Hospital Bag Checklist

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 1 of 17


    Most new moms have no way of knowing exactly what to pack and what to leave home before their first hospital delivery. While every woman has different needs and preferences, here are our top 15 recommendations.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 2 of 17

    1: Your Birth Plan

    Your Birth Plan Don’t forget to print out copies of your birth plan for your doctor, midwife and nurses. Here are four things you need to know before writing a birth plan.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 3 of 17

    2: Snacks

    Snacks Pack some of your favorite easy access (read: one-handed) snacks (granola bars, pretzels, etc.) just to have on hand in the middle of the night. Your partner will appreciate this too.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 4 of 17

    3: A hospital-gown alternative

    A hospital-gown alternative While some women are perfectly content in the hospital-provided delivery gowns, many hospitals and birthing centers now allow women to deliver in the comfort of their own gowns. While we think it’s silly to spend too much money on something to deliver a baby in, we found some comfortable, pretty delivery gowns for under $30.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 5 of 17

    4: A robe, comfortable pajamas and slippers

    A robe, comfortable pajamas and slippers So maybe you can live without your own delivery gown, but a robe, PJs and slippers are a must. Keep in mind that your PJs will most likely be ruined, so leave the silk and cashmere at home. And you’ll definitely want a comfortable pair of slippers or slipper socks to pitter-patter around the hospital floors. If you want a little something-something to make you feel fresh and pretty, check out these pretty robes to throw on when you have visitors.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 6 of 17

    5: Not-so-pretty underwear…

    Not-so-pretty underwear… Because they will be ruined. Though most hospitals have disposable undies to wear under your giant post-delivery sanitary pads, you should pack a few pairs to have on-hand in case it’s more comfortable.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 7 of 17

    6: Nursing tank tops

    Nursing tank tops You’ll want two or three good, comfortable nursing tank tops, which either snap down or lift up for easy breastfeeding access.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 8 of 17

    7: Nursing bras

    Nursing bras You’ll also want to bring some nursing bras. Since it’s hard to know what size you’ll be after your milk comes in (and because wearing a traditional bra might be too uncomfortable in the beginning), we recommend bringing comfy sleep nursing bras, which are soft-structured, wireless bras that come in a S, M, L, rather than cup sizes. (Almost like a sports bra, but much more comfortable.) You don’t want to waste money on a bunch of bras that won’t fit in a couple of weeks.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 9 of 17

    8: Soothing Relief

    Soothing Relief The hospital will provide all of the sanitary pads and pain relievers that you’ll need during those first few days of recovery, but you might want to pack some Tucks Medicated Pads or Demroplast, in your bag just in case you have a perineal tear.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 10 of 17

    9: Tech-y must-haves

    Tech-y must-haves You’ll most likely want a camera to record the momentous day — and of course to take your baby’s first picture — and maybe even a video camera. Also remember your cell phone charger (check that your hospital allows cell phones) and laptop in case you want to tweet, blog or just watch movies. You might also want a laboring play list on your iPod or MP3 for soothing music or your favorite tunes — whatever you think will work best for you. And you can always download some magazines on your Kindle.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 11 of 17

    10: Favorite personal items

    Favorite personal items The hospital or birthing center should provide all of the pillows, blankets and toiletries you need, but we all have those favorite comfort items. Some popular things to bring from home include your own pillow, blanket, body wash, chapstick (many women complain of dry lips), toothpaste and deodorant. And don’t forget the ponytail holders!

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 12 of 17

    11: Postpartum Organizers

    Postpartum Organizers You’ll want to record your baby’s sleeping and eating while in the hospital (and for the first few weeks after that), so you might want to pick up a postpartum baby tracker whether it’s a simple journal, comprehensive organizer or an iPhone app. Some new moms like to bring along the baby book as well.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 13 of 17

    12: Comfy clothes

    Comfy clothes You won’t be back at your pre-pregnancy size after birth (it takes a good six weeks for your uterus to shrink back down), so pack some loose, comfy clothes for the hospital. We would live in these pants if we could.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 14 of 17

    13: Essentials for your baby

    Essentials for your baby For your baby, you’ll want to pack a coming home outfit and a couple of your favorite swaddling blankets. (These are our favorites.) Tip: Bring one baby outfit in size “newborn” and another in size “0-1” because most moms don’t know exactly how big their baby will be. If your baby is born over 8 pounds, all of those newborn clothes will be too small.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 15 of 17

    14: A breastfeeding pillow

    A breastfeeding pillow If you’re planning on breastfeeding, a breastfeeding pillow is actually a lot more comfortable than a standard pillow. Plus, we loved how the Boppy provided comfortable back support during our hospital stay. But if you’re tight on cash, don’t sweat this one.

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 16 of 17

    15: An empty bag

    An empty bag At the hospital, you’ll be able to take all of the diapers, ointments, gauze and pads that you want. Stock up!

  • Hospital Bag Checklist 17 of 17
Tagged as:

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.