The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist with Printable PDF

Whether you are months, weeks or even days away from your due date, every new mom wonders what they’ll need to pack to take to the hospital when baby comes. This post will tell you everything you need to pack and you can download my 100% free hospital bag checklist printable PDF!

Hospital Bag Packing Advice and Checklist

Giving birth is perhaps the biggest challenge and a huge change in a woman’s life. Along with making a birth plan and preparing your home for baby, you’ll also need to be sure you pack everything you need for this momentous change. 

If you’re a first time mom, it’s hard to figure out exactly what you need when you’ve never given birth and gone through postpartum recovery before (you can read more about getting through your postpartum recovery here).

Obviously throwing a few things in a bag while you’re in active labour is not ideal!

Even if you’ve been through this before, you’ll want to be sure you’re not forgetting anything (because #mombrain is real).

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Before you Pack Your Hospital Bag

One important consideration to think about before you start packing is if and how much the hospital will provide for you. Some hospitals will provide everything your baby will need during your stay and even send you home with extras. Other hospitals expect you to bring your own diapers, wipes, etc. Most hospitals will fall somewhere in the middle.

During your hospital tour, be sure to ask what supplies you are expected to bring with you to the hospital. If you’ve already had your tour, re-read any information packets or just give them a call to ask. 

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Hospital Packing Advice

When you go over your packing list, you’ll probably realize that you can’t have everything packed weeks and weeks in advance, unless you want to be living out of a suitcase in your own home. There are many items on your packing list that you’ll use everyday.

Hospital Packing Style

You have two options for packing:

Option #1: Pack Last Minute

First, you can save some of your packing until after you go in labour. This may seem last-minute to you, but you’ll likely have a little time before you need to go to the hospital.

Pack the things you can in advance. This might include breastfeeding supplies, diapers, maternity pads, etc. 

Highlight items on your hospital bag checklist pdf that you haven’t yet packed, and make sure you know exactly where these items are located (make notes if you need to).

Most labours progress slowly at first, and you will probably be asked to labour at home for several hours until you are in active labour.

If you’re concerned about getting to the hospital as quickly as possible, or if you’ve had a percipitous labour before, see option two. 

Option #2: Pack Duplicates

Your second choice is to pack duplicates. You can buy duplicates of commonly used items you’ll be needing in between now and when your labour starts.

This may seem excessive, but most of these items will be items you’ll need to replace anyway (deoderant, shampoo, make-up, etc.). Although you might not need duplicates right now, you will go through these items and need to replace them eventually, So really, you’re just saving yourself a trip to the store after the baby comes. 

If You Forget Something

If you’re on the your to the hospital and forgotten something, don’t worry.

If it’s a personal care item or something the baby will need after it’s born, don’t stress. Whether you send your partner home for something after your baby has been born, or ask family or friends to pick up something for you when they come to visit, someone will be able to help you out. 

If you’re planning on bringing something special for your labour (certain music, scents or a massager), don’t worry too much. It may not be your perfect birth (and perfect births happen very rarely), but you truly don’t need a thing to deliver a baby. Getting to the hospital before it’s too late is much more important than having a certain birth prop.

What to Bring to the Delivery Room

Most hospitals have special delivery rooms where you’ll give birth, and then normal hospital rooms where you’ll stay throughout your hospital stay. 

You do not need to bring everything you’ve packed to the delivery room. Usually they’re not that roomy and you may have a lot of medical staff around, dependign on your birth. If you bring everything, it can be a little crowded. You likely won’t use most of what you’ve brought in the delivery room anyway. 

You can send your partner or birth support person down to the car to get extra items that aren’t necessary for the birth. These can include your pillow, a nursing pillow, diapers or a bag of snacks. Your essential care items are probably all you’ll need in the delivery room, and even then, you may not use them unless you have a very long delivery.

Personally, I don’t think I even opened my bag in the delivery room, except to hand out my birth plan!

Snacks, Snacks, Snacks

One final tip is to pack lots of snacks. You’ll likely be hungry after birth, especially after all that hard work! Your hospital may provide meals and basic snacks like toast, but it’s nice to have some tasty things on hand for when you feel like eating.

Hospital Bag Checklist

So, without further ado, here is my hospital bag checklist. Download the printable version here:



Packing List for Mom

Packing List for Baby

Packing List for Dad

  • Snacks
  • Toiletries
  • PJ’s/Change of clothes
  • Camera
  • Phone
  • Extension cord

Download the printable version of my hospital bag checklist here and add anything specific to your list. Make note of what you’ve already packed and what you need to throw in at the last minute. 



Good luck mamas and happy packing!

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Hospital Bag Checklist with PDF

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