The Hospital Bag - What to Pack For Delivery?
When it comes to getting ready for the big day, packing your hospital bag is a key task. Being well prepared can make your birthing experience a lot smoother, so make sure to have it stocked with all the things you'll need for comfort and support. But what exactly should you put in it? While you don’t want to leave out any essentials, there’s also no reason to overdo things. Meet us in the middle for the ultimate hospital bag checklist.
Our advice would be to have your hospital bag ready by around 36 or 37 weeks of pregnancy, just to be on the safe side. You can totally toss in some last-minute items, like your toothbrush, but by this point, you'll want your bag mostly packed and super easy to grab.
Some things are absolutely essential (like that trusty car seat – can't leave without it!), while others are all about making you feel comfy and bringing a touch of home to the hospital room.
In the event that you have to stay overnight or even for a few days you can keep a second bag ready at home which your partner can bring to the hospital after birth.
- Approved infant car seat or Maxi Cosi - This is non-negotiable. They won’t let you take your baby home without a car seat, and it should be already installed.
- A warm, woolen blanket
- A coming home outfit - Include two outfits in varying sizes as you're not quite sure how big or little your baby will be. Consider one outfit in newborn size and another in 0-3 months. And if the weather calls for it, pack a cozy hat too.
- A pair of baby socks (wool or cotton)
- A jacket or outdoor overall (for the trip home)
- Cord ring - A safe and eco-friendly alternative to traditional clamps for the umbilical
- Muslin swaddles, large and small
- If you plan to bottle-feed, pack at least two. If you plan to formula feed, pack some of your preferred brand
- Don’t need to pack diapers or baby wipes - the hospital has plenty.
- Nursing bra
- Maternity underwear - If you’re prepping for a c-section, ensure you have options designed for your incision’s recovery
- Comfy, non-slip socks - For gripping slippy hospital floors
- Slip-on shoes - Your feet might be swollen from IV fluids, so you’ll be thankful for shoes you can easily slip on)
- Comfortable going home clothes
- Mesh underwear - Postpartum mesh underwear keeps your postpartum pad in place. The panties are breathable and comfortable to wear. They are also suitable for after a c-section: oxygen promotes wound healing. The panties are already available in the hospital, but you can bring your own washable underwear (more sustainable).
- Mère ice & heat perineal packs- Use during labor to reduce the risk of tearing
- Lip balm - The hospital environment can be very dry
- Wet wipes - Recommended in case you’re not up to showering right away
- Extra contacts and/or glasses, if you wear them
- Bath towel - The hospital will probably supply a very thin, small one, so it may be nice to have your own.
- Regular or dry shampoo
- The essentials: hairbrush, ties, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant
- ID and birth plan - Print and bring a few copies: one for your chart, some for your labor nurse(s) and perhaps another to tape up in your hospital room. Consider highlighting some important points for quick reference.
- Cell phone and charger - Pro-tip: bring an extra-long cell phone charging cord
- Portable Bluetooth speaker and Spotify playlist - Music can be a real mood-booster. If you make a playlist, make sure to load it up with plenty of songs. Labor can sometimes stretch on for over 24 hours, and you definitely don't want to be stuck listening to the same 10 tracks on repeat.
- Salt lamp - Creating a serene atmosphere is essential. A Himalayan salt lamp emits a warm, soothing glow that promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Plus, the lamps are known for their air-purifying properties.
- Food/drinks - Not every hospital provides snacks and the wait can be long. Make sure you pack something energizing for you and your partner.
- You could bring a diffuser to make your room smell nice and fresh.
- A portable fan might be a good idea, since you can’t open hospital windows.
If you’re planning a home birth, you want to create a comfortable and safe environment where you can welcome your little one into the world.
Creating a serene atmosphere is essential. A Himalayan salt lamp emits a warm, soothing glow that promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Plus, the lamps are known for their air-purifying properties.
Towels are a must-have during labor and birth. Free from harmful chemicals, organic cotton towels are gentle on your skin and kind to the environment.
Water can provide incredible relief during labor. Also, water births have been proven to reduce the use of epidurals, injected opioids, episiotomy, as well as pain and heavy bleeding after the birth. Consider an inflatable birth bath designed for home use. It allows you to submerge yourself in warm water, providing comfort and relaxation during contractions. Test it at least once beforehand, and make sure it's set up and ready to go well in time.
Stay comfortable while you rock and sway through contractions. An exercise ball offers support, helps with positioning, and encourages gentle movement.
A cordring is a safe and eco-friendly alternative to traditional clamps for the umbilical cord.
Postpartum mesh underwear keeps your postpartum pad in place. The underwear is breathable, making it comfortable to wear.
Keep your energy levels up with snacks that provide a quick energy boost.
Finally, the moment you've been waiting for – welcoming your little one into the world. Having a first outfit ready is a beautiful way to make your baby's first moments comfortable and warm. Choose soft, chemical-free fabrics that will keep your baby snug and safe.