What I’m Packing in My Hospital Bag for Labor & Delivery

Most people end up bringing way too much stuff to the hospital for labor and delivery! Learn what you really need (and don’t need), plus some tips for third trimester and making hard decisions.

Like all of us, I put a lot of thought into packing for the hospital and what to bring (or not bring). After three babies, I’ve learned a lot that I hope will be helpful to you as you think about what to bring for your own labor and delivery!

Much like my normal vacation packing, the amount of stuff I brought to the hospital for my first two deliveries was…well…excessive.  But the third time was the charm and I was able to simplify, while still having everything I needed.

Three things to remember when packing your hospital bag for labor and delivery:

  1. The hospital gives you SO. MUCH. STUFF. And really has everything that you and baby will truly need.
  2. That said, you do want to be comfortable, so having some of your own stuff will make those few days more enjoyable.
  3. Don’t forget the car seat!

My Hospital Bag List

For Myself:

  • Insurance and ID cards
  • Compression socks (To help with swelling from the epidural and IV fluids.)
  • Comfy PJs
    • Because I had a C-section, I brought nightgowns to avoid having elastic around my waist.  
    • My favorite nightgowns are this one and this one. You can also get nightgowns with nursing bras built in.  
    • My favorite PJ separates are these, these, and these.
  • Robe  (This one is my favorite.)
  • 1-2 nursing bras.  (I just got this one and really like it.)
  • Slippers
  • Flip flops for the shower
  • Pillow (Bring a distinct pillowcase so it doesn’t get confused with the hospital’s.)
  • Lip balm
  • Hair ties
  • A long phone charger (You can have your phone in the hospital bed.)
  • Electrolytes (To help with dehydration, swelling and getting things moving afterwards.)
  • Toiletries.  Having your own stuff is so nice!
  • Makeup.  I know.  Completely unnecessary.  But a little foundation and mascara will provide a nice little pick me up after delivery.
  • Glasses/contacts
  • Portable speaker
  • Travel sound machine (Don’t get your hopes up about sleeping a lot, but this will help you snag a few hours here and there!)
  • Laptop/Kindle/Book (You will want some kind of entertainment.)
  • Going home outfit

For Baby:

  • Going home outfit for baby.  Bring a 1-2 options because you don’t know how big they will be!
  • A cute blanket for pictures and draping over them in the car seat when it’s time to leave.
  • Car seat
  • Pacifier (Your hospital may provide pacifiers.)

For My Husband:

  • Blanket and pillow
  • Toiletries
  • A few changes of clothes
  • PJs
  • Laptop/Kindle/Book (some kind of entertainment)
  • Snore sleep strips (Don’t knock em’ til you try em’ people…they work!)

Optional: 

  • Thank you notes/treats for the nurses.  This is not at all expected, but I loved doing it and it meant so much to them! Check with your hospital about what’s allowed. Different things I’ve done include Starbucks gifts cards and two coffee cakes from a local bakery to the nurses’ break room — one cake for the day shift and one for the night shift.
  • Snacks.  Having your own stash is helpful.

(Note: All of the information in this post is based on my own opinions and experiences. You should always consult your medical professionals in regards to your pregnancy, labor and delivery!)

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