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Hospital Bag: What to Pack

Hospital/Birth Center Bag Preparation

What to pack, what not to pack…it is a question asked every day by expectant moms in their preparation for birth. Here is a list of items we have found to be helpful and used by many of our clients. While some items may not be on your packing list, we hope this handy printable file will make things easier for preparing you for the big day! The options are endless but remember you have to pack it all back home so try not to overpack!


  • Elastic Waist Pajamas- Always more comfortable post birth regardless of cesarean or vaginal delivery.

  • Zip Front Hoodie or Cardigan- It might be cold in your room and a top that opens easily by buttons or zippers is great for frequent skin to skin.

  • Gown- Comfortable for recovery especially for cesarean births. Also allows for easier changing of ice packs and pads.

  • House Shoes- Bare feet and hospital floors are generally a bad combination.

  • Flip Flops- Same thing! Bare feet and hospital showers/floors don’t mix well!

  • Socks- (Thick/Nonslip) Again, keep those feet warm and off the floor while bare foot!

  • Robe- Ideal for recovery time

  • Panties- A good idea to pack anytime you are away from home!

  • Bra(s)- Don’t forget this!

  • Going home outfit – Yoga pants, leggings or maternity pants are great options. You probably will not be in your pre-pregnancy bottoms just yet. Don’t worry about that!


  • Birth Preferences Sheet- Keep an extra one on hand just in case.

  • Lip Balm/Chapstick- Lips get chapped and dry during birth.

  • Mints/Hard Candy- Eating is often not permitted but hard candy or mints can be sucked on usually.

  • Gum- If hard candy isn’t your thing, gum might be a better option.

  • Snacks- For your husband/partner during labor but also for you postpartum

  • Camera/Memory Card- Capture the precious memories!

  • Video Camera- Remember the day in full detail with a video

  • Cash and Change- Great idea for vending machines or the gift shop.

  • Phone- At some point you will probably want it for pictures and to alert friends and family of the arrival of your precious baby!

  • Phone Charger- Don’t forget this!

  • Insurance Card- If you have not preregistered especially however it’s a good idea to have on hand in case of transfer.

  • Pediatrician Information- This is usually requested during the intake process.

  • Personal Pillow- If you have a favorite, don’t forget it!

  • Bottled Water- You get a neat souvenir cup but having your own bottled water can be nice. Smart water or similar is a good idea for the electrolytes.

  • Trash Bag for dirty clothes- They might be soiled or dirty so it’s nice to have a bag to place the dirty clothes in to until you get home.

  • Picture ID- To prove you are you!

  • Contact Case/Solution/Glasses

  • Music- If you have a special playlist grab your ipod or mixed tape.

  • Medical Team/Nurses Gift- Not mandatory but a sweet thought if you would like to provide a treat.

Personal Hygiene/Care

  • Hair ties or a head band

  • Toiletries (Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash/Soap, Face Wash)

  • Hair Brush

  • Tooth Brush

  • Hair Spray

  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste

  • Bathing Towel

  • Facial lotions/products

  • Deodorant

  • Makeup

  • Hair Dryer

If planning to breastfeed

  • Nursing Tanks- Target makes great nursing tanks as well as many other brands.

  • Nursing Bra- No need to buy tons of nursing bras until a few weeks postpartum to see where your breast size ends up.

  • Breast Pads- You might have some leaking although if you do not, don’t worry. Both leaking and not leaking are normal during breastfeeding.

  • Boppy/My Breast Friend- Some people really enjoy using this while nursing.

For Baby

  • Going home outfit for baby- Weather appropriate.

  • Baby Blanket- If you have something special you want to use. The hospital/birth center will have blankets to use as well.

  • Car Seat- You cannot leave the hospital without a carseat!

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