Mamas & kids Motherhood

Hospital Bag Checklist: Hospital Checklist for Labor

March 12, 2021
pregnant woman packing hospital bag

Getting into your third trimester and wondering what to pack in your hospital bag? It can be overwhelming to think about all the different things you need. Luckily, this post should help!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and don’t claim to be one. The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any message and will not be held responsible for the content of any message. Always consult your personal physician for specific medical advice.

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When should you pack your hospital bag?

You want to have your hospital bag packed and ready to go before you go into labor. This means it would be smart to pack your bag at 36ish weeks.

You can typically go into labor as early as 37 weeks. I went into labor at 37+1 so it can definitely happen that early. Be sure your bag is packed and ready to go so this is one less thing you have to worry about once contractions start and your life gets crazy.

How to pack your hospital bag for labor?

Start by making a list of everything you are going to need. We are going to talk more about what you need in a minute but as we do, start making a list. Also make a list of all the toiletries you need. Then start packing your bag.

As you are packing you’re going to realize that there are some things that you can’t pack until the last minute. Make a list of these things so that when you are frantically running out the door for the hospital, you can grab those things and not worry about forgetting something. 

What type of bag should I use for my hospital bag?

This is totally up to you. Some people use small suitcases that roll, some use duffle bags or bookbags. I used a book bag but I think next time I would opt for a rolling suitcase, it would have made it easier on my husband to carry everything up to our room. 

What should I pack in my hospital bag for labor?

Hospital List for Mom

1 . Birth Plan: Make sure you pack your birth plan if you have one!

2 . Birth Supplies: If you are going for a natural birth and you have supplies, make sure they are packed too.

3 . Bluetooth speaker: If you are wanting to listen to music while you are in labor then be sure to pack your speaker and a charger if needed. Also be sure to ask your hospital if you are allowed to play music while in labor.

4 . Delivery gown: Now I know not all women are going to want to wear their own gown but just know that it is an option. You need to talk with your hospital about what their requirements are for your gown. Most are going to say it needs to have snaps at the shoulders and easy back access in case you need an epidural. Wearing your own delivery gown can make labor feel just a little bit less crazy.

5 . Night gown: Invest in a good nursing nightgown and you won’t regret it. Pack at least one in your hospital bag because after giving birth you might not want to put on pants that are tight around your stomach area. A night gown allows you to be comfortable while still being able to breastfeed.

6 . No slip socks or slippers: No one wants to walk around on the hospital floor barefoot. Pack some socks or slippers but make sure they are no slip as the last thing you want to do is slip and fall.

7 . Cheap flip flops: Just like you don’t want to walk around barefoot, you also don’t want to get in the shower at the hospital barefoot. Bring some cheap flip flops to wear in the shower so you can keep your feet off the dirty floor.

8 . Robe: A robe can keep you warm and covered while still allowing you to breastfeed and allowing doctors to have access to your stomach to make sure everything is going okay.

9 . Nursing Pajamas/ Loungewear: No one wants to put on real clothes after giving birth, comfort is the way to go. Pack some nursing friendly, loose fitting pajamas or loungewear to wear after you’ve given birth.

10 . Going home outfit: We all think about what baby is going to wear to go home but we forget that we need clothes for that too. This could be a pair of your pajamas or a set of loungewear but either way make sure you pack something to wear as you’re going home.

11 . Nursing bra: You definitely want to make sure that you are supporting your newly engorged breasts so a nursing bra is a must pack.

12 . Breast pads: If your milk comes in while you are in the hospital you might start leaking so it’s a good idea to have at least a few breast pads in case you end up needing them.

13 . Nipple Cream: Breastfeeding can be painful at first as your nipples get used to everything. Bring some nipple cream to help soothe sore and cracked nipples. Learn more about great postpartum must haves here.

14 . Toiletries: I’m not going to list off all the individual toiletries you need but think things like toothbrush and toothpaste, hair things, shampoo, etc. Also don’t overpack in this department. You don’t need a curling iron or hair accessories, just bring the necessities.

15 . Snacks: The hospital has food but the cafeteria isn’t always open so bring some snacks for those midnight munchies.

16 . Blanket: Hospitals are known for being cold so bringing your own blanket can help keep you warm, not to mention it can help keep you a little more comfortable knowing you have something of your own.

17 . Long phone charger: When you are sitting in a hospital bed you might not have an outlet near you so bringing a long phone charger is helpful.

18 . Depends: Most of your postpartum supplies are supplied by the hospital (asks yours to make sure) but if you are wanting to try out adult diapers to help with bleeding then you should pack your own.

new mom bundle

Hospital Bag for Baby

A lot of what you need for baby is provided at the hospital. They provide diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, etc. But there are a few things you should bring from home for your newborn.

1 . Swaddle: The hospital will provide a swaddle blanket but it can be a good idea to bring a velcro swaddle to help baby stay swaddled.

2 . Going home outfit: Make sure you pack a going home outfit for baby so they can look all cute in your going home pictures!

3 . Onesies/sleepers: Our hospital provided a little baby shirt but it wasn’t enough to keep our daughter warm so we used clothes from home. Pack a few onesies or sleepers for your new little one.

4 . Carseat: Make sure you have your car seat properly installed in your car before going to the hospital. They will check it before they let you take baby home.

5 . Bottles/Formula: The hospital typically will provide this but if you are wanting to use a specific formula or specific bottles then it’s best to bring those from home.

There are more comprehensive lists out there but most of them tell you to pack wayyyy too much. As a first time mom, you are probably going to overpack and that’s fine but just know that you don’t need a ton of stuff. I think I used like 5 things from my hospital bag the whole time we were there! 

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