Here it is in all it’s glory — my official what to take to the hospital bag checklist. I looked over a lot of lists out there, but couldn’t find the right one for me. I like to check things off. To have a pretty list with columns and check boxes. One with lines where I could personalize my list.
I had to create it on my own. So, now I’m sharing it with you.
Please feel free to download and use this hospital packing list as you prepare to go to the hospital to meet your new baby.
Hospital Bag Checklist
Below are some highlights from the printable list with explanations. Be sure to download the official packing list to see the entire list under each category.
Be sure to pre-register at the hospital. This is a must. It will save you time and allow you to go straight to triage when you enter the hospital. Bring all of your paperwork with you when you go to the hospital.
Insurance cards, pediatrician information, pen, notebook for your thoughts, birth plan, ID (driver’s license), baby book with footprint/handprint page, address book with phone numbers to call loved ones after baby is born.
You won’t really need an outfit except to wear for your journey home. Instead, bring a nightgown (a nursing nightgown if you plan to breastfeed) and a robe, slippers, socks (for the birth if you want), going home outfit, flip flops, nursing bras and nursing pads.
Most lists say to bring sanitary pads so I kept it on my list, but the hospital will most likely provide these for you. You’ll get really big ones. And, some hospitals provide special paper underwear to use while you are there so you don’t have to worry about ruining your new set from Victoria’s Secret. Bring all the regular toiletries that you would to a hotel. You’ll be taking a shower at some point and will want to feel fresh.
Bring items that make you comfortable. For the most part, these are things for during the birth. A back massager is good for your spouse to rub your back while you are in labor.
A rice sock can be made by putting rice in an old tube sock and sewing it shut. It can be warmed up in the microwave or cooled down in the fridge to be used on your stomach while in labor. I admit that I created one of these for my first pregnancy, but didn’t end up using it.
Hard candy to suck on since you won’t be allowed to have any food.
Pillow spray if you want that special relaxation smell while in bed. Your own pillow if that suits you.
I also have an excellent calming essential oil roller ball you can make to use while you are in labor.
Don’t forget to bring your cameras to document the occasion. Make sure your batteries are charged and/or you bring battery backup. And, don’t forget the flash cards.
You’ll also want your favorite music on your phone or electronic device. Make a special playlist of music that calms you and makes you feel great!
For your Partner
A watch to time contractions, toiletries, change of clothes (but not too many since he can go home), clothes to sleep in. If your partner typically sleeps commando or with a lovely pair of undies you might suggest he bring some PJs that would be suitable for others to see him in.
Entertainment — he’ll have downtime while you are in labor and might want to read, watch TV or play a video game if you have a portable gaming console. I’d suggest you discuss this ahead of time so you know what you are getting into.
The hospital packing list for your baby is important too. Top on the list is an infant car seat. They won’t let you leave the hospital without one.
A cute outfit for the baby’s first hospital photo. Bring more than one, in different sizes. I had one for my son that ended up being huge. Don’t forget a going home outfit.
Receiving blanket — you only really need this if you want a special one. The hospital gives you plenty of the white, with blue and red striped ones to use while you are there. Infant caps. Again, the hospital slaps one of these on your baby right away so you don’t have to bring your own, but if you want your baby to be seen in a cute cap, bring your own. You don’t even really need to bring your baby any clothes. The hospital will put him/her in those little white t-shirt tops with the parts that fold over the babies’ hands. And, they usually provide diapers.
Other Essentials to Pack for the Hospital
Cash. You’ll need cash for vending machines, valet parking, you name it, you might need cash.
Don’t forget your purse and wallet too. A good idea is to have a small purse that will fit inside your luggage.
My hospital makes you carry your luggage from room to room. Here’s the scenario: you are rushed to triage to wait for a room (husband is pushing screaming wife down hallway while pulling luggage), you get moved to the labor room (finally!) husband pulls luggage while you are pushed in wheelchair (hopefully), and then after the baby is born you get moved to your regular room, husband drags that suitcase along.
The less bags he has to manage the better. And, remember you’re not going to be in charge of the luggage or your purse, so make it manageable.