gettong ready for labor

Preparing for Your Baby’s Arrival: Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist


Months have an average of 30 days, except the 9th month of pregnancy which has about 10,000 days.

This part of the pregnancy is usually the longest because you’re worried about delivering/the delivery. Or, you’re excited to see your baby. A lot of parents say that parenthood is the scariest ‘hood to be in. You’re constantly wondering what’s best for the baby. Every pregnancy and birth is a unique journey. There are so many things to do, prepare, and buy. Despite knowing where you’re going, packing your hospital bag is fraught with uncertainty! We wanted to be there with you on this adventure, so we came up with a comprehensive pregnancy hospital bag checklist for you, dear mama, your little one, and your birth partner.

In this article, we’ll share what we’ve learned from our own and other moms’ experiences in preparing their go bags. We’ll answer:

  • What kind of carryall should I use for the hospital?
  • When should we start packing our maternity bags?
  • What do you pack for moms pre and post-labor?
  • What do you bring for your L.O.?
  • When should you install the car seat?
  • What do you prepare for your birthing partner?
  • What should you NOT pack for the hospital?

No need to take screenshots or copy this list. The downloadable copy is at the end of this article, so you can save it to your phone or print it at home.

Choosing the Right Kind of Bag

Although you can buy the best labor go-bag on the market, remember that you don’t have to. Check your existing luggage to see if it has the following features:

Compartments And Pockets

When packing for three, including a tiny human, choose a bag with plenty of pockets and compartments. This will help you find things more easily because everything has its own space. After all, you wouldn’t want your partner digging through your bag to find your underwear at the nurse’s station!

Can Hold the Weight

No matter how well you plan, some unexpected things happen. Sometimes family members and friends bring gifts and things for the baby. You need a bag that can hold all the weight of your things when you go home. Your trusty travel backpack will do the trick! It’s versatile and convenient.

Sturdy Material

You never know what the weather will be like or what extra things you might need to bring, so make sure your bag is durable enough to hold the weight or waterproof in case it rains on your baby’s birthday.

Early Preps: When to Pack Your Hospital Bags

About 5% of women give birth on their due dates. Sometimes babies decide to arrive early. Sometimes they arrive later and you must be induced. So how early is early enough?

Start at 6.5 Months

You can start getting organized when you reach your 29th week, which is the beginning of your third trimester. Start thinking about what you want to bring or at least buy things you have not bought before. If you pack some items early, you might be able to avoid moving around when you feel like you have a watermelon in your stomach! You can get your much-needed rest too.

Avoid the 37-38 Week Sprint

If you are expecting your first child, waiting until the 37th or 38th week might be pushing it too much. You might rush things and forget the most essential things.

The Car Seat Question

9 out of 10 car seats are being used incorrectly. You don’t want to be part of that number, right? The ideal time to install it at 35 weeks. In case of early labor, your baby may spend some time in the NICU, so your husband will have plenty of time to do it there. There are probably a hundred pages of instruction in the car seat manual. Here’s a hack: find out if your car seat manufacturer has a YouTube or Facebook page that contains instructional videos. Or you can check out moms who use the same brand!

Hospital bag checklist packed her bag at week 38

What Should be in Super Mama’s Bag?

It is mom’s body that experiences the most changes during the birth process. So dads and birth partners, when preparing your maternity kits, don’t forget about mama’s comforts.

Her Delivery & Labor Hospital Bag Checklist


  • Birth Plan will come in handy in case you go into labor while your partner’s at work.
  • Insurance and IDs will be used for the hospital paperwork.
  • References and handouts from birthing and breastfeeding classes so you can review the information when you encounter challenges.

Dads and Birth Partners, Take Note!

Your role will be filling out forms. Do yourself a favor, don’t forget these! The hospital staff will usually need it when you pay your bills. Your medical insurance card and identification are usually required to process the payments. If you do not want to experience delays when returning home, make sure you have these documents with you.

Clothes & Slippers

  • Wear a comfortable robe during labor. You can find maternity and nursing robes from Molliya and Ekouaer on Amazon!
  • Socks in case your feet get cold.
  • Slippers so that you can walk comfortably in the delivery room and maternity ward.

Creature Comforts to Bring in your Maternity Bag

  • Body lotion or massage oils can be soothing during labor.
  • Lip balm because hospitals are cold and you don’t want cracked lips when you’re experiencing birth pains.
  • While you wait for your delivery, you can keep yourself entertained with your favorite book, magazine, or tablet with movies and series.
  • Wear a sleeping mask in the bright and busy maternity ward to get some shut-eye.

Post-Delivery Baby Bag Essentials

You should remember that, after giving birth, your body will still be recovering. Your whole reproductive system will undergo major changes. Doctors will encourage you to start skin-to-skin contact with your new baby. In other words, take it easy mom!

Hygiene Kit

Fathers, take note, this is important in case mama wants to shower and clean after delivering a baby!

  • Shampoo and conditioner in case she wants her hair washed.
  • Bring a deodorant, she wants to smell good even after birth!
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Scrunchies for ponytails and buns – your new hairstyle mom!
  • A travel hair dryer will be a bonus.
  • If the hospital does not provide heavy-duty maternity pads, bring your own.
  • Numbing cream to relieve pain and itching around cuts and skin irritation, especially if you tear.

Nursing and Feeding

  • You should use a nursing bra or a bra that fits well if you’re planning to breastfeed.
  • Pack nipple cream in case the feeding journey gets tough.
  • In case you have an abundant flow of breastmilk, a nursing pad might come handy.


  • Panties that can hold heavy maternity pads. Perhaps something from your sixth month?
  • Nightgown if you’re staying overnight in the hospital.
  • Make sure to wear a comfortable outfit to go home. Ideally, you should bring something loose and soft.

Creature Comforts for your Baby Bag

  • Your smartphone because you’ll want to send pictures of your new baby to other family and friends.
  • An extra-long phone charger. Hospital beds are notoriously far from electrical outlets, and it is not advisable to stretch and bend while you are recovering.
  • It’s nice to have your favorite pillow! While the hospital may provide one, this will help you get more rest.
  • Bring a favorite snack, because labor is intense! Check with your doctor what and when you’re allowed to eat.

Preparing your newborn bag

What to Bring for Post-Deliver? Lots of Love and Patience!

C-Section Mamas Don’t Forget These

The Caesarean section is not always a mother’s preferred birth plan. Because of health complications like diabetes or high blood pressure, some moms put their safety and that of their newborn first. Instead of waiting for a delivery date, C-section birth means you will know exactly when your baby is due to arrive. This means you can mentally and physically prepare for this new adventure. The most uncomfortable part of being under the knife is when the anesthesia wears off. But don’t worry, knowing what to expect can help you get prepared after the surgery:

Hygiene Kit & Wound Care

  • Dry shampoo in case your doctor advises against taking a full-body shower.
  • Check with your OB if you’ll be allowed to use a binder for the wound.

Nursing and Feeding

After a C-section, breastfeeding will be challenging mainly because you will need to carry your baby while the incision is still fresh. Make sure to bring these to help with the post-surgery pain.

  • You’ll need a reliable nursing pillow to prop the baby up away from your incision. The My Best Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow is one of the favorites at Amazon.
  • If you still find it painful to sit upright while feeding, an electric breast pump can help you store milk for bottle feeding.

Breastfeeding Your Newborn

Get ready to breastfeed your newborn


Pack loose and comfortable clothes. You’ll still look like about six months pregnant even after giving birth. Choose ones that won’t dig into your incision.

  • Set of clothes for your hospital stay which usually lasts for at least three to five days.
  • Going home outfit
  • It will be difficult to bend over, so wear slippers or sandals that are easy to put on.
  • While the hospital will provide mesh underwear, you should wear something that won’t irritate your wound.

Pro-tip: Mama Hack

Bring a fiber-rich snack. Unless the hospital recommends a special diet during your stay.  This will help move your bowel. A sign your doctor usually looks for before allowing you to go home.

Now onto the most important part…

What Not To Bring in Your Hospital Bag?

Hospitals usually provide the essential items. You may be advised by your doctor to attend birthing classes and seminars. Prior to giving birth, ask them what items will be included in your delivery kit. That way, you don’t overpack your labor bag.

For mom, you can skip bringing these items (unless you prefer your own)

  • Socks, unless you prefer to
  • Pillows and blankets
  • Food and drinks
  • Towels and washcloths
  • Nursing pads and nipple cream
  • Disposable underwear
  • Maternity pads
  • Pain medication
  • Numbing spray

And for your newborn, they’ll most likely provide:

  • Diapers and wipes
  • Hats
  • Side-tie shirts
  • Baby wash
  • Blankets
  • Formula and bottles (if recommended by the pediatrician)
  • Pacifiers (use only if you want to introduce them)
  • Wipes
  • Petroleum jelly for circumcision care

Let’s not forget that you’ll also need to bring things for your birthing partner.

Enter your text here…

Baby Bag Checklist

An overview of what and what not to bring in your maternity and baby bag

Your Partner’s Hospital Bag Checklist


A two-parent household’s identification is typically required as part of their insurance policy or as an attachment to the baby’s birth certificate. If you have your husband, or wife with you, make sure to bring their IDs. Here’s the maternity bag checklist for dad:


  • Fully charged smartphone to call your doctors or to send cute baby photos to your family.
  • Charger or power bank so you can keep your friends and relatives updated.
  • Your favorite series saved on your phone to help you relax while waiting.
  • Food and drinks to keep you going after the legwork of getting a hospital admission, talking to the doctors, and filling out forms. Not to mention staying up late watching your partner push the newborn out of her body.

For the Waiting Game

Make sure to have food and drinks to help keep you going after the legwork of getting a hospital admission, talking to the doctors, and filling out forms. Not to mention staying up late watching your partner push the newborn out of her body.

Be Covid-19 Ready

Don’t forget to wear and bring extra masks and sanitizer to comply with Covid-19 policies of hospitals.

What to put in your hospital bag

@travelmammmma shares how her hospital looks like

A Quick Wrap-up

Every pregnancy is unique. Some are easier than others. Others are difficult. Some experience complications. And then there are those who have twins, triplets, and quadruplets. What you need to remember is that because it’s your family’s journey, focus on the most important part, making your newborn feel loved and taking care of your health. A healthy mom means a healthy baby. Don’t forget:

  • After giving birth, your body is tired and needs more time to recuperate. Don’t stress yourself by exercising or staying awake. Send signals to your partner if you need to sleep, eat, or even if you just need to pee and shower.
  • Reach out to your support system. Mental and emotional health is important. Self-care is not a luxury; you need it to care for your newborn.
  • Taking the time to talk about feelings can help prevent or treat postpartum depression. This is a common, but not easily noticed, side-effect of giving birth.
  • Make sure you attend classes with your partner. It’s important to know what to expect before and after D-Day. If there are restrictions because of Covid-19, opt for online classes instead.
  • The parenting journey will always be filled with bumps and humps, no matter how well prepared you are. These are part of the journey. Bringing a great sense of humor always helps. After all, having a baby is a joyous occasion.

Enjoy and good luck with your baby’s birthday!  Here’s the downloadable checklist in case you missed it.

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