What Do I Need to Pack for the Hospital?

With all the excitement around actually getting to meet your new baby, it can be hard to focus on mundane things like packing a bag for the big day.  However, do it ahead of time and you’ll be very glad you did. We recommend packing a bag and having it ready to go by 8 months, just in case that baby decides to come a little early.

What Do I Need?

  • Paperwork:  photo ID (like a driver’s license), insurance card, your pediatrician’s name and office number, birth plan if you have one
  • Clothes:  Bring your own robe and slippers.  The hospital will give you a gown to wear, but some women prefer their own nightgowns (make sure they are loose; sleeveless or very loose sleeves help when nurses need to access your arms.)  It can be nice to have flip flops to wear in the shower, too. After your baby is born, you will want nursing bras (or supportive athletic bras if you opt not to nurse), maternity underwear, and a going home outfit.  You’ll likely still feel several months pregnant, so stick with loose and comfy.
  • Toiletries:  toothbrush and toothpaste, glasses and/or contacts, hair brush, deodorant, and anything else that will make you feel good.  The hospital will likely provide soap and shampoo.
  • Cell phone, charger
  • Extra touches:  it can be nice to have your own pillow (bring a colorful pillowcase to identify it), music and something to play it on, and snacks for after delivery--you’ll likely be hungry!


What Does My Partner/Labor Coach Need?

  • Camera, batteries, memory card with plenty of space
  • Money or a credit card; change for vending machines or parking meters
  • Change of clothes/pajamas
  • Consider a bathing suit if mom might want company in the tub during labor
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks
  • Something to read or watch before labor really gets going

What About My Baby?

  • Installed carseat.  Take care of this early; you can’t bring the baby home without it!  Many local fire stations will help you install the seat correctly, and it’s worth taking advantage of this.  A vast majority of carseats are improperly installed, putting babies at risk.
  • Going home outfit.  The hospital will provide diapers and swaddling blankets while you are there, but baby will need something to wear for the big trip home.
  • If your baby is a younger sibling, consider a present “from the baby” to give to older siblings when they visit.