PRINTABLE HOSPITAL BAG PACKING LIST
WHAT TO PACK FOR LABOR AND DELIVERY
During my first pregnancy I did a lot of research on “pregnancy hospital bag packing list“, yet I never actually got to pack my hospital bag. I thought I had plenty of time, and then my water broke 3 weeks early. You can picture me throwing random things in a bag while in denial of what was actually happening. The second time around, I had my hospital bag packing list ready to go way ahead of time, and then I literally packed the entire house. I was probably trying to make up for my lack of preparedness the first time around, but I ended up just causing myself extra work and stress.
Now we are expecting baby number three in March. This time, mama is going to do this hospital bag packing thing right. I’m not going to bring a ton of stuff I don’t need. I am also not going to be without the things I really needed and wanted while in the hospital. And, I won’t have to ask my husband to bring me 503 things that I forgot.
Trust me, you do not want to be in labor asking yourself, “What do I need for my hospital bag?”
So for you, and for me, I have created a pregnancy hospital bag packing list that covers all the bases.
THE 3RD TIME MOM APPROVED HOSPITAL BAG PACKING LIST: WHAT TO PACK FOR LABOR AND DELIVERY
- Chapstick / lip balm:
I remember how badly I wanted some of this during my first 13 hour, unmedicated labor. Regardless of what type of delivery you have, this is a must!
- Hair Ties:
You can never have enough hair ties anywhere you go, and you certainly don’t want to be mid-labor and unable to put your hair up.
- Warm Socks:
Hospitals are cold, and even nice Birth Centers can feel cool and uncomfortable. You’ll want comfy, warm socks to lounge in, and also walk the halls in if you can. Try to get non-slip socks in case you do the walking! I walked a lot during labor. Some hospitals provide these, but bring yours just in case!
- Big water bottle with straw:
The birthing center I have had both of my kids at gave me a really nice, large cup with a handle, lid, and straw. Those cups became my favorite even after I left the hospital. Unless you know for sure that you’ll be given one, bring one! I assume they will give me another this time, but it’s been a few years so I’ll bring one just in case!
- Your phone and phone charger:
This is an obvious one, but also easily forgotten (at least the charger). Even if you’re not the one on it during labor, you will want to have this with you.
I listened to music during both of my labors, which helped me focus during contractions. You can make yourself a playlist ahead of time too!
Should I add a charged battery with the camera? Unless you use your phone for pictures.
I personally could not eat during labor, but Chris was starving the first time around and had no food. The second time around I packed lots of snacks. I was glad I did for him, but also for me because as soon as Alana was born I had the biggest rice crispie treat ever. It was basically the best snack I’ve ever had.
I liked to have these handy during and after labor.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE PRINTABLE HOSPITAL BAG PACKING LIST NOW!
NOW FOR THE “POST DELIVERY STUFF” HOSPITAL BAG PACKING LIST
Now you know what to pack for labor and delivery, but the stay at the hospital afterwards is when you need more stuff. These are the things on my hospital bag packing list:
- Comfortable PJs that you feel good in, that are also easy for nursing:
I recommend buying yourself a new set or two that are reserved for your hospital stay and after. You’ll feel better seeing tons of people in and out of your room if you’re in PJs that you feel good in. You also want to feel comfortable and be able to nurse easily. Try to avoid white. In fact, just choose dark colors. I probably don’t need to explain why, but just in case.
Because it get’s chilly in the hospital and you’ll want that extra layer of comfort, I recommend bringing a comfy robe, or even a sweater. My husband gifted me a really nice robe before baby #2 was born. I really appreciated it when I was at the hospital. I actually still use it today.
You may not want to stay in those comfy socks the entire time you’re there. Having a comfy “shoe” option to walk around the hall with baby is good!
- Sleep Nursing Bra:
Because comfort is going to be key, and you’re probably going to be hanging in that new comfy PJ set, get a comfortable sleep nursing bra.
- A pack of these undies:.
The hospital will give you some awful mesh things, but I didn’t like them and there are not enough of them. Get these, but note that the sizing is a little off and you should choose bigger than you think you need.
- Your pillow:
If you’re picky about your pillow, bring your own.
- Your favorite body wash, shampoo and conditioner:
Trust me, the first shower you get to take post-labor is amazing, but only if you have the stuff you want to use.
- Basic toiletries:
You will want to feel human again for the remainder of your stay in the hospital, so be sure you have your toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup, hair brush, deodorant, and any other basic toiletries you use to get ready daily.
- This spray:
Just get it, mama. Trust and believe, and get the spray. (Unless you know you are having a c-section.)
- Breast pads:
If you plan to start breastfeeding, you’ll want these handy. I like these reusable ones, but you can also use disposable breast pads if you prefer. I have used and liked these before.
- Laptop, book to read, or some other form of entertainment:
This might not be a popular item on many hospital bag packing lists, but if I’m being real, I used my computer both times after having babies. When you’re stuck in a hospital bed watching an infant sleep and you work from home, you definitely use your computer. Even if you don’t work from home, you may want a tablet, a book, or some other form of entertainment.
- Clothes to go home in:
Something comfortable but that you feel good in, as you will most likely be taking a picture in this, of course.
BABY HOSPITAL BAG PACKING LIST
When it comes to baby, the list really isn’t that long. The hospital will supply diapers and wipes, so unless you plan to use special diapers from the beginning, just save what you have at home. Trust me, you’re paying for those diapers they give you at the hospital so use them! Here is my hospital bag packing list for baby:
- Nursing pillow:
A good nursing pillow was always one of my favorite things to have with a newborn. It’s much more comfortable for you and baby, in my opinion. I had one similar to this for my first two babies. I personally don’t like the ones that strap around your back. That seemed inconvenient and uncomfortable to me, but it’s all about personal preference.
The hospital will provide a baby blanket (or possibly a few) for your little one, but it’s likely that you’ll have a cute new favorite you want your babe pictured in.
The hospital also provides a onesie/basic outfit for the baby, but we all know we have those cute newborn PJs waiting for our new babes, so bring it. Not 10 of them, 1-3 at the most. There will be plenty of time to dress them in every single outfit later. For now think warmth and comfort for you and baby.
- The coming home outfit:
This is a given, right?
- Burp Cloths:
I think you’re good with 2-3 burp clothes for your hospital stay, just in case.
- Pacifier: Our hospital gave the babies their first pacifiers and that is what we used at first. Actually, Kaiper never used his because he hated it, and Alana was obsessed with hers. Regardless, you can bring this if you wish, but most likely the hospital will provide one.
- Installed car seat: Do yourself, or have your husband do himself, a favor ahead of time and get this installed and ready before it’s go-time for baby.
HOSPITAL BAG PACKING LIST FOR DAD
Don’t forget the stuff Dad will need in the hospital bag! It’s not a lot, but he will need some things.
Mostly comfortable, but if you will be doing pictures keep that in mind.
- Pillow and blanket:
The hospital will provide a pillow and blanket for Dad, but they aren’t great. If he’s picky at all, bring him his own so he’s a little bit more comfortable.
Dad will want to be able to freshen up too!
This is already on the list for you, but don’t forget to bring enough for Dad!
- Money for food:
Dad will probably also want to do some food runs, so make sure he’s prepared!
Just like you, Dad may want a tablet, computer, book, or whatever else he can use for entertainment.
- Bottled Drinks:
Be prepared with at least a few bottled drinks for dad in case he can’t get out to get something for a while.
OTHER ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR HOSPITAL BAG PACKING LIST
There are a few other important things you’ll want to be sure you have handy for all of the logistic stuff. These are included on the printable hospital bag packing list you can download below!
- Insurance Card/Information
- Birth Plan (if you have one)
- Driver’s License
- Pediatrician Contact Info
- Social Security Card (or just having your # memorized should suffice)
IF THE NEW BABY HAS OLDER SIBLINGS, YOU’LL WANT TO PACK A FEW THINGS IN YOUR HOSPITAL BAG FOR THEM!
Even if they aren’t there for the birth, chances are the older siblings will be visiting the hospital. Here are a few recommendations of what to put on your hospital bag packing list for older siblings:
- Big Brother/Big Sister Gift:
When Alana was born, we gave Kaiper this adorable book called The Super, Incredible Big Brother from iseeme.com. They have lots of cute options!
If the older siblings will be hanging out for a while, or if they are like my kids and they’ll be there for more than 5 minutes, make sure you have some snacks around for them!
The new sibling gift, and the new sibling, may be enough to entertain them. However, if they are younger they may need an extra toy or activity to entertain them within the confines of a hospital room. This doesn’t necessarily have to come with you when you go into labor, but make sure whoever brings them to visit later brings something along!
For the essentials, that’s it! You may need some additional items though, things like glasses or contact solution, essential oils, or medicines you need to take regularly. You can fill these specific items in on the printable hospital bag packing list in the “Other” section I have set up for you!
GRAB THE FREE PRINTABLE HOSPITAL BAG PACKING LIST HERE!
Hi, I’m Jessica! I am wife to Chris, and mom to Kaiper, Alana and Koa. I am a graphic designer, website developer and aspiring author. In this space, I share about everything from parenting, working from home, food we cook, and lots of things for kids! Learn more about me here.