What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag
Marisol Rendón Manrique

Written and verified by preschool graduate Marisol Rendón Manrique.

Last update: 28 September, 2022

From the moment you reach the 32-week milestone in your pregnancy, and as long as everything is normal, you should start to prepare for your baby’s arrival. This doesn’t just mean having their space at home ready for them. The first thing to get ready is your hospital bag, with everything necessary for the birth and your stay in the hospital.

These are the things that no mom-to-be should be without when it’s time to give birth. Take note, and don’t forget any of these:

Checklist for your hospital bag

  • Some ID with your photograph. This could be your ID card or driving license. Make sure you have all the papers you might need for admission to the hospital.
  • A bathrobe, slippers and socks. Most hospitals will provide you with a robe to wear after giving birth. It’s better to have your own clothes with you, though – they will help you to feel comfortable and you won’t need to worry about stains or marks. Everything you bring should be loose and comfortable, just in case you need your pressure taken, blood samples or any other routine test.
  • Something to help you relax. This could be music, a book, or anything that might distract you and help relieve stress in the moments before your baby arrives.
  • Toiletries. You will probably need a towel, soap and other personal items if you end up spending more time in the hospital. Don’t forget your toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, moisturizer, shampoo and anything else you’ll need to use.
  • A warm, soft sweater or cardigan. Hospitals are not the warmest of places! It’s a good idea to have something warm with you, which will also help to keep the wind off you when you come out of the hospital.
  • Maternity underwear. In particular, you should have a nursing bra, designed for breastfeeding with special pockets and padding. With a regular bra, you could end up leaking milk onto your shirt, and you will be very uncomfortable.
what to prepare in your hospital bag before going into labor
  • Something to tie your hair back. Preferably a scrunchie or hair tie, as clips can be uncomfortable and you could scratch yourself on them.
  • A cell phone, with enough battery and all the contact numbers you need. You never know when you will need to contact someone urgently. You should save all the phone numbers that you may need.
  • Several changes of underwear. After the birth, it is likely that you will need to change your panties several times. Go prepared with 2 or 3 changes of underwear to avoid any mishaps.
  • Clothes to wear when you come out of the hospital. You should bring an extra change of clothes to wear home. Maternity wear made for around the 6th month of pregnancy is best, just in case your stomach is still a little swollen.
  • Clothes for your baby. Of course, in addition to your own things, you will need a little bag with everything your baby will need. Pack a romper, socks, a blanket, diapers, a hat and any baby toiletries necessary.

Optional items:

Depending on the conditions of your pregnancy, you may want some of the following items in your hospital bag:

  • An extra pillow. Many women have trouble getting to sleep without enough pillows. If you know that this is you, bring your own pillow so that you can get some rest.
  • A change of clothes for your partner. Many women will need to spend a few nights in the hospital after giving birth. If someone will be with you overnight, it’s a good idea for them to have an extra change of clothes ready. That way, they won’t have to look for one at the last minute.
  • A camera. If you want to document your birth, make sure to take a good camera, with the batteries charged. This way you’ll have something to remind you of those moments that are once-in-a-lifetime (even if you have another child).

An important thing to remember when packing your hospital bag is not to bring your favorite outfit. So many things can happen and clothes can easily get ruined.

Pack things that you don’t mind losing, and bear in mind that they may get stained if an accident happens. If you wear glasses, make sure to bring them, you might end up needing them.

You should also keep in mind the weather around the time that you will give birth. If your due date is in winter, make sure that both you and your baby are well wrapped up against the cold.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.