What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Don’t forget these items on your list of what to pack in your hospital bag. Pack ahead of time, so you’re ready to grab your bag and embark on the great adventure of having your baby!

For Check in, Labor, and Delivery

  • Insurance card
  • Driver’s license or other photo ID
  • Several copies of your birth plan, if you have one
  • Cellphone, charger, and an extra-long charging cord (in case the bed isn’t close to an outlet for patients)
  • Glasses, if you wear them
  • Water bottle, juice boxes, Gatorade, etc.
  • Favorite snacks
  • Lip balm
  • Non-skid slipper socks or flip-flops (the hospital may provide these, but if you have your own favorites, bring them just in case)
  • Tunes – work up a playlist that helps you focus, calms you, and energizes you if you want music during labor; bring a Bluetooth speaker if the hospital allows
  • Headband or ponytail holder – you’ll want to keep your hair off your face and your sweat from dripping in your eyes
  • Your own comfy pillow
  • Books, magazines, a tablet, and a phone for your partner to entertain or distract themselves if necessary (at least one device with a camera!)

For Your Hospital Stay After Giving Birth

  • Cozy bathrobe
  • Comfy nightgown or two
  • Extra, old, big fat underwear – post-partum pads are huge, and you’ll need undies that can accommodate
  • Nursing bras
  • Milk Snob car seat cover and breastfeeding cover, for privacy while nursing and protection for the baby on the way home
  • Breast pump, in case the baby must stay in the nursery or NICU between feedings
  • Cash – for snacks and alternatives to hospital food
  • Toiletries – that first shower after giving birth will feel even more wonderful with your own personal care items; bring a comb, brush, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash and lotion, deodorant, moisturizer and makeup, more hair ties, and nipple cream if you’ll be nursing

For Departure and the Ride Home

  • Properly installed and inspected car seat (the hospital won’t let you leave without one)
  • Comfortable outfit for the journey back home
  • A selection of different-sized outfits for baby to travel home; don’t forget socks, booties, and baby mittens to protect the infant from tiny fingernail scratches (yes, fingernails at birth!)
  • Pediatrician’s contact information – your OB and nurses will need to forward your baby’s file

Remembering what to pack in your hospital bag is tough in the frantic moments when the contractions are coming closer by the minute. You may have more items to add to this list. Pack ahead of time and remember to bring an extra empty carrying bag for all the freebies you’ll receive on your way out the hospital door with the newest addition to your family!