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What to Pack in Your Labor and Delivery Hospital Bags - Top 18 MUST HAVE Items

Updated on April 12, 2016

3 Children Later I Figured Out My Go Bag!

3 Children later I think I finally got the go bag right. With my first I didn't have enough. With my second I had too much. By the time the third pregnancy came around I finally figured out a good balance. The only thing I had to send my husband out for was food, and a couple outfits for my daughter since she was so tiny.

My baby girl at 4 lbs 9 oz leaving the hospital.
My baby girl at 4 lbs 9 oz leaving the hospital.

Pack 2 go bags

Just a few words of advice. Unless you want your coach to spend more time moving stuff during labor than with you, pack 2 bags. Pack one small bag for during labor and delivery. Then after you have had your child and get comfortable, have your coach go get your "stay" bag out of the car. Many hospitals move you to a different room after delivery. It just makes more sense not to be moving a giant bag during the chaos. No matter how many lists you read chances are you will find yourself wishing you would have brought something you didn't. This happens to many of us. Just add it to your own personal list next baby!

Top 18 Things to Pack in Your Labor and Delivery Go Bag

  1. Personal Information - This includes you Drivers License or photo ID, SS card, and any paperwork needed to register.
  2. Socks - Many women suffer from cold feet (literally) while in labor. Be prepared and bring several pairs just in case.
  3. Nightgowns - This one is optional. The hospital will provide you with a hospital gown. However if you want to walk during labor you may want a gown that doesn't actually show you butt to the world. Also bring a few that can be ruined since chances are they will be ruined by all sorts of nasty stuff during delivery.
  4. Pillow - Unless you prefer a limp, flat, and cold pillow, you will want to bring your own.
  5. Toiletries - Brush, comb, hair bands, toothbrush, tooth paste, lotion, or any other thing that you think you would like to have over what the hospital will offer. Don't forget things your coach may need.
  6. Camera - With charger or extra batteries.
  7. Boredom items - These will be mostly for your coach, but you may need them as well. Snacks, magazines, mp3 player, and crosswords will make a good start. If you own a tablet or handheld gaming system bring it (and don't be mad at your coach for playing them in their hours of doing nothing).
  8. Nursing Bras - Even if you choose not to breast feed your child, a nursing bra is made for dealing with achy, swollen breast. Bring one or two to make life more comfortable. If you are nursing this will be much easier than having to lift your gown to your chin every 2 hours.
  9. People List - Even if everyone you know is in your cell phone write them down any way. This will make it easier to keep track of who you've called. Being able to cross names off a list is easier than searching your call and text history to make sure you got everyone.
  10. Underwear- Don't pack the thongs or bikini cuts for this trip! You will need some room for the giant boat pad that will be between your legs! Ideally get something you don't mind being stained and trash after you recover.
  11. Journal - Or pen and paper. You will want to write down a lot! Number of wet diapers, how long sleeping, and nursing sessions. Those first few days are all about making sure baby is getting all they need.
  12. Cell Phone - And Charger. Everyone will want to know progress and want to know if you are ready for a visit. It's much easier to have a cell than try to reach over a bed rail with a baby in your arms to reach the phone.
  13. Change - Lots of change will make getting all the snacks out of the vending machine easier! This also keeps your coach full so they don't need to go get good food until you are ready.
  14. Clothes for you - Really you only need a going home outfit, but if you are anything like me I couldn't wait to get out of a gown and back into some PJ's. Make sure your going home outfit is stretch material. Remember you don't lose all that belly in 24 hours. Expect to still be the size you were at 6 or 7 months pregnant, though it may vary a bit which is why elastic is your friend!
  15. Baby blanket - The hospital will provide you with blankets, if you enjoy taking pictures constantly and picking baby up a lot it will be nice to have a couple of home blankets. Also if you have dogs at home your baby will need to sleep with a blanket that your coach can take home after baby sleeps with it for the dogs to smell and get use to baby's scent.
  16. Nipple cream - For nursing moms, that first night of constant nursing can be rough on your nipples. Make sure you pack some cream to help ease the discomfort. Nipple cream can be a make or break it thing for nursing. Those first few days are painful.
  17. Going home outfit for baby - Don't forget to make this weather appropriate for baby. However remember that there will be heat on in your car so you will not need to bring a heavy jacket for baby. Just have a blanket to throw over in the transition between hospital and car.
  18. Installed Car Seat - You should have this installed a couple months in advance of due date just in case. You can't leave the hospital without it. Try going by your local fire department and making sure you have installed it correctly.

My 3rd Child arrived 5 weeks early at 4 lbs 11 oz.
My 3rd Child arrived 5 weeks early at 4 lbs 11 oz.

Good Luck!

Good Luck with bringing your baby into this world. Packing the go bag changes with each child as you learn what you personally really need and what you don't.

Were you ready to go when you went into labor?

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