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What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag: A Comprehensive Birth Checklist for Expectant Mothers

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

Expectant mothers have a lot on their minds as they prepare for the arrival of their little one, and packing their hospital bag is one of the most important tasks on their to-do list. But what exactly should you pack?

Fear not, because this comprehensive birth checklist will ensure that you have everything you need to make your hospital stay comfortable and stress-free.

hospital bag

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From essential toiletries and comfortable clothing to important documents and items to help with labor and recovery, this checklist covers it all. We've done the research so you don't have to, making sure you have all the necessary items for both you and your baby.

With this handy guide, you won't have to worry about forgetting anything important on the big day.

Whether you're a first-time mom or have been through this before, having a well-packed hospital bag will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on what truly matters - the excitement and joy of bringing a new life into the world. So, get ready to pack your bag and be prepared for a smooth and memorable birthing experience.

When is it recommended for expectant mothers to pack their hospital bag?

It is generally recommended for expectant mothers to pack their hospital bag between 36-37 weeks of pregnancy. This allows enough time for the bag to be packed and ready in case of an early delivery, while also giving the mother peace of mind that everything she needs for the hospital stay is prepared.

Let's Get Started!

Essential documents and paperwork

It's important to pack your hospital bag well in advance to ensure that you have everything you need when the time comes. Aim to have your bag packed and ready to go by the time you reach 36 weeks of pregnancy. This will give you enough time to add any last-minute items and make any necessary adjustments.

Keep in mind that babies can arrive earlier than expected, so having your hospital bag ready early is a good idea. It's better to be prepared and have everything on hand, rather than scrambling at the last minute.

Before packing your bag, make sure you have all the necessary documents and paperwork in order. This will help streamline the admission process and ensure that you have a smooth check-in at the hospital. Here are the essential documents you should include:

1. Identification: Bring your driver's license, passport, or any other form of identification that the hospital may require.

2. Health insurance card: Make sure to have your health insurance card readily available.

3. Birth plan: If you have a birth plan, make several copies and include them in your bag. This will help communicate your preferences to the hospital staff.

4. Hospital registration forms: If you haven't already filled out the hospital's registration forms, make sure to bring them with you.

Having these documents organized in a folder or envelope will make it easier for you to access them when needed. It's also a good idea to have digital copies saved on your phone or email, just in case.

Get FREE Hospital Bag Checklist HERE

Be Comfy

During your hospital stay, comfort is key. Pack a few sets of loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that will accommodate your changing body post-delivery. Here are some items to consider:

1. Nursing bras and maternity underwear: These will provide support and comfort during and after labor.

2. Maternity pajamas or nightgowns: Opt for ones that are breathable and easy to breastfeed in.

3. Slippers and socks: Pack a pair of cozy slippers and non-slip socks for walking around the hospital.

4. Robe: A lightweight robe is perfect for layering and will come in handy during those early morning walks to the nursery.

Pack loose-fitting, comfortable clothing such as a robe, pajamas, and nursing nightgowns. Avoid tight-fitting clothing as your body will still be adjusting post-delivery. Pack slippers or comfortable shoes, and a few pairs of socks to keep your feet warm. Most hospitals provide labor and delivery gowns but you may want to pack some comfy clothes to wear during labor just in case.

hospital bag

Pack Personal Hygiene Items and Breastfeeding Essentials.

Having your own toiletries and personal care items will help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated during your hospital stay. Here's a list of essentials to pack:

1. Toothbrush and toothpaste: Keep your oral hygiene in check.

2. Hairbrush or comb: Tame your tresses after labor.

3. Shampoo and conditioner: Opt for travel-sized bottles for convenience.

4. Body wash or soap: Choose a mild, fragrance-free option to avoid any irritations.

5. Face wash and moisturizer: Keep your skin clean and hydrated.

6. Lip balm: Hospitals can be dry, so keep your lips moisturized.

7. Deodorant: Stay fresh and odor-free.

8. Maternity pads: Stock up on these for postpartum bleeding.

9. Nursing pads: If you plan to breastfeed, these will come in handy to prevent leaks.

Remember to pack these items in a separate toiletry bag for easy access. You can also add any additional items that are part of your regular skincare routine.

You'll also want to pack personal hygiene items such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and a hairbrush or comb. Pack your own pillowcase, if you prefer, and a few of your own towels.

You'll also want to pack nursing pads, breast cream, and a breast pump if you plan on breastfeeding. If you're planning on formula feeding, pack formula, bottles, and a bottle brush to clean them.

hospital bag

What should I Pack for the Baby?

Baby essentials

  1. Going-Home Outfit: Choose a comfortable and weather-appropriate outfit for your baby's first journey home.

  2. Onesies/Bodysuits: Several onesies or bodysuits for daily changes.

  3. Socks or Booties: To keep their tiny feet warm.

  4. Hat: A soft, newborn-sized hat to keep their head warm.

  5. Swaddle Blankets: Swaddle blankets for comfort and warmth.

  6. Receiving Blankets: Lightweight blankets for various uses.

  7. Diapers: A small supply of newborn diapers.

  8. Wipes: Baby wipes for diaper changes.

  9. Diaper Cream: A small tube of diaper cream for diaper rash prevention.

  10. Baby Lotion: Gentle lotion for baby's skin.

  11. Baby Wash or Soap: Mild baby wash or soap for their first bath.

  12. Pacifiers: If you plan to use them.

  13. Car Seat: Ensure it's properly installed in your car.

hospital bag

Entertainment and relaxation items

Labor and recovery can be a long process, so having some entertainment and relaxation items on hand can help pass the time and ease any anxiety or discomfort. Consider packing the following:

1. Books or magazines: Choose light reading material that you can easily put down and pick up.

2. Tablet or e-reader: Download your favorite movies, TV shows, or e-books for entertainment.

3. Music and headphones: Create a playlist of calming or uplifting songs to help you relax.

4. Essential oils or aromatherapy: Choose scents that promote relaxation and help calm your nerves.

5. Massage tools: A handheld massager or massage ball can provide relief during labor and recovery.

6. Meditation or breathing exercises: Bring a guided meditation app or breathing exercises to help you relax and stay calm.

These items will help create a soothing and calming environment, allowing you to focus on your well-being during this special time.

Don't forget to pack your phone charger, camera, and any other electronic devices you might want to use to capture the special moments with your new baby. Pack a book or magazine to read if you have some down time.

hospital bag


Labor can be a long and energy-consuming process, so it's important to pack some snacks and drinks to keep yourself nourished and hydrated. Here are some suggestions:

1. Water bottle: Stay hydrated with a reusable water bottle.

2. Healthy snacks: Pack granola bars, nuts, dried fruits, or energy bars to keep your energy levels up.

3. Electrolyte drinks: Consider packing electrolyte drinks or powders to replenish your fluids.

Check with your healthcare provider if you have any dietary restrictions or specific recommendations for snacks and drinks during labor.

It's also a good idea to bring a water bottle with a straw or a sippy cup, as it will be easier for you to drink water while holding the baby.

hospital bag

Partner's Bag

Lastly, pack a bag for your partner. They'll want to be comfortable too, here are some ideas:

  1. Change of Clothes: Comfortable clothing for the duration of the stay.

  2. Toiletries: Similar to what you'd pack for yourself.

  3. Snacks and Drinks: To stay nourished during the wait.

  4. Entertainment: Something to keep occupied during downtime.

  5. Phone and Charger: To stay connected and updated.

Nursing Pillow

In addition to the above-mentioned essentials, there are a few other items that you might want to consider packing in your hospital bag. One of them is a nursing pillow. This will provide support while breastfeeding and make it more comfortable for both you and your baby. There a lot of options now a days to choose from, here is the one that I used with my eldest daughter that I will use again with my new baby:

hospital bag

Post Delivery Recovery Items

Lastly, although the hospital might provide a few of these, it's also a good idea to pack a few items for post-delivery recovery. This might include pads for postpartum bleeding, a peri bottle for postpartum hygiene, and pain relievers for any discomfort you may experience.

The Frida Mom Hospital Packing Kit for Labor, Delivery, & Postpartum is a comprehensive and convenient set that includes everything a new mother needs for her hospital stay and recovery. The kit includes a nursing gown, socks, peri bottle, disposable underwear, ice maxi pads, pad liners, perineal foam, and a toiletry bag. All of these items are designed specifically to meet the needs of new mothers, making the transition from hospital to home as smooth as possible. The kit also comes in a 15 piece set, making it easy to pack and bring to the hospital. The Frida Mom Hospital Packing Kit is a great option for expectant mothers who want to be prepared for their hospital stay and recovery period.

hospital bag


Having a hospital bag ready is important for expectant mothers because it allows them to be prepared for their hospital stay and the unexpected. It is important for expectant mothers to have the necessary items packed and ready to go, so that when labor begins, they can leave for the hospital without worrying about forgetting anything important.

Having a hospital bag ready also allows the mother to focus on the labor and delivery process, rather than worrying about what they may have forgotten to pack. It also helps to have the bag ready in case of a unexpected early delivery.

hospital bag


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