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What to Pack in the Hospital Bag

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hospital bag packing list


I’ll be honest, after baby #1, packing the hospital bag has gotten moved further and further down my to-do list. My husband was actually packing the hospital bag while I was laboring with #3. I would really like one less thing to have to worry about, so I’m going ahead and packing our hospital bag with 3 weeks left until my due date. {Pack the basics as soon as possible and make a list of the last minute things that can be added at the last minute. Trust me. That way your husband isn’t throwing randomness in bags when you start having contractions at 37 weeks and are about to head to the hospital. Just sayin’.}

This may or may not have anything to do with the fact that I had spotting yesterday morning and the midwife insisted on checking me. I usually ask to not be checked until absolutely necessary. In the past, I’ve been completely closed with zero effacement and went into labor the next day. On Tuesday, after the spotting, the midwife insisted on checking me, and I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. This baby is coming soon, people.

This is real. It’s happening. I need to get this bag packed.

I always pack two bags – one for labor and one for after delivery. We bring our labor bag into the hospital with us when we get there. At the hospital where I deliver, you birth in one room and then move to a different room after the baby is born. After delivery, my husband takes the labor bag out to the car and brings in the hospital stay bag. It’s worked out for us with the other 3 births. The less “stuff” the better.

Labor and Delivery Bag

  • Birth Plan. I have one in the bag, and hand one to the nurse when they check me in. I have also previously given the midwife one at the doctor’s office. I want to make sure they are aware of my wishes during labor and delivery.
  • Picture ID, Insurance Card, and Hospital Paperwork you may have.
  • 2-3 pairs of non-skid socks that can be thrown away if necessary. These are great for walking the hallways during labor.
  • lip balm
  • sugar-free hard candy to keep your mouth from getting dry (I always pack it, but rarely if even use them. I tend to prefer ice (affiliate link) chips.)
  • raw honey sticks for natural energy (counts as a clear liquid)
  • glasses (if you wear them)
  • Scripture Cards to meditate on
  • Picture to use as a focal point
  • Pen and Paper
  • Music to play (preferably on a separate iPod or other device so you aren’t distracted by text messages or phone calls  coming in asking for updates)
  • Ponytail holder or headband. Something to hold your hair back with.
  • Change and Dollar Bills for the vending machines.
  • List of people to call/text after the birth.
  • Phone and phone charger.
  • Camera and camera battery charger.
  • Tablet/laptop and charger.
  • Warm clothes for husband (apparently it gets cold in the labor and delivery room. I’ve never noticed).
  • Swim Trunks for husband (just in case I need support in the shower).
  • Baby Book so the nurse can put in baby’s footprints and you can go ahead and record their stats.
  • Relaxation tools:
    • massage oil
    • essential oil diffuser
    • essential oils
    • tennis balls
    • exercise ball
    • hot pack
  • Snacks for husband.
  • My Mod Mum Delivery Gown. Adorable! So much better than the ones they hand you at the hospital!
  • Back massager
  • playlist on your phone or MP3 player

Hospital Stay Bag

  • Robe
  • Non-skid socks
  • slippers or flip-flops
  • Toiletries:
    • toothbrush and toothpaste
    • shower gel
    • shampoo and conditioner
    • mousse or gel for hair
    • make-up
    • deodorant
    • lip balm
    • brush/comb
  • Gifts for older siblings. Not a must, but it might help them with the transition.
  • My Brest Friend Deluxe Pillow
  • dark lounge pants
  • nursing tanks
  • loose fitting shirts
  • Lilla Rose Princess Flexi to keep my hair out of my face
  • Going Home outfit for baby
  • sleeper/pj’s for baby if you want (Honestly, I just keep baby wrapped up in the blanket and use the kimono style shirts our hospital provides with their diaper.)
  • Overnight pads if you are picky and want to use your own or use mama cloth. I use the ones the hospital provides.
  • Underwear that you don’t care if it gets dirty, or use the mesh, disposable underwear provided by the hospital.
  • Snacks and Coconut water
  • White noise machine
  • pillow if you have a certain one that you can not sleep without
  • blanket for baby when it’s time to go home
  • Contact list of everyone who needs to know about the exciting birth of your new baby!!

Additional To-Do’s

  • install infant seat in the car you will be driving to the hospital. I keep wanting to put it in our van with all the other seats, but we’ll be taking my husband’s SUV to the hospital.
  • Purchase Sibling Shirts. I ordered these from For the Little Peeps on Etsy (affiliate link). Two with pink chevron and two with grey chevron. I can’t wait to see them!! Hopefully the kids can wear them to the hospital.
  • If you have older children, line up people who can care for the older children while you are in the hospital. I’d even suggest having emergency back-ups. Maybe even back-ups for your back-ups.

I tried to think of everything we will need to pack. Did I forget anything?

What are your must-haves for hospital deliveries?

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Kelley at {Forever's Like a Dream}

Monday 10th of March 2014

This is a really great checklist. I had no clue what to expect the first time around and I'm pretty sure I forgot stuff the second. Being organized AHEAD of time is key! ;)

Whitney at Beauty in the Mess

Monday 10th of March 2014

It really is. You never know when they will make their appearance! I just finished going through the bags again to make sure we have everything. Not like the previous birth where my husband was packing the bag while I was still laboring at home. Ha!


Friday 7th of March 2014

I have found baby nail clippers, cute baby hat, and baby socks to be helpful.

I let my older children make a "Welcome, Baby" banner for the room and a "It's a Girl/Boy" banner for my door. I checked ahead of time regarding what the policy for hanging things of the door and walls. When the children came to visit, they were so proud of their work. It also was a nice conversation piece to include them.

On our last 2 babies, I baked cookies for the nurses' station as a thank you from us. I froze them in the gift bags the week I was due. Then my husband brought them to the hosp. the day after the baby was born.

Having thank you notes with me made keeping up with visitors' gifts easy and as well as recording them in his/her baby book.

Our tradition is that we buy the local paper and USA Today on their birthday for them to read later.

Whitney at Beauty in the Mess

Monday 10th of March 2014

I have always wanted to bring a treat for the staff but wasn't sure how to do that. Freezing cookies is a great idea!! I love the banner idea too. I'm trying to remember if we're allowed to hang things on the door. I want to say no. But that doesn't mean we couldn't decorate a corner of the room or something. They would love that! Where do you find cute baby hats? I'd love to take one! We have so many of the blue, pink, white stripped hats. It would be fun to have something different for baby girl.

Jennifer Bullock (@MommyBKnowsBest)

Friday 7th of March 2014

This is an AWESOME list of things you need to pack in the hospital bag. You'll be so ready when she comes!

Jamie Rippy (@MamaMommyMom)

Friday 7th of March 2014

With my first kid, I had a well planned, well packed bag. I didn't use 90% of it. With #2, I took my purse, a change of clothes, my laptop and that's about it. I did things so differently the second time around!