Pregnancy

The Ultimate Hospital Bag Printable Checklist (for Baby, Mom, and Dad!)

Preparing your hospital bag is a vital step in preparing for your baby’s arrival. But, if you are a first-time mom, you might wonder, “What should I pack in my hospital bag, and what do I pack for a baby?” If that is the case for you… don’t worry! I have crafted the printable hospital bag checklist for baby, mom, AND dad so everything and everyone is ready to go when the time comes.

If you will be having a hospital birth, depending on the length of your labor and other factors, you can expect to be in the hospital for at least 2-3 days. So, packing the essentials in your hospital bag for baby, mom, and dad will ensure you will feel more comfortable and at ease while at the hospital.

Next, we will cover everything you need to know, including:

  • When to pack the hospital bags
  • What bags should you use?
  • Baby’s Hospital Bag Essentials 
  • Mom Hospital Bag Essentials
  • Daddy’s Hospital Bag Essentials
  • Miscellaneous Items you should also consider taking
  • Hospital Bag Printable Checklist 

*This post contains affiliate links. Click here for more info.

Each list will contain the “Must-Have” and “Optional” items. That will allow you to simplify your hospital bags as you wish.

However, before we proceed to the hospital bag checklists, a few other things go hand in hand with getting your bags ready that you should also look into. I have written detailed and informative articles about each of those things, and they are:

So, once you are done packing your bags, make sure you check out those resources. They will be sanity-saving!

Important: Ensure you read this article before printing your hospital bag list. There is a lot to cover, and only after you read it will you realize what items you need and which might not be good for you after all.

The good news is that once you finish this list, you will be good to go, and you can scratch off one more thing on your “Things to Do Before the Baby Comes” checklist.

Alright, let’s get packing…

Complete Hospital Bag Checklist (with Printable)

the complete hospital bag checklist for baby, mom, and dad

* This post contains affiliate links. Click here for more info. 

When Should I Pack My Hospital Bag?

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for labor is to have your hospital bag ready as soon as possible.

But when is the “ideal” time to start packing?

Most moms wait until after the baby shower to start packing the hospital bags simply because they have all the items they need to put in their baby bag after the baby shower.

Regarding pregnancy weeks, a good time to start packing your hospital bags is between 32 and 35 weeks. It is always good to be prepared and not scramble at the last minute if things don’t go as planned.

What bags should I take to the hospital for labor and delivery?

The amount of bags you take to the hospital is up to you. Some moms show up to Labor and Delivery like they are going on a two-week camping trip, and some others will just take a handbag.

However, we are going to find a happy medium to ensure that we have the necessary essentials and also a few other items that will make our lives easier.

Now, you can decide to take only two bags, the baby bag and another bag that you can share with Dad.

But if sharing isn’t your idea of a good time, then packing three hospital bags in total will be just fine.

Here is what I suggest and what worked well for both deliveries.

I suggest you opt for a medium-sized rolling bag/ luggage for the mom bag. Anything rolling will be a lifesaver!

This 2-Piece Luggage Set is a great and inexpensive choice. You can use the suitcase to pack your stuff and the smaller bag to pack the baby’s essentials. This set has great reviews, is an Amazon’s Choice product, and comes in 30+ colors and patterns.

For the baby hospital bag, you can use the baby bag you already have. I’m sure you already bought one or were gifted one at the baby shower. If not, here is a great and affordable option.

For the dad’s bag, all he needs is a handy backpack he can throw on his back to leave his hands free to carry the rest of the stuff.

So, in summary, Dad will be able to carry his backpack on his back while rolling your hospital bag and placing the baby’s bag on top of yours… Are you with me? Easy peasy.

Now, on to the goodies.

♥ Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby 

Putting together the baby’s hospital bag is one of the most exciting events in the third trimester. Not only is it one of the most important things to get done before the baby comes but it also makes it all feel a bit more… real!

It is easy to get carried away with excitement and want to pack your entire nursery in your hospital bag. Trust me, I did with my first child. But the truth is, your sweet baby doesn’t need much of anything. That is because some of the necessary baby essentials will be provided at the hospital.

Next is the baby hospital bag must-haves and optional baby items. But remember, you can access these Free Hospital Bag Checklists and many more by clicking below!

Baby Must-Haves

Blankets x3. The hospital will provide you with a couple of baby blankets. However, most patients opt for their own pictures and better-quality fabrics. These Organic Muslin Swaddle Blankets are a great option. I used them with both kids, although I wish there were an organic option then.” My daughter, who is three years old, still uses hers to sleep.

Onesies x3. Some hospitals will provide you with baby onesies. That wasn’t the case for us. Make sure you take a few, and depending on what the baby weighed in the last ultrasound, decide if you will need newborn size or 0-3 months. In addition, opt for onesies with mitten cuffs and booties, which zip or snap at the bottom for easier access.

Burp Rags x4. You will be doing a lot of burping since the baby will feed regularly. Having a few of these handy is a must.

Coming Home Outfit x1. Pick out one cute outfit the baby will wear when leaving the hospital.

Baby Nail Clipper. Most babies are born with long nails. Consider taking a nail clipper to the hospital to protect them from scratching their face. Easy to pack. Just toss it in one of the pockets.

Optional Baby Items

Hats, Bows, and Headbands. Most hospitals will provide you with an initial hat. Newborns should wear them for at least 24 hours after birth to help regulate body temperature. Remember that newborn heads are tiny; despite the “Newborn” sign on the hat label, they might not fit. In summary, wearing hats or bows isn’t necessary, but they sure look super cute in hospital pictures.

Pacifier x1. If you introduce a pacifier early on, you can choose to purchase one you like to add to your hospital bag. Most hospitals provide one, but they may charge you/insurance for it.

Water wipes x1. The hospital provided you with wipes and diapers. But if you prefer water wipes, you can bring a pack or two.

♥ Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom

Alright, now that the baby’s hospital bag is good to go. Let’s get Mama packed.

You will go through different phases during a hospital birth: labor, delivery, and the first 48 hours after birth. Therefore, we will pack a hospital bag for Mom that includes everything we need to assist us in all phases.

I will break them down into sections to keep things more organized, but pack it all together for easier access.

All the suggestions are based on personal experience; however, modify the checklist as you see fit.

Oh, and if you want a detailed postpartum clothing guide, here is what to wear from head to toe after giving birth at the hospital.

Clothes 

Socks. Hospitals are very cold. As a nurse who has worked in the operating room for years, I can attest to that fact, and it is no different in the Labor and Delivery Department. A pair or two of comfortable, non-slip socks is a good idea. You can use a pair while in labor and another for the rest of your hospital stay.

Flip Flops. You will be in and out of bed a few times, so having a pair of sandals beside your bed makes the job much easier.

Comfortable Underwear. Another “must” in the hospital bag for mom is comfortable underwear (aka. granny panties). After birth, most hospitals will provide you with mesh underwear that will aid in keeping your maxi pad in place. However, the material isn’t the most comfortable. Bringing your pair of underwear is a great idea. Ensure they are soft and high-rise to support your belly, especially if you have a C-Section.

Comfy Pajamas. Immediately after birth, you will be doing a lot of recovery in bed. So, packing comfortable pajamas is a no-brainer.

Robe x1. Robes are a great choice of garment to take to the hospital, especially if you will be breastfeeding. Chances are you will have visitors come in and out of your room, and a pretty robe gives you instant privacy… if you want to match your little nugget while at the hospital, here are some cute options.

Comfortable pants x2. If you would rather not hang out in your pj’s all day, consider including a pair or two of comfortable pants. Remember that every hour/day after having the baby, your belly will still be swollen and bloated. So, whatever pants you opt for, make sure they aren’t tight and give you room to breathe.

Comfortable Shirts x2. Again, if you would rather not be in your pajamas and robe all day, add two comfortable shirts to your hospital bag. If you will be breastfeeding, consider opting for shirts that have easy access to your breast, like this one.

Going Home Outfit x1. If you are already packing shirts and pants, that can be your go-to outfit when going home. But, if you want something in particular, assign a specific outfit to leave the hospital with.

Toiletries 

Makeup. Packing makeup essentials in your hospital bag is a great option. You might want to take a few pictures after the baby is born, and you might want to look like you didn’t just… well, give birth to a human. Don’t complicate yourself; keep it simple with the basics (concealer, mascara, and blush… BOOM!)

Hair Ties. The last thing you want to deal with, especially during labor, is hair on your face. Pack whatever you use to keep your hair up and out of the way (hair ties, hair clips, headbands, etc.).

Lip Balm. Okay, yes, chapstick has its section in this list. I don’t know about you, but my lips suffer in a cold environment, including the hospital. Plus, you will lose a bit of fluid throughout this process, making your lips even more prone to drying and cracking. So, keep your chapstick handy at ALL times. I love and use the EOS Organic Lip Balm.

Toothbrush. Don’t forget to pack your toothbrush. Although some hospitals provide an “essentials goodie bag,” including a toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap, some don’t. Check with your birthing hospital/birthing center to see what they provide you with.

Shampoo and Body Wash. As previously mentioned, some hospitals will provide you with some toiletries you can use. However, to be safe, buy travel-sized toiletries of things you use at home so you don’t have to worry about them. After I gave birth both times, I desperately wanted to shower afterward. I felt so icky and uncomfortable. So, having my toiletries made it feel a bit like home.

Deodorant. This is another essential before and after birth. If you will be breastfeeding, you might opt for a fragrance-free and aluminum-free deodorant.

Nursing Items 

If you will be nursing your baby, you must gear up with the breastfeeding essentials. You should already have all of these items in your possession. But if you don’t, you can opt for some of my favorite nursing items below.

Nursing Bra x2. Nursing bras are a mom hospital bag must! Not only will it provide you with much-needed support, but they all come with built-in easy access to your breasts. The last thing you want to be doing while a fussy baby is waiting to eat is scrambling to pull a boob out… just saying! Here is a convenient and comfortable option.

Nursing Tank x2. Another option is nursing tanks. Most of them already have built-in breast support, which is great as they serve dual purposes (bra and shirt). If you have bigger breasts, however, I would suggest opting for a running bra instead and a breastfeeding-friendly shirt or PJs. Here are some popular breastfeeding tanks.


Nipple Balm. Nipple balm will save your breasts and nipples from torture. As the baby starts to tug on your nipples, especially in the first few days/weeks of the “learning phase,” your nipples might feel irritated and sore. To prevent them from cracking, apply and massage a thin coat or organic nipple balm to your nipples after each breastfeeding section.

Breast pads. Get ready for leaky boobs, mama. Although some breastfeeding moms tend to leak milk more than others, there will likely be breast milk leaking to some degree. You can opt for disposable breast pads or get these organic washable ones.

Postpartum Recovery Essentials  

As previously mentioned, having a Postpartum Recovery Care Kit is a MUST! Once you put that together, you can take some of those postpartum recovery items to include in your mom’s hospital bag.

I am so passionate about these postpartum items because I know firsthand how hard it is to get by without them and how life-changing it is to use them IF you will be having a vaginal birth.

Quick story: With my son (first child), I failed to have a postpartum kit ready (at home or in the hospital). I ended up pushing my son for 45 minutes, which left me with a bad case of postpartum hemorrhoids, internal/external tears, and stitches. Sitting down was impossible. The hospital did provide a few products that helped (at a much higher cost than if I had bought them myself), so when my second child came around, I knew better. So, don’t wait; make your DIY, non-toxic postpartum care kit ASAP!

With that said, you don’t need to take your entire care kit to the hospital. The hospital will provide you with things like a peri-bottle to rinse your perineal area, cleansing perineal spray, and other things the doctor will prescribe you, depending on your needs.

Again, you can opt to bring your own for two main reasons:

  • Less expensive
  • Better, natural, and non-toxic ingredients

Here are three postpartum items you should consider packing in your hospital bag.

Pads. Yes, the hospital will provide you with pads. However, they are giant and are more uncomfortable than convenient. You can take your own, such as regular overnight maxi pads, or opt for organic cotton for a healthier option. Remember that your perineal area will be exposed and healing, so using as many non-toxic and clean ingredients as possible is always a good practice.

Spray. Keeping your lower area clean is a postpartum must. A great way to do that is to use a cleansing spray. I recommend the Earth Mama Organic Spray.

Witch Hazel. Witch hazel pads were my lifesaver… with both pregnancies. They help heal, soothe, and cool your perineal area, making a huge difference. Again, try to opt for Organic Witch Hazel pads.

Documents

Birth Plan. Consider preparing a birth plan to bring along with you to the hospital.

Insurance Card/Info. If your insurance will cover your labor and hospital stay, don’t forget to take the necessary documents.

ID. Pack your ID/driver’s license. You will need it to register at Labor and Delivery’s triage.

Other Items 

Glasses/contacts. If you wear glasses and contacts, don’t forget to pack them.

Phone. Your phone is one of the last-minute items you will put in your bag. In this handy Hospital Bag Checklist included in this article, I singled out the items you will pack at the last minute.

Charger. Remember to pack the charger! This item is so easy to forget. I will also include it in the “last minute items to pack section”, but if you have an extra charger I recommend you do that instead.

Bluetooth Speaker. Some moms opt to have music during labor as a relaxation technique. Nowadays, you can select any music from your smartphone and then connect it to a portable Bluetooth device to achieve your desired volume.

Bible and/or Prayer Verses. A great addition to your hospital bag is taking a pocket Bible and/or prayer verses. The labor process could feel overwhelming and daunting, but having spiritual tools that feed your strength and confidence can make all the difference.

♥ Hospital Bag for Dad Checklist 

The items in the Dad Hospital Bag are those that you will both need during your hospital stay. His bag will serve as extra storage for the miscellaneous items.

ID. Dad MUST have his ID on hand when he arrives at the hospital. He will need it for access to the hospital and important paperwork.

Wallet/Cash. Dad needs to have his wallet. But, what most dads don’t realize to do is to carry cash. Most hospitals require cash for miscellaneous things like paying for valet parking, visitor parking, and vending machines. Although most hospitals have an ATM, having cash is one less thing to worry about, plus you avoid the withdrawal fee.

Phone/Charger. You can opt to share chargers, so it is one less item to remember to pack in your hospital bag.

Camera/Charger. If you will take a picture camera, now is the time to charge it and pack it.

Change of Clothes. If your partner stays with you throughout your hospital stay, he will likely need a change of clothes. Most birthing hospitals will provide you with your own recovery room and adjacent bathroom with a shower.

Comfortable Pair of Shoes. Dad might want to rest from his sneakers and change to something more comfortable, like flip-flops or sandals.

Toothbrush. If Dad is staying overnight, he will need his toothbrush.

Toiletries. Packing toiletries is not a necessity for Dad since he can share yours. Just run it by him, and if he refuses to use your deodorant and body wash, he can pack his own.

Snacks. Hospital food isn’t for everyone, and although I have no issues with it, I know that having a few snacks from home is a great idea. After birth, especially if breastfeeding, eating small frequent meals and staying hydrated is a good practice.

Water. Yes, there is water at the hospital, but it is always a good idea to pack a water bottle or two so that Dad can stay hydrated despite where he goes.

Miscellaneous Hospital Items for Birth

Besides the baby bag, mommy bag, and daddy bag… The following items are also extremely beneficial in assisting you in different phases of your hospital stay.

Insulated Tumbler. The hospital will provide water, an ice-filled pitcher, and a small plastic cup. It is a much better idea to have an insulated water bottle with you at all times that keeps the water cold and doesn’t have to be refilled every 2 seconds. Your insulated water cup (preferably with a straw) will be useful, especially after labor and if you plan to breastfeed.

Nursing Pillow. If you plan on breastfeeding, you might also want to consider taking your nursing pillow. If you don’t yet have one, I recommend the Boppy Nursing Pillow. I used it with both kids.

Birthing Ball. If you took a birth class, especially a natural hospital birthing class, then you are no stranger to a birthing ball. Birthing balls help provide comfort before and during labor by relieving back pain and decreasing pelvic pressure. Another great thing about the birthing ball is that you can use it after birth to sit more comfortably and help you get back in shape.

Printable Hospital Bag Checklist

Don’t forget to access the printable version of these FREE Hospital Bag Checklists for Baby, Mom, and Dad.

Hospital Bag Checklist Free Printable

For more Third Trimester Checklists, check out the Third Trimester Printables Bundle.

Pregnancy checklists and printables

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Final Thought 

Getting ready for the baby is exciting but can also feel overwhelming.

I hope this Hospital Bag Checklist makes it less daunting to pack for baby, you, and dad.

Although this list is pretty thorough, it is customizable depending on your needs, so don’t be afraid to tweak it.

Also, remember, don’t wait until the last minute to have your hospital bags packed and ready. Week 32-35 are good indicators. Baby will come when you least expect it. So, be ready.

I wish you a speedy labor and a happy and healthy baby. 🙂

What items in this list did you not think of packing in your hospital bag?

Don’t forget to pin for later…

what to pack for labor, hospital bag checklist

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