After so many months of anticipation, your bundle of joy is about to arrive. You are probably wondering, what should be in your hospital bag for labor and delivery.
With all the exhaustion that comes with pregnancy and everything you need to prepare for, a hospital bag checklist for labor and delivery is exactly what you need to make your life easier.
When to have your hospital bag ready
Most women start preparing for delivery once they hit the third trimester which starts at 28 weeks.
Given that you are considered to be at term at 37 weeks, it is recommended that you have your hospital bag ready by around 36 weeks to 37 weeks.
What to pack in your hospital bag for delivery
Some people like to pack more than others and our preferences differ so pack as much or as little as you are comfortable with.
I am more of a backpack-sized packer but I have seen friends haul huge suitcases in for labor so really it is a matter of what makes you happy.
In this post, I am drawing from my experience as a second-time mom as well as recommendations from my mommy friends to provide a comprehensive checklist that you can use.
This checklist contains both the most essential items that will help you have a comfortable stay at the hospital as well as the additional items that may be good to have but are not absolutely necessary.
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Depending on your situation you will not need everything here so feel free to use your discretion.
Hospital bag Checklist for delivery – Mom
Here are the things you need to pack in your hospital bag for mommy:
- Birth plan (if you have one)
- Hospital paperwork – carry your ID, Insurance Card and any other paperwork that you might need at the hospital
- Nursing bra – A comfortable nursing bra like this one can go a long way.
- Nipple cream – If you are planning on breastfeeding it might be a good idea to pack this for your nipples.
- Hair ties – if you have long hair you don’t want it to get in your way during labor.
- Lip balm
- Toiletries – carry your toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, facial cleanser, bathing soap/body wash, lotion/moisturizer, deodorant.
- Slip-on shoes – Crocs or flip-flops can do
- A comfortable bathrobe
- A going home outfit – a loose-fitting dress or a tank top and loose-fitting pants like joggers are a good choice.
- Drinks – carry a water bottle or your favorite drink for hydration.
- Phone and charger – preferably have an extra-long charging cord because the sockets at the hospital are usually a bit far from the bed.
Additional Items for Mom (Not necessary but good to have)
- Makeup kit – if you are planning to do a photoshoot while at the hospital and would like to touch up a little.
- A labor/delivery gown – The hospital gowns can be sufficient, but if you find them ugly and would like to look and feel good in something better looking, a gown like this one can do the trick. I got it for myself and totally loved it.
- Pillows & Bath towels – the hospital provides pillows and towels but they are not luxurious. If you are picky about your pillows and towels, then be sure to carry some.
- Nursing pads – you probably won’t need them but in case your milk comes in plenty while you are still at the hospital, you don’t want it leaking onto your clothes.
- Perineal spray and peri bottle – these will come in handy for postpartum care of your lady bits down there.
Hospital bag Checklist for delivery – Baby
Baby will not need much while you are at the hospital as things like diapers, blankets are provided while at the hospital.
Most of what you bring for baby are things you will need when leaving the hospital rather than during the hospital stay.
- Going home outfit – A onesie and a simple footed sleep and play like this one or a cute 3-piece outfit is enough. Most moms, myself included, will advise you to carry two outfits. One should be in newborn size and the other 0-3months because you don’t know what size the baby is going to be.
- Socks – if you are carrying an outfit that’s not footed.
- Soft blanket – for swaddling/ covering the baby when going home. This is my favorite.
- Car seat – The car seat should be installed in the car, don’t carry it to the labor/delivery room 🙂
- you can opt for an infant car seat like this or a convertible one like this one. Make sure the car seat is properly installed as the hospital staff will not help you to install your car seat or put your baby in the car seat to avoid liability. If you are not sure how to install, you can have your car seat inspected at your local police department or by a local CPS technician near you.
Hospital bag Checklist for delivery – Dad
- Lots of snacks. Most hospitals provide food for mom but not for dad.
- Convenience kit e.g. toothbrush, moisturizer, etc.
- Change of clothes. Well, at least a shirt and underwear
- Camera or a fully charged phone for pictures. You want to capture the first moments when the baby arrives. How the baby looks changes very fast within the first 24 hours so get as many pictures as you can.
- Pillow and blanket– some hospitals do provide these while others may not. Leave them in the car in case you need them.
- Entertainment – a book, iPad, laptop or Bluetooth headphones with some entertainment can suffice in case of some downtime while at the hospital.
Things you don’t need to carry because the hospital will provide
Most if not all hospitals do provide these items. However, it is always a good idea to ask what is provided during your maternity tour. It will help you avoid carrying a whole lot of unnecessary stuff.
Here is a list of items that will be provided to you:
- Baby wipes
- Giant mesh underwear
- Maxi pads for post-partum bleeding
Now that your hospital bag for delivery and labor is fully packed, it is time to wait for the baby to arrive at any time.
What item do you think you cannot do without in your hospital bag? Did I miss something in the checklist, share with your fellow mamas in the comments.