Packing Your Hospital Bag for Delivery

As you get within a month or two of your due date, it is a good idea to pack your hospital bag as well as install your baby’s car seat. Below are some suggestions of what to pack for yourself, your baby and your partner or birth coach, as well as a few items that you may find helpful during labor and delivery.

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to leave the hospital if your baby’s car seat is not properly installed. We recommend you do this a month before your due date, just in case he or she decides to arrive early. Some car dealerships as well as police or fire stations offer free car seat inspections. You may wish to see what’s available in your community before your baby arrives.

Essentials for mom:

  • Your photo ID, insurance card, any hospital papers you may need and your birth plan (if you have one)
  • Bathrobe, slippers and/or non-skid socks, for walking around the hospital
  • Headband or ponytail holder to pull your hair back during labor
  • Toiletries including glasses an d contact lenses, if you wear them
  • Cell phone and charger or a prepaid calling card for using the hospital phone
  • Nursing bras and breast pads to absorb leakage
  • A loose and comfortable outfit to go home in

Essentials for baby:

  • Hat
  • Blankets for swaddling
  • Mittens to protect your baby from his or her long fingernails
  • An outfit for going home
  • A rear-facing car seat that has been properly installed

Essentials for partner/birth coach:

  • Money for food and change for the vending machines
  • A change of clothes as well as comfortable clothes for sleeping
  • A camera or video camera as well as the charger/extra batteries
  • A list of people to call and their phone numbers

Other items you may wish to bring:

  • Your own nightgown or pajamas; if you plan to breastfeed, make sure the gown opens in the front
  • Your own pillow with a bright pillow case so it isn’t mistaken for a hospital pillow
  • Comfortable, full-coverage underwear
  • Flip flops for showering
  • Music, iPod, DVDs, magazines
  • Back massage aids
  • Lip balm (lips can get very dry during labor)
  • Mints, lollipops or sugar-free hard candies may be helpful during labor
  • Sanitary pads (will be supplied, but you may wish to bring your own)
  • Nursing pillow
  • Baby book
  • Paper and pen

We’d love to hear your thoughts on what you found helpful during your stay at the hospital. What essentials have we forgotten? Or, what’s something that you brought, but didn’t use?