For Labor

  • Birth plan
  • Insurance information
  • Admission forms
  • Photo ID
  • Pillow
  • Soothing music
  • Focal point (picture, etc.)
  • Hot water bottle
  • Lollipops or hard candy
  • Tennis ball (for massages)
  • Watch or stopwatch (for timing contractions)

For You

  • Pajamas
  • Slippers and socks
  • Bathrobe
  • Nursing bras, nursing pads & nursing tops
  • Underwear
  • Clothes for a couple of days
  • Coming home clothes (be realistic size-wise!)
  • Flip-flops for the shower
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Toiletries (travel sized toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, hairbrush, lip balm, deodorant)
  • Cosmetics
  • Contact lenses / glasses
  • Lotion

For Baby

  • Onesies if they don’t provide one for baby
  • Socks
  • 1-2 outfits (for photos or visits)
  • Coming home outfit
  • Weather appropriate outerwear
  • Hat
  • Receiving blanket
  • Stuffed animal
  • Pacifiers
  • Cream and lotion
  • Soothing music
  • Carseat


  • Phone book
  • Long distance calling card (most hospitals require you to use one)
  • Laptop
  • Video camera & digital camera
  • Baby book / journal
  • Books / music / cards
  • Snacks
  • Change (for vending machines)
  • Pen and paper (to write down questions, take notes, etc.)
  • Thank you card / announcements
  • Gift for siblings
  • Change of clothes for your partner
  • Swim wear for your partner (if he wants to join you in the shower/tub)
  • Extra batteries for cameras and extra film
  • Directions to the hospital or birthing center
  • Extra bag for things that the hospital or birthing center gives to you

Some of the above will only be needed if the hospital/birthing center does not already provide them for you. Call ahead and find out what amenities are available to birthing mothers. Many hospitals will also give you a keepsake hat and t-shirt and blanket that your baby has used during their stay.

Mothers who have medical complications that need equipment (IE, diabetes) should contact their doctor to verify they don’t need to bring it with them to the hospital. Some will want to have you use yours so that the numbers correspond with your results before delivery.

Packing Your Labor Bag – What to take with you to the hospital