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What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Birth

My doula clients frequently wonder: “What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Birth?”

The following is a list of ideas on what to pack in a hospital bag for birth. This is not an exhaustive list! Your bag may have less or more depending on your needs. This list will:

  • Make heading to the hospital when you’re in labor simple… Just grab it and go!
  • Allow you to thoroughly plan for “the big day” as much as you can ahead of time
  • Save time by minimizing trips from the hospital to home to pick up needed and forgotten things
What to pack in a hospital bag for birth? This list has the details on what to pack for mom, dad and baby for birth and postpartum.

You will need a separate “labor” and “postpartum” bag so that you can leave things in your car when you’re in labor. (It’s no fun to drag three suitcases into labor and delivery when you’re IN labor)

Even if you’re planning a homebirth, I would highly recommend packing a hospital bag for birth. When I was transferred from home to hospital in my last birth, I was not thinking clearly AT ALL and could not pack! I’m so grateful my doula was there. She basically packed for me.

What to pack in a hospital bag for birth? This list has the details on what to pack for mom, dad and baby for birth and postpartum. #thirdtrimester #pregnancy #chidlbirth #hospitalbirth #laboranddelivery

Things needed for BOTH labor AND postpartum have been marked with an *.

Birth Bag For MOM

snack ideas for labor featured
electrolyte cubes for labor and birth

Postpartum Bag for Mom


Bag for DAD

Bag for BABY

  • Cloth diapers and wipes if you are not going to use the hospital’s disposable diapers. (I recommend using the disposables – meconium poop is a pain to clean.)
  • Olive oil to put on baby’s bottom to make wiping away meconium poop fast and simple.
  • Cute baby outfits including a “coming home outfit”. Choose outfits that have hats – hospitals can be chilly!
  • Baby socks
  • Soft aiden + anais baby blankets to use in the hospital and for the ride home
  • Carseat (bring the instructions) – you can’t go home if you don’t have this!
  • A babybook to write in (if you have time… ha!) and to put baby footprints in
  • Infant nail clippers (the hospital won’t clip their nails for you)
  • The Baby Book by Dr. Sears

Leave a Comment

When planning for a hospital birth, it’s important to plan ahead and pack 2-3 different bags. What did you pack in your hospital bag? Would you add anything to this list? Would you take anything off? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


Monday 25th of December 2017

And formula/bottles. Mill doesn't always come in right away. The formula at the hospital had high fructose corn syrup as the first ingredient...

Brittany Staubs

Friday 14th of June 2019

No way!....if you're planning to breastfeed, you do NOT need formula... babies actually only need a VERY small amount of milk in the first couple days...i.e. colostrum is your liquid gold:)


Monday 30th of October 2017

Great suggestions. I'm 37 weeks with my 2nd child and I'm actually packing more this second go around. I want to wear more of my own clothes and I was trying too hard not to go overboard last time.

Spencer Montgomery

Monday 16th of October 2017

Great article! My eldest daughter is about to give birth soon, and I would definitely want to pack her a hospital bag. I like your tip in bringing a speaker to play music during labor. I'll make sure we have that in her bag. Thanks for sharing!


Thursday 6th of July 2017

Amazing lists.


Friday 7th of October 2016

Why the swimsuits? Is that if you have a shared bathroom and are worried about modesty? For the dad, i totally get it. Just wondering the purpose of a swimsuit for mom? Just have never heard that before and am trying to understand. Thanks

Lindsey Morrow

Saturday 8th of October 2016

Some women really like the bathing suit tops, some women don't! It's just personal preference. :)