Diaper Bag - This is my first backpack diaper bag and I love it. All the pockets! All the room! None of the lopsided weight!
Going home outfit - I'm a huge fan of Carter's clothing for babies. It's just seems like the comfiest stuff, it's very cute and great prices. The going home outfit is really personal preference, from a cute set, to a simple sleeper.
Blankets - You'll use these for everything from warmth for baby, to covering while nursing, wiping spit up and everything in between. I really like the lightweight muslim ones.
Diapers and Wipes - My favorite diapers are the Huggies with the little cutout for the umbilical cord. Until that thing falls off, these diapers make life much easier.
Hats - If you know your babies name before you go to the hospital, go ahead and order a personalized one from Sassy Baby Essentials! I have one and can't wait to put it on little man and reveal his name!
Nightgowns - I love the nightgowns for babies. They're so easy to change their diapers in the middle of the night without worrying about snapping up all those buttons.
Swaddle - They didn't have these cute swaddle blankets when my first was born and I sure wish they did! Every baby I've known loves a good swaddle since it makes them feel like they're still snug in the womb. My favorite is the Halo brand and they come in all different materials and patterns.
Carseat - I'm going with a Maxi-Cosi, light weight infant seat for baby #3. I have heavy babies, so I need the seat to at least cut me some slack!
Carseat Protector - Go ahead and install this right under any carseat. You'll tighten those buckles down so tight that your seats will never be the same. We have 3 in our car and they'll leave when the carseats do.
Robe - Something cotton, comfortable and colorful. I love this one from Victoria's Secret.
Slippers - You don't want to walk barefoot in the hospital. Bring a pair of your favorite slippers plus a pair of flip flops for trips to the bathroom.
Nursing Pads - I usually use the Lansinoh brand, but these heart shaped ones are too cute!
Lanolin - You're going to want this if you plan to breastfeed. Breastfeeding isn't the most
comfortable thing, initially, but this stuff works like magic. It's not worth suffering when this stuff works so well!
Nursing Bra - I've tried several and my fave is from Target and it's $17. You really can't beat it!
Nursing Tank - I lived in a white one of these with a cardigan over it after I had my second born. This time around, I added 2 colors to the mix.
Pajamas - With 2 c-sections, I can say I prefer a dress to shorts immediately after birth. I know a lot of people stay in their hospital gown, but I prefer something of my own. In my opinion, a button down sleep shirt is your best bet.
Cotton Panties - If you have some you don't mind ruining, bring them. But if you keep a drawer of Victoria's Secrets, go grab a pack of cheap cotton panties.
Belly Bandit - This is something I'm really looking forward to using this time around. You're supposed to put it on pretty immediately after birth, so it will need to go to the hospital with you. It helps shrink your belly, accelerates healing and provides support if you have a c-section.
Makeup - With the amount of pictures you'll be in, you're going to want your makeup. Even if it's only mascara and lip gloss.
Face Wipes - You may not want to shower, but you will sure want to freshen up. Grab a package of the easy to use face wipes and you won't be sorry.
Chapstick - Hospitals are insanely dry, so you'll want this right at your bedside.
Dry Shampoo - I washed my hair 3 times in labor with my first. I had the longest labor in all of life. But in reality, that will never happen again and I'll just spot treat.
Pads - They will give you some in the hospital, but they're awful and you may as well be wearing your baby's diaper. I suggest the ultra thin overnights with wings instead.
Toiletries - I had the hubs just throw his travel kit in the suitcase already. When they're at the hospital for days as well, they're going to want a toothbrush.
Change of clothes - For if they stay overnight with you in the hospital.
Slippers/socks - They will be the ones going to ask the nurse a question for you in the middle of the night and some slippers or socks are much more convenient than lacing up their shoes.
Camera and battery charger - This will be my first baby with my "fancy camera" so I'm hoping to get some great shots in the hospital!
Headphones - If you're in labor, music is a perfect distraction. I listed to Lil Wayne for hours during labor.
Phone and charger - Because you'll be ready to shout the good news from the rooftops!
That was really long, I know! Hopefully it helps some of you new mamas get ready for baby!
Did I leave out anything you packed as an essential?