what’s in my hospital bag for labor and c-section– with links and downloadable checklist

After a few pregnancy complications and labor scares, I decided that it was time to start packing our hospital bags as it’s better to be safe than sorry. With my first son I did not have anything packed or prepared in advanced, so when he decided to make his arrival weeks early I was completely unprepared. I was sent to the hospital from my ultrasound appointment with a half-dead phone. That’s literally all I had.

Now that I am trying to be prepared as possible for Jasper’s arrival, I realized I had no clue what to even pack. So I took a lot of time, research, and advice from other parents to prepare this checklist, to hopefully help others who felt stuck when it came to preparing their hospital bag like I did.

Ideally, it is best to have your hospital bag packed by 36 weeks just in case you go into labor early. While some of the items I have on the checklists are essential, others are just to provide you more comfort during your stay.

Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom:

  • A bag of course: I will be using my Lily Jade Caroline Bag as it has SO much room for me and the baby’s belongings.
  • Photo ID and Insurance Card
  • Pillow: A lot of other moms recommended packing their own pillow for more comfort.
  • Blanket: I am going to be bringing a fuzzy blanket as I am trying to make my stay as comfortable as possible this time around.
  • Robe: A comfy robe or cardigan is essential for ultimate comfort, and ease for skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding, etc. I am packing my Goumi robe in Sienna because it is SO comfy and I have a matching set for my baby.
  • Fuzzy socks or compression socks: I personally will be packing 2-3 pairs of fuzzy socks, as I find them to be the coziest option.
  • Slippers: A pair of slippers that are easy to slide on and off are a must! I have my warmies microwavable slippers and a pair of slipper socks from target packed.
  • Nursing bras/sports bras: I will be packing 2-3 nursing/lounge bras as I will be pumping and they help with the soreness!
  • Nursing pads: to absorb any leaks!
  • Underwear/Always Discreet Diapers: I bought a pack of depends diapers for myself as I found them to be SO helpful during my recovery from my first c-section, and much more comfortable than mesh underwear.
  • Loose loungewear: I am packing 2-3 pairs of loose loungewear sets as well as 1-2 oversized band tees to loung in during my stay. I have my short and long lounge pajama sets from Cozy Earth packed as they are stretchy, and comfortable as ever.
  • Going home outfit: I don’t think I will be wearing anything special going home, but some might prefer to. I will likely just wear one of the loungewear sets I bring home!
  • Pump bag: I will include another blog post featuring everything in my pump bag but basically be sure to pack your breast pump and charger if you plan on pumping.

Hospital Bag Checklist for Dad:

  • Pillow
  • Blanket
  • Photo ID and Insurance Card
  • Birth Plan: Be sure to have a copy for your chart, your labor nurses and even to keep in your hospital room for reference for the staff. I will be posting next week a template for what to include in your birth plan as I finish mine up!
  • Push present

Hospital Bag for Baby:

  • Nursing Pillow
  • Car seat: be sure to have your carseat installed prior to discharge, and know how to properly buckle your baby. Most hospitals will do a safety check before you leave and will show you how to safely buckle your baby.
  • Going home outfit
  • Receiving blanket
  • Pacifiers
  • Scratch Mittens
  • Hats
  • Socks
  • Picture outfit(s)
Jaspers picture/going home outfit. 🤍

Toiletries:

  • Travel size squeeze bottles
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant: my current favorite is coconut & vanilla scented Native deodorant
  • Brush
  • Chapstick
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Dry shampoo
  • Makeup: I personally won’t be packing any but I know many people would prefer to!

Extras:

  • Snacks
  • iPad/Macbook
  • Long phone charger
  • Cash: for parking and vending machines.

After you finish packing your hospital bag, be sure to keep it all somewhere convenient and easy to grab in case you go into labor. And make sure your partner knows where it is as well. We currently have ours sitting in our baby’s bassinet in our bedroom, but another great place to put it would be the front door or in the car. As for my labor plan, I will be hanging on the fridge a list of what to do when I go into labor for my partner.

as promised, below is the downloadable hospital bag checklist I created!

tap to download free hospital bag checklist
Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter and keep an eye out for my upcoming blog posts for templates on what’s in my pump bag, registry essentials, writing your birth plan and preparing a labor plan.

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