Overhead view of a pregnant woman in a blue shirt packing a bag to take to the hospital for when she gives birth.

Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom and Baby (and Dad, too!)

You’re excited about the arrival of your new baby. Your nesting has paid off – the nursery is immaculately laid out and your birth plan is ready to go. The little one could come any day, minute or second now. So, you have your hospital bag packed, right?

After having five children, we’d like to think that we have mastered the art of packing the perfect hospital bag. We suggest packing your hospital bag 32-35 weeks into pregnancy. This will give you enough time to get everything in order without rushing, but isn’t so early that you find yourself impulsively overpacking.

Here is our complete hospital bag checklist for mom and baby, plus a few things you can leave at home.

Toiletry Must Haves:

  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Soap, deodorant & lotion  
  • Comb/brush & hair tie
  • Lip balm
  • Eye glasses or contact solution & case
  • Adult diaper or extra-large sanitary pads: Let’s face it, things can get messy.

Mommy Must Haves:

  • Birth plan: I’m sure you and your provider have reviewed it, but in the unlikely event your provider does not have it readily available, you’ll have it!
  • Driver’s license & insurance card: To show registration during the check-in process.
  • Quality ink pen: The hospital will likely give you a stack of papers to complete and hunting down a pen is the last thing you want to do.
  • Completed paperwork: That being said, check with your hospital to see if there are any forms you can print and fill out at home pre-delivery.

Wardrobe Must Haves:

  • Comfortable robe: That hospital gown is uncomfortable when you’re taking laps around the unit.
  • Unrestricted outfit: For wearing home. Don’t forget a nursing bra and some comfy slippers.

Relaxation Must Haves:

  • Your favorite playlist or podcast: When you’re nervous or in pain, you won’t be in the mood to create the perfect lineup of songs. You may event want to bring a portable speaker.
  • Essential oil of choice: For massaging or to diffuse, in which case you’ll also need to bring a diffuser.
  • Favorite Pillow: For neck and/or back support.

Snack & Beverage Must Haves:

  • Light snacks: It’s likely you’ll be hungry and worn out post-delivery. I mean, let’s face it, you just brought life into this world – and that’s no small task!
  • Water & an electrolyte-based drink: If you’re not able to drink water during labor, having fluids on deck afterwards will be a life saver.

Baby Bag Must Haves:

  • Cute, comfortable newborn onesies: We suggest bringing both a newborn and a 0-3-month sized outfit in case baby is on the larger side.
  • Baby blanket: It’s likely that your hospital can provide a blanket, but you may want to use your own.
  • Baby socks, hat & gloves: Because the real world isn’t as warm and cozy as the womb.

Family Bag (Spouse’s Bag) Must Haves:

  • Camera/phone: Don’t forget this important item to capture the excitement!
  • MULTIPLE device chargers: So you won’t fight over just one.
  • Blanket and pillow: To keep Dad cozy, too.
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste: In case you’re in for a long night.
  • Treats for Dad: Just make sure Mommy doesn’t see or you’ll be forced to forfeit the bounty.

Things You Can Leave at Home:

  • Diapers & wipes: Unless you have a preferred brand, the hospital will send you home with a pack of each.
  • Breast pump: If you find that you need a pump during your stay, you can always rent one from the hospital.
  • Wedding bands & nice jewelry: You don’t want to risk misplacing a nice piece of jewelry during such an amazing life moment
  • Stress!: Try to relax and enjoy every moment.

Looking for more pre-baby tips? Check out this guide to pregnancy for first-time dads!

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