Our Hospital Bag Checklists

We love hospital packing lists. Below you will find a list of basics that will go in both of our bags as well as our individual picks for items which are nice to have. These lists are a blend of what we used from our previous delivery experiences and what we plan to bring next time. Gen's list is more practical (she's in postpartum rooms every day at work) and mine is more comprehensive (I'm waiting on baby to come in just the next few weeks!)



  • hospital bag - We both have this bag, and it is the perfect size for a short hospital stay.

  • toiletry bag for him - I got Jonathan one of these as well as a weekender bag for a wedding gift; they don't have the one I originally got him, so I linked this best seller from Etsy.

  • toiletry bag for her

  • lip balm

  • shampoo/conditioner

  • soap - I got this kit for our new baby because Miriam has skin issues, so I’m figuring all of my kids will have sensitive skin; newborns don’t usually need soap, but if you need any for the baby you can already be using the soap in this kit for yourself as well. It’s very gentle and good for both you and baby.

  • toothbrush/toothpaste

  • glasses/contacts

  • ponytail holder

  • clothes for dad

  • camera/charger

  • phone charger

  • shower shoes/flip flops

Kat's List: 

For Mom:

  • prenatal vitamins (they’re cheaper at an actual trader joe’s by a few bucks)

  • nursing salve

  • nursing pads - OR a cotton, washable option - Lola Jane also makes them but they’re currently sold out on their Etsy shop

  • something to do during labor if you need it - I didn't have any time to labor at home, so during the early hours I needed something to distract me in between contractions: a coloring book helped me with Miriam, but this time I may try hand lettering Bible passages

  • labor instruction book if you have one (we are bringing our Bradley Method book as a refresher)

  • rosary if you think you'll use it during labor

  • travel Bible - I used this all throughout studying abroad, and I feel like when I have an actual Bible to hold instead of my phone, it gets rid of distractions and makes me feel like I’m really praying. Maybe it’s all in my head, but it works for me, so I put it on here.

  • nursing pajamas or comfy clothes - something you don’t mind other people seeing you in, but it has to be comfortable; or something which could double as a going home outfit.

  • mini bottle of champagne - Jonathan and I brought a huge bottle when Miriam was born because she was born the day before New Year's Eve. I love this idea because #nodrinkingforninemonths and #weearnedit. Don't bring the huge bottle unless you plan on sharing it with visitors. We didn't have visitors (our families were still in New Orleans), so we each drank a tiny glass and had to throw out the rest. A tiny bottle is just perfect.

  • cold brew coffee - I usually drink purely decaf (I add a tiny bit of regular grinds in my morning cup occasionally) during pregnancy, so you can bet one of the first things I look forward to after a long day/night of laboring and nine months of decaf is a cup of regular cold brew. I found a bottle on sale at Target and have a special reserved place in my fridge for it so I can remember to take it to the hospital.

For Baby

Gen's List: 

For Mom:

  • supportive, wireless nursing bra

  • pretty robe in a dark color

  • washable slippers- I spent a lot of time walking up to the NICU (a story for another day), and slippers were a necessity. I would not bring anything to the hospital that is not washable.

  • aromatherapy diffuser + essential oils- If your hospital allows this, I'd bring it. No one likes the lingering scent of hospital food mixed with bodily fluids.

  • reading material- The novel I intended to read during labor didn't get opened until we got back home, but I'm not going anywhere for a couple of days without a book.

  • outfit for going home - This should be something very comfortable. If you have a c-section, you'll want something that won't press against a scar. Here's an outfit I might pack: soft pants, top, sweater.

For Baby

What to leave at home: 

  • clothes for labor- There will be blood. That's what hospital gowns are for.

  • nursing pillow- These can be great, but they tend to be awkward and bulky in hospital beds. Also I would hesitate to bring one of these up to a germy hospital. Leave it in the trunk if you're not sure.

  • adult diapers- You should definitely buy some of these for home, but take advantage of the awesome hospital mesh panties while you can.

  • anything that can't be thoroughly washed