what to pack in hospital bag for baby and mom

What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag For Labor

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If packing your hospital bag for labor is on your third trimester to do list (and it should be!) then this post will get you ready for labor and delivery.

Good for you for not waiting until the last minute before figuring out what to pack in your hospital bag for labor – you just never know when that sweet baby of yours will decide to join the world!

(Our baby girl was 8 days early so I was really happy my bag was packed and ready to go!)

RELATED READ: The Honest Truth About What to Expect During Childbirth

I’ve broken my hospital bag essentials into categories because there’s no point in overpacking your bag.

Here are the categories:

✔Obvious things you’ll need.
✔Early labor.
✔Active labor (that’s the really fun part).
✔After birth (a whole new world).
✔Stuff I wish I had in my hospital bag, but didn’t.
✔Cute baby stuff (Aweeee).

Okay, let’s take a look at what to pack in your hospital bag for labor! 🙂

Planning to go natural? Read: What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Natural Birth

What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag For Labor

Obvious Things You’ll Need

Lip Balm (okay, that might not have been obvious but your lips will get dry)
✔Shampoo and conditioner
✔Your own soap
✔Washcloth and towel
✔ Hair Elastics
✔ Hairbrush
✔ Makeup (if you really want to)
✔ Toothpaste and toothbrush

RELATED READ: The Complete Postpartum Recovery Plan

Early Labor

Early labor is just that – the beginning.

You might still be able to walk around and you MAY be able to relax.

Contractions are considered light and there’s time in between.


Comfy SlippersComfy Slippers

Comfy slippers are a must.

But the real key is to make sure you can slide into them easily.

The last thing you want to worry about is putting your shoes on or trying to line your foot up so you can get your flip flops on.

Another reason a good pair of slippers is a must is that your feet might get cold (surprising but very true!)

Massage Balls

Massage BallsMassage Balls

Your hubby might be wonderful at massaging your back but he will need a break and that might happen when you need a massage the most.

So pack some firm massage balls to take over during those times.

I found having my back massaged helped me deal with contraction pain.

Active Labor (It’s go time!)

Your labor is more intense and you’re close to pushing.

You may feel like a monster or very calm – depends on the kind of person you are.

I fell in somewhere in between.

My husband says I was pretty calm, but I think he just knows the right things to say 😉

RELATED READ: 51 Things to Get Done Before Your Baby is Born

A Stress Ball for Contractions

Stress BallStress Ball

Having a stress ball you can squeeze the s&%t out of instead of your hubby’s hand is a good move.

I bet you don’t think you’ll be one of those women ferociously letting everyone know your current situation is ‘all his damn fault’, but you may surprise yourself and have fantasies about inflicting as much pain on him as you’re in.

Or maybe you’ll have it all under control, thanks to your handy stress ball.

It’s really nice to have something to squeeze during an intense contraction.

A stress ball is literally what got me through a lot of the tougher contractions AND saved my husbands hands.

A Water Bottle with a Straw

Water Bottle with StrawWater Bottle with Straw

You’re already dealing with pain and the inability to get comfy.

The last thing you’ll want to do is open and close a water bottle lid when you want some water.

Get a water bottle with a straw so you can drink water without having to think about what you’re doing.

My husband held the bottle in front of me, which helped keep me hydrated during labor.

Your body is going through something that’s like running a marathon – do yourself a favor and sip water!

**I also highly recommend getting a drink (like Gatorade or coconut water packed in your hospital bag to help replace your electrolytes. You will be zapped**

After Birth Products

RELATED READ: 8 Ways to Speed Up Your Recovery from Vaginal Delivery

Mesh Postpartum Underwear

Mesh UnderwearMesh Underwear

Several friends who already delivered their babies couldn’t stop raving about disposable mesh underwear.

I found it odd, to be honest.

I couldn’t put it in context to what I was about to experience.


Mesh underwear?

Oh man, am I a believer now.

You NEED to get mesh underwear and have SEVERAL pairs packed in your hospital bag.

After birth is going to be, um, messy.

Mesh underwear is a good choice because it’s not tight, easy to pull on and will keep that thick pad you’ll be wearing all the time in place.

The Thickest of the Thick Pads

Always Extra Thick PadsAlways Extra Thick Pads

These Always pads were not only thick (so I felt they would live up to their job), but they were LONG too.

As you’re twisting and turning in an attempt to get comfortable postpartum, you won’t have to worry that you’re leaking everywhere.

Bring the whole pack of pads with you.

Better to be over-prepared in this area, trust me.

You are going to bleed. A lot.

Take your heaviest period and multiply it by 10, at a minimum.

My husband wondered how I was still alive because he saw so much blood – ha!

It’s like a tap. Okay, I’ll stop there with my descriptions – you get the picture.

Squirt Bottle For Your…

Peri BottlePeri Bottle

I can’t stress enough how much I LOVED my peri bottle after my daughter arrived.

That bottle made my nether regions feel SO much better.

After months of peeing all the time, you may find you struggle once you’ve pushed your baby out.

It’s because you’re swollen.

I found spraying warm water down there helped me release and kept me as fresh as possible during a time I couldn’t imagine ANYTHING touching me down there.

You will be VERY tender.

A peri bottle is a must-have in your hospital bag.

A Breastfeeding Cover

Breastfeeding CoverBreastfeeding Cover

You will be breastfeeding in the hospital and people will be in and out of your room constantly – would you like a little bit of privacy as you try to feed your new bundle?

I did and so I packed a nursing cover.

That way no one can stare at your breasts while you’re exhausted and feeling like the ugliest woman on the planet.

Stuff I wish I had In My Hospital Bag, But Didn’t

This section is dedicated to the items I wish I’d packed, but baby brain stopped me, I swear.

A Maternity Bathrobe that you feel good in

Maternity RobeMaternity Robe

Again, I blame it on baby brain.

How on earth did I not realize I would have visitors after delivering our daughter?

How did it not occur to me that people would take PICTURES aka those things I get to look back at 20 years from now and cringe.

I didn’t feel good after delivering – my body had been through a lot and I didn’t bother to pack anything that might make me feel good as a new Mom.

I loved my new daughter, I just felt ugly and I dressed the part.

People will be in and out of your hospital room – you will feel MUCH better if you’re lounging in a comfy robe that’s as stylish as bathrobes can get.

Trust me.

I decided to pack one of my hubby’s t-shirts that’s probably too big for HIM and a pair of huge lounge pants I’d lived in while pregnant.

I felt like a slob.

I know I just delivered a baby, but my postpartum outfit didn’t make me feel good and looks TERRIBLE in photos.

Those are your memories!

**Maybe most women think about what they are going to wear after birth, but I wanted to put this on the hospital bag checklist in case there are those suffering from bad case of baby brain like I was!**

A Maternity Nightgown

Maternity NightgownsMaternity Nightgowns

Please see above rant about not having a cute robe to feel good in, because, trust me, you will need to feel as good as possible in order to deal with people in your room.

A maternity nightgown would have been the cherry on top IF I’d thought of packing one.

Again – baby brain.

Looking somewhat put together is not the only reason you’ll want one or two nightgowns – you’ll be sore and messy, so COMFORT will be important to you.

Also, you won’t want to pull down your ugly lounge pants every time you have to pee – you’ll be dealing with enough!

It might sound like something so small, but I tell ya, when you think about what to pack in your hospital bag, please think comfort, comfort, comfort and easy, easy, easy while looking somewhat put together.

New Mom Spray

New Mama SprayNew Mama Spray

Remember how excited I was to have a peri bottle packed in my bag. Baby brain didn’t strike with packing that bottle! Haha 🙂

That peri bottle is my number 1 pick (after thick pads and mesh underwear) when I think about what to pack in my bag.

Add a soothing spray for your nether regions so you can feel some relief.

When I go for round 2, I am making sure this new mom spray is in my hospital bag.

Moms, it’s good to pamper yourself asap!

Cute Baby Stuff

RELATED READ: 10 Must-Have Baby Products for the First Year

I may have forgotten to pack some important items in my hospital bag, but when it came to being ready for our daughter, I did not forget a thing.

When deciding what to pack in your hospital bag for labor, don’t forget you need some sweet baby stuff 🙂

Lots of Newborn Diapers

Newborn DiapersNewborn Diapers

I scoffed when I read the recommendation that you should bring 25-30 diapers in your hospital bag.

Where I live, you can be out of the hospital in 24 hours, so why on EARTH would we need 25-30 diapers?!

Pack at least that many.

We ended up staying in the hospital for 3 days and hubby had to frantically go out and buy more diapers because we didn’t have enough.

I had to ask (beg) the nurses to give me more, which was met with some stern looks of disapproval.

How come I didn’t have enough diapers for my baby?

Pack the recommended amount is the lesson I learned 🙂

Baby Wipes

Baby WipesBaby Wipes

Super simple advice – pack baby wipes because the hospital won’t give you any!!

Related Read: 10 Must-Have Baby Products for the First Year

Newborn Zippered Sleepers

Zippered SleepersZippered Sleepers

I’m a huge fan of zippered sleepers because they’re easy 🙂

Since I didn’t know how long we would be in the hospital, I brought a few zippered sleepers so my daughter would be warm and cozy.

Muslin Blankets

Muslin Swaddle BlanketsMuslin Swaddle Blankets

Muslin blankets are one of those must-have baby products. No questions asked. There is so much you can do with them, but while you’re at the hospital they’re a super soft way to swaddle your baby in comfort.

Have a couple muslin blankets ready to go in your hospital bag 🙂

A Going Home Outfit

Going Home OutfitGoing Home Outfit

A going home outfit will be a cute way to show off your new bundle of joy to family and friends 🙂


That wraps up my advice about what to pack in your hospital bag for labor.

Did you like my suggestions or did I miss something?

Let me know in the comments!

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One Comment

  1. 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.

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