What to Pack in a Hospital Bag: The Only Checklist You Need

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If you are nearing the end of your pregnancy, then you are probably prepared for your little bundle of joy to arrive! You’ve got the nursery decorated, the house is thoroughly cleaned, and you’ve baby proofed everything in sight. All there is left to do is get ready for the hospital! But do you know what to pack in a hospital bag?

In this post I will share what to pack in a hospital bag that ensures everyone is prepared, including you, your baby, and your spouse or partner. You will have everything you need so that you aren’t scrambling right when the baby decides to make its debut!

Be sure to bookmark this post so that when the time comes, you have a hospital bag checklist to reference so you don’t miss anything!

(This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you buy something through one of my links I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I will never suggest a product or service that I don’t use and love myself because that’s just wrong. If you like reading legal mumbo-jumbo then you can check out my disclosure policy HERE.)

When to Pack Your Hospital Bag

It’s never too late to start packing your hospital bag, but it should be ready by at least 35 to 37 weeks pregnant. Preparing your hospital bag by this time ensures that you will be ready to go just in case you go into labor earlier than expected.

If you don’t yet have a hospital bag, be sure to check on Amazon. You can find a high-quality, large bag for under $40.

what to pack in a hospital bag, pregnant mom packing a hospital bag for baby

When you finish packing your bag, make sure you put it near the front of your home or somewhere easy to remember. You don’t want to get to the hospital and realize you forgot it!

I had my bag packed up and ready to go by 35 weeks and just left it in the car. That way I knew I wouldn’t forget it.

Make sure you let your birth partner know where it is and if anything else needs to go in at the last minute so that they can take care of it for you.

If you don’t know what to pack in your hospital bag, below are some essentials that you’ll need and other things that will be up to your discretion.

What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Mom

First, you’ll need to pack a hospital bag for yourself.

You may want to pack two bags so that you have one for labor and delivery and a separate bag for after you give birth. However, you can keep everything in one bag if that’s what you prefer.

Hospital Bag for Mom: Labor And Delivery

  • A copy of your birth plan. If you have a birth plan, print out a few copies to give to all the staff to refer to in case they need to ask any last-minute questions. Highlight important areas for quick reference.
  • Hospital paperwork. If you filled out any hospital paperwork, be sure to bring it with you to the hospital along with any medical documents so that doctors and nurses can easily review your records. Most hospitals will allow you to pre-register. I highly suggest doing so to keep you from carrying around any unnecessary paperwork. 
  • Insurance information and identification. Hospitals will require your ID and insurance information upfront so make sure you have these documents ready to go. 
  • Your phone and extra long phone charge. Bring your phone with you to keep you entertained while you’re in labor and to call friends and family when the baby has arrived. Don’t forget to pack an extra long phone charger in case the outlet is far away. The last thing you’ll want to do is worry about a dead phone or having to stand by the outlet! 
  • Toiletries and personal items. Regular or dry shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, hair brush, extra hair ties, lotion, face wipes, and contacts, solution, or glasses if you wear them.  You can find a toiletries kit on Amazon here. These items will also come in handy after delivery as well when you take your first postpartum shower. 
  • A comfortable bathrobe. This item is an essential that moms swear by. You won’t want to be bound by uncomfortable clothes whenever you need to get up or want to walk around. Buy an affordable robe to stay comfy and warm.
  • Drinks and non-perishable snacks. Labor and delivery can make you hungry or thirsty, so pack water and non-perishable snacks like trail mix or crackers. If you don’t want to pack food in your bag, bring change for the vending machine.
  • Comfortable pillow. The hospital will provide you with a pillow,  but if you want something more comfortable, buy one that you don’t mind sacrificing. 
  • Entertainment. You won’t know how long you’ll be in labor, so bring relaxing entertainment such as a tablet, magazines, or a book to keep you distracted. My husband filled his laptop with movies to keep us entertained. 
  • Notepad and pens. This will come in handy if you need to take down any notes provided by your doctor and keep track of your baby’s feeding schedule after delivery. 

Hospital Bag for Mom: After Delivery

  • Maternity pads. The hospital will provide you with some heavy duty maternity pads, but you may need to bring more with you and keep extra at home. It’s normal to bleed heavily after delivery so buying extra ensures you’ll have enough. 
  • Maternity underwear. Your hospital will also provide you with maternity underwear, but many women don’t like them because of their poor quality. Bring extra pairs that you don’t mind getting ruined. I had some of these bad boys and I loved them! They may be ugly, but they are SO comfortable. I also didn’t mind just throwing them away when I didn’t need them anymore. 
  • Nursing essentials. If you plan to breastfeed your baby, bring nursing essentials with you such as lanolin cream, nursing pads, nursing tops, a breastfeeding pillow, and a few nursing bras
  • Comfortable clothes. Pack comfortable night clothes for any overnight stays and a comfortable outfit to go home in. 

What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Baby

Next it’s time to pack for your new baby! The good news is that your new baby doesn’t need nearly as much as you do! Your hospital will provide most of what your baby needs, like diapers, bottles, etc. Take advantage of the free items!

That being said, here are some things you can pack in your hospital bag for your baby.

  • An infant car seat. This item is a non-negotiable. Hospitals will not let you leave with your baby if you do not have an infant car seat already installed. Of course this won’t go in your hospital bag, but install it at the same time you pack your bag so that you don’t forget. I personally love the convertible car seat that we got for my son. It’s amazing and I don’t have to carry it around. 
  • Going home outfit. Consider the weather when packing a going-home outfit for your newborn. At the very least, bring a bodysuit, a hat, and booties. If it’s cold outside, you may need to bring a jacket, mittens, or snow suit. If you plan on taking newborn photos, pack an outfit for the occasion as well. 
  • Burp cloths. Some hospitals provide burp cloths but others don’t. Be on the safe side and bring your own burp cloths to clean up any messes!  
  • Warm blanket. Pack your own warm blanket for the hospital and for the ride home. 

Related Post: 20 of the Best Baby Must Haves for First-Time Moms

What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Partner

Don’t forget to pack some essentials for your birth partner since they will most likely be spending a  night or two in the hospital with you!

  • Cell phone and charger. If your partner is going to be the one calling your loved ones after the baby arrives, make a “call list” complete with names and phone numbers so your partner knows who to keep in touch with. 
  • Water and non-perishable snacks. Whenever you pack drinks and snacks for yourself, pack extra for your partner, too! Bring extra change for the vending machines if necessary. 
  • Clothes. Have your partner bring a few pairs of clothes in case you need to stay for a couple nights. 
  • Toiletries. You can find toiletry kits for men and women on Amazon for less than $25. 
  • Entertainment. Pack a tablet with movies, music, books, or magazines to keep your yourself and your partner entertained while waiting for the baby’s arrival. 
  • Camera with batteries. If you want your birth partner to take pictures, pack a camera with batteries for nice, high-quality pictures. 
  • Prescription medication. Don’t forget to pack any prescription medication that you or your partner take. However, it is very important that you contact your doctor or the hospital to make sure you are allowed to bring these medications. 
  • A comfortable pillow and blanket. Most of the time the partner has to take the uncomfortable hospital couch, so pack an extra comfortable pillow and blanket to allow your partner to relax. 

Final Thoughts on What to Pack in a Hospital Bag

With this hospital bag checklist, you’ll know exactly what to pack in a hospital bag that ensures you are ready to go!

Now that you know what to bring, keep in mind that there are things you don’t need to bring, either. You won’t need things like diapers – the hospital will provide these for you.

The hospital should also provide things like sprays and pain relievers for any incisions or postpartum vaginal care. If you plan to bottle feed, the hospital will also have extra bottles and nipples and will provide a small amount of formula. Do not bring a lot of cash or anything valuable like jewelry – you won’t want to keep up with these things and don’t want to run the risk of losing them.

Let me know in the comments what you packed in your hospital bag. Was there something you didn’t bring but wished you would have? What item was absolutely necessary that made your stay better? Share it down below or bring it to the Facebook group!

Until next time!

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