What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Labor: Free printable checklist
Coming from a couple of moms who have given birth four times, you will want to make packing your hospital bag simple. Try to bring as little as possible and still have everything that will make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.
Sometimes, once you deliver baby, you have to change rooms and move to the postpartum ward. Packing up everything to move is a hassle. Plus, it always seems like so many additional items are accumulated during the hospital stay. Besides the baby of course!
What you actually need in your hospital bag?
Here is a basic list of items that we have found to be necessary during our labor, delivery and postpartum stays at the hospital. However, everyone's needs are different, and the goal is comfort during this time. Please add or delete any of the items you do not think you will need. Also, ask your hospital about their policies and what they provide just in case.
What to pack for your hospital stay:
- Slipper or non-slip socks
- Milkmaid Goods robe
- Milkmaid Goods 24/7 Dress or pajamas
- Nursing bra or tank top
- Going home outfit & shoes
- Phone & charger
- Breastfeeding pillow
- Brush & hair ties
- Shampoo & conditioner
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Shower cap
- Good smelling shower gel
- Any medications you need
- Nipple cream
For Labor & Delivery
- Hospital paperwork/birth plan
- Insurance card
- Camera or video camera w/charger
- Additional comfort items
- 1-2 baby gowns or pajamas
- Milkmaid Goods swaddle blanket with hat or bow
- Pacifiers (if you plan on using them)
- Going home outfit
- Carseat (ready to go)
- Diapers & wipes only if you want a specific brand
- Small thank you gifts for the care team
- Personal pillow/blanket (if you like your own)
- Name announcement plaque or any photo props for baby's first hospital photos
- Postpartum wrap
What kind of clothes should I bring to hospital for labor?
We recommend bring loose fitting, comfortable clothes in your hospital bag. A bathrobe, a nightgown, slippers or socks. Most hospitals and birth centers provide gowns and socks for you to use especially during delivery. Some women choose to bring their own.
When picking out items to bring, we have found that gowns with short or no sleeve work best. This is so that your blood pressure can be checked easily and also for i.v. access and such. May we recommend a Milkmaid Goods 24/7 Dress. It has short sleeves and buttons down the front to make breastfeeding and skin-to-skin easily accessible. Plus they are made with buttery soft fabric for the most comfortable feel.
A light-weight Milkmaid Goods Robe is an excellent choice for a cover-up. Plus they can add an additional layer of warm in the cold hospital rooms. Robes allow easy access for breastfeeding and skin-to-skin, plus easy closure for modesty when visitors are present.
We have designed our Milkmaid Goods robes with our signature buttery soft fabric, extra length, and stay-closed tied to keep them in place during this busy active time. Plus, we offer super cute prints and colors that coordinate with our baby swaddles. So you can match baby! This makes the most precious photo opportunities...in our humble opinion!
What should newborns wear in hospital?
So, what DO newborns wear in the hospital?
First of all, you actually do not have to bring anything for the baby to wear during your hospital stay. Most hospitals prefer to dress babies simply to make well-checked and taking vital easier. Either just a diaper and swaddled in a flannel blanket, or a bodysuit or gown will be fine.
Some parent prefer to bring their babies outfits to wear. Just make sure that the outfit do not have elastic waistbands so that baby's umbilical stump has room to heal. Our Milkmaid Goods gown bundles are great for just this purpose. Plus they make diaper changes easy.
What should newborns wear going home from the hospital?
The same goes for baby's going home outfit with the elastic waistbands. You also won't want them to dress your newborn to go home from the hospital in a gown. Since they will be secured in their carseat, you want baby to have an outfit that allows their legs to be separated and the carseat bucket to be secured.
What do moms wear home from the hospital?
One easy option is to wear maternity clothes. They may not fit quite the same after having a baby, but neither will your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. The benefit of maternity clothes is that they're stretchy, comfy, and you likely already have a nice selection on hand without having to buy anything new.
Again, we recommend a Milkmaid Goods 24/7 Dress.
How to Pack an Organized Hospital Bag for Labor and Delivery
As we mentioned before, there is a chance that you will be in two different rooms during your hospital stay. One for labor and delivery, and a different room for postpartum. There are some hospitals that allow you to be in the same room your entire visit, so you may want to ask your hospital what their protocol is.
That being said, we recommend packing a small hospital bag with the essentials you need for labor and delivery, and a suitcase for your hospital stay after baby is born. You may want to keep babies items in a separate bag so that they remain clean and free from soaps and dyes from your personal items.
Packing cubes are also a great option, because they keep everything organized by group. You can easily grab the packing cube that contains the items you need without having to go through the entire suitcase.
Do you wear a bra during labor?
That's totally up to you!
Comfort is key during labor, so you need to choose what you are most comfortable in. Some moms choose to wear a stretchy light-weight sports bra, tank top or nursing bra under their hospital gown. However, some moms simply wear nothing under it. You can also use the sheet or blanket for modesty and comfort.
At how many weeks should I start packing my hospital bag?
There's really no definite answer to this question. But, you shouldn't wait too long just in case baby tries to make an early appearance.
There are some moms-to-be that start slowly packing their hospital bag once they enter their third trimester or around 27 weeks. Others will wait until a week or two before their due date. Once mom get into nesting mode, that is usually when all the pre-baby tasks tend to get done.
Ultimately, if it makes you feel more at ease to get the packing of you hospital done early, then more power to you. The more prepared and calm you can be during pregnancy, the better.
How many baby diapers should you bring to the hospital?
None! Most hospitals will provide you with diapers and wipes during your stay. You can then bring the leftovers home with you. The only reason to bring diapers or wipes with you would be if you have a certain preference on the brand you want to use for your baby.
Best Tips for Packing in Your Hospital Bag for Labor & Delivery
Hopefully, the above advice makes Packing Your Hospital Bag for Labor & Delivery just a little bit easier. Most of all, just do what makes you feel most comfortable. There really is no wrong or right way. You know yourself and what would make yourself the most happy.
Good luck! (and don't forget to download our free printable hospital bag checklist.)