Hospital Packing List for Mom, Dad, and Baby

The must-have items to pack for your delivery. Everything to pack for mom, dad, and the baby!

Babywise Mom in the hospital delivering Brinley

Hospital Packing List for mom, baby, and dad. Know what to pack to take to the hospital when it is time to deliver your baby!

I was ready. When I research something, I don’t turn to one source only. Oh no. I was taught better than that. You need multiple sources to verify what is true.

My hospital packing list was no different.

I wasn’t going to read one person’s list and leave it at that.

Nope. I would look at many. I would find out what was common. I would carefully consider things that only made it to one list. I would read books. I would be as prepared as possible because that is how I roll and there was no way I was rolling into labor with a nagging “what if I forgot something” in the back of my head.

I was over-prepared, and that was okay. I prefer that to the opposite.

But I amended my list over the years and through my deliveries. I want to be prepared, but there is no reason to pack things I would never use just to have to unpack them when I got home. Simplify.

This list has been vetted.

With any good list comes some caveats.

There are some things that will depend on your circumstances and delivery center.

Brayden and Kaitlyn both had short labors. I didn’t need anything “to do” with me because I didn’t have time for it.

McKenna’s was twice as long, and we would have liked some things we had packed with Brayden but since banished from our list. Now, this was waaaayyy back in the day before we carried around computers in our pockets, so “entertainment” probably doesn’t even need to be packed like it was then.

Nevertheless, the takeaway is that your perfect list will vary based on how long your labor is. And unless you are having a planned cesarean, you don’t have much way of knowing how long you will be in that hospital room before the baby arrives. Just like every pregnancy is different, every delivery is different.

Another important point is that your list will vary based on what your hospital offers. What my hospital automatically provides won’t necessarily be true of your hospital. So ask around; crowd-source with people who have recently delivered at your hospital.

My hospital seems to provide a lot of what is found on many lists, so I don’t need to worry about it. If you are delivering in a hospital you have never delivered in, it would be a good idea to ask the hospital or a friend who has delivered there what to expect for your stay.

>>>Read: How To Create a Birth Plan (with Printable)

Hospital Packing List for mom, baby, and dad

Hospital Bag Essentials For Mom

Here are things to consider packing for mom. First are things that will come in handy both in delivery and post-delivery:

  • Scriptures
  • Phone
  • Phone charger
  • iPad
  • Charging bank
  • Book / Kindle
  • Notebook and pen
  • Journal
  • Pillow
  • Earplugs
  • Hair tie or scrunchie
  • Lip balm
  • Socks
  • Hard candies

Post-delivery items for mom:

  • Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, soap, face wash, lotion…)
  • Hairbrush and/or comb
  • Glasses, contacts, contact lens case, contact solution
  • Underwear
  • PJ pants
  • Robe
  • Slippers
  • Going home outfit
  • Flip flops (your feet will likely be swollen when you go home)
  • Boppy
  • Nursing bra
  • Lansinoh
  • Pump
  • Nursing pads
  • Sanitary pads for postpartum bleeding (many hospitals will provide these)

I have my entertainment items. My phone along with my scriptures and a good book or two are more than enough to keep my mind entertained.

My husband and I typically spend a lot of the time visiting with each other anyway, so I don’t really need much. My notebook and pen are so I can keep notes of things that come to my mind. When I sit still, my mind starts planning.

I love having my own pillow with me no matter where I am sleeping. I even took my own pillow to Hawaii. I sleep best with my own pillow, so it comes along.

I also sleep best at the hospital with earplugs to block out any hospital noise. There is a LOT of noise.

With Brayden, I didn’t have my own PJ pants or a nursing bra. It was okay–I survived without it all, but by McKenna, I had those things with me and just liked it so much more. I like my hospital’s gown just fine, but I like to have some pants on underneath and a robe is nice if you want to get up and wander about.

I have always had a boppy for each child, and I love it.

The lansinoh and nursing pads are not necessary–the hospital has them–but I bring mine along “just in case.” In case of what? I am not sure. I just do.

The pump is something I bring because my pump hooks up to the hospital’s several-thousand-dollar electronic pumps. I can use those for free, but it will cost my insurance about 100-150 dollars if I don’t bring my own pump along.

The camera and going home outfit are obvious. You only need an additional camera if you want something fancier than your cell phone.

Oh, and let me just say, I shower every day at the hospital. I can never tell you enough how much I love to shower. Showering makes me happy.

Get a printable version of this document here.


Hospital Bag Essentials For Dads

  • Scriptures
  • Phone
  • Book
  • Pillow
  • Toiletries
  • Clothes
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • PJs
  • Snacks

My husband is obviously a little less maintenance than I am, but hey, I am the one who just gave birth right? He has no breastfeeding issues going on (among other things).

Hospital Bag Essentials For Baby

  • Car seat
  • Going home outfit
  • Blanket
  • Diaper bag
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Bulb syringe
  • Socks
  • Baby book and pen
  • Wipes if your hospital does not provide them
  • Diapers if your hospital does not provide them
  • Onesies if your hospital does not provide them

This is really an area the hospital pretty much covers. I basically only need what I need for the drive home.

If you are having twins, see what else you might need to pack for twins!

That is my list. What is on your list?

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Hospital packing list for mom dad and baby pinnable image


This post originally appeared on this blog in July 2012

17 thoughts on “Hospital Packing List for Mom, Dad, and Baby”

  1. Good luck!! I am excited for you!I think chapstick and a hair tie / scrunchie deserve a separate entry although they're technically under toiletries.Also, along with camera, either the charger or extra batteries.A birth plan to give to the nurse if you have one, and also any info for any studies you're participating in that want cord blood (this probably doesn't apply to most people, but it's also super easy to forget to inform the nurses to contact the people in those studies). Or, a cord blood donation plan if you're donating it.Along the PJ pants and robe lines, I never minded the hospital gowns but did like having my own slippers / indoor sandals to wear when roaming the halls afterwards.Your list looks great though and covers everything – these are just ideas others could need. Good luck, I'll be thinking of you!!!!

  2. Enough underwear, pads, clothes, etc. in case of an extended hospital stay. I was discharged on schedule, but DD was kept in the NICU days. They gave me a room to stay in so I could be there all the time and BF, but as I was discharged I was on my own for pads, gowns, etc. I almost didn't have enough and it's easier not to send DH to get more!

  3. I personally prefer the my brest friend nursing pillows to a boppy any day.I love seeing people's lists because with a 27 weeker we didn't have a hospital bag packed!

  4. Don't want to be gross or anything, but I definitely bring my own pads. The ones the hospital has are uncomfortable, and I find mine to be more absorbent anyway. A friend suggested just wearing Depends for the first day or two. Not sure whether I'll try that with #3 or not — it depends (teehee) on how bad things are. Interesting suggestion anyway, though.

  5. My advice: less is more. Most hospitals (and you can check with yours) provide almost everything you need aside from clothes, toiletries, and the essentials for taking baby home. Also, I want to kindly say that providing copies of "birth plans" will only give the nursing staff a good chuckle 🙂 Things don't always go to plan… so communicate what you want and be willing to be flexible if necessary!

  6. I completely agree that things always (in fact, usually!) don't go according to the birth plan. With my first, I had to totally scrap "the plan".I chatted with a friend who was a labor and delivery nurse, and she said they are actually very helpful because they "give them an idea of the type of patient you are." In that case, not providing them with a birth plan also gives them an idea. Some things on birth plans are important, too, in case you forget to tell the staff. For example, I developed hives after the birth of my son and thereafter did not want to use Tucks or Dermoplast with subsequent births. This kind of thing was not necessarily in my medical record but was still pretty important to me to tell the nurses when I had my second child!So yes, sometimes having a birth plan is useless, but it can be helpful for basic information and to help the nurses know best the types of things you might like or want, what will make you comfortable or uncomfortable, etc.

  7. Great list! The only thing we have on ours in addition would be nurse/doctor gifts. When I asked several of my L&D friends what they appreciated most during their work day, hands down every one of them said that it made them feel extremely special when a family brought a long (or delivered later) a token of their appreciation – no matter how small. My sister had a 24 weeker in the NICU for 4 months, and we would sneak bags of m&m's in for the nurses. They LOVED it. When we had our first son, I created little gift baskets for the nurses and the attending OB. I just put homemade jam, a homemade peppermint candle, and hand-dipped chocolates in them. This time around (we're 26 weeks now with twin boys) I'm opting for homemade peppermint body scrub, a candle, and probably something a little more manly for my male OB just in case he does wind up delivering. ; p Maybe new golf balls or something. Ha! But we just keep this bag in our truck so it's there and we don't have to think about it. After babies arrive, my husband will run down and grab it. Oh and I also bring along a few 'thank you' cards for the RN's in Mother/Baby and anyone else who pitches in during the process. 🙂 Good luck and best wishes on the upcoming wee one!!

  8. Yay! So exciting! Like Michelle said, with my second I brought my "Brest friend" nursing pillow instead of the boppy! I LOVED IT! I have a long torso, and I personally felt like it helped to not feel like I was slouching as much while breast feeding (aka–it didn't hurt my back/shoulders!) Thanks for the info about the pump! It hadn't really occurred to me about the extra cost (Hah! Silly–I know!)

  9. I love the idea of thank you cards for nurses. I always try to be very appreciative of everything they do, but a card and/or a small gift is extra nice.I also added wearing a nursing bra under the gown for babies #2 & #3. It helps me feel much more human. Flip flops for wearing around the room and it the shower were a must for me. I also bring in my own helpful snacks–particularly prunes. It helps keeps things nice and soft in a sensitive area, you know? I eat about 1/2 a bag a day for the first week or so after baby is born and have found that is more effective than stool softeners!Good luck!!

  10. I'm due August 24, with a tentative eviction date of August 17. (Hoping the little guy will come before that's necessary, though!)Here's what I'm packing:Birth planCrackers, lollipops, gatorade, bananasCooler for DadIpod (Hypnobabies tracks)Hypnobabies Quick Reference GuideToiletriesComfy clothesUnderclothes Medela Nipple Cream Coming-home outfit SocksFlip flopsCameraCell phoneLap topChargers2-4 pillowsBirth BallCar seatWe waaaay overpacked for our daughter's birth, so we're trying to keep it light this time. 🙂 Best of luck to you!

  11. Thank you everyonefor your comments! Lots of great ideas and additions. I love the thank you card/Gift idea. And the socks/slippers/flip flops. I had that for the others and forgot! Thanks for the great additions.

  12. I am super low maintenance. For my second I wore the outfit I'd give birth in (birthcenter), then brought yoga pants, jeans (yes I'm a freak and walk out wearing my jeans), 2 shirts, socks and underwear, my own pads (I agree with pp, these are a must!), nursing bra, nursing pads, bible, book, purse with ipod and phone of course, and that's about it I think. I was only there to give birth though and then happily went home. If I had to stay longer than a day I'd likely pack a boppy pillow and maybe some other things too.

  13. For my second kiddo- I actually used all of this stuff,
    Mom: ROBE!!!!, Nursing Bra,underwear, loose sweatpants(your yoga pants will not hide the huge pad you have on), slippers, nursing tank top, toiletries, boppy, pillow, headphones, iPhone, book, sleep eye mask, adult diapers (it’s like the red wedding down there- just do it, no shame) I have found that a breastpump is not necessary really, hand expression is way more effective the first few days when your LO eats like a tablespoon at a time- and you can always have someone bring it to you if you’re there for more than a few days)

    Baby: Diaper bag, in addition:
    Mittens/socks for little scratchy hands, fingernail clippers, hat, 2 outfits each nb/0-3 (I brought sleep sacks for the stay as DD had an electronic anklet on, and a cute pair of pajamas for the ride home) muslin blanket, burp cloth and I liked our Velcro swaddles better than the hosp blanket type so I brought one of those, Car seat. Controversial: I also brought a pacifier

    Dad: SNACKS!!!!, electronic entertainment, camera, chargers, pajamas, go home outfit, pillow, sleeping bag in the car, toiletries, headphones/earplugs, sleep mask… and a working knowledge of where all the important things are so that when you ask for a hair tie in the middle of labor- he knows there that sh__ is.


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