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Home Sweet Hospital: Packing Checklist

Home Sweet Hospital: Packing Checklist

While things are calm, it may be a good time to start packing for the hospital to make your stay more comfortable.

In This Article

For You | For Your Partner | For Your Baby | Electronics | For Your Older Kids | Other Items | What Not to Bring


For You

  • Comfortable clothes and a going-home outfit

    Plan on packing about 3 outfits with comfortable, loose items that can be easily layered. Consider packing tops with openings or buttons in the front if you plan on breastfeeding. You’ll likely still look about 5 or 6 months pregnant post-delivery, so bring a roomy going-home outfit and a pair of flat, comfortable shoes.

  • Sleepwear

    Bring a pair of your most comfortable pajamas. Even better – two! It’s best to have a set of warm pajamas and a lighter set to help keep you comfortable.

  • Robe or nightgown

    Hospitals provide gowns and socks, but you may prefer to wear your own. A cute robe or nightgown keeps you covered and provides easy access when it comes time to breastfeed. It should have loose sleeves, so the nurses can easily check on your recovery. They also make robes that have matching swaddles for baby for your very first matching outfits.

  • Socks and slippers

    Bring a pair of comfortable slippers that can be easily laundered. Socks or slippers with traction are helpful for walking the hospital floors.

  • Nursing items

    These may include breast pads, lanolin/nipple cream, and a nursing pillow. You may want to bring a nursing cover for when you have visitors.

  • Pads and extra maternity underwear

    The hospital will provide sanitary pads and mesh underwear for bleeding after delivery, but you may want to pack heavy-duty sanitary pads and cotton underwear that you don’t mind getting ruined. Make sure you have some at home, too.

    If you’re having a c-section, consider high-waisted, c-section friendly underwear. Most normal underwear has a waistband that hits right where the incision is, so look for ones that are made specifically for c-section recovery.

  • Toiletries

    Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, body wash, facial cleanser, moisturizer, and lip balm are necessities to make labor and your stay more comfortable.

    You may want to bring your own shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, and a hairbrush. Don’t forget hair ties or a stretchy headband to help keep your hair out of your face during delivery. Pack your hair care products in small travel containers to keep your bag light.

  • Glasses/contacts

    Be sure to pack your glasses and extra contacts, lens cleaner, contact solution and case.

  • Flip-flops

    Bring flip-flops for the hospital shower.

  • Items to help you feel your best

    These may include facial/body massage oils or lotions, back massager, stress-relieving squeeze ball and makeup. These items can help you stay relaxed and feeling like yourself—and looking your best in the first photos with your new baby.

  • Soft pillows

    Hospitals provide as many pillows as you want, but they may be uncomfortable. Pillows from home may help you relax and rest comfortably. Use colored pillowcases so they don’t get mixed up with the hospital pillows.

For Your Partner

  • Comfortable clothes and going out/home outfit

    Just like mom-to-be, you should plan to bring a couple of outfits for your stay at the hospital. Unlike mom, who will be spending a good amount of time resting, you might actually be going out in public, so you should keep that in mind when packing.

  • Sweatshirt

    Women in labor tend to run hot and will most likely want the thermostat to be on the lowest setting. Pack a sweatshirt to keep warm, but make sure not to pack a favorite you’d be sad to see get ruined during that first diaper change.

  • Shirt for pictures

    Remember that there will be lots of pictures of you, mom and baby. If you want something that is clean and Instagram-ready, be sure to include it in your bag.

  • Pillow

    Each hospital is going to have a different setup for you. When you take your hospital tour before baby’s arrival, make sure you get clear idea the arrangements. This way you’ll know if you should bring a few things from home to make yourself more comfortable (pillow, blanket, etc.). If you’re spending the night on a cot or just grabbing in a few winks on a rocker, a comfortable pillow will make all the difference.

  • Snacks

    Many hospitals do not provide food for partners, and even if they do, it’s always a good idea to bring along easy, healthy snacks. You never know if hunger will strike in the middle of the night when the hospital kitchen’s closed.

  • Water bottle

    You and mom will need to keep hydrated, but often the hospital staff will have some limits on her fluid intake. Bring a refillable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated or bring other beverages to spice it up.

  • Medications for you or your partner

    Don't forget any needed medications for you or mom.

  • Push present

    A more recent trend, the push present is a gift that the partner gives mom right after the baby is born. Push presents can include jewelry, art, a gift certificate, or just anything your partner would appreciate.


For Your Baby

  • Going-home outfit

    The hospital will provide diapers but be sure to pack an outfit for your baby to wear home. You may want to pack a few different sized outfits since their size is still up in the air. It’s best to bring footed onesies with legs, so the car seat strap can be fastened between them.

  • Baby blanket

    Be sure to pack a few warm, soft blankets for your baby. You may want one for swaddling your baby, and one to tuck around your baby in the car seat on the way home.

  • Baby care items

    These include baby wipes, an emery board, socks, mittens and a hat.

  • Car seat

    You can’t bring your little one home without one! Make sure it’s properly installed ahead of time and know how to fasten the seat correctly. Luckily, many police and fire stations offer free car seat safety checks. Look online to find the nearest one.

  • Baby book

    Cherish first moments by getting your baby’s footprints in your baby book. You may also want to record some of your baby’s birth details.



  • Phone and charger

    Make sure you and your partner both have your phones and chargers when you head to the hospital. It’s also a good idea to bring charger cords that are at least 6 ft long, so it can reach the plug behind the hospital bed. Consider clearing memory space on your phone before it’s time for the hospital so you have plenty of room for new baby photos!

  • Music and headphones

    Create a few relaxing playlists before it’s time for the hospital. You may also want to put together an upbeat playlist to help get you through labor.

  • Laptop/tablet/E-reader

    Your favorite shows or books may help you—and your partner—pass the time during a long labor.


For Your Older Kids

  • Gifts from the new baby

    You may want to bring a little something for your other children from their new sibling.

Other Items

  • Snacks and drinks

    After hours of labor, you’ll likely be pretty hungry. Granola bars, crackers, dried fruit, and bottled or flavored water. Bring sugar-free hard candy to suck on during labor.

  • Picture ID, insurance information and hospital forms

  • Books or magazines

  • Cash and change

    Bring cash and change for the vending machines.

  • An extra bag

    You’ll likely be coming home with more stuff than you brought. Bring an extra bag for gifts and items from the hospital.

What NOT to Bring

  • Jewelry and other valuable items

  • Any clothing items that you don't want to ruin

  • Any toys that may pose a danger to your baby

    Leave behind any toys with small parts.


Download Checklist PDF
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