Hospital Bag Roundup

labor and delivery hospital bag ideas

labor and delivery hospital bag ideas
Without thinking about what kind of response I’d get, I asked for advice on necessary hospital bag swag on Instagram Stories and ummmm you guys killed it! I honestly was taken back by not only how many people responded, but how many of you were interested in seeing all the responses.

I’ll eventually be sharing what exactly I’m bringing with me, but for now, I wanted to share a list of the results from my poll. From registered nurses, to moms of 5, to everything in between, below are some of the most popular responses. Obviously you don’t need to bring all of these things, they’re just ideas. Take notes – I definitely did!

First thing’s first, let’s talk about the bag all of this is being packed in. A neonatal nurse suggests packing two bags: one for labor and one for postpartum. When you arrive to the hospital, take only your labor bag in and leave everything else in the car. Then, once you’ve delivered, have someone take the labor bag to the car and switch it out for the postpartum bag. This will avoid schlepping extra large suitcases and will minimize excess stuff in the small rooms. And as for everything else:

Before Birth:

A few copies of your birth plan/wishes (I like this template)
Insurance card and ID
The car seat installed
Cord bank kit if you intend to bank
Birthing ball
Full term app for tracking contractions

Accessories/Room Supplies:

Battery-operated candles if you plan to birth in the dark
Himalayan salt crystal lamp
Items that make you happy that you’d like to have around you for birth (ex: crystals)
Polaroid camera for something fun
Ear plugs
Do not disturb sign
Toilet paper
Cozy blanket
Bed sheets
Treats for the nurses
Calming music
Bluetooth speakers and a few playlists
Extra long phone chargers
Own towels (apparently hospital towels are mehhh)
Own pillows in pillow cases that are not white (so they don’t get confused with the hospital pillows)
Things that distract you: books, magazines, podcasts
Noise/sound machine for sleeping if you are a light sleeper

Beauty Products:

Shower essentials: soap, face wash, shampoo, conditioner (quite a few people suggested the AESOP travel kit)
Lip and cheek stain (like this one from RMS or this one from Tata Harper)
Dry shampoo
Face wipes (these from Ursa Major were suggested by several people)
Eye mask for sleeping
Hand lotion
Blow dryer
Makeup and travel mirror
Hair ties


Lavender, geranium and peppermint essential oil
Magnesium spray for cramps
Eucalyptus oil
Almond oil for perineal massage

After Birth Products:

Disposable panties
Disposable heat pack or a heating pad for cramping (for contractions)
Mama Strut for pelvic support
Frida MomWasher
Witch hazel in a squirt bottle
Donut seat cushion
Hospital grade pump
Nursing pillow (Boppy or My Breastfriend)
Cool bum spray
Dermaplast Spray for numbing if you tear
Nipple cream (Motherlove or Earth Mama)
Silverette cups
Salt sitz bath
Antiseptic wash
Belly bandit
Frozen pads/padsicles (recipe here)/tucks
Nursing pads
Small bottle of hand sanitizer to keep at the bedside for you to clean your hands before feeding baby
Stool softener (colace or milk of magnesium)


Your own gown (like these from James Fox Co.) so that you aren’t wearing one a previous patient was ill in or passed in
Jersey maxi dress or something cute and cozy enough for visitors (Rachel Pally was suggested multiple times)
Comfortable pajamas that aren’t tight and are easy to breastfeed in
Cozy robe
Full size underwear aka granny panties
Nursing bras
Nursing tanks
Slippers (I got these)
Socks (ideally non-slip)
Sandals for the shower
A few extra layers since it’s cold in hospitals
Going home outfit

Food Stuff:

Healthy snacks for you and your husband
Coconut water
Honey sticks
Water bottle with a straw


Sheets for his bed
Call list of who to call
Email list of who to email


Going home outfit
Diapers (the hospital will provide these but if you have an organic brand preference, bring them)
Baby gloves
Soft nail file to trim baby’s nails
Photo of siblings to keep in bassinet

Important Notes/Tips:

Keep your hair in braids so that they’re out of the way but you still look cute
Bring your regular medicines and pre-natal vitamins
Consider getting waxed or shaving down there beforehand (it’s a mess for a solid 6-8 weeks)
Request a mini fridge in the room
Bring a manila folder or envelope for all hospital information/papers
Bring an extra tote to bring home baby gifts

P.S. Thank you for all that were involved including the kind reader who helped compose this list! If there’s anything you think is missing, please leave it in the comments below.

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  1. I am not even pregnant or married and freaked out over this IG story. So interesting! Thank you for rounding this up I’m going to need this at some point I hope!

  2. FABULOUS!z.My midwives had a fish scale to weigh baby to see if baby was gaining at home if you want to check use your own scale if you have one.Also the staff will make sure that the baby is gaining before you go home so don’t worry.Also if the baby is pooping they are getting nutrition.

  3. Such a great list! One note; I tore and was using tucks (bc witch hazel) but didn’t realize there is alcohol in those; thenpain was getting worse and I didn’t know why and then I read the. Ingredients:( so important to get the good witch hazel without alcohol and skip the tucks until healed. Xo

  4. A medical POA is a good idea to bring so if your partner has to make a medical decision on your behalf, he or she can do it immediately and not wait to jump through any hoops!

  5. 1)You need to make your baby’s outfits (2 per day) and put each outfit in ziplock bags for each day you’ll spend in the hospital : socks, onesie, sleeping suit, matching hat and bib.
    2)A multiple outlet connector will make your life a lot easier
    3)They might let you play your own music for your delivery (make a play list for it)
    4)Super important * selfie stick *
    5)Baby’s cart bedding: pillow, roll, decorative blanket, toy ( preferably monogramed)
    6) Pretty swaddle blankets.
    7) Your own Apple TV.
    8) A pretty tray to keep medication/ eye mask, ear plugs, hair ties, phone, etc. Next to your bed.

  6. Last tip: i think your list is ten times bigger than mine so my last tip would be, your husband will need to pack the bag because after birth, you will not be able able to move much and husband will be the one going through all that stuff to find what you want. Just easier if he knows where everything is. Trust me. My husband could not find my lip balm for the longest time lol

  7. I gave birth a long time ago, but I do remember that you are not in the hospital very long. How many suitcases are required for this packing list? The husband gets a bed in the hospital room now? Your own hospital gown and a dress to change into for visitors? Clothes for the baby other than a leaving the hospital outfit? Please do a follow up post on how much of this stuff actually got used and what the reaction of the nurses was when you wheeled your luggage into the room.

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