Labor & Delivery Hospital Bag Checklist

My best friend is having a baby next month and I am so gosh darn excited for her! This will be her first child, so throughout her pregnancy I have been sharing all sorts of advice with her (some solicited, some not). To help her prepare for her baby boy’s arrival, I am dedicating this blog post to hospital bag packing!

I have a reputation for over packing; just ask my husband. I usually start packing for vacations and trips over a week in advance because that gives me time to add things I have forgotten, switch things out, buy things I didn’t know I needed, etc. If the Girl Scouts taught me anything in life it was “be prepared”; and that motto is reflected in my packing. Rain, shine, snow, illness, etc. – there is something in my bag that you didn’t know you needed!

That being said, I did tone down my list and tried to include the items I think would be useful for every mama-to-be.



  1. Pajama Pants – You will want to be comfy and if you have a C-section make sure they are loose fitting! I don’t know about you but I am NOT a fan of hospital gowns.
  2. Nursing Tanks – To wear with your pants. These make those first few days of latching SO much easier.
  3. Nursing Bras – Same as above, but for wearing under regular shirts!
  4. Robe – This is not a MUST, but robes are comfortable and easy to throw on when the doctors/nurses knock on your door to check in – which will be OFTEN.
  5. Slippers – You won’t have time to fuss with shoes; stay comfy and warm by bringing your favorite slippers.
  6. Flip Flops – For the hospital shower. While I am sure they are very clean and sanitary, I prefer flip flops when using public showers/restrooms.
  7. Makeup – Only if you want to cover up tired eyes or hormonal zits. I packed mascara and blush only, and I don’t even think I used it. Who has time for that?!
  8. Hair Dryer/Brush – If you are lucky enough to grab a quick shower, bring these!
  9. Nursing Pads – If you are planning to nurse and your milk comes in quickly, nursing pads are convenient to prevent leaks!
  10. Toiletries – Bring the usual travel items like shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body wash, tooth brush and tooth paste, deodorant, etc.
  11. Socks – Hospitals are COLD.
  12. Hair Ties – You will probably want your hair out of your face during labor…..
  13. Chapstick – The whole no food (or fluids with a C-section) really does a number on your lips!
  14. Bath Towel – My hospital provided these, but they were tiny!
  15. Pumping Bra – Too help your milk come in you may be loaned a hospital-grade pump during your stay. Bring your pumping bra to multitask and remain hands-free.
  16. Going Home Outfit – Something to wear home from the outfit and probably for photos. Again, comfort is key.
  17. Phone Charger – Your battery is going to drain fast from all the photos you take and congratulatory messages you receive!
  18. Sweatshirt – Again, its cold.
  19. Dry Shampoo – This is a life saver, especially if you do not find the time to shower!


  1. Pajama Pants – If he plans to stay at the hospital overnight, bring comfy PJ pants.
  2. Athletic Shorts/Sweatpants – For daytime comfort.
  3. Toiletries – See above.
  4. Socks – COLD.
  5. Bath Towel
  6. Sweatshirt
  7. T-shirts
  8. Phone Charger
  9. Sandles – For shower
  10. Sneakers



  1. Going Home Outfit
  2. Boppy – Or any nursing pillow if you plan to breastfeed.
  3. Swaddle Blankets – The hospital will provide blankets for baby, but I recommend bringing your own cute ones for photos!
  4. Pajamas – My hospital provided small white tops for baby, but I prefer to bring footie pajamas to keep them warm.
  5. Onesies – See above. Warmth.
  6. Hat – If you have a personalized one for photos!
  7. Socks
  8. Binky Clip – If you are planning to introduce a binky, a binky clip is very handy because those little suckers (pun intended) just disappear!



  1. Car Seat – Hospitals require that you have the car seat properly installed before you can leave with baby.
  2. Car Seat Cover – A heavy one for the winter months, lightweight for warmer months to shield from the sun when getting to the car.
  3. Extra Blankets – I loved bringing blankets from home, especially because I am always cold.
  4. Extra Pillows – The hospital will provide pillows but bring some extra, especially if you like more than one.
  5. Camera – If you don’t plan on using your phone. Don’t forget the charger!
  6. Note Pad/Pen – For writing down the gifts you receive from visitors.
  7. Bags for Carrying Gifts – To carry home the gifts you receive from visitors as well as the diapers, wipes, creams, blankets, paperwork, etc., you receive at the hospital.
  8. Snacks – My hospital had a snack room but the choices were limited.
  9. Drinks – Hospitals won’t offer sugary drinks like regular soda or sports drinks. So it might be helpful to bring your own.
  10. Depends – Yes, the adult diapers. They are way more comfortable than the pads and mesh underwear they will provide. And plan to bleed for several weeks….
  11. Insurance/Important Medical Info – Make sure you have all the paperwork you need!


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