What You Do - and don't - Need for Labor and Delivery
(Free Printable Hospital Bag Checklist)
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Packing a hospital bag for labor and delivery can both be daunting and so exciting! Ensuring that you have all the essentials ready will help you feel more prepared and at ease during this amazing milestone!
I got you mama! Keep reading to download our printable hospital bag checklist!
This printable checklist will be your invaluable companion, guiding you through the process of packing the necessary items.
I’ve got you covered with a walkthrough of the essential items to include in your hospital bag, as well as practical tips and advice.
What you do need in your hospital bag
- Go home outfit
- Maternity bra (I didn’t personally use this but I’m sure it would be helpful for some)
- Socks (nonslip if you think you’ll be walking around a lot; I personally didn’t)
- Cute outfit if you’re planning on taking professional pictures
- Chapstick (super important)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Shampoo and conditioner (the hospital may supply these, but they are super small bottles)
- Hair ties
- Go home outfit for baby (it’s a good idea to have a few different sizes ready: newborn, 0-3 months, 3 months)
- Hat (though the hospital will provide a thin one)
- Mittens to prevent scratching
- Car seat
- Glasses/contact lenses if you use them
- Nursing pillow (I didn’t use this either, but it could definitely come in handy)
- Snacks (lifesavers, chips, cookies, etc)
- Phone and charger
- Wallet (most important: insurance and ID card)
- Blanket and pillow for your partner, and maybe even yourself. I found myself constantly wishing for another blanket. Hospitals are cold!
- Bonus: incontinence pads! These are amazing. They are a little on the pricey side, but they are the best. They are perfect for heavy bleeding after delivery, and they’re pretty comfortable! Way better than a normal pad in my opinion.
What you don’t need in your hospital bag
- Diapers and wipes: the hospital will supply all you need, plus you’ll get to take some home!
- Undies and pads: you won’t really be wearing underwear. The hospital will supply pads and mesh underwear.
- Robe: you’ll see a lot of people recommend a robe, which you may find comfy, but in my experience I just kind of lived in my hospital gown lol. I was so tired and really only left the bed to use the restroom and shower once or twice.
- Binky/pacifier: it is typically recommended that you don’t start baby on a pacifier right away if you’re breastfeeding. This is to give baby a chance to get used to your nipple and get a proper latch.
- Breast pump: the hospital will provide a breast pump for you if you want/need it, but you could bring your own if you’re more comfortable that way.
When should I pack my hospital bag?
It’s a good idea to have your hospital bag packed around 30-35 weeks. You can for sure have the basics packed: outfits, socks, baby’s outfits, nursing pillow, snacks.
I used travel bottles for my shampoo, conditioner, and bodywash, so I also had those packed and ready, along with a chapstick and lotion I wasn’t using every day.
Also be prepared for lots of extra goodies you’ll be bringing home from the hospital!
What to wear during labor?
You can wear comfy clothes, but you will be put into a hospital gown for the majority of your stay.
Do you wear a bra under a hospital gown?
You probably could, but it will most likely be much more comfortable without it.
What should newborns wear after birth?
They will usually be placed in a onesie provided by the hospital and swaddled in a blanket. You can change their outfit right before heading home, if you choose.
You could probably do it sooner, as well, but I think I just left mine in the hospital-provided outfit until we were about to head home.
Do I need to bring formula to the hospital?
It may be a good idea to bring some prepackaged/ready to eat formula bottles for easy feeding.
You can doublecheck with your specific hospital to see if they offer these (or general formula), as well.
Most of the time the hospital will probably have formula on hand, but it may be a good idea to just doublecheck.
There can be many things to do when getting ready to bring home your little one.
Download your free printable hospital bag checklist above to help keep track of everything you need to be ready for labor and delivery!
Was this article and checklist helpful? Do you have any other suggestions or must haves? Let me know in the comments below!