The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist

The big day will be here before you know it. Do you have your bags packed and ready to go? If you’re in the third trimester, this is one of the most important to-dos on your list. Your baby could arrive early, so if you want to be ready, start packing as early as 34 weeks, but no later than 36 or 37. 

Now, if you’re like someone here on our team (who shall remain nameless) and you have a habit of packing everything you own for a simple overnight trip, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed when it comes to planning what needs to go in your hospital bag. But don’t worry, we’re gonna make it suuuuper easy with a simple checklist.

We’ll cover the essentials, but we’ll also include some items that you might want to pack to help make the environment more relaxing and comfortable. After all, the more relaxed you are, the more oxytocin you’ll produce, and oxytocin is a must for labor. 

Alright, ready? Let’s pack + plan.

Packing Your Bag: Labor and Delivery + Postpartum Checklist

Let’s cover the essentials and the things that will help pass the time and keep you comfy during your hospital stay. You may also want to call the hospital ahead of time to find out what you’re allowed to bring in and what types of things they’ll provide.

Mom's Hospital Bag Checklist: Things you'll need and/or want for labor + your stay in general.
Mom's Hospital Bag Checklist: Things you'll need and/or want postpartum.

P.S. Wondering how long you should plan to be in the hospital? If you have a vaginal birth, you can plan on spending one to two days in the hospital – three to four if you deliver via C-section. It’s always a good idea to pack a few extras of each essential item, just in case.

Packing Your Partner’s Bag:

Birth Partner's Hospital Bag Checklist

Packing For Baby: Don’t Forget Picture Opportunities

Baby's Hospital Bag Checklist

There are also a few things you can do now to make life a little easier on the big day and once baby’s here: 

Prep and freeze food.

Now’s a good time to make some easy-to-reheat meals for those first weeks postpartum. Or…convince your MIL and any other family and friends who are good in the kitchen to set up a meal drop-off schedule.

Plan for pets.

If you have pets, figure out who will feed them, check on them, and take them out while you and your birth partner are in the hospital or birth center. 

Install your car seat if you haven’t already.

This is one thing you’ll need from day one, so it’s never too early to pop that bad boy in the car. It’s also a good idea to have it checked for proper installation. Stop by and say hi to your local fire department – they’ll be happy to check for you. 

Have a pediatrician in mind.

Nowadays, pediatricians may not come to the hospital when the baby is born and they may not pencil in time for a consultation. But do a little research, talk to friends with kiddos, and get an idea of where you might want to go once the babe is here. And don’t forget to verify that the pediatrician you’re considering takes your insurance! 

Do any last minute shopping.

While you can’t exactly stock up on fresh produce well in advance, now is a good time to buy any last minute household necessities and essentials that you know will keep. Think toilet paper, postpartum care, paper towels, diapers + wipes, and healthy snacks that you can grab quickly during those late-night feeding sessions. And if there are any must-have-on-day-one items still to get on your registry, now’s the time to pick them up.

Alright, grab your bags and your to-do list and get packin’!

When should I pack my hospital bag?

It is recommended that you have your hospital bag packed around 34 weeks and no later than 37 or 38 weeks.

Do I need to bring diapers to hospital?

The hospital will likely supply diapers, but just in case, packing a few diapers in your hospital bag will help you to be prepared.

Any items in the Bump Boxes shop I might want to pack in my hospital bag?

You know it! Not only do we have some great items to go in your hospital bag – like this ‘Hello, I’m new here’ onesie, the cutest birth announcement maybe ever, some yummy third trimester tea, and a car seat handle pad to make carrying the baby more comfortable – but we’ve also got a mommy and baby hospital bag bundle to get you to the hospital or birth center in style.