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Hospital Bag Checklist (Packing For Mom and Baby)

Hospital Bag Checklist

With your due date approaching, it’s the right time to start packing your hospital bag. If you don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered with some ideas in this hospital bag checklist. Below are all the hospital bag essentials you should pack to have a smoother and more pleasant experience in the hospital or birthing center.

Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom

As you’re getting ready to pack your hospital bag, you probably have plenty of items in mind. We split the ultimate hospital bag checklist for mom into pre-delivery, post delivery, and optional.

Pre-Delivery Items

Make sure to pack these pre-delivery items in your go bag.

The Documentation

Gather your picture ID, insurance card, and hospital paperwork ahead of time. The copies should be ready for hospital staff to review when necessary. You’ll have to show your medical card and other documents when you get to the hospital, so keep these files at the top of your hospital bag.

If you have a birth plan, bring it along with the documentation. Should the nurses or doctors have any last-minute questions, they can always check the plan.

Ideally, contact your hospital or birth center ahead of time about the documents you should bring.

Comfy Clothes and Bathrobe

Comfortable, lightweight clothing is a must for any hospital stay, and labor and delivery are at the top of the list.

You’ll thank yourself for bringing a bathrobe, especially if you end up staying in the hospital for a few days.

Bring several pairs of undies and socks (cotton or wool, depending on the weather) to the hospital or birth center. You may feel cold during labor and delivery, and socks can help you warm up.

Consider a nightgown if this is what you find most comfortable to wear, especially following the delivery. While wearing the hospital gown can be convenient, nothing beats your own comfy lounge wear.

You’ll also want to pack some comfortable clothes to wear home after leaving the hospital.

Flip Flops or Slippers

Flip flops and slippers are easy to put on and off as you get up from the bed, take a shower, or use the bathroom. Many moms wear slippers at home and in the hospital because their feet get swollen.

Personal Items and Cosmetics

While some new moms stay in the hospital for less than 24 hours after a vaginal birth, some C section and other high-risk births require a longer stay. Packing personal items and toiletries is always a good idea to feel fresh throughout your stay.

Take your favorite body lotion and body and face wash to the hospital to use after showering. You’ll feel instantly relaxed. You can also pack a massage oil if you find massages relaxing during labor.

Here’s a list of cosmetics and accessories you may want to pack in your hospital bag:

  • Lip balm
  • Body wash
  • Deodorant
  • Body lotion
  • Headband
  • Hair brush
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Dry shampoo
  • Hair ties

Charging Cord (A Long One!)

Hospital and birthing center beds are often far away from electrical sockets. You may need an extra long charging cord to keep your cell phone and other devices fully charged during your stay there.

If you bring more than one device (phones, tablets, laptops), consider a cube that can charge multiple devices.


Take your favorite pillow from home to the hospital. While there is a chance the hospital or birth center will have a comfortable pillow, you can also end up with the wrong kind. Better to be safe than sorry.

Just make sure to bring a colored pillowcase to avoid mixing your pillow with the hospital pillows.

Bath Towel

Most hospital towels are thin and small. Many women bring their own towels for added comfort. Bring one larger for taking showers and a smaller one for your face.

Snacks, Drinks, and Food

If you want to snack on more than hospital food, think granola bars, dried fruit, fresh veggies, trail mix, refreshing drinks, iced tea, Skittles, or anything you like to eat and drink during pregnancy.

However, don’t overpack on food. Rely on your partner or family members to provide you with snacks in case your stay in the hospital is longer than expected.

Post Delivery Items

Below are all the essentials to include in your bag for after the baby arrives.

Nipple Cream

Nipple cream is a must if you plan on breastfeeding the baby. It helps soothe the skin around the nipples, and you’ll most likely need it on the first day of breastfeeding.

Mesh Underwear and Maternity Pads

Hospitals usually provide mesh underwear and pads upon delivery, but you may find adult diapers to be more comfortable, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Perineal spray, absorbent underwear, sanitary pads, and similar postpartum recovery items will make your stay in the hospital much more comfortable.

Nursing Bra

A nursing bra and nursing pads will make the early days of breastfeeding more convenient and easier.

Hospital Bag Checklist – Optional Items

  • Entertainment. In the best scenario, you’ll only spend a day or so in the hospital. However, you should be prepared for a longer stays as well. Bring some magazines, books for easy reading, earbuds, or a tablet for streaming movies or TV shows.
  • Breastfeeding or nursing pillow to make the breastfeeding sessions comfier
  • Reference books or handouts
  • Big brother or sister gift for the baby
  • Cash or card to pay for parking and vending machines
  • Driver’s license
  • Extra bag for hospital goodies
  • Camera
  • Soothing items like photographs, prayer beads, and the like
  • Eye mask and earplugs to relax while in the maternity ward
  • Cord blood kit if you plan to bank the baby’s cord blood
  • Baby book to insert new baby’s footprints
  • Baby nail clippers
  • Blood pressure cuff

Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby

As you pack a hospital bag, make sure to leave some space (though you won’t need much) for the baby gear.

packing checklist

Baby Clothes

  • Coming home outfit. Choose an adorable going home outfit, and don’t forget to take pictures!
  • Onesies. Although your hospital or birthing center will likely provide this, you can bring a pair of your own.
  • Socks and booties
  • Knit cap if it’s cold outside


In case of a longer hospital stay, have a couple of bottles for water and milk.


Bring a blanket to make your baby all cozy and warm for outside regardless of the season.

Car Seat

The new baby will need to have a car seat for the ride home.

What Not to Put in the Hospital Bag Checklist

  • Wipes and diapers (many moms bring these for themselves and the baby, but the hospital will have plenty).
  • Excessive clothing for the mom and the baby.
  • Valuables like jewelry, watches, and anything you can’t afford to lose.
  • Too much cash.


Planning what to include in your hospital bag can take time. You should have your hospital bag ready by your 35th week in case you go into early labor. Whether you’re there for a day or have a longer recovery, the items above will help make your hospital stay smoother. Remember to only take the essentials, and we highly recommend an extra bag for all the hospital goodies!

Jessica Daniels

Hey there! I’m Jessica Daniels, the owner of Posh Tots and a proud mom of two.

Me and my team of experts (who also happen to be moms) test and review parenting products, and share our tips and tricks to help you make informed choices for your little ones.

Let’s navigate this crazy parenting journey together!

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