What Should I Pack in my Hospital Bag for Labor?



If you haven’t started packing your hospital bag yet, don’t panic! Here is a good list to look over to make sure you’ll have everything you need during your hospital stay. As some hospitals provide different items than others, be sure to check with your hospital to see what they offer and then you can leave those items behind if you wish. Many will provide toiletries, towels, pads, a gown, socks, mesh underwear, diapers, wipes, and a hat for baby. Try to have your bag, your baby’s bag, and your partner’s bag packed and ready to go at least a month before you due date, if you can!


Must Have:

☐ Hospital pre-registration papers, if you have them

☐ Your ID card

☐ Insurance card

☐ A few copies of your birth plan, if you have one

☐ Baby book to record footprints

☐ Glasses or contacts with case and solution, if you have them

☐ Cell phone, charger, & a list of people to call after birth

☐ Camera, extra memory card, & extra battery or charger, if you’re not using your phone

☐ Toiletries & basic hygiene items like deodorant, lotion, a hair brush, & lip balm

☐ Pacifiers, if you’re using them

☐ Hair tie or headband

☐ Bathing suit & flip flops, if you plan to labor in the tub/shower

☐ Change for the vending machines & snacks

☐ Comfortable bras & nursing pads to prevent leaks

☐ Pen & paper


Nice to Have:

☐ Comfortable clothes to wear home

☐ Breast pump, if you plan to use one and your hospital doesn’t provide one

☐ Your iPod

☐ Heat pad or rice sock

☐ Handheld fan

☐ Your own soap, shampoo, & heavy flow pads

☐ Lanolin, if breastfeeding

☐ Comfortable underwear that can be discarded

☐ Warm non-slip socks

☐ Your own nightgown

☐ Warm robe or sweater

☐ Slippers

☐ Birth ball & peanut ball, if you plan to use them and your hospital doesn’t provide them

☐ Sugar-free hard candy

☐ Massage oil & massage tools like rolling pins or tennis balls

☐ Inspirational objects or pictures of loved ones

☐ Essential oils, if you plan to use them

☐ Hairdryer

☐ Magazines


What to Pack For Your Baby:

☐ Going-home outfit, including anti-scratch mittens

☐ Bottles & formula, if you are formula-feeding

☐ A correctly-installed car seat (Your hospital will probably check to make sure it’s safe)

☐ Warm blanket for the car


If you can, try to leave a little room in your bags so that you have space to bring things home from the hospital as well. If your partner is bringing a bag with just toiletries and a change of clothes they should have extra room. You may receive gifts for your baby from visitors, and the hospital will probably send you with extra items like diapers and baby wipes.

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