What You Should Put in a Hospital Bag When Having a Baby
What were some of the must-have items you had when packing your hospital bag? Was there something special that you added in that wasn’t on any list?
I’m nearing the end of my 4th and final pregnancy, so I’ll be packing my hospital bag very soon. I’ve packed a hospital bag three other times now, so I have a pretty good idea of what you should put in a hospital bag when having a baby, and of course, what you should leave out.
Here’s my list of what you should put in a hospital bag (with a free printable underneath!). The entire list assumes you are expecting a natural childbirth, but it can be adjusted for c-section mamas too.FREE Hospital Bag Checklist Printable for When You Pack Your #Hospital Bag! #pregnancy #babies Click To Tweet
Hospital Bag List for Labor
- Bathrobe for walking the halls: If the doctor gives you the okay to walk the halls during labor, you may want a bathrobe. Those thin hospital gowns don’t leave too much to the imagination, plus it can get chilly.
- Socks with treads or slippers with treads: You’ll want to have some socks or slippers for moving around and to keep your feet warm. Make sure they have treads so you don’t slip on the slippery hospital floors! I bring one pair for after the baby is born, and use the pair the hospital gives me for during the surgery.
- Glasses /contact solution: If you wear glasses, of course bring them along. If you wear contacts, you may be asked to take them out in case you need to be knocked out during surgery. I never had to remove my contacts, but I brought along my glasses and solution just in case.
- Hair tie or head band: A hair tie or head band will keep hair out of your eyes when laboring.
- Chapstick or lipgloss: Your lips are certain to get chapped when you’re doing your breathing exercises. Plus, it’s nice to have some on hand for photos once the baby is born.
- Hard candies: Having some hard candies on hand, like Preggie Pop Drops, can be great during labor or even after delivery.
- Pre-registration forms: This is dependent on your hospital policies. I only had to bring forms in once, and for the other two times the forms were signed and sent in to the hospital around 35 weeks.
- Insurance forms/card: Again, this is dependent on what your hospital needs, but you may need this information once the baby is born.
- Photo ID: This is usually for the registration process and so they have a copy of your ID if/when you get the baby from the nursery or you’re leaving after discharge.
- Birth plan: If you and your doctor have discussed a birth plan, make sure to have it with you when you go into labor so that the nurses and other staff are informed of your wishes.
- Tablet/e-reader and charger (optional): There may be some time when you’re laboring (assuming you aren’t in extreme pain and concentrating on making it through the contractions) when you’ll need a bit of entertainment to help pass the time. If you’re going in for a scheduled c-section, there may also be times when you’re waiting (emergency c-sections will push your scheduled time back) that you’ll need to pass the time. It’s not necessary, of course.
- Camera, battery and charger: You may not think you want photos of yourself during labor, but someday it might be nice to look back, plus you’ll want the camera ready to go when the baby is born.
- Book or magazine (optional): Same idea as the tablet or e-reader. Not necessary, but could help pass the time.
- Massage balls or other supplies to help during contractions: If you’re experiencing back labor or difficult contractions, it’s nice to have some supplies on hand to help take the edge off of some of the pain.
- Cell-phone charger: Keep your phone charged so you can share progress and good news.
Hospital Bag List for After Delivery
- Comfy nursing pjs: After you have the baby, it can be nice to change into your own pajamas to be comfy. For natural deliveries, you probably only need one pair. For c-sections, you may want to bring 2-3 pairs, depending on how long your hospital stay is.
- Pillow (optional): This is optional, but I bring my own pillow since I have neck issues. I use the hospital pillows for back and incision support.
- Nursing bras: If you plan on nursing, bring along one or two nursing bras.
- Lanolin: The first few times nursing can be rough, so I like to bring lanolin with me in case I don’t see the lactation consultant for a while.
- Breast pump (optional): Often times the hospital can supply you a breast pump if you should need one, but I pack a small manual one just in case.
- Towel (optional): I like to bring a larger towel from home instead of using the small, rough hospital towels provided. Be mindful, though, that after delivery there is postpartum bleeding which can get on towels.
- Toiletries and makeup: Sometimes the hospital supplies small toiletries, but it’s nice to bring your own from home, like deodorant, shampoo, body wash, hair brush, tissues, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
- Boppy or nursing pillow: A Boppy or nursing pillow is great to have on hand whether your breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
- Snacks: Have you every had hopsital food? It’s often hit or miss when it comes to how good it tastes and when your meals come. Unless your on a specific diet, bring along some non-perishable snacks like granola bars, crackers, or dry cereal.
- Going home outfit for mom: Pack one comfortable outfit for your trip home. Remember that you’ll still have a bit of a belly left after the baby arrives and if you’re a c-section mama an incision, so loose fitting clothing would be best. I have worn a sun dress or leggings and a loose top and both worked out fine.
Hospital Bag List for Baby
Your baby won’t need much in the first few hours or days of life. Most hospitals will supply hats, gloved onesies, swaddling blankets, diapers, and wipes. If you choose to cloth diapers, you can add those to this list.
- Swaddlers or swaddling blanket: Hospitals often supply receiving blankets to swaddle in, but I prefer to bring my own swaddlers and swaddling blankets. I like the swaddlers that use fasteners for my little escape artists.
- Going home outfit: Pack one outfit for going home photos and travel. Choose a neutral outfit if you’re having a surprise!
- Baby book: If you have a baby book, bring it along to record the baby’s stats and perhaps get the baby’s footprints.
- Car seat: This doesn’t need to be with you right away, but make sure you have one available to take baby home in. Hospitals often check that you have a proper car seat and that it’s properly installed before baby can go home.
Hospital Bag List for Dad or Partner
Don’t forget about Dad or your partner! Of course, they can pack their own little bag, but here’s a helpful little list:
- Snacks, or change for machine: They need to eat too so they have energy to support you.
- Tablet or e-reader and charger: For down times when they’re not needed, some entertainment will help.
- Cell phone and charger: They’ll most likely be the contact person for all other friends and family, so they should be prepared.
- Photo ID: Sometimes a Photo ID is required to be able to see mom and baby or to sign forms.
- Extra change of clothes and toothbrush: Sometimes, Dad needs to stay the night. An extra pair of clothes and a toothbrush helps them to feel fresh the next day.
Other Things to Consider
- Have older kids? You may want to consider packing overnight bags for them if they will be spending the night at someone else’s house while you are in the hospital.
- List of people to contact. Make a list of everyone you want to contact once the baby is born. Many new parents like to just contact family and friends themselves before sharing on social media.
Hospital Bag Checklist Printable
Click on the image below of the Hospital Bag Checklist to print! (Image will be opened in DropBox as a PDF).
These are some items that can be packed! (affiliate links)
Did I forget anything? Leave a comment below telling me, or, if you have anything you’d like to add to the list, please share below!
Don’t forget to share this with any expecting moms you know! You can pin the image above to Pinterest or use one of the options below to share on Facebook, Twitter, and more! Thanks!