenger when you are about thirty-six weeks pregnant. You can't take baby home without a regulation car seat in the car. So put it the primary vehicle ( the one you know that you are taking with you ) and that's whewre the hospital bag should go too, probably before you know that you are in labor. Remember to take underwear and socks and a clean shirt or two for your significant other. But if all else fails, after you are safely delivered and settled in your post- partum digs, someone can bring you whatever y'all might want or need.
Remember to have someone on stand-by for pets at home and it would be good if there is some food in your house for your hungry arrival back to reality. I suggest that you leave flowers and plants in the hospital for family waiting areas and nurses stations. You don't need the hassles of transporting them home and you won't have time to water them anyway. Pop the balloons and trash 'em. You'll have some stuffed animals and gifts: clothes and blankies that you need to get home with you. Have your partner get all that stuff in the car before it's brought around for you and your most precious package.
You will most likely wear home what you wore into the hospital, when you were in labor. Unfortunately, your skinney jeans won't fit quite yet. And the baby needs clothes to come home in, with blankets of appropriate weight depending on the season. Remember that it is just a few short days that you are hospitalized. Usually 48 hours after you deliver vaginally and another 24 for 72 total, if you have a Cesarean Section. Pain medicines can be filled with your discharge prescription at any pharmacy. So please, pack light and get home safely.