Ultimate Pregnancy Hospital Bag Checklist: Free Printable (2024)

Are you trying to pack a hospital bag for when it’s time for your baby to make their entrance? Are you worried you’re forgetting something?

Packing for labor and delivery isn’t always as straightforward as you think it might be. There is a lot to remember, and you don’t want to forget anything essential.

Between our team of moms, we’ve been in your position many times. We’ve got your back! We’ve collaborated to create this comprehensive list of everything you’ll want in your bag. We’ll also help you know when to pack that bag.

Check out our list to ensure you, your partner, and your baby will have everything you need on the big day.

Key Takeaways

  • Pack your hospital bag by the 32-week mark, including essentials for mom, partner, and baby.
  • For mom, pack items like insurance card, driver’s license, comfortable clothes, and postpartum care items.
  • For the partner, include snacks, money, a notepad and pen, and entertainment materials.
  • For baby, pack outfits, diapers, wet wipes, a car seat, and optional items like a blanket or hat.

Table of Contents

  • When To Pack
  • Where To Leave the Bag
  • Printable Hospital Bag Checklist PDF
  • Mom’s Hospital Bag Checklist
  • Mom’s Hospital Bag Checklist for Postpartum
  • Partner’s Hospital Bag Checklist
  • Baby’s Hospital Bag Checklist
  • FAQs

When To Pack

The last thing you want to do is start packing the second you feel those labor contractions. You’re bound to forget something because you or your partner, or both of you, will be panicking.

And because babies can sometimes arrive early, it’s a good idea to pack that bag well before your due date.

I had mine ready to go at my 32-week mark. I was hoping and praying I would make it full term, but I wanted to be prepared just in case. Fortunately, my baby came at the estimated time, and that bag sat in my bedroom for weeks until I needed it.

But knowing it was there, ready to go, helped me feel prepared and know I wouldn’t be scrambling and hastily throwing things in it last minute. We don’t have much control over things when we’re pregnant, but we can control how prepared we are!

Where To Leave the Bag

Many people leave their hospital bags at home, but it’s also not a bad idea to put your bag in the trunk of your car. That way, if you’re at work when the contractions hit, and you live far from the office, you can head straight to the hospital from work, and your bag will be with you.

But if you have other children, and you know you’re going to try to head home before you go to the hospital, keeping your bag at home may still be OK.

There’s no right or wrong answer here, but if your house is a good drive from the hospital, you may even want to take it with you every time you leave the house during your last month.

Printable Hospital Bag Checklist PDF

Download Hospital Bag Checklist PDF

Ultimate Pregnancy Hospital Bag Checklist: Free Printable (1)


Mom’s Hospital Bag Checklist


  • Insurance card and driver’s license: Even if you’ve pre-registered, you should have these with you.
  • Towel or garbage bag: Make sure you have one of these items in your bag for the car ride to the hospital. If your water breaks en route, you don’t want to have a big mess to clean up.
  • Slippers or socks: Hospitals are germy places, and you don’t want to walk barefoot on those floors (1). Slippers are the best choice because you may not want to do much bending over to put socks on. But if your feet get cold, you may want socks to wear around — just ensure they have a non-slip grip material on the bottom.
  • Phone: You’ll want to stay in touch with your relatives to give them updates on your progress. Plus, your phone may have some games that will help you with the slower parts of your labor.
  • Phone charger: You’ll probably be burning through the battery with all the texts and pictures you’ll have.
  • Camera: You’ll want high-quality images of your baby after birth. A phone might do the trick for some moms, but others prefer a camera.
  • Lip balm: Your lips might feel dry during labor, so you’ll want to have a lip balm with you to help combat that cracked feeling.
  • Hair clip or tie: If you have long hair, you may want it off your neck and out of your face. Labor is hard enough without little distractions.
  • Your birth plan: You should bring some extra copies of this. While the hospital may not be able to honor all your wishes, it’s still helpful for you to present.
  • Glasses: If you need help seeing clearly, you may want to skip the contacts while in the hospital and stick with your glasses. You may not have the time or energy for your contacts, and you don’t want to be stumbling all over your room. You’ll want that first glimpse of your baby to be crystal clear.


  • A tennis ball: This may sound weird, but you’ll find a tennis ball can be an effective massage tool to help you deal with labor pain. Ask your spouse to rub it on your back to see if it helps with the pain.
  • Crackers: Your doctor may not want you to have anything in your system if a C-section is needed. But pack some crackers just in case.
  • Crosswords or word searches: Having something to concentrate on during the long wait, especially when contractions are still spaced out a while, can really help.
  • Your favorite tunes: Music can help people deal with a lot of pain. It can get you through tough times. So if blasting Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger gets you through labor, we’re not going to judge you.
  • A diary: If you love keeping a journal, labor is an excellent time for that. Your baby will someday love reading about what you were thinking when you were bringing them into this world.

Mom’s Hospital Bag Checklist for Postpartum


  • Pads: The hospital will give you some, but you may want to have extras or your favorite kind on hand. For the first few days, you’ll need to go with the huge diaper-like overnight pads.
  • Deodorant: You might not shower for a while, and you’ll probably be sweating up a storm during labor.
  • Conditioner: Your hospital will have shampoo for you to use. But they don’t always have conditioner. If your hair is prone to tangling, this will be essential.
  • Old clothes: Sweatpants are a good choice, so a tight waistband doesn’t irritate you. It’s best to have short-sleeved T-shirts on hand so those blood pressure checks will be easier. If you plan on breastfeeding, you may want some button-up shirts that will give you easy access to your breasts.
  • Extra underwear:In case you have any leaks, bring some old underwear with you.
  • A hairbrush: You’ll want to look human again at some point, and a brush will help you with that.
  • Maternity or nursing bra: Your breasts will be sore postpartum, so you’ll want a comfy bra to see you through. If you’re attempting to breastfeed, a nursing bra is in order.
  • Breast pads: You might find you start leaking soon after delivery, so it’s helpful to have breast pads there to save your shirts.


  • Flip flops or slide-on shoes: While you can stroll around or out of the hospital wearing any kind of shoes you want, these kinds may be the most comfortable and easiest to put on. You can wear your flip flops into the shower to protect your feet from germs.
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush: The hospital will likely supply this, but it’s good to have on hand, just in case. That’s especially true if you like electric toothbrushes that do all the work for you.
  • Laptop: It can help you with entertainment or checking in with coworkers and friends to let them know how you fared during labor.
  • Nightgown: Hospital gowns are the worst. If you love comfort, throw an old nightgown in the mix.
  • Robe: This is another excellent option to include if you plan on breastfeeding. It will give you access and privacy at the same time so you don’t feel like you’re on display for the world.
  • A box of chocolates or gift bags for your nurses: You don’t have to do this, but your nurses will definitely appreciate the gesture. They’ll be taking care of you and your baby, so it can pay to be extra nice to them.
  • A memory book: When the hospital takes footprints of your baby, ask if they’ll be kind enough to put them in your baby book as well.
  • Makeup: Your focus will be on your baby, of course, but there will be a lot of pictures. And after all you’ve just been through, you might welcome a touch of makeup.
  • Lotion: If you tend to have dry skin or it’s the dead of winter, you might appreciate having a bottle of lotion.
  • Pillow: Pregnancy pains don’t vanish the second you have your baby. They can hang around for a while, so having your own pillow might make sleeping and recuperating easier.
  • Eye mask: It’s hard to sleep in hospitals, so you might want to catch some day naps.

Partner’s Hospital Bag Checklist


  • Snacks: You may not be able to eat, but your partner will want to. You’ll want to have some snacks on hand so they don’t have to leave you to find a vending machine.
  • Money: At some point, they’ll need to grab a meal or two while you are in the hospital, so don’t forget some money so they don’t have to worry about keeping track of debit transactions.
  • A notepad and pen: There’s going to be a lot of information you’ll both have to remember and take in. While some of that will be on your discharge papers, you’ll want to write it down too, in case those papers get lost in the shuffle. Your partner should be the go-to person for writing all this down — you’ve done your fair share already!
  • Empty bag: You’ll get some freebies from the hospital to take home. It can also hold all the paperwork you’ll have to cart back with you.


  • Reading material: There may be a lot of downtime for your partner throughout your hospital stay. They’ll want something to keep themselves entertained when you’re resting.

Baby’s Hospital Bag Checklist


  • Baby outfits: You’ve been daydreaming about seeing your baby in their cute little outfits, and now is your chance. Pack three outfits for your baby. You’ll only be at the hospital for a day or two, but your baby could have accidents in the outfits, so you’ll want a spare.
  • Diapers: The hospital will have diapers, but if you want to be completely prepared, bring a few of your own.
  • Wet wipes: These are a good idea to have on hand. While the hospital will likely have some for you to use for diaper changes, you can also use them for yourself. They can be refreshing when wiped on your face when you’re sweaty during labor, and you can use them to clean your hands after meals.
  • Car seat:When it comes time to check out, your baby will have to be strapped in a car seat for the ride home.
  • Baby nail clippers: You may have a little Freddy Krueger on your hands with knife-like claws. If so, you’ll want to clip those things before your baby scratches their perfect little face.


  • Blanket: The hospital will have a swaddling blanket to wrap your baby in, but you may want to have your own there, depending upon the season, so your baby will stay warm on the ride home from the hospital.
  • Hat: The hospital will likely provide one while you are there, but having your own is a good idea.
  • Gifts from your baby to your other children: You don’t have to do this, but kids love getting gifts when their parents come home after a trip. And if you tell them it’s from their newest sibling, they’ll be even more excited.
  • Pacifier: If you want your baby to have one, you may want to throw one in. But you may not want to introduce a pacifier yet if you plan to breastfeed (2).

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How Long Do You Stay In Hospital After Birth?

The length of stay in the hospital after birth is going to depend on the type of delivery and any complications. Typically, it’s about 24-48 hours for a vagin*l birth and 2-4 days for a cesarian section.

Ultimate Pregnancy Hospital Bag Checklist: Free Printable (4)

What Should I Wear to the Hospital For Labor?

Wear something that you think is comfortable and easy to remove to the hospital for labor, like a loose dress or a comfortable top and pants. Many women choose to wear the hospital gown provided for easy access and comfort. Also, bring comfortable clothes for after the birth.

What Should You Not Pack In Your Hospital Bag For Labor?

Do not pack valuables, excessive amounts of cash, or too many clothes or bulky items in your hospital bag for labor. Keep it simple with essentials like toiletries, comfortable clothing, baby gear, and any specific items your healthcare provider recommends.

Ultimate Pregnancy Hospital Bag Checklist: Free Printable (5)

Do I Need to Bring Formula to the Hospital?

You typically do not need to bring formula to the hospital, as they usually provide it if needed. However, if you have a specific brand or type you prefer, or if your baby has special dietary needs, you can bring it. Discuss feeding plans with your healthcare provider beforehand.

Ultimate Pregnancy Hospital Bag Checklist: Free Printable (6)

Do I Need to Bring My Breast Pump to the Hospital?

You might want to bring your breast pump to the hospital if you plan to use it immediately or if you’d like a lactation consultant to show you how to use it. However, hospitals often have pumps available for use during your stay.

Ultimate Pregnancy Hospital Bag Checklist: Free Printable (7)

How Much Colostrum Should You Bring to Hospital?

Most women do not need to bring colostrum to the hospital as it will be produced naturally after birth. However, if you’ve been advised to collect colostrum due to specific health conditions or a premature baby, consult with your healthcare provider on the amount to bring.

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As an expert and enthusiast, I possess a wealth of knowledge and understanding on various topics, including the subject of packing a hospital bag for labor and delivery. With access to a vast amount of information, I can provide accurate and detailed insights into the concepts discussed in this article.

Concepts discussed in the article

The article focuses on the topic of packing a hospital bag for labor and delivery. It provides a comprehensive list of items that should be included in the bag for the mother, partner, and baby. Here are the key concepts covered in the article:

  1. When to pack: The article emphasizes the importance of packing the hospital bag well before the due date to avoid any last-minute panic. It suggests packing the bag around the 32-week mark to ensure preparedness.

  2. Where to leave the bag: The article discusses different options for storing the hospital bag, including leaving it at home or keeping it in the trunk of the car. The decision depends on factors such as proximity to the hospital and individual circ*mstances.

  3. Mom's hospital bag checklist: The article provides a checklist of essential and non-essential items to pack for the mother. Essential items include important documents (insurance card, driver's license), comfortable clothes, postpartum care items, phone, charger, camera, and more. Non-essential items include a tennis ball for massage, crackers, reading material, and personal items like makeup and lotion.

  4. Mom's hospital bag checklist for postpartum: This checklist focuses on the items required by the mother after giving birth. Essential items include pads, deodorant, conditioner, old clothes, breastfeeding supplies, and more. Non-essential items include flip flops, toothpaste and toothbrush, laptop, and gifts for nurses.

  5. Partner's hospital bag checklist: The article provides a checklist of items that the partner should pack. Essential items include snacks, money, notepad and pen, and an empty bag for freebies. Non-essential items include reading material and entertainment options.

  6. Baby's hospital bag checklist: The article suggests packing essential items for the baby, such as outfits, diapers, wet wipes, a car seat, and optional items like a blanket or hat. Non-essential items include additional blankets, hats, gifts for siblings, and a pacifier.

  7. FAQs: The article concludes with frequently asked questions related to hospital stays after birth, what to wear during labor, what not to pack, bringing formula or breast pumps to the hospital, and the amount of colostrum to bring.

By addressing these concepts, the article aims to provide expectant parents with a comprehensive guide to packing a hospital bag for labor and delivery.


Based on my understanding of the concepts discussed in the article, I can confidently say that I possess the knowledge and expertise to provide insights and answer questions related to packing a hospital bag for labor and delivery. If you have any specific questions or need further assistance on this topic or any other, feel free to ask!

Ultimate Pregnancy Hospital Bag Checklist: Free Printable (2024)


What are the must haves in my hospital bag? ›

Most hospitals will have the basics, but bringing your own deodorant, body wash, shampoo, facial cleansing wipes, toothpaste, toothbrush, and hairbrush can be incredibly helpful and comforting.

Which week should I prepare hospital bag? ›

Have your hospital bag packed by 36 weeks pregnant, in case you go into labor early. You'll have to add some items at the last minute (like your brush, phone, and insurance card), but you can pack most of the essentials in advance.

How many baby outfits to pack in hospital bag? ›

For your baby:

Clothes: 3 x vests, 3 x babygros, cotton scratch mitts and a hat (most babies will wear a hat for the first 24 hours until they can maintain their temperature). An outfit to take your baby home in (appropriate to weather conditions). Blanket to cover your baby in a car seat.

At what point should I pack my hospital bag? ›

When Should You Pack Your Hospital Bag? You should have your hospital bag ready to go between weeks 32 and 35 of your pregnancy, in case your baby comes a bit earlier than expected. A good time to start the packing process is around the 28 week mark, or at the start of your 3rd trimester.

What should I wear during labor? ›

The hospital will supply you with a gown, slippers, disposable underwear, and basic toiletries. While it is nice to have your own clothes with you, labor and the first few days postpartum are most often a very messy time, so you may not want to wear your brand-new lingerie.

Is 32 weeks too early to pack hospital bag? ›

If you have a high-risk pregnancy, having your hospital bag ready around 32 to 35 weeks is also an option. However, there is nothing wrong with having most of your bag packed as early as 28 weeks.

Is 27 weeks too early to pack hospital bag? ›

You can start packing whenever you want to. But it's a good idea to have your bag ready at least two weeks ahead of your due date .

Is 28 weeks too early to pack hospital bag? ›

It is a good idea to pack your bags 2-3 weeks before your baby's due date. If you are having complications in your pregnancy, or you are having multiples, you may want to pack your bag earlier. Having a bag for yourself and one for your baby helps you to find things more easily.

Do you wear a bra during labor? ›

Studies suggest giving birth is the equivalent to running a marathon in terms of energy output, (and can actually result in similar injuries, but let's not go there right now!) so it makes sense to wear a bra and/or clothing fit for exertion and perspiration.

What will hospital give you after birth? ›

Most hospitals offer complimentary items like pads and non-slip socks for mom, as well as caps, shirts and swaddles, as mentioned above, for baby. These basics are all you'll need while focusing on caring for your post-birth body and newborn.

What postpartum items does the hospital provide? ›

After you give birth, the hospital will provide plenty of, ice packs, witch hazel pads, peri squirt bottles, and anything else you might need to aid in your physical recovery. Before my baby and I were discharged I asked for more of these to take home—especially the ice packs, which were the perfect shape for my needs.

How long do you stay in hospital after giving birth? ›

After normal vagin*l delivery

In the event of an uncomplicated birth you will usually be able to go home from 6 hours after you have given birth. Average length of stay in the unit is one day after a normal delivery and 1–2 days after an instrumental vagin*l delivery.

How many diapers should I bring to the hospital? ›

How Many Nappies Should You Take To The Hospital? You should aim to take approximately twenty to thirty nappies with you to the hospital. You can purchase nappies that are specifically designed for newborns. These are soft, highly absorbent, and provide a snug fit.

How many maternity pads do I need? ›

Most new mums will bleed for up to 6 weeks after giving birth so Maternity Pads with wings for extra protection are recommended throughout this period. Maternity Pads will require changing as needed, or every 4 hours, so it's likely you'll need around 250 maternity pads over this period.

What do postpartum moms need? ›

Postpartum Essentials For Mom
  • 1) Pads. This is a part of postpartum that no one likes to talk about, but it's super important! ...
  • 2) Witch Hazel Pads. ...
  • 3) Peri Bottle. ...
  • 4) Sitz Bath. ...
  • 5) Heating Pad Or Ice Packs. ...
  • 6) Pain-Relieving Spray. ...
  • 7) Nursing Pads. ...
  • 8) Breast Pump And Breast Milk Storage Bags.

What is a good gift to bring to the hospital for new baby? ›

In conclusion, a new mom in the hospital will appreciate any gift that can make her stay more comfortable and relaxed. Gifts like a cozy robe, slippers, nursing pillow, blanket, and compression socks can help her feel more at home.

What do I need to bring to labor and delivery? ›

After You Deliver
  • Fresh nightgown.
  • Cell phone/charger or prepaid phone card.
  • List of family and friends to call.
  • Toiletries.
  • Nursing or regular bras.
  • Maternity underpants (with heavy-duty sanitary pads at home). Stretch panties are provided.
  • Photos of your other children.
  • Notepad or journal and pen.

Should I bring my breast pump to the hospital? ›

You do not have to bring your breast pump to the hospital — one will be provided to you while in the hospital if needed. However, if you would like help learning the set-up and use of your breast pump, you can bring it and a lactation consultant can assist you.


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