Hospital Bag Checklist for Labour

Are you all set for the big day but wondering what to bring in your hospital bag? This hospital bag checklist will help you prepare during your pregnancy to ensure you have everything you’ll need for yourself and your new baby. Plus, there’s a mini-checklist for your birth partner. Get ready for the big day with these hospital bag checklists: for mom, baby, and the birthing partner, and one for items you probably don’t need to bring.

When to Pack Your Hospital Bag

Your baby might arrive earlier than expected, so it’s worth having your hospital bag (or bags, if you’d like one for labour and delivery and one for after delivery) and your baby’s hospital bag organized and packed during your eighth month of pregnancy—just to be sure. Pack the bags with your partner or whoever is going to spend time with you in the hospital, so you can double-check the checklist and make sure you have everything you might need. Once they’re packed, keep them handy either in your car or near the door, so you’ll be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Keep reading for a full list of what to pack in your hospital bag during pregnancy and download your hospital bag checklist below!

What to Pack in the Hospital Bag for Mom (Labour and Delivery)

Having your hospital bag ready for labour and delivery includes having a few administrative items handy in your bag, as well as being prepared with certain essentials that will help you pass the time as you wait for your baby to be born:

  • Hospital paperwork, ID, and insurance card. Have copies of your medical records handy, so that your doctors can easily review your medical history. Hospitals require your ID, any medical cards, and insurance documents upfront, so make sure you have these readily available.

  • Birth plan (if you have one). You might have discussed your birth plan with your medical team, but having a few copies printed and available for doctors and nurses means that everyone can refer to it in case last-minute questions arise.

  • Bathrobe. A soft bathrobe is useful for pacing around during labour, or afterward, if you spend some time in the hospital.

  • Socks. Your feet may get cold during labour.

  • Slippers and flip-flops. You’ll want slippers that are comfortable and easy to slip in and out of to wear as you walk around the hospital ward. Pack some flip-flops for using in the shower.

  • Lip balm. Your lips may get chapped during labour. Having some lip balm on hand will help keep your lips hydrated and comfortable.

  • Body lotion or massage oil. Some moms-to-be find a little massage during labour relaxing. If this could be you, pop some lotion or oil in your hospital bag.

  • Water spray and sponge. During labour, if you start to feel hot, it can help to spray some water on your face and neck, or to sponge some cool water on your forehead.

  • Comfortable pillow(s). Your hospital will provide you with pillows, but they might not be the right kind for you. If you have a favourite pillow at home, you may also want to bring it along.

  • Relaxing entertainment. Pack some things to help you pass the time like a book, magazines, a tablet with movies or series downloaded on it, or a music player.

  • Eye mask and earplugs. To help you get rest in a busy and bright maternity ward, an eye mask and earplugs could be just what you need in your hospital bag for during the downtimes of labour, or for your well-deserved shuteye after the delivery.

Being comfortable during labour and delivery is key, and many of the above items for your hospital bag may help you relax a bit. But, let’s be honest, fuzzy socks and soothing music might not cut it! Take the quiz below to discover your personalized plan for pain management during labour.

Hospital Bag for Mom: After Delivery

You might want to make yourself feel at home as much as possible despite being in the hospital, so here are some essentials to pack in your hospital bag for after delivery:

  • Nightgowns. You’ll need something comfortable to sleep in during your hospital stay, and a soft, loose nightgown is a good option. Choose a front-opening style if you plan to breastfeed.

  • Heavy-duty maternity pads. The hospital will provide some of these, but you may want to pack a few heavy-duty maternity pads, just in case. It’s normal to bleed a lot after the birth, and maternity pads are softer and more absorbent than standard pads. Initially, you may need to change pads every one to two hours, but within a few days, the flow will start to decrease.

  • Underwear. Pack several pairs of comfortable underwear that are large enough to wear over heavy-duty maternity pads.

  • Bras. Be prepared with a few nursing bras or other comfortable, well-fitting bras.

  • Toiletries. Don’t forget tissues, hairbrush, comb, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hairdryer, hair clips, headband, and/or hair ties. Pack a plastic bag to pop dirty clothes in.

  • Cosmetics and skin care products. If makeup is part of your usual routine, then don’t forget your cosmetics. Plus, make sure you pack some moisturizer, as your skin may feel drier than usual.

  • Glasses and contact lenses (if you need them). It may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s these little things that can escape your attention when packing your hospital bag. Don’t forget your contact lens solution and a lens case if you use contact lenses.

  • Phone and charger. Unless you opt for a little digital detox during this special time, don’t forget your phone and charger. You can stay in touch with loved ones, use it to take those first few pictures, and post your special news on social media.

  • Clothes. Aside from your nightgown, you might choose to take some comfortable clothes to wear during your hospital stay. Pack an extra outfit to wear home. Choose something loose-fitting, with a drawstring or elastic waist.

  • Handouts and reference books. You might have received some handy notes from your prenatal classes or have some reference books about newborns. The doctors and nurses will be able to give you lots of personalized guidance, but you might find these resources more useful once you actually have your newborn in your arms.

  • Snacks and drinks. Labour can sometimes be very long, so you could consider packing some snacks and drinks. However, speak to your medical team about whether or not you will be allowed to eat or drink anything during labour. Also, consider packing some of your favourite snacks for after labour as you may feel like some comfort food during your hospital stay.

Hospital Bag Checklist for Dad or the Birth Partner

As a birth partner, whether you’re the dad, partner, friend, or family member, you might also want to pack a hospital bag with some essentials you’ll find useful for your time supporting your loved one in the hospital:

  • Snacks and water. Labour can be thirsty work even for supportive partners. Consider packing some snacks and water, as well as change for the hospital vending machines.

  • Phone, camera and/or video camera, plus chargers and batteries. Don’t forget to pack a phone to stay in contact with loved ones, and for some entertainment during downtimes. The camera will come in handy to take some happy snaps. (Make sure the camera’s memory card has plenty of free space on it.)

  • Clothes. Labour is an unpredictable process, so a change of clothes is always a good idea, as you never know how long the stay will be.

  • Toiletries. After a long labour, you might need to freshen up in the shower. Most hospitals are fine with this, but you can confirm this beforehand.

  • Spare glasses or spare contact lenses. It might be a long day, so having spares of these essentials could come in handy.

  • Small pillow. You might appreciate getting a bit of rest during downtimes, as well.

  • Entertainment. Something to do: books, a tablet, and a music player are all good options.

Hospital Bag Checklist for Your Baby

This list of baby essentials to add to your hospital bag will come in handy once your newborn arrives:

  • Bodysuits. Hospital policies can vary on what newborns can be dressed in so consult with your doctor in advance about what to pack in your hospital bag. You may need to add to what the hospital provides in terms of accessories and layers. Remember, with bodysuits, it’s a good idea to choose those that fasten up at the front.

  • Socks and hats. Newborns can get cold easily so take some socks and hats just in case. Even during skin-to-skin contact, your newborn can wear a hat and socks.

  • Blanket. The hospital will likely provide blankets, but a blanket of your own is always good to have on hand to use during skin-to-skin contact. It can also be used to keep your baby warm in the car seat on the way home.

  • Going-home outfit. Consider the weather conditions: a bodysuit, booties, and hat could be fine during the warmer months, but in winter, pack mittens and a jacket or snowsuit, as well.

  • Car seat. This obviously isn’t for the hospital bag, but the right car seat should be installed in your car around the same time you pack your maternity bag (about one month before your due date) so it’s ready for the day you bring your newborn home from the hospital. You won’t be able to take your baby home otherwise. Read more on car seat safety and when car seats expire to ensure your little one is safe and secure when travelling.

  • Diapers and wipes. Bring enough Pampers diapers and wipes for your little one. You might want to bring some newborn sizes and perhaps the next size up just to be sure you have the right fit.

Get even more advice about what to pack in your hospital bag for your baby in the video below!

Printable Hospital Bag Checklist

What Not to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

It’s important to pack your hospital bag thoughtfully, as many hospitals have restrictions on what you can bring. Avoid overpacking and double-check what’s allowed beforehand. Here are a few things you probably won’t need on your hospital bag checklist for mom and baby:

  • Too many clothes. You’ll likely be in your nightgown for most of your stay, so you won’t need a lot of clothes. Pack a going-home outfit that is comfortable and easy to wear, like leggings and a loose shirt.

  • Valuables. Leave valuables, such as jewelry, at home where it will be safe. The last thing you want to worry about is losing something important while you’re focused on giving birth and taking care of your new baby.

  • Electronic devices. Your phone and camera might come in handy, but you won’t need larger devices such as portable TVs or music players. If you want to watch or listen to something, remember to have headphones handy so you don’t disturb other guests.

  • Too much food. A few of your favourite snacks and some water are good to have on hand, but don’t bring too much food with you. You might not get a chance to eat it, and if your stay is longer than expected, the hospital will likely provide you with food, or your partner can bring some extra snacks if needed.


Some essential items you might want to pack in your hospital bag for labour include:

  • Hospital paperwork, ID, and insurance card
  • Bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Relaxing entertainment.

You can find more items to pack in your maternity bag on our comprehensive hospital bag checklist.

The Bottom Line

With this hospital bag checklist, you, your baby, and your birth partner will be well-prepared for your time in the hospital. Read up on pregnancy symptoms, so that you know when it’s time to grab the bag and be on your way. Good luck! And if you’re waiting until you see your little one’s face to decide on a name, get some inspiration with our Baby Name Generator. You can filter through thousands of titles to find your baby’s perfect name! While you’re here and in the mood to prepare for the birth of your baby, download the Pampers Club app. You can use the app to get rewards for all the diapers and wipes you’ll buy once your little one arrives.