The arrival of your new son or daughter is a time of excitement and joy. It is often also a hectic time, so it can be hard to remember to pack everything that you will need at the hospital.
About a month before your baby's due date, make sure you have the items below. Pack as many beforehand as you can. Use this checklist as a guide to get organized for the big event.
Items for Mom
The hospital will supply you with a gown, slippers, disposable underwear, and basic toiletries. While it is nice to have your own clothes with you, labor and the first few days postpartum are most often a very messy time, so you may not want to wear your brand-new lingerie. Items you should bring:
- Nightgown and bathrobe
- Bra and nursing bra
- Breast pads
- Socks (several pair)
- Underwear (several pair)
- Hair ties (scrunchies)
- Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, lip balm, lotion, and deodorant
- Comfortable and loose fitting clothing to wear home
Items for Baby
Items to bring for the new baby:
- Going home outfit for baby
- Receiving blanket
- Warm clothing to wear home and a heavy bunting or blanket (if the weather is cold)
- Baby socks
- Baby hat (such as for cold weather climates)
- Baby car seat. A car seat is required by law and should be properly installed in your car before you go to the hospital. (The National Highway and Safety Administration (NHTSA) -- www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#age-size-rec provides recommendations on finding the right care seat and installing it correctly.)
Items for Labor Coach
Items to bring for the labor coach:
- Stopwatch or watch with a second hand for timing contractions
- Phone list of contacts to announce your baby's birth to friends and family, including a cell phone, phone card, calling card, or change for calls
- Snacks and drinks for the coach, and, if allowed by the hospital, for you
- Massage rollers, massage oils to relieve back pain from labor
- The object you have chosen to use to focus your attention during labor (the "focal point")
Items the Hospital Will Need from You
Items you will need to bring to the hospital:
- Health plan insurance card
- Hospital admissions papers (you may have to be pre-admitted)
- Pregnancy medical file, including over-the-counter and prescription medicine information
- Birth preferences
- Contact information of the health care provider who will be caring for your baby, so the hospital can let the office know your baby has arrived
Other Important Items
Other items to bring with you:
- Money for parking
- Books, magazines
- Music (portable music player and favorite tapes or CDs)
- Cell phone, tablet and charger
- Items that comfort or soothe you, such as crystals, prayer beads, lockets, and photographs
Prenatal care - what to bring
Goyal NK. The newborn infant. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 113.
Kilpatrick S, Garrison E, Fairbrother E. Normal labor and delivery. In: Landon MB, Galan HL, Jauniaux ERM, et al, eds. Gabbe's Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 11.
Wesley SE, Allen E, Bartsch H. Care of the newborn. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine..9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 21.
Review Date 3/31/2020
Updated by: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.