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Printable Hospital Bag Checklist For Labor and Delivery

Considering that most women only spent 1 night in hospital before getting sent home with a new human being, do you really need to pack as though you were emigrating to Australia?

When I polled my friends for their top hospital bag checklist items, they gave me over 100 different must-haves. 

Ask any woman what their hospital bag essentials are and you will end up with a list of both useful and weird things that you may or may not really need. 

Below you will find a free printable hospital bag checklist for both labor and delivery that you can customize as you wish. The truth is, you may end up using only 50% of what you pack. 

On the other hand, if you end up staying a few extra days in the hospital, you might be glad of those extra creature-comforts. 

Free printable hospital bag checklist

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The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist

Before you even think about what to put in that hospital bag, let’s talk about when you should actually pack it.

Everyone I know who packed their bag at like, 35 weeks (me!), ends up going overdue while all the laid-back procrastinators seem to be rushing around at the last minute while in labor. 

So when should you pack your hospital bag? 

38 weeks is probably the sweet-spot.

Pack the bag too early and you will probably forget where you put it but wait too long and you might be rushing around between contractions or sending hubby home for essentials. 

On that note, a piece of advice;

Pack an extra bag that has extra clothes etc and leave it at home in a place your husband will find EASILY.  My sister in law ended up having to stay at the hospital for 4 days and her husband brought back the weirdest assortment of clothes when he went home for more.

What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag For Labor

Hopefully your labor will be really quick and you won’t need anything on this list, however, here are the absolute essentials that you might want to pack in your purse or in a small bag that you can access easily.

Insurance and Health Insurance Card

Lip Balm

I used chapstick every 10 mins. The air at the hospital is very dry and your lips get super dried out and it’s uncomfortable.

The best lip balm for your hospital bag? My favourite was this one that is cheap and works great!

Elastics for long hair

Glasses/ Solution for women that wear contacts

Music – ipod and headphones ( trust me, at some point you and your husband will get tired of thinking of cute nicknames for Catherine). 

Large towel

 Ice pack, hot water bottle, tennis balls for massaging back pains

Lollipops or hard candy, popsicles or your favourite clear beverages

Bikini top if you are using a pool and don’t want to be naked. 

Bottle with a straw so you can just lean over and take a sip

Phone and charger

hospital bag checklist for labour

Hospital Bag Checklist For After Baby Is Born 

Given that you really don’t know how long you will be in hospital for, make sure to pack enough for a couple of days just in case. If your stay ends up being any longer, you can send someone home for the all-important back-up bag I mentioned before. 

For Mom

First of all, ask when you register your baby what supplies will be provided. Most hospitals will give you the basics including a peri bottle and some pads (but you likely will want to bring more).

They should also give you painkillers. Stool softeners are provided but ask if they are not offered, you will need them! You should also make sure to buy some stool softeners for when you get home, they were one of the most popular items in my  Postpartum Survival Kit For New Moms

In addition to the things you will want for labor, your bag should include: 

Flip flops


Shampoo/Conditioner/Deodorant/Make-up etc


 Entertainment – Ipad with lots of shows/books/scratch-off lottery cards 

Adult diapers

Pjs with a top that buttons in the front for nursing. 

Dark yoga pants or loose pants with a comfortable waist band.(bear in mind, you may have a c-section and need something loose on your waist). 

Cardigan or zip up sweater

Nursing bra 


Snacks are really important for your hospital bag! Consider packing lots of granola bars and other easy foods as the hospital food tends to be pretty scarce at the beginning. Here are some great snack ideas to take to the hospital. 

Nice to have but not essential 


Breast pump

Breast Pads

Nipple cream

Your own pillow

Nursing pillow 


Personally I didn’t bother with a robe and just did a cozy yoga cardigan that I could leave the hospital in too.

Large folder/envelope and pen for the paperwork you will be taking home with you

hospital bag checklist for after baby is born

What To Pack For Baby In your hospital bag

Almost all hospitals will provide you with everything you need for your baby including:

Receiving blankets


Diapers to start you off (but bring your own too)

Vaseline/diaper cream

Washcloths/wipes (again, bring a pack just in case)

The only things you really need to bring are a couple of sleepers and a car seat.In my hospital, they would not let us leave until a tech had actually checked the car seat so make sure to bring it into the room with you. 

Two Things You May Want To Bring For Baby

Going Home Outfit

Both of my babies went home in cute little sleepers but if you want to bring a special outfit, don’t forget to pack it! 


This is a controversial one and I want to warn you that friends in the US have been met with a lot of resistance when they have decided to formula-feed from day one. Hospitals do provide formula for babies that need extra help but if you know you want to formula feed, it might be wise to include some ready-to-feed bottles in your hospital bag. 

What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Dad

Dad often gets overlooked in the typical hospital bag checklist but you want to make sure he has everything he needs and doesn’t need to rush home when you need him. 

Also – make sure to get dad-to-be to download one of these Best Pregnancy Apps For Dads so they can be really involved with your pregnancy as it progresses. 

Change for vending machines

Comfortable clothing and PJs

 Slippers or comfortable shoes to wear

Toothbrush and toothpaste


An extra pillow and blanket (This is a must for dad as they often end up sleeping on awful recliners)


Any medication you may need

Bathing suit – if using the tub with mom to help in labour

List of people to notify

hospital bag checklist for dad

Free Printable Hospital Bag Checklist

To download the checklist for yourself in a PDF format, just click here.  I left a few spots blank so you can add in anything else you might want to bring. 

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labor and delivery hospital bag checklist free printable


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