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  • Writer's pictureFFM

Hospital Bag Checklist

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

Your Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist!

hospital bag checklist

It's an exciting time as you prepare to welcome your baby into the world. One essential task on your pre-baby to-do list is packing the hospital bag. Don't worry, I've got you covered. I learned how to pack just the right amount, not too little or too much! I had an unmedicated vaginal birth, but I think this list would be helpful for anyone!

If you'd like to print and start checking off your items, download our Hospital Bag Checklist printable.

Labor Comfort:

  • Birth preferences/plan, if you want to bring one. A birth plan is an easy way to communicate with your nurses about your preferences. To read more about creating your birth plan, visit our What is a Birth Plan? post and download our birth plan template. Just download, print, fill it out and bring a couple copies with you to the hospital.

  • Bring a full reusable water bottle

  • Other drinks: Coconut water and Body Armors are both great for hydration. I also love Liquid IVs- just add the powder to your water bottle to get hydration, electrolytes and some sugar which is helpful for energy levels during and after birth.

  • Snacks! I went through so many snacks during labor and the days in the hospital (even when you get to postpartum, most hospital meal portions are not very large, so I was very happy I had plenty of snacks). I packed a cooler with yogurts, string cheese, protein bars, protein drinks, dried fruit, trail mix, candy, etc. If you have anxiety, eating sour candy can help distract you!

  • Bluetooth speaker for a comfortable atmosphere (headphones if you want those too)

  • Having a small portable fan was a must-have for me as I got very hot during labor.

  • Fine tooth comb to distract from contractions. I personally didn't end up using one during my birth, but a lot of people love them and they're small, so why not throw one in your bag.

  • A portable massage gun is definitely an optional comfort tool for labor, but I loved using mine on my low-back during early labor as it was relaxing and distracting.

  • Bathing suit if you think you'll want to shower or use a birthing tub during labor + a swimsuit for your partner if you think they'll join.

  • Essential oils and a small diffuser if desired.

Essentials for You:

  • Photo ID

  • Phone + extra long phone charger

  • Hospital paperwork, if you filled it out beforehand.

  • Slippers or grippy socks

  • Comfy, loose fitting clothes like these. I also brought this nightgown which has buttons for easy breastfeeding access, but I mostly wore the comfy lounge set. I didn't even wear a nursing bra while in the hospital, but if you think you'll want one, here is my favorite nursing bra. No need to pack a bunch of clothes that you probably will not touch.

  • A couple pairs of underwear if you think you'll want them. I personally preferred the hospital's mesh undies for those first few days and then used these when I got home.

  • Toiletries: toothbrush and toothpaste, skincare, shampoo/conditioner, chapstick, etc.

  • The hospital will have pretty much everything you need for postpartum, but if you want your own upside-down peri bottle instead of the one that the hospital provides, you can bring that too. I personally thought the postpartum items at the hospital were fine, and then I used the upside-down peri bottle, dermaplast spray, and perineal foam for recovery when I got home.

  • For breastfeeding, you should definitely bring your own nipple cream, Silverette cups, and breast pump if you want to try it out. To learn more about breastfeeding and pumping visit my How to Breastfeed and Pump post.

  • Your own pillow and a soft blanket are great. I kept mine in the car until we moved to the postpartum room.

  • Cough drops - I really wanted these after labor.

  • Shower shoes - A must have for the hospital showers.

Baby's Necessities:

  • Going home outfit

  • Name plate for baby's first photos

  • The hospital will provide just about everything else: receiving blankets, hat, diapers, wipes, etc., but you can consider bringing your own soft swaddle blankets, if you'd like (sometimes the hospital swaddle blanket material is a bit rough).

Packing your hospital bag is so exciting! It means baby isn't too far away! By following this checklist, you'll be well-prepared for your hospital stay, ensuring that you can focus on the most important thing—welcoming your beautiful baby into the world. Wishing you a safe and smooth delivery! Let me know if this checklist helped you out in the comments below.

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