Hospital Bag Checklist: What To Pack?

It’s ever so fast that you come closer to your big labor day. All the pregnancy blends seem to be undone halfway through. It’s only acceptable to worry for the big count down. Coupled with your baby’s arrival, this list of hospital bag checklist will help you through your big day in ease.

This section covers all the hospital bag essentials for you, your baby, your partner & the c-section care checklist. Equally important, we took many mothers’ experiences from the inside of the labor room to let you know what they missed getting on board and what they regretted bringing on with them. You might catch a hint or a clue along with the cues.

Save & share the graphic if you like my efforts:-

newborn checklist

While some embraced the minimal efforts, others wanted it all organized from nail clips to slippers. Some enjoyed all the essentials the hospital helped them with, others wished for their own. Let’s guide you through this hospital bag checklist.

1. When to pack your hospital bag?

Given your labor’s anonymity, it’s quite handy to pack your hospital bag in the last counting weeks, a.k.a., last of your 8th month. Provided that, labors can start before the due date, even if your birth is pre-planned and you have the dates decided, having your hospital bag prepared is a relief!

You can pre-stock your car with this hospital bag checklist or keep it close to the door, easily accessible. You can help yourself with a printed checklist to count on all the necessities you’d be needing.

What we will be concluding?

  • Hospital bag checklist for the mother.
  • Essentials for when you are in labor.
  • What to pack in the hospital bag for C-section?
  • Essentials for after delivery.
  • Hospital bag checklist for the baby.
  • What not to bring in your hospital bag?


2. Hospital bag checklist for the mother.

  • Documents & Paperwork:

Your picture ID & your insurance papers. Regardless, check with your hospital for any necessary documents or paperwork they’d needing from you. Pack these in a file folder that can be easily found. If you’ll carrying more than a few folders, make sure you get them in different colors for easy accessibility.

Just in case, keep your medical history records with you. Your doctors might need them to medical health concerns. It will save you the hassle to go back & forth at times like these.

  • Birth plan:

The birth plan is a necessary part of facilitating birth experience. It concludes all the plans you want for your labor day. Room settings, people around you, pre-planned medication, pre-planned C-section, etc.

Have a copy of these given to your doctors, partner, nurses, midwife, and hang one copy for yourself in your labor room. Get this birth plan in numbers, so that everyone around in your medical team/family can have it.

  • Easy-to-go clothes, Slippers, bathroom slippers, Nightgown, Bathrobe:

Your hospital provides you with most of them. But some mothers wish to bring their own. If you close to bring your gown, make sure it’s loose and free on the body. Let it be sleeveless or if it has sleeves, let them be loose and midway to the arm for an easy check-up.

We all have our OCDs, new places can make us icky. Bathroom stands top on that, have your bathroom sleeper for the sake of it. You can change into a bathrobe if there’s time in your labor and you want to stroll around for fresh air.

With your hormonal surge, even a small discomfort can put you off. Tight clothes or uncomfortable shoes can do that to a person. Choose open slippers, flip flops. You can choose furry fur slippers that have a furry surface to make you feel better.

  • Cell phone & a big cord:

For one thing, a cell phone is a necessity in today’s date. But a big cord is even bigger of a necessity in the hospital room. Your bed can be far away from the outlet. Some hospitals do not allow the use of outlets. So, make sure you are stocked with an extra battery adapter or two.

If you want to take loads of photos with your baby and through the whole process, a camera can be good if you wish to carry it with you. But don’t double the load if your mobile camera is enough. Also, check with your hospital if they allow a camera in the delivery room. To put it another way, doctors say there is a lot ongoing for us to record it, the reasons may vary!

  • Pillows, Bedsheets, Towels:

No, again your hospital has it all. But some mothers prefer their towels, pillows, and bedsheets. We all have our favorite bedside, towels, pillows & bedsheets.

Often, some mothers do not prefer hospital-grade quality towels/bedsheets/pillows. If you are fine with the hospital essentials, you are helping with a less burdened bag. But don’t compromise your comfort. If it’s the utmost necessary for you, have it with you! Labor hours can be long and you wouldn’t want to be uncomfortable. Your comfort is priority number one!

  • Comfort Essentials:

As we speak of it, comfort is very necessary to help you cope up with the pain during your contractions and after birth. It could be anything, your mobile phone, a book, a notepad, a baby book, your makeup, a speaker, etc. All for the lady!

Beforehand, make sure your hospital policies allow these in the labor room. You don’t want to weigh your hospital bag down.

  • Toiletries:

Hygiene is one thing. You will want your toothpaste, toothbrush, Soaps, shower gel, shampoos, wipes, lotion, deodorant, comb. Bring a smaller version of them all to be space-efficient. Hospitals do provide you with soap bars, shampoos, and lotion but higher chance you’d be wanting yours.

3. Essentials for when you are in labor.

Nothing that’s different from the mom-to-be essential list. Just a few add ons.

  • Entertainment essentials:

Labor can last for hours. Keep yourself entertained until then and that. Get yourself a magazine, a book, kindle, tablet. List down your favorite movies/series and music playlists.

Also to be noted, with the medication you will have longer hours to spend in the labor room, these essentials will come handy. Add up a speaker or headphones and confirm with your hospital if they are allowed in beforehand.

  • Food & drinks:

If you have a pre-planned C-section, you probably won’t be allowed to eat or drink. Though you can drink 2 hours prior to the surgery but no food. Also, make sure you have a thorough talk with your doctors for any complications in the delivery.

Every hospital has a different policy when it comes to bringing food inside of the delivery room, so make sure you ask your hospital beforehand. Stock up with light meals and snacks. Choose your all-time favorites food to make yourself feel more at ease and full.

The hospital will provide you with water but mothers have complained immensely about its state. Have your own water bottles that keep the temperature steady. Keep a few disposable for drinking/eating just in case.

4. What to pack in the hospital bag for C-section?

  • Highwaist Underwears & Pjs:

Your doctors will tell you everything about your incisions and how to take care of them. The keyword is to keep your incisions safe & sound. Get yourself high waist underpants that don’t bother your incisions.

Along with underwear, get yourself high-waist pants that keep off your incisions. If pants aren’t your thing. Having a loose dress can also be relieving. Maxi maternity dresses would be a great choice for your incisions.

I have always advised going for one piece, long & loose maternity dresses because they are less hectic. You will have fewer clothes to carry with you. And you wouldn’t have to take both of them out separately. In light of that, get a dress that has buttons on the front.

  • Compression Belt:

Also known as belly wraps, postpartum girdles or compression belts help encircle and compress the abdomen. This reduces the post-operation pain and also protects your incisions.

Compression belts support your abdomen and back. They also reduce swelling and help you with a composed body by holding everything together.

Rest assured your hospital would be there for you. They will help you with all the necessary details and will be available 24*7.

5. Essentials for post-delivery

This list doesn’t differ much either from the mom-to-be essential list. Just your comfort, clothes, love!

  • Extra Clothes: 

You’d be needing clothes once you are done with the delivery. Your gown would be in the blood and other fluids post-delivery. A bathrobe, a maxi maternity loose dress, some slip-on. Get yourself a gown that opens in the front and can allow easy skin-to-skin to your child.

You would be also needing clothes to wear once you leave the hospital. So few maxi dresses, bathrobes, go-to-outfit. Along with that, whether you chose to breastfeed or not, comfortable nursing bras will relax your swollen, ready-to-milk breasts. Get yourself nursing bras and tanks for comfort and relaxation.

  • Maternity Underpants & Sanitary pads:

Mothers often don’t like the mesh underwear hospital provide them. They are extra loose and feel like a saggy sack with a pad. Stock up with many maternity underpants, you’d be needing them a lot and also stock them at home before the baby arrives. 

The hospital will provide you with sanitary pads too but mothers prefer to get bring their preferred sanitary pads brand. Choose extra-large maternity sanitary pads for extra-large comfort.

  • Nursing pillow, nursing pads, breasts pumps, nipple cream:

Doctors advise starting breastfeeding ASAP. The hospital can be hectic alone and breastfeeding without a comfort zone & support can be nerve-wracking. Nursing pillows help you support your baby close to you without hurting your arm since you will be doing a lot of breastfeeding.

A breast pump will help you collect extra milk and nursing pads will soak the drops that can ruin your clothes after a breastfeeding session. Initially, breastfeeding will be scary, you will have sore nipples. Keep a nipple cream with you for an easing experience.

  • 2 Extra empty bags, Eye masks:

You will be needing an empty bag to load up all the dirty clothes or used items. The second empty bag you’d be needing is stock up hospital freebies! Those are a must!

6. Hospital bag checklist for the baby.

  • Baby clothes:

Your baby would be needing clothes for the hospital stay. Since you don’t know what size your baby is going to be, it’s better to get loose clothes. You can always ask your family members/friends for the photoshoot clothes once the baby arrives.

Also, one outfit for your baby to go back home with you. Make sure your baby’s clothes are not suffocating and are allowing a good blood & oxygen flow. If you don’t know the gender of the baby, you can get unisex clothes and later ask your family/friends to bring clothes for your baby.

  • Car seat, Swaddle, burp clothes:

The hospital won’t allow you to go without an installed car sheet. Get your car installed with a car seat beforehand. Get swaddle sheets or a warm blanket to keep your baby warm and comfortable. Swaddle blankets will help your baby sleep soundly.

Your hospital will provide you baby diapers, don’t stock up that. Instead, add burp cloths in the hospital bag checklist to clean burps.

  • Socks/shoes/furry slippers with closed ankles:

Babies can easily slip off slippers. Get your baby some socks on or light-weight shoes. My best choice furry shoes that will bring your baby comfort!

7. What not to bring in your hospital bag?

All in all, you don’t want to stock up extra loads. It will make your delivery room a mess and hard to navigate. Bring only what is utmost necessary. You can avoid baby-bottles, candles, too many clothes, or slippers, 2-3 pairs would be just fine.

In fact, keep all the hospital baby checklist safe inside the car and only take what is most necessary for the time being and categorize your bags into the above categories we mentioned to carry easily. You can categorize them into, before birth, Labor time, after birth, for the baby, for the mother, and take them out only when the timing calls for it.