Hospital Bag Checklist

Hospital Bag Checklist

Being prepared for baby is the most important part of this journey. Not having the right stuff, too much stuff or not enough stuff puts unwanted stress on new parents and family. We have everything you need below. It’s never to early to start packing that bag.

Free printable checklist at the bottom.


Odds are you’ve probably spent the past several months dreaming about meeting your baby. You’ve gotten all of the must have baby gear, stocked and decorated the nursery, and maybe even figured out the car seat situation. One of your next steps is packing your hospital bag, not only for you and your precious new one but also your partner. So where do you start? You don’t want to leave anything important out but you also don’t want to pack up your whole house! Our list can help you figure out when the best time is to pack your bag and also sort out the essentials from the extras.


You have a little bit of flexibility when it comes to deciding when to pack your bag! You can pack it as soon as you’d like, however it is recommended that if you have a high risk pregnancy and your OB feels like you might go into labor early, packing around 35 weeks is recommended. In other cases anywhere from 37-38 weeks pregnant. This way all of your basics are covered if labor should happen sooner. Being prepared in the midst of going into labor with help you feel at ease.


Depending on whether you have your baby vaginally or c-section will determine how long you are staying in the hospital this is something to keep in mind while you are packing! Typically moms who deliver vaginally stay at the hospital 1-2 days, while delivering c-section you are looking more towards a 3-4 day stay. If you are a thrifty mama you can call your hospital and see what they provide you and always take things off your list. Here is your printable checklist for mom:

  • Photo ID, insurance, hospital forms, and birth plan
  • Eyeglasses, contacts, contact solution (if you wear them)
  • Cell phone and charger
  • 2-3 pairs of non slip socks (for walking the hallways before and after labor)
  • A (dark) warm robe or sweater
  • Lip balm
  • Headband or ponytail holder (avoid clips – they’ll probably pinch you)
  • Non perishable snacks and change for vending machines
  • 2 maternity bras (no underwire) and nursing pads – even if you’re not planning on breastfeeding you will LOVE the support and leakage protection
  • Maternity underwear that can be sacrificed for the cause (the hospital will give you a few disposable pairs)
  • Travel size basic personal items such as shampoo, conditioner, hair brush, face wash, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Loose, DARK, light weight clothing
  • Comfortable going home outfit with flat shoes



  • Headphones to listen to music on your phone
  • Any makeup or cosmetics
  • Hairdryer
  • A pillow distinguishable from the hospital white ones (if you are picky about yours)
  • A breastfeeding pillow
  • Bath towel (the hospital will provide usually a small, thin one)



Knowing what you and your partner will likely need won’t be too challenging! You might feel like packing for your baby isn’t as intuitive, but the bright side is that when your just starting your life you don’t need very much! Here are the essentials you will want to add to your baby hospital bag:

  • Approved infant car seat
  • A coming home outfit (it’s a good idea to bring a few different sizes to make sure they fit)
  • Seasonal appropriate outdoor gear such as a hat, snowsuit, ect. (babies are extra sensitive to the cold)
  • Warm blankets for the ride home



You have gone over the checklist for you and your baby a million times but but don’t forget about your partner! You will both likely be spending a night or two at the maternity ward so pack a few overnight essentials. Here’s what to pack in your partner’s hospital bag:

  • Cell phone and charger
  • Camera or video camera with batteries/charger and a back up memory card
  • Entertainment, whether it’s a book or something to watch
  • Snacks
  • Daily prescriptions
  • Travel size basic personal items such as shampoo, conditioner, face wash, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, contact lense case, and solution
  • A change of clothes


Once you have finally finished packing and feel like you have everything you will need put the bag either in your car or in a spot you can grab it quick. Then continue to get ready for your babes arrival. Happy packing mamas!

Click Here for a printable Hospital Checklist

Written by Whitney Rowley