The Hospital Bag Checklist

About 1 in 10 babies come before their expected due date. So it is better to be prepared early than have to scramble last minute.

Even if you are not considering a hospital birth, it is always good to have a packed bag in case you need to make an unexpected visit to the hospital.

We recommend packing two bags, one for labor, delivery and coming home, and one for post-delivery stay at the hospital. If you are driving to the hospital, you can leave your post-delivery bag in the car. Depending on your delivery, you may be going home the same day and may not need this second bag.

What you will need during labor and delivery:

  • Paperwork for the hospital – Don’t forget to fill out all the necessary paperwork and have them handy. This is especially important if you are going to be using your extended health insurance to get a private or semi-private room.
  • Birth plan if you have one – If you have a birth plan, bring a few copies of it with you. This way, the delivery room staff, and your birth partner will have easy access to your preferences.
  • Cord blood kit – Everything that is necessary to collect and send off your baby’s newborn stem cell samples are in this kit. The kit also contains the instructions for your healthcare provider on when and how to collect cord blood and cord tissue samples.
  • An old t-shirt or a nightgown – If you detest hospital gowns, feel free to pack your delivery outfit.
  • Slippers – You want to be able to quickly shift positions and walk around during labor. Small comforts like these will help make your labor more tolerable.
  • Socks – If you are prone to cold feet, bring a few pairs of socks with you. Walking around during labor can leave your feet cold.
  • Hair accessories – If you have long hair, make sure you pack a hairbrush, hair bands, and a few hair accessories.
  • Toiletries – It’s highly likely you will want to freshen up after your delivery. Pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and moisturizer to help you feel refreshed. Remember, small comforts will go a long way.
  • Coming home outfit for mom – You will still look and feel pregnant after delivery because your belly will take time going back to its original size. We recommend packing something lose and comfortable for coming home.
  • Nursing bra and cotton pads – If you are planning to breastfeed, pack a few nursing bras in your bags for post-delivery.

For the baby:

  • Coming home outfit
  • Diapers
  • Socks, mitts and hat
  • A blanket or a jacket (winter babies)
  • A few receiving blankets and burp clothes
  • Infant car seat (This doesn’t fit in a bag, but definitely don’t forget to put it in the car!)

Depending how your delivery goes and the time of your delivery, you may have to say overnight at the hospital. Here is what you will need to pack into your post-delivery stay at the hospital to make this time as comfortable as possible.

For the mom:

  • Toiletries
  • Comfortable bed cloths particularly ones that are easy to breastfeed in
  • Extra underwear
  • Cell phone charger
  • Cash
  • Ear buds
  • Snacks (lots of snacks)
  • A change of clothes and toiletries for your partner

For the baby:

  • Receiving blankets
  • A few baby sleepers
  • Diapers
  • Burp clothes
  • Baby wipes