Preparing the Hospital Bags

Category: Pregnancy
April 11, 2023

Are you preparing your hospital bag but not sure what to pack? Don’t fret. This hospital bag checklist gives you a full rundown of everything you need, and the things that are probably okay to leave at home.

When to pack

Generally, if there are no special circumstances and you are pregnant with a singleton, it’s helpful to have your bag packed around the 36-week mark. If you are considered a high-risk pregnancy or are expecting multiples, your provider may recommend packing your bag between 34-35 weeks. Keep your bag by the door, or even in your car, so you don’t have to think about when you go into labor.

What to pack for you

  • Your purse or ID
  • Your birth plan
  • Medications/list
  • Comfy clothes
  • Comfy cotton underwear (only if you prefer thick pads vs. disposable underwear the hospital will provide you with)
  • Something to keep warm (baggy cardigan, robe, partner’s sweatshirt – make sure there is easy access for nursing and/or pumping)
  • Nonskid socks or slippers
  • Going home clothes – think of the weather
  • Toiletries – ah the first shower after birth!
  • Extra-long cellphone charger or extension cord
  • Snacks and drinks

Nice to haves but not necessary

  • Pillows and a bath towel
  • Ear plugs
  • Breast pump
  • Money for the vending machine or cafeteria (if open)

Probably fine without (though some might be useful if you do!)

  • Diapers and wipes
    • The hospital will provide all the diapers and wipes you need after baby is born, as well as some to take home.
  • Nipple cream
    • Utilize the lactation professionals that are often on staff to discuss any concerns you have while in the hospital, and when you go home too, to understand what may be causing discomfort (lactation consultations are often covered by insurance).
  • Postpartum care products
    • The hospital will provide you with all the postpartum care products you need, giant adult diapers and all! Although, it is helpful to have postpartum care products at home, so be sure to have those ready before birth.
  • Essential oil diffuser
  • Portable fan
  • Bluetooth speaker

What to pack for baby

  • Car seat
  • Blanket for car seat
  • Clothes

What your partner should pack

  • Clothes for two days
  • Cellphone charger
  • Snacks and drinks

Try not to worry too much about packing the perfect bag. Chances are you will have everything you need, or you can get help if you find you are missing something.

While you are planning, be sure to get your breast pump through insurance and to talk to your employer about your plans to pump at work.