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Must-Have Items in Your Hospital Bag for Labor & Delivery

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Can you believe the big day is almost here and it’s time to pack your hospital bag? I’m sure you’re excited to stop being pregnant. You’re tired of not being able to walk like a normal person, having to get up every hour to pee, not being able to put on your socks by yourself, getting heartburn, and not being able to do anything without feeling exhausted. The finish line is right up ahead, Mama!

To make sure you’re fully prepared for reaching the finish line, make sure you’ve packed your hospital bag at least a month in advance with only the essentials you need. And leave it in the car, so you’re always ready to go no matter where you are.

When I was pregnant with my first, I scoured the web for checklists of what I should pack. And the majority of them were filled with a ton of things you really don’t need. Seriously, bring a book on newborn care?

I’m not saying it’s not useful. I’m just saying it’s impractical to bring to the hospital. First of all, you can look up everything on your phone. Second of all, the nurses will be there to help answer your questions. And lastly, you are not going to have time in the hospital to read this book. Leave it at home.

As a newbie mom-to-be years ago, short of packing the kitchen sink, my to-go bag was overflowing with non-essentials.

Keep in mind that you’ll be getting lots of documents, reading material, and baby supplies from the hospital too, so it’s best to pack less to make room for all of this.

Here are the essentials you need in your hospital bag for labor and delivery.

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Clothes for Baby

You’ll need an outfit or two for your new family member. I recommend packing a onesie and a sleep and play bodysuit plus a hat as one outfit. Get a super cute one with footies so you won’t have to pack socks. No matter what you pack, I recommend keeping each complete outfit in its own reclosable plastic bag labeled with the size.

If there’s the chance you may deliver early, pack one preemie outfit. When my daughter came early, all the newborn clothes we had were too big, so my husband had to run out to the store for a preemie outfit.

And once you bring home baby, this item that reinvents the womb will help baby to sleep longer, facilitate cosleeping, and more.

Clothes for You

Make sure you have at least three changes of clothes. Of course, you want them to be comfortable and loose-fitting. I packed a few large shirts and loose-fitting cotton pants. I chose to wear these instead of those lovely hospital gowns.


If you’ll be nursing, bring along a nursing bra or nursing tank.

I wouldn’t bring any of your nice panties. You’ll be bleeding a lot and best not to soil your nice Victoria’s Secret panties.

Post delivery, the hospital will be giving you mesh panties to use with humongous sanitary pads. These pads aren’t the most comfortable and will shift with your movements, so I recommend bringing along some Depends. These are my favorite.

I also loved using my Belly Bandit postpartum. It helped to speed up recovery and get me back into my pre-pregnancy shape. Belly Bandit helps to shrink, tighten and shape your belly, waist, and hips.


Bring at least two pairs of socks to keep your toes toasty while you’re walking around dealing with contractions and afterward. I brought comfy, non-slip ones. You won’t want to be walking barefoot on the hospital floor.

Bring flip flops you can slip in and out of for showing. You may even want to wear them in the shower. I just find hospital floors icky, so I kept mine on the entire time I was showering.

Related Read: How to Survive the First 24 Hours at Home With Your Newborn


Bring your toiletries like face wash, moisturizer, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, soap, etc. If you wear lenses, bring your glasses, contacts, case, and contact solution.

As far as makeup goes, I brought blush and lip gloss. I didn’t bring my whole makeup arsenal since I found it impractical. The blush and lipgloss were to make me feel good about myself and somewhat presentable. Bring what will make you feel good about yourself. 🙂


Don’t forget your phone charger. Also, bring your tablet or device in case you want to watch something to pass the time while waiting for baby to arrive. (Don’t forget that tablet charger too.)

Go ahead and bring your camcorder if you’d like. We opted for recording with our phones, so that’s what we brought.

Less is more

Keep in mind, it’s only a short stay. My shortest stay was less than 48 hours. For some reason, if you have to stay longer or if you happen to forget something you desperately need, your husband can always run home to get it.

Don’t overpack as it will clutter your small hospital room, make you feel all frazzled, and your husband will end up hauling more than he should back home.

Pack only the essentials and leave the rest at home.

What are some must-haves you need for labor and delivery? Let me know in the comments!

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