19 items to pack in your hospital bag: Get the printable hospital bag checklist!

Your due date is almost here. It’s time to get ready for that trip to the hospital. No one wants to be running around like a crazy person packing a hospital bag last minute. It’s good to pack one at least four weeks ahead of time as babies can come early.

Have a checklist so you don’t forget to add those last minute items that can’t be packed early. I’ve created a printable hospital bag checklist you can grab at the end of this post to get you started!

printable hospital bag checklist

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Must have items for your hospital bag

Things to pack for the mom-to-be

1 – Portable charger for devices

A portable charger was a must with my first baby and you better believe we’ll be using ours again. The last thing you want is a dead battery on your phone, tablet, or mp3 player (people still use those right?!). You’ll be making lots of phone calls, taking photos, and texting everyone.

Your delivery room may or may not have an easily accessible plug. Having a portable battery charger will ensure you have no problem keeping everything charged. We use ours regularly for long car rides, trips to Disneyland, etc. They really come in handy which makes them worth the price.

2 – Slippers

Bring your own slippers can be a great comfort from home. Plus those hospital floors can be mighty cold!

3 – Non-slip socks, ones with fun sayings!

Another great option is non-slip socks. You may want to walk around during labor, and at the least, you’ll be making trips to the restroom. Keep your toes warm and get some inspiration from these fun labor and delivery socks!

4 – Change for vending machine

You or your partner will likely want a drink or snack at some point in your stay. Babies come at all hours so the hospital cafeteria may not be open. Bring some cash and change for vending machines, parking issues, etc.

5 – Birth plan/other paperwork

Make sure to have your birth plan, ID, and any other important paperwork with you when you come to the hospital! For the birth plan have a few copies so you’re not stressing if one gets lost or misplaced.

Not sure what to put on a birth plan? Check out this birth plan guide with printable checklist.

6 – Birthing tools (any your hospital doesn’t supply)

Some women like to use tools such as a birthing ball, peanut ball, or birthing stool to help through labor and delivery. Some hospitals supply some of these items or you may need to bring your own. This is important information to add to your list of questions to ask on a hospital tour.

7 – Pajamas/Robe

You’ll want to bring some pajamas and maybe a robe. The hospital will also offer you a hospital gown but many women are more comfortable in their own clothing.

You will likely be there for a couple of days. Button pajama tops are best if you plan to breastfeed your baby, plus it makes it easy to get lots of skin on skin time with your new baby which is great for bonding.

Pro Tip: Choose dark colored pajamas in case they get blood on them.

8 – Your own blanket or pillow and one for your spouse

Depending on your comfort level you may want to bring your own blanket or pillow to the hospital. You may also need a pillow for your spouse/partner if they plan to stay the night. The hospital can supply these things but some people feel more comfortable bringing their own.

9 – Shower shoes

A shower will feel amazing after giving birth. But a public shower can feel a bit gross. Pack a pair of flip-flops or shower shoes if you’re worried about sharing the shower floor.

10 – Snacks (sneaky sneaky)

Many hospitals will tell you that you can’t eat during labor. So don’t advertise that you have snacks in your bag. But, they can’t actually stop you from eating and it can give you a little extra energy if you have a long labor process.

Pick simple light things. Cheese, crackers, or honey sticks are great options, though you’ll need an ice pack if you plan to bring cheese. Pack some protein bars to keep your birth support team going too!

11 – Hair ties or headband

Birthing a baby is hard work. Pack a hair tie or headband to keep your hair out of your face and off your next in what can be a sweaty process.

12 – Toiletries

You’ll want to pack your own toiletries as you’ll probably stay at least 2 nights at the hospital. Don’t forget these important items!

  • Hairbrush
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Tiny shampoo/conditioner

13 – Lip balm

Between the hospital, a/c and all the exertion pushing out a baby your lips may get dry. Pack a lip balm or three, you know how those things like to disappear.

Pro Tip: If you do forget lip balm the nipple cream samples they have at the hospital work great as lip balm too!

14 – Birth affirmations, recordings, or playlist

If you have any birth affirmations, recordings, or a birth playlist be sure to pack them in your bag. It never hurts to have an extra copy in case something gets ruined or misplaced.

15 – Water bottle

A big water bottle is a great item to pack. They’ll have little water cups and ice chips at the hospital but a big bottle like a hydroflask will give you lots of cold water and minimize the need for refills.

16 – Extra space or bag for taking home hospital goodies

Your recovery room at the hospital will come well stocked with lots of goodies. Leave extra space in your hospital bag or pack an extra bag for goodies. What should you be stocking up on?

  • Newborn diapers
  • mesh underwear
  • giant pads
  • tucks pads
  • personal cleaning bottle

It’s common practice to stock up on these things and you’re paying for your stay so don’t feel like you’re stealing. Ask your nurses to restock if you need to. Some moms prefer to use Depends adult diapers after birth. If you plan to go that route you will need to bring your own.

What else should you have for your postpartum care kit?

Things to pack for baby

You need very little for your baby other than a car seat until you get home. The hospital will supply you with everything they need and a little guidance along the way. Enjoy having extra hands as they don’t last for long. I’m not sure how many times my husband and I asked the nurses to help us swaddle our newborn as we were terrible at it!

17 – Car Seat

You can’t leave the hospital without a car seat so it’s the one truly must have item on this list.

Ones with a base are extra easy to use as many hospitals require you to bring the seat in and carry your baby out in the car seat. You often aren’t allowed to carry baby and put them in at the car. Check with your hospital for specific rules and guidelines.

18 – 2 going home outfits

Your baby will mostly be in a blanket and diaper while at the hospital but don’t forget to pack that cute going home outfit. You may want to pack two in case one gets dirty.

It’s also a good idea to bring a newborn size and a 0-3 month size. Some babies never wear newborn size if they are born a bit larger.

19 – Blanket

You’ll want to keep your newborn warm. Bring a blanket to tuck around them on the walk to the car and maybe on the car ride home. Remember that you can’t dress them in anything too thick while they’re in their car seat as it’s not safe!

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