What’s In My Hospital Bag for Delivery

The unknown of when contractions will start and how life will change after Baby’s arrival is both exciting and overwhelming for me. For that reason, the last few weeks of pregnancy can be quite nerve wracking as I await my delivery day. What always helps soothe my nerves, however, is feeling as prepared and organized as possible. It gives me a sense of clarity and the mental breathing room I need to stay relaxed and happy. Having my hospital bag packed early is key.

With Benjamin’s birth (you can read his birth story here), I absolutely overpacked and knew it ahead of time. And that was ok because as a first time mother, feeling over prepared rather than under, made me feel safe. This time around, I know what that hospital stay entails so I’ve streamlined my packing list, which I’ll be sharing with you today.

I packed my bag at 36 weeks this time around. Coincidentally, that week every single family member and close person to me, including my husband, was out of town, which really made me nervous. I kept praying I wouldn’t go into labor early because if I did, I’d have no one to call to be by my side, let alone take care of our toddler. It was not a good feeling and so, packing my bag that week made me feel one step more prepared for the unknown and in control. Thankfully, I’m still pregnant (38 weeks) and next time, I’m having a ‘no out of town’ rule after 33 weeks for my husband!

What’s In My Hospital Bag:

For Me –

  • Insurance ID card (already in my purse)
  • Admittance form (I actually pre-submitted this already)
  • Printed birth plan
  • Inspirational quotes/prayers to uplift me during delivery (this is a combination of things I’ve saved on my iPhone and also things I’ve printed out)
  • Journal and pen
  • Empty folder for documents (you leave the hospital with lots of documents and forms – having an organized place to keep them all is helpful)
  • Toiletries
  • Makeup bag
  • Glasses and glasses case
  • Hair clip / rubber bands
  • Night gown (I brought two last time but only ended up using one)
  • Robe (this is nice to have to cover up when visitors arrive)
  • Sleeping/nursing bra (I brought two last time but only ended up using one)
  • Going home outfit and shoes
  • Wireless speakers and charger (last time we put on a relaxing Pandora station while I was in labor)
  • Camera and charger
  • iPhone charger
  • Bag of snacks (I packed trail mix, granola bars, and dried mangos this time. I’ll also toss whatever fresh fruit we have in the fridge in my bag as we head out the door to deliver)
  • Towel (the hospital provides these but I liked having my own, bigger and fluffier one)
  • Flip flops
  • Garbage bag for dirty clothes
  • Framed family photo with Benjamin to personalize my room (last time it was a framed wedding photo)
  • Wrapped gift for Benjamin from his new baby brother

For My Husband – 

  • Comfortable clothes (pants, shorts, t-shirt, clothes to sleep and lounge in)
  • Underwear and socks
  • Flip flops
  • Toiletries
  • Outfit to go home in
  • iPhone charger

For Baby –

  • Going home outfit and hat
  • Two swaddle blankets (much prettier for photos than the ones the hospital provides)
  • Car seat

Things I Brought Last Time But Didn’t Use –

  • Socks (The hospital provided these so I spared mine)
  • Underwear (my hospital provided this. Once you deliver, you’ll understand why their underwear is best)
  • Sanitary pads (my hospital provided these for postpartum bleeding)
  • Pumping equipment and lotion -(my hospital provided this)
  • Hair dryer and curling iron
  • Magazines / iPad (I had no desire to read or surf the web while in the hospital. I stayed blissfully unplugged.
  • Babybook
  • Candles
  • Lavender eye pillow

Overall, I recommend packing whatever will make you feel most comfortable and at home throughout your stay. And if you forget anything, chances are, the hospital will have it! I’d love to hear what your essentials are?


Photography: Margo & Me


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  1. Eva 2/10/17 at 10:53 pm

    Great list! I totally agree un using the hospital disposable underwear. One must have for me was an LED candle. I used it as a nightlight during the night, placing it close to the baby so I could keep an eye on him without having to leave on those incredibly bright lights in the room.

    I overpacked as well but I’m glad I did since I ended up having an emergency Csection due to preeclampsia and ended up staying in the hospital for 6 days. My advice is to bring whatever you think you’ll need and if you never get it out of the bag, so what. Better to have too much stuff than not enough.

    1. Crystal 2/13/17 at 10:51 pm

      Hi Eva! I actually brought an LED candle for my first son’s birth, but never ended up using it. I love the idea of using it as a nightlight though – brilliant! And I agree, better to be over prepared than under!

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