Top 10 Things to Pack for the Hospital When Having a Baby

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You’ve read the books, prepared the nursery, waited anxiously for 9+ months, and you’re finally ready to give birth (or at least as ready as you’ll ever be). Now, all that’s left is to pack your bag. Here is your ultimate hospital packing list:

1. Your Clothes

Keep in mind, nightgowns, comfy pajamas, and bathrobes are the dress code. Comfort is the goal here. Just make sure everything is covered up; visitors tend to pop in unexpectedly (wanted or not).

Unless you plan on leaving the hospital in your PJs, you’ll also need something to go home in.  Make sure your clothing is about the size you were at 6 months pregnant. Although we wish our bodies would bounce back minutes after having a baby, recovery naturally takes a bit longer.

2. Toiletries

You’ll need a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, brush…all the necessities. Honest’s lip balm and moisturizing lotion are a must—giving birth can leave your skin feeling very, very dry and you can snuggle and shower your little one with kisses without worrying about exposure to nasty toxins.

You may want to consider make-up, too. There will be a lot of pictures taken and you may appreciate a touch up.

3. Footwear

Don’t neglect your feet—bring lots of socks and slippers. Hospitals tend to be cold and so are their floors.  Also it’s a good idea to bring flip-flops for the shower.

4. Home Comforts

Nothing can replicate the perfect thickness of the pillow or the coziness of blankets from your bed. Bring them along and you will be grateful. They can make a huge difference in how well you sleep.

5. Electronics

You will want your cell phone of course. But the most forgotten item on the way to the hospital is the cell phone charger.  The last thing you need is for your phone to run out of juice just when it’s time to spread the good news.

You want to make sure your baby’s debut is documented and a cell phone may not cut it. Bring in the big guns – a good camera and/or video camera to catch it all.

6. Nursing Accessories 

A nursing bra and breastfeeding pillow are great to have with you. If you’re just learning to breastfeed, you need all the help you can get. And if you don’t plan on nursing bring a sports bra to keep things under control.

7. Entertainment

Giving birth will keep you busy but believe it or not there is a lot of down time.  Magazines, books, and even playing cards can help the time go quicker. Bring some music too. It can help calm you pre-delivery and bring the baby into the world with your favorite tunes.

8. Food

Snacks and drinks are always a good idea. Both you and your husband (or other guests) will appreciate having something to nosh on after the birth.  Vending machines and hospital cafeterias only go so far.  You might want to throw some champagne in there too for an after delivery celebration. You deserve it!

9. Husband’s Things

Your husband is not doing any pushing but he will be hanging around for a while so make sure he brings extra clothes, a toothbrush, etc. This goes for any “helper” who plans on staying for the long haul. You might also want to throw in aspirin for headaches and pen and paper for any lists he needs to write.

10. Baby’s Things

Make sure you have a car seat for the baby. Most hospitals won’t let you go home if you don’t have one—with good reason.

While the hospital provides your with conventional diapers and wipes, we recommend bringing a small set of your own non-toxic baby supplies like those from Honest so your tiny baby’s first bath and diaper are free of harsh chemicals.

And of course the baby will need adorable going home clothes, a cute hat, perhaps a sweet receiving blanket…it’s time for the big reveal.

~ Jill Besnoy


  1. avatar

    Make sure you don’t just bring one outfit for the baby! We brought a newborn size “going home” onesie – adorable with little monkeys all over it – that seemed plenty big. We weren’t expecting our own little monkey to be 10 lb. 1 oz. His outfit was a wee snug. Also – don’t forget the Chapstick.

    • avatar

      Chapstick is a must! Look for non-toxic and natural brands, so you don’t have any worries about kissing your baby.

  2. avatar
    Old Momma

    EARPLUGS – for you or daddy and trade off. ONE of you needs to be able to sleep to get the family home safely the next day! We were both so groggy after the first kid, for the second I sent Dad home right after delivery for a good night’s sleep.

    • avatar

      This made us laugh! Sleep is definitely a precious commodity once your newborn arrives.

  3. avatar

    … why bring your own “comfy” clothes and have them get all bloody after?? The bleeding doesn’t stop after the baby comes out! Snacks for hubby is good, but when you are in real labor, you are limited to ice chips in case you get rushed to the OR. not to mention the fact that when true labor starts, digestion stops!! DO NOT bundle your baby up in a snow suit to go home…..put on only the outfit you brought and then a blanket AFTER they are strapped in the car seat (that by the way, you should have practiced using with a doll or teddy bear prior to bringing it to the hospital……..the base should also already be installed and checked by your local fire department). is against most policies and the law for nurses to check car seats other than making sure the straps are snug enough on baby on your way out the door. Most hospitals will provide you with a tooth brush, toothpaste, feminine products, as well as everything for baby…minus a pacifier (a good number of hospitals are “baby friendly” now and do not supply them). If you are unsure what you need to bring with you, ask at your next OB visit, or simply call the maternity unit where you plan to deliver.

    • avatar
      Tina True Edwards

      Midwives and birthing centers and even some hospitals DO allow food. If you are in labor for a long time (my mom was in labor for 72 hours for example) it is actually REALLY dangerous to not eat or drink anything besides ice. Dehydration and malnutrition can make you weak and actually delay labor longer. I know some hospitals and doctors disagree but it makes logical sense. Why deny food to prepare for emergency when the actual denial of food can cause an emergency? Its ridiculous.

  4. avatar
    Denise Rambo

    Unless you have a C-section, no hospital I know will let you stay long enough to needs “lots” of socks and slippers.

    • avatar
      Tina True Edwards

      I imagine if you are in a private hospital and have lots of money to pay then they will let you stay as long as you want.

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  6. avatar
    ob/gyne nurse

    books, magazines, and playing cards?? Perhaps too much time has passed since this writer gave birth. I have yet to see a woman in labor crack open a book. Good grief.

  7. avatar

    I’d like to add a baby nail file or mittens for him/her. Our hospital did not supply these items and we ended up with some scratches on our sweet baby’s face before we left.

    • avatar

      Great reminder that many babies are born with long nails, Heidi! Thanks for the tip and addition to the list.

  8. avatar
    Rachel Hall

    Bring Depends or other adult diapers. Trust me on this. The bleeding will not stop after you give birth. Also, if you get an ice pack down there, you will pee yourself. Those pads they give you do not work. If you plan on leaving your room at all, to maybe enjoy the weather outside or something bring your own comfy clothes, maternity junk you won’t wear again, combined with the adult diaper and you should be able to survive 15 minutes outside without embarrassment.

  9. avatar

    while hospitals DO supply you with hygiene products. They’re horrendous to say the least. bring small bottles of your own stuff, you’ll feel better. And you never know if you’re going to have a C, so you might as well bring your socks! 1 in 3 births is a C now. (ridiculous)

    I’m glad you mentioned bringing pillow or blanket from home. I definitely want to bring my own and am glad to have encouragement on that!

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