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Your Hospital Bag Checklist

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on September 16, 2020
photo of duffle bag

Don't wait until the first contractions hit to start gathering your things to go to the hospital. Have a packed bag ready and waiting to go by the door, at least 2 weeks in advance. For most moms, that’s the 36- or 37-week mark. You'll want to be ready to leave at a moment's notice.

Hospital Bag Checklist

Important documents

  • Health insurance card
  • Photo ID or driver's license
  • A list phone numbers of people to call
  • Your birth plan
  • Hospital forms and any medical reports your doctor gave you
  • A list of all the medications you take (including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicine, herbal supplements, and vitamins)
  • Contact information for your pediatrician

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Glasses, contacts, and eyedrops (The hospital may not let you wear contacts during labor.)
  • Medications
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair ties or clips
  • Skin lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Sanitary pads (in case you don't like the ones at the hospital)

Clothes

  • Two sets of comfortable, loose-fitting clothes, like T-shirts and sweatpants to wear in the hospital
  • Clothes to wear home -- loose and comfy
  • Pajamas or a nightgown (Choose ones that open down the front if you plan on nursing.)
  • Socks and slippers
  • Robe
  • Three pairs of underwear
  • Comfortable shoes
  • At least two nursing bras
  • 12 nursing pads

For your new baby

  • Two clothing outfits, 0-3 months, for Baby to wear home (It might help to pack more than one size.)
  • One hat, one pair of socks, and one pair of booties
  • Two receiving blankets
  • Newborn diapers (The hospital may provide these.)
  • Car seat

Your partner’s hospital bag

  • About three changes of clothes
  • Pajamas if your partner is spending the night
  • Socks
  • Slippers
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Glasses case or contact lens necessities
  • Electronics
  • Handheld massager or tennis ball to give you a back massage
  • Camera and camcorder with chargers, extra batteries, memory cards, and film
  • Cellphone and charger
  • Portable media player or CD player and CDs

Necessities and nice-to-haves

  • Your phone and phone charger
  • Money for meals
  • Magazines, crossword puzzles, or a book
  • Music
  • Bath towel
  • Hair dryer
  • Tablet or laptop computer
  • A pillow from home

Show Sources

SOURCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Your Pregnancy and Childbirth: Month to Month, Women’s Health Care Physicians, 2010.

Cleveland Clinic: "Pregnancy: What to Pack for the Hospital."

March of Dimes: "What to Take to the Hospital."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health: "Hospital Pack List."

March of Dimes: “What Is Full Term?”

UT Southwestern Medical Center: “What to bring to the hospital: Your delivery checklist.”

New York-Presbyterian Sloane Hospital for Women: “Patient and Visitor Guide: Preparing For Your Stay.”

Valley Children’s Healthcare: “Hospital Bag Must-Haves: What’s Best To Pack?”

National Health Service (U.K.): “Pack your bag for labour: Your pregnancy and baby guide.”

NYU Langone Health: “What to Bring for Your Hospital Stay.”

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