Everything you need to pack your hospital stay

Throughout your pregnancy, you may have spent a lot of time planning. From organizing the nursery to buying baby clothes and stocking up on supplies, you’re ready to finally welcome your little one, but first, you need to plan something else. Packing your hospital bag for your labor and delivery stay is just as important as planning for the arrival of your newborn, and we’re here to help you with your hospital bag checklist, so you don’t forget a thing.

When do you pack the bag?

One thing we know about babies is that they can be unpredictable, and as much as you plan for their arrival around your due date, things can change quickly! This means that you really don’t want to wait until the last minute to pack that hospital bag. Due dates aren’t always accurate and sometimes babies come earlier than expected, and you can get overwhelmed and tired as you near the end of your pregnancy.

You’ll want to have your hospital bag packed and ready to go early in your third trimester. Make sure your partner or other support person knows where your bag is so they can grab it, especially if you are not home when you need to go to the hospital.

What do you pack for mom?

Hopefully your time in the hospital will be short with your baby, but you still want to make sure you are comfortable and have everything you need. First, you need to think about what you will wear in the hospital and when you will leave the hospital. Remember that your body will undergo many changes after giving birth (but maybe not as many as you think) and comfort is key.

Choose loose-fitting clothes that are free of irritating seams that will rub against sore, sore skin. Choosing the right underwear is also important, especially if you end up having a caesarean section. You will need cotton underwear with a higher waist so that it does not irritate the stitches and will fit under your postpartum pads.

Here are some helpful checklists to tick off:


  • Maternity underwear or comfortable underwear that you don’t mind damaging
  • Nursing bras or other comfortable and supportive bras
  • Socks, such as slipper socks for slippery hospital floors and/or slippers
  • Comfortable sleepwear, whether it’s pajamas or sweatpants, or a robe – you’ll want layers because the hospital can get hot or cold
  • Slip-on shoes because you may not want to bend over to tie your laces after having a baby
  • Comfortable clothes to go home


  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Brush/comb and any hair buns, elastics or clips that you may want to hold your hair up
  • Lip balm, lotion, and any makeup you might want
  • Deodorant, face wash, shampoo and conditioner
  • Absorbent maxi pads (the hospital will have some, if you want to get your own)
  • A TOWEL FROM HOME – Hospital towels can be a little scratchy


  • Identity card and insurance
  • Pens for all these forms you will be filling out
  • Cell phone charger
  • birth plan (if applicable)
  • Glasses if you wear them
  • Book or magazine for long employment
  • A few snacks
  • An extra bag for packing gifts and samples provided by the hospital

What do you pack for a child?

The hospital will provide everything you need for your baby during your stay, including diapers, wipes, blankets, and gowns, but you’ll want to have some special items packed for your baby on their first trip home.

  • Your go-to home wear and hat (you may want to pack two different size options)
  • blanket for warmth
  • Pick up blankets or burp cloths for a quick cleanup on the way home
  • car seat
  • Pediatrician information
  • bottles if you do not plan to breastfeed

What to pack for anyone who supports labor and delivery

Although mom and baby are the priority when packing for the hospital stay, your partner or birth support person may also need some supplies. Packing a few snacks, such as granola bars and energy drinks, can be beneficial, especially if you’re working overnight. Cafeterias will be closed and grabbing something quick to grab can help your partner stay active without having to leave your side.

They should also have a change of clothes and a small bag of personal toiletry items to freshen up, especially if they don’t want to leave the hospital. Your partner might also want to download a few episodes of a favorite show, bring a book, or have some games handy to pass some of those long hours in the hospital.

Do you have to bring multiple bags?

Now is not the time to mobilize, and most people leave the hospital with more than they arrived with. Between the gifts for baby, the hospital supplies, and the paperwork that comes with a newborn, you’ll have your hands full when you leave the hospital. However, having one bag with your essentials, one for the baby, and one for any extras you might be considering bringing can help you easily access what you need during your hospital stay.

For new mothers who give birth without any complications, the typical hospital stay is between 1 and 2 days, so there is no need to pack for an extended stay. If you need an extended stay, you can always have a spare bag at home ready for someone to fetch for you.

Make your trip to the hospital as stress-free as possible by having everything you need packed and ready to go at least a few weeks before your due date. These items are just guidelines to help you decide what to put in your own bag. Everyone’s needs are different, and the most important thing is that you have properly planned and are ready to go before your baby is born.

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