What to Pack for Labor and Delivery

You’ve probably been busy as a bee going through your baby’s nursery, organizing last minute baby clothes and items, making sure there’s some food in the freezer for those first few days with your newborn at home and feeling nervous (but excited!) that your little one is about to be welcomed into this world. While your home might be ready for your baby, you still have a bit of time at the hospital post-delivery.

One of the most important things to do in your third trimester is to pack your hospital bag. Keep in mind that this is for you, your partner and your baby. There’s no need to pack both your wardrobe and your baby’s nursery, but there are some basic essential items that you need to bring with you to ensure your hospital stay is as smooth and comfortable as possible.

Hospital Bag Packing List

So, the big day is almost here and you’re wondering what essential items you should bring with you to the hospital or birthing center. While the hospital will have some items such as basic toiletries, sanitary pads and disposable underwear, you’ll most likely want to be as prepared and comfortable as possible for your time there. Keep in mind also that as you put together your hospital bag that you don’t forget to include things for your newborn baby!

Essential documents and items

  • Driver’s license or another form of accepted identification card
  • Insurance card
  • Hospital paperwork that you’ve filled out
  • Your birth plan
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Baby’s outfit to wear home
  • Infant car seat that has been installed correctly

Hospital bag checklist for mom

Personal items:

  • Hair ties, hair clips, headband to keep your hair out of your face during labor and delivery
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash
  • Deodorant, lip balm, lotion, make up (if you prefer)
  • Hairbrush, comb, hairdryer. If you’re is too bulky, give this travel blow dryer a go.
  • Glasses, contact lens, saline solution
  • Shampoo, conditioner, face wash, soap, shower gel. Keep all your toiletry items together in this handy travel bag.
  • Sanitary pads to absorb the blood after delivery. The hospital will likely have some, but if you prefer a specific brand, you most definitely can bring your own. Make sure you have a supply at home for when you return as well
  • Nipple cream, nursing pads
  • A postpartum recovery kit can be handy so that you don’t have to remember all the items needed in your recovery. A c-section recovery kit is also available for moms who had a caesarean operation.


  • Maternity underwear that you don’t mind getting ruined. The hospital will have disposable pairs, so your choice on what you prefer to wear post-delivery
  • You may feel cold during delivery and your stay, so a cozy pair of socks will help!
  • Slippers, if you don’t have socks with grip soles
  • Nursing bra and breast pads if you plan on breastfeeding. A nursing pillow will help support you and baby as you feed
  • Pajamas
  • Comfortable clothes for post-delivery, such as maternity leggings. These are great since your belly will still look pregnant. If you have a c-section, you’ll want to pack some loose clothing
  • Flat, comfortable shoes for leaving the hospital

Food / Entertainment

  • Snacks – during labor and after delivery. Hospital meals are catered at certain times of the day, so if you feel hungry in between meals, you’ll have to bring your own food. Crackers, carrot sticks, apples, granola bars, dried fruit, trail mix, whatever you like to eat
  • Reusable water bottle. Labor is tiring and you’ll want to keep hydrated!
  • Books, magazines, puzzles, etc. are handy, especially if you have a long labor
  • Music or headphones if you’ve got a playlist for your hospital stay. Now might be a good time to grab a pair of wireless earphones if you don’t already have some. The last thing you want to do is to deal with tangled wires!

Hospital bag checklist for baby

If you’re planning on driving home, the most important thing to have for your baby is to have a car seat properly installed. Here are a few other things you can bring for your newborn:

  • A going home outfit. Check out this cute mom, dad and baby matching outfit! You may want to include socks and a hat if it’s cold
  • Baby blanket or muslin wrap. While at the hospital, this will be provided, but you may want to use your own to tuck your baby into the car seat on the way home. While not necessary, this hand embroidered and personalized baby blanket is too cute!
  • Nursing pillow if you plan on breastfeeding
  • Some burp cloths
  • Baby lotion, diaper cream and a few diapers

Hospital bag checklist for your partner

Personal items

  • Phone and charger
  • Camera or video camera, if you plan on documenting the big event.
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash
  • Gum, mints, lip balm
  • A pillow if staying overnight. For some reason, these things can be hard to come by in a hospital!


  • Underwear and fresh changes of clothing for the duration of hospital stay
  • Pajamas
  • Comfortable shoes for the hospital stay

Food / Entertainment

  • Snacks and water
  • Small bills or change in case you want to purchase from the hospital vending machines
  • Diversions such as a book, magazine, puzzles

While packing for the hospital may seem like a huge job, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to pack everything with you! Pack only the essentials, or you’ll likely bring items you won’t even use.



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