hospital bag checklist

Perfect Hospital Bag Checklist for 2020

Expecting? Due in a few weeks? Water broke RIGHT NOW? Are you totally overwhelmed and unsure what to bring to the hospital? Well, this ultimate hospital bag checklist is meant for you! For your convenience, you can also download our printable hospital bag checklist here. In this checklist we will walk you through when to start packing, what to pack for mom, what to pack for baby, and what to pack for a partner. While this hospital bag checklist will mostly focus on hospital birth, there are items on this list that are essential for any hospital stay.

Expecting? Due in a few weeks? Water broke RIGHT NOW? Are you totally overwhelmed and unsure of what to bring to the hospital? Well, this ultimate hospital bag checklist is meant for you! For your convenience, you can also download our printable hospital bag checklist. In this checklist we will walk you through when to start packing, what to pack for mom, what to pack for baby, and what to pack for partner. While this hospital bag checklist will mostly focus on a hospital birth, there are items on this list that are essential for any hospital stay.

Downloadable Hospital Bag Checklist

Download our hospital bag checklist PDF. Instant download. No email required.

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When to Start Packing

Hospital packing is an important part of your birth plan. Ideally, you should have the bag ready to go around 35-37 weeks before the expected due date. In the case of early labor, you won’t be scrambling to get everything together.

What to Pack for Mom

For planning purposes, women who deliver vaginally tend to stay (on average) one to two days in the hospital. Women who deliver via c-section stay (on average) three to four days. It’s definitely important to consider the length of your stay when you are packing the hospital bag.

Pro tip: Ask your hospital staff what they provide for mothers and feel free to take those things off your hospital bag checklist. However, it doesn’t hurt to have extras. You got this, mama!

  • Photo ID
  • Insurance info
  • Cell phone and charger (also portable charger and USB in case outlets are scarce)
  • A few pairs of warm socks (cotton or wool)
  • A robe
  • Warm sweater (one you don’t mind possibly getting dirty)
  • Toiletries and personal items (can include hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, contact lens case and solution, glasses)
  • Lip balm
  • Ponytails/scrunchies/headbands 
  • Snacks
  • Two maternity bras/nursing bras (no underwire)
  • Nursing pads / Breast pads
  • Loose, lightweight clothing and pajamas (better than just wearing a hospital gown)
  • Comfortable going-home outfit
  • Comfortable shoes (flats or flip flops)
  • Bath towel
  • Peri bottle
  • A book or magazine
  • Earbuds to listen to music
  • Comfy pillow
  • A few pairs of maternity underwear
  • Breast feeding pillow
  • Postpartum recovery essentials kit 
  • Reusable water bottle or something with more electrolytes like Gatorade
  • Nipple cream
  • Adult diapers/Maternity pads/Maxi pads
  • Stool softener (just in case)
  • Eye mask (in case you have light sensitivity)
  • Prescription medications (if applicable)
  • Pediatrician contact information

What to Pack for Baby 

While I’m sure every baby book will tell you to baby proof your house and get all the baby goods you possibly can, make sure you also pack a couple of key items for your baby’s arrival.

  • A car seat (yes, you NEED a car seat and it must already be installed)
  • A going home-outfit and hat (bring different sizes as you don’t know how big your baby will be)
  • Bottles (if you are using them)
  • Don’t worry too much about diapers or wipes (the hospital should have plenty– feel free to bring an extra bag for the hospital freebies though. Postpartum life will be challenging so having a surplus of the basics is important.)
  • A warm swaddle blanket

What to Pack for Partner 

It’s definitely essential that your partner has a bag for the hospital as well. Many of which are honestly hospital bag essentials. Spoiler alert: it’s mostly snacks.

  • Comfortable clothes and pajamas
  • Warm socks (cotton or wool)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant, hairbrush, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, contact lens case and solution)
  • Snacks: Try to pack something from each of these categories: salty, sweet, protein, and healthy. Whatever snacks you bring will probably be way better than hospital food.
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Book
  • Laptop/iPad
  • Phone and headphones
  • Phone and laptop charger
  • Your own pillow and possible sleeping bag (hospital sheets can be scratchy and thin and hospital pillows aren’t the most comfortable)
  • Prescription medications (if applicable)

There you have it! While your lists may slightly vary, these are the basics for a pregnancy hospital bag checklist. Congratulations on the newborn baby!

About the author
January Nelson is a writer, editor, dreamer, and occasional exotic dancer and a collective pen name. Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.

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