Hospital Bag Checklist: Everything You Need For Your Delivery
Is your due date just around the corner? Make sure your hospital bag is packed and ready with this handy checklist.
By Today’s ParentMay 16, 2022
Here are all the must-haves that should be on your checklist for the hospital or birthing centre. This list is a good starting point, but every hospital and birth centre does things differently, so ask ahead of time what they will supply and what you need to bring from home.
The Labor And Delivery Room
The labor and delivery room is where youll spend most of your time while in labor at the hospital. Depending on your birth plan and the options available to you, you might bounce on a yoga ball, take a shower or labor in a special tub as your contractions get closer together.
A nurse will monitor your labor and your babys heart rate, either once per hour or continuously. If you get an epidural, an anesthesiologist will go through that process with you and administer the epidural in the room.
Most hospitals allow you to have partners, midwives, doulas or family members in the room with you while youre in labor if you choose, but they usually have a limit. Ask about this during your tour and keep the number in mind as you write your birth plan.
And your family wont be the only ones in the room with youduring your labor, you might encounter multiple labor and delivery nurses. They change shifts every eight to 12 hours, so the nurses you meet when you arrive might be different than the ones there when you give birth in the hospital.
Dont Miss: Can I Put Braces While Pregnant
What To Pack In Hospital Bag For Baby
Now that youre all packed and ready to go, lets move onto the new baby! It might be kind of tricky to know exactly everything baby will need…but the good news is that they really dont need much. Overpacking for baby is probably one of the biggest first-timer mistakes.
Your baby will most likely spend most of his/her time in just a diaper, wrapped in a hospital swaddle blanket. The hospital will have all the diapers and wipes youll need. They will also have hats and swaddle blankets, but if you want cuter versions, youll need to bring your own!
Keeping baby skin-to-skin as much as possible those first few days is incredibly helpful when nursing , for bonding time and for many other reasons.
Here are a few essentials to remember:
Don’t Miss: How Can I Lose My Pregnancy Belly
Ner Hospital Bag Checklist
Encourage your partner to pack their own bag of essentials for the birth.While they wont need quite as much as you and the baby, having their own gear on hand can make the time at the hospital much easier.At a minimum, we suggest they pack:
- Change of clothes
- Snacks and water
If your partner plans on staying with you after the birth, theyll need to include a pillow, blanket, eye mask, earplugs, and toiletries in their kit.Sometimes, though, if you live close to the hospital, the nurses will encourage your partner to go home and get a good nights sleep so they can come back fresh in the morning. This is especially common if you plan on breastfeeding your little one.The nurses will be there to help you, so your partner may have nothing to do. Theyre better off recuperating at home so they can support you the next day when you need it the most.Talk to your doctor and the hospital about what they recommend and then your partner can pack their bag accordingly.
When Should I Pack A Hospital Bag For My Pregnancy
Everyone is different, but if everything is going fine, you should pack your hospital bag by 37 weeks pregnancy, as 37 weeks is considered full term, suggests Pett. Otherwise, if your doctor says youre at risk of pre-term labour, or if youre having multiples and know youll be having your babies earlier, you should pack sooner.
Along with having the babys infant car seat installed for when its time to bring baby home, Pett recommends planning for what to pack in the hospital bag for baby. You should bring baby accessories like an infant hat for baby to go home with, she says. Pett suggests that your baby hospital bag should also include undershirts, one-piece sleepers, receiving blankets, diapers, wipes and a going-home baby outfit.
Recommended Reading: Can You Use Vagisil During Pregnancy
You May Like: How To Take Pregnancy Pills
Hospital Bag Checklist For Partners
- Camera or video camera . Someone has to document the big event! Some hospitals and birth centers don’t allow videotaping of the birth itself, but there’s usually no rule against filming during labor or after the birth.
- Comfortable shoes and a few changes of comfortable clothes
- Snacks and drinks
- Books and magazines
- Cell phone for keeping family and close friends posted on the labor and birth. Don’t forget the charger!
- Money for parking and vending machines.
- Pillow and a small blanket, if you prefer to use your own instead of what’s provided by the hospital. It’s important for labor partners to rest during downtimes too.
- Prescription medications and pain reliever, in case you get a headache or have a backache from dozing on the hospital chair or cot.
What To Pack For Your Baby
- Clothes A few onesies for easy changing, plus scratch mitts, cosy socks/bootees, and a beanie and cardigan if it is cool. Their going home outfit will need legs so the capsule strap can fit between them.
- Disposable nappies and baby wipes Bring your own if you plan to use them, as some hospitals dont supply disposables.
- Muslins Useful for swaddling and keeping your little one clean during feeding.
- Baby lotion For a bonding massage with your baby.
- Baby blanket To tuck around your bub in the capsule for the ride home. Make it a super cosy one if the weathers cold.
- Capsule Make sure its correctly fitted in your car ready for the journey home.
Read Also: Can You Get Laser Hair Removal When Pregnant
When Should You Pack Your Hospital Bag
You should have your hospital bag ready to go between weeks 32 and 35 of your pregnancy, in case your baby comes a bit earlier than expected.
A good time to start the packing process is around the 28 week mark, or at the start of your 3rd trimester. A checklist can help, so we created this one to make sure you dont forget any essentials for babys arrival!
Your Bag For After The Birth
- A couple of front-opening nightdresses or loose shirts so you can breastfeed and snuggle your baby skin-to-skin
- Sterile bottles, teats and formula if youre bottle-feeding
- Light dressing gown and slippers
- A couple of packets of super-absorbent sanitary or maternity pads
- 5 or 6 pairs of knickers you may also want to bring some disposable ones
- Extra-absorbent sanitary towels for the bleeding you’ll have after the birth, called lochia
- 2 or 3 nursing or ordinary bras bear in mind that your breasts will be much larger than usual
- Breast pads to soak up leaking breast milk you may need these even if you don’t plan to breastfeed
- If you are going to breastfeed, you may want to take a nipple cream these can help to heal any sore or cracked nipples that may occur in the early days of breastfeeding
- Clothes to come home in you’ll still have a bit of a bump so pack loose comfortable clothes
- Up to 5 sleepsuits and vests or baby grows
- A pack of newborn nappies
- A baby blanket or shawl
- Clothes for your baby to come home in, including a hat, scratch mittens and socks
The hospital will probably have basic items for the baby, such as towels and blankets. The lists above should cover everything, but ask your midwife if they also provide a specific list for your hospital or birth centre.
Packing Your Bag For Delivery Day
If you can count the weeks until your due date on one hand, its time to get your hospital bags packed with all the essentials. Think about what you, your partner, and your new baby will need on delivery day and on the trip home from the hospital.
But dont stop there. You might want to throw in a few luxury items like your favorite pillow, some facial wipes, a good-luck charm anything to make you feel more comfortable. And dont forget your birth playlist. Youll be happy for the distraction in the delivery room.
Download and print a copy of our hospital bag checklist.
What to bring to the hospital
Pack your hospital bag a few weeks before your due date so youll be ready for any surprises. Use this checklist while you pack to be sure you dont forget anything!
Your labor kit
- Your Kaiser Permanente ID card
- A copy of your birth plan
- Something to hold your hair back
- Lotion for massage
- A yoga or exercise ball if you plan to use one
- A hand fan and spray mist bottle
- Music and something to play it on
- A robe or front-opening shirt for nursing and skin-to-skin contact after delivery
- A fresh nightgown, pajamas, or comfy sweats to wear when you have visitors
- A nursing bra with no underwire
- Maternity underpants
- Personal items, like a hairbrush, cosmetics, toothbrush, and toothpaste
- A going-home outfit
- A going-home outfit
- 1 or 2 blankets, depending on the weather
- Rear-facing car seat
- Outfit for baby pictures
For your partner or support person
Ready to get maternity care?
Hospital Bag For Mom: Labor And Delivery
Hospital paperwork, ID, and insurance card. Have copies of your medical records handy, so that your healthcare providers can easily review your medical history. Hospitals require your ID, any medical cards, and insurance documents up front, so make sure you have a copy of these readily available.
Birth plan . You might have discussed your birth plan with your medical team, but having a few copies printed and available for your healthcare providers means that everyone can refer to it in case last-minute questions arise. If you havent written your birth plan yet and youre thinking of having one, check out these pointers on what to include in your birth plan for some useful tips.
Bathrobe. A soft bathrobe is useful for pacing around during labor, or afterward, if you spend some time in the hospital.
Socks. Your feet may get cold during labor.
Recommended Reading: Which Pregnancy Test Is Most Accurate
Hospital Bag For Labour And Birth
You should pack a bag in plenty of time to bring to the hospital so that you are ready to go when your baby is due.
Hospitals have limited space for personal items, so try to pack lightly.
Ask your partner or support person to take your outdoor clothing after youre admitted.
It is best to leave valuables at home.
Your partner or support person can bring in anything that you might have forgotten.
Below is a list of suggested items to pack for your hospital stay.
Wondering What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag Stay Sane On Delivery Day By Preparing Ahead Of Time Using This Handy Checklist As A Guide
Once you’re around 34 weeks pregnant, it’s time to start preparing for your delivery date. One of the most stressfuland most importantitems on your to-do list is packing the hospital bag. After all, you never know when your baby may make an appearance! Refer to this hospital bag checklist to ensure you’ll have everything you need for a smooth stay.
You May Like: What Birth Control Is Best After Pregnancy
Hospital Bag Essentials For Your Birth Partner
As a birth partner, you might also want to pack some things for your time supporting mum in the hospital:
Snacks and water. Labour can be thirsty work for supportive partners. Pack some snacks and water, as well as change for the hospital vending machines.
Phone, camera and/or video camera, plus chargers and batteries. Your partner will also want a phone to stay in contact with loved ones, and for some entertainment during downtimes. The camera is needed to take some snaps.
Clothes. Labour is an unpredictable process, a change of clothes is always a good idea, as you never know how long the stay will be.
Toiletries and towel. After a long labour, even your partner may need to freshen up in the shower. Most hospitals are fine with this, but you could confirm this beforehand.
Spare glasses or spare contact lenses. It might be a long day, so having spares of these essentials could come in handy.
Small pillow. Believe it or not, your partner might also need a rest while assisting during a long labour.
Entertainment. Have something to do for when the going gets a little boring: books, a tablet, and a music player are all good options.
Also Check: Side Effects Of Donating Plasma While Pregnant
Necessities For Your Partner
On top of bringing all the normal overnight stuff , your partner should be in charge of important paperwork / insurance cards / identification / etc. Depending on how nice the sleeping situation is, they might want to consider bringing a pillow from home as hospital pillows arent the most comfortable. Check out our full hospital bag checklist for dads here.
The last step after zipping up your hospital bag is to throw it in the car or leave it by the front door — and wait patiently for babys arrival! Good luck to you, mama. Youve got this!
Read Also: How To Terminate Dog Pregnancy
What Snacks To Pack In Your Hospital Bag
Yes, this gets its own category. Pack lots of snacks! Try to pack something from each of these categories: salty , sweet , protein and healthy/fresh . The laboring parent will appreciate these post-birth too. During Covid-19 surges, many hospitals arent allowing people to leave and come back, so the snacks you bring will be extra important! Also look into restaurants nearby that deliver. And bring a reusable water bottle.
Once you pack your bag, youll be all set to head to the hospital when baby is ready to come.
When To Pack Your Hospital Bag
Your baby might arrive earlier than expected, so itâs worth having your hospital bag and your babyâs hospital bag organized and packed during month eight of your pregnancyâjust in case.Pack the bags with your partner so you can double-check the checklist to make sure that youâll each have everything you might need for the hospital. Once theyâre packed, keep them handy either in your car or near the door, so you’ll be ready to go at a moment’s notice.Keep reading for a full list of what to pack for the hospital, and download your hospital bag checklist below!
Read Also: Can I Get Pregnant Before My Period
What Not To Pack
“I brought everything on our list with our first child, and my husband had to haul it around. I didn’t use half of it. A change of comfy clothes for me, my hubby, and the baby was all we needed. Toiletries were good to have, like my toothbrush, of course. But everything else seemed to just clutter up our small room. Even the diaper bag I packed never got opened! If you feel like you need all the extras, I would leave it in the car, just in case.”
“I just wore the hospital clothes less laundry to do once I got home! You never want to make more work for yourself!”
“I used the hospital’s undies, sanitary pads, and socks. I also didn’t bother with my own nightgown or robe I just put a second hospital gown on backward. Like most women, I bled a lot and I didn’t want to mess up my own undies and nightgown. I saved those for when I went home.”
“I bought a pair of nursing pajamas to wear in the hospital but never put them on. The gown was a lot more comfortable. And after a c-section I didn’t want to move around too much.”
American College of Nurse-Midwives. 2016. Providing oral nutrition to women in labor. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health 61: 528-34.
MedlinePlus. 2018. After a c-section in the hospital.
MedlinePlus. 2020. What to bring to your labor and delivery.
Dads Hospital Bag Checklist
Here is our full checklist of what to pack:
- Change of clothes: Comfy clothes recommended, such as sweatpants, sweatshirts and pajamas
- Comfortable shoes such as sneakers, Crocs or other slip-ons
- Your own pillow and blankets from home
- Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner and more
- Glasses, contact lenses, and contact solution, if needed
- Healthy snacks, like trail mix, fruits, veggies, and more
- Reusable water bottle
- Loose change for the vending machines
- Camera and camera charger
- Cell phone and phone charger
- Speaker for music: even better if you and mom put together a playlist or two beforehand!
- Birth plan: easily communicate what you want the birthing experience to be with the midwife or doctor by writing down your birth plan and bringing it along to the hospital
- Insurance information and other relevant paperwork
- Car seat: you cant take your little bundle of joy home without a car seat, so we recommend putting this on both your checklist and moms
- Push present: whether you got mom jewelry, loungewear, a tech gadget, or something else, youll want to have this gift in hand for the right moment
Below weve added details on some of the most important items youll need to have on your packing list.
Also Check: Where To Get Help When Pregnant