What to Pack in Hospital Bag?

As my due date neared, I always had questions like:

“Did you decorate the nursery?”

“Did you buy the car seat?”

“Is your hospital bag ready?”

Every time I faced these questions, I looked blankly at my hubby and we giggled – what do they mean when they say “is your hospital bag ready?” It sounded more like preparing for a vacation trip to Hawaii! But actually, this very common question really meant if I had packed my bags to bring to the hospital when I was in labor.

I thought this would be an interesting read for first-time moms – just like me, who don’t know what actually should be packed. I packed 3 bags in total. A labor bag, a post-delivery bag, and a baby’s diaper bag. Each bag had supplies I would need at each stage during and after my delivery.

Mom-to-be’s Labor Bag:

In the labor and delivery ward, only a few supplies will be used – mainly personal items. All other supplies will be needed post-delivery. Here is all that I packed in my labor bag:

  1. Health Card and other medical documents (insurance, etc.)
  2. Birth Plan (you can give this to your labor & delivery nurse when you arrive)
  3. Socks (hospitals are very cold)
  4. Slippers (to use when I was using the restroom/walking around)
  5. Lip balm (hospital felt too dry, I was applying a lot of lip balk to keep it moisturized)
  6. Phone / iPad, charger, battery bank & headphones (need some entertainment)
  7. Rubber band (you cannot have any metal objects on you in case an emergency procedure was required – so use the band to tie hair instead of a clip)
  8. Loose change (vending machines are lifesavers for your hubby, so not a bad idea to keep some coins)
  9. Water bottle (for hubby/parent – you won’t be allowed to eat or drink without the nurse’s consent)

Mommy’s Post-Delivery Bag:

You will have some items already available from your labor bag. Here are additional items you can pack for your stay at the hospital post-delivery

  1. Clean clothes (if you are tired of wearing the hospital gown) – bring comfortable clothing as you will still look pregnant; maternity clothes will still be best
  2. Towel (I wanted to shower first thing after I delivered – which never happened until after 2 days)
  3. Nursing bra/tank (if you are planning to breastfeed)
  4. Scarf (this was my hideaway cloth when I had visitors and I was nursing the baby)
  5. Shrug/Sweater (as I said, hospitals are really cold you might want to tuck away in your cozy sweater/shrug)
  6. Bathrobe – I loved this (I had a C-section and I did not feel like wearing regular clothes, I was in the robe most part of the day)
  7. Comb and hair accessories as you feel comfortable
  8. Camera (bring your camera to take a lot of pictures with your munchkin)
  9. Sanitary napkins (you will bleed – a lot post-delivery and you will be in those adult undies at the hospital. They do have sanitary napkins, but if prefer a certain brand/type bring it with you – you will certainly need it)
  10. Keepsake stuff (if you wanted to do your baby’s hand and footprints bring the book/paper with you and check with the nurse if she can help you with this)

Baby’s Diaper Bag:

This is my favorite part. I enjoyed packing my baby’s first diaper bag. It is a memorable moment for you to be doing this and soon your baby will be in your arms. So here is all that I packed for my baby:

  1. Diaper bag (first and foremost)
  2. Diapers (hospitals do provide you with baby diapers. I still packed a bunch for my baby)
  3. Diaper Wipes (again hospital provide you with this)
  4. Diaper cream (at the hospital nurses applied Vaseline cream to my little boy’s bum, but I also had my cream handy)
  5. Socks, Caps, and mittens (you need to keep your little one all cozied up)
  6. A few onesies and sleep dresses
  7. Blanket (hospitals have baby blankets but I used mine – I had shopped a lot!)
  8. Car seat (you cannot bring your baby home without having a nurse inspect your car seat – it is a mandatory requirement in Canada)
  9. Winter clothing (if you have a winter baby)
  10. Baby towel (you can ask the nurse to bathe your baby at the hospital)
  11. Breast Pump (if you plan to breastfeed, you could bring your pump; some hospitals do have pumps that new moms could use. Check with your nurse)
  12. Burp and wash Cloth (expect a lot of spit-ups, so keeping these wipe cloths handy will be wise)
  13. Milk bottle (if you were breast-feeding, you could pump in between the feeds)
  14. Healthy snacks (I remember being so hungry post-delivery; also feeding your baby will make you hungry – so keep snacks like chewy bars, crackers, fruits, etc.)
  15. Toys (bring maybe 1 or 2 baby toys that make some noise or lights up to play with your baby)
  16. Car Seat is a must to purchase before you head to the hospital; during the discharge, a maternity nurse will check your car seat before allowing your baby home.

These are all the things you will need before you head out to the hospital for your big day! If you had other items that I did not mention here, please share them in the comment section below for our readers.

Follow this link to download your Hospital Bag packing list.


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