Hospital Checklist: What to Pack for Labor & Delivery

For some reason I’ve been on a streak with having “feelings” about when people around me are about to deliver, even without knowing. I always get a hunch, maybe it’s the nesting hormones that come with pregnancy, but I always seem to know when to ask my friends, “Have you packed your car yet? Are you ready to go?” It could just start out as a conversational starter with my about-to-pop friends and their spouses, but nonetheless within 1-3 days after asking this, they’ve gone into labor! Even with my own pregnancy, I had packed and prepared our getaway car the day before I gave birth (a day over two weeks before my due date), must’ve been those ‘nesting hormones’ I was just telling you about. Funny thing is I actually posted pictures of our getaway loot in my SUV on Instagram followed with the next few photos of us at the hospital, almost like we had planned it or something. I remember being so giddy about the whole ordeal of “packing for the hospital” and packing so many things that others had listed on Pinterest while also adding a ton of my own cutesy registry gifts and such. But in all honesty, I definitely “overpacked” and could’ve gone in with a lot smaller bag. So here it goes, for the second time around – here’s my hospital checklist for what to pack for labor and delivery (if everything goes the way of my birth plan that is).

The Hospital Bag Essentials For Mom:

  • PJs (one or two sets): Make sure the top has easy access to nursing (if you plan on nursing). Button-downs and stretchy, loose fabrics are best. My list is more in preparation for my birth plan of having a vaginal delivery, but if I were to plan this for a c-section I would also include a very loose top and low rise PJ bottoms or a loose gown so that the material doesn’t interfere with any stitches or whatnot. These are what you will pretty much live in while you’re enjoying the hopefully short-lived hospital life so I put this on top of the list. Otherwise you will probably stay in your hospital gown (you know the one with the holes on the side, slit in the back, just a tad too revealing for my comforts -gown).
  • Robe: Last time around I brought my adorable size xs Betsy Johnson pink and black robe, when in reality I should’ve went with a lot looser robe, maybe one with a bit thickness since I couldn’t get as warm as I would’ve liked to be in the hospital and would’ve loved to have had  a robe that was more blanket-like than anything. So this time I plan to bring something that falls within those lines.
  • Nursing Bra(s): One or two comfortable nursing bras that are easy to wear and take off would be best. I didn’t bring this item last time and really wished I did for my comfort when friends and family visited.
  • Underwear: A few pairs, or maybe more of those comfortable cotton granny-panty-like knickers are best, especially if you give birth vaginally since you’ll most likely be wearing those gigantic pads (that you never even knew existed until now).
  • Slippers: Think of those warm fuzzy ones that make you feel at home, heck bring your most worn favorite slippers from home – you’ll want them! My last time around I only brought socks and found it quite annoying to put on and take off just to go to the restroom or change a diaper.
  • Coming Home Outfit: This isn’t going to be the most stylish outfit you have in your closet, or maybe it is, but it’s definitely one of the most comfy of outfits!

For Dad:

  • PJs
  • Boxer/Briefs
  • Slippers
  • Coming Home Outfit

Toiletries: (Most hospitals will supply you the witch hazel pads, maxi pads, Dermoplast spray, hemorrhoid cream, ointments, etc., but if you already have preferences on brands, etc. for these you can pack your own.)

  • His/Hers Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Body Wash/Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Contact case and solution for contact wearers and glasses and glasses case for glasses wearers
  • Razor
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Hairbrush and Comb
  • Makeup Removing Face Wipes
  • Lip Balm
  • Face Lotion

For Baby: (The hospital will already have receiving blankets and beanies for use during your stay, but if you have your own that you would like to use make sure it’s washed first before bringing.)

  • Beanie
  • Receiving Blanket(s)
  • Onesies/PJs
  • Going Home Outfit
  • Anti-scratch Mittens

Nourishments/Snacks: (Dad will thank you for these!)

  • Prenatal Vitamins
  • Crackers/Cookies/Chips
  • Dried Fruit/Fruit Snacks
  • Snack Bars
  • Juices/Vitamin Water/Gatorade


  • iPad/Charger
  • iPhone/Cell Phone
  • Phone Charger
  • Camera

Caring For Baby:

  • Boppy/Nursing Pillow
  • Car Seat
  • Nursing Pads

There are of the essentials like Witch Hazel pads, large overnight max pads, Dermoplast spray, hemorrhoid cream, nipple balm, etc. But many of these are provided by the hospital already, those including the nice little squirt bottle too, so no need to bring them!

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