Birthing: What to Bring to the Hospital


{by contributing writer jenny}

One thing that first time moms tend to stress about is what to bring to the hospital.  I did it too… we all do.

Having had three children, all in our local hospital, and being a childbirth educator, I have come up with a list to take some of the guesswork out of the packing process.

Small bag for labor room

  • lip balm
  • washcloth (to wet with cold water for cooling off)
  • snacks for partner or change for the vending machines
  • warm socks
  • camera/video camera
  • CDs of relaxing music (whatever that is for you!)
  • birth ball (if not available at the hospital)

Suitcase/Bag for post-partum stay

  • 2-3 nightgowns OR pajama pants and shirt (comfort is key)
  • robe and slippers (those floors are freezing!)
  • your own pillow if you’d like
  • toothbrush/toothpaste
  • comb/brush
  • deodorant and other toiletries
  • underpants (the older and the more coverage, the better… trust me)
  • nursing bras (the sleep bras are very comfortable for the hospital)
  • going home clothes (maternity clothes are recommended, as much as you want to be out of those, they will be the most comfortable)
  • you may want to bring a journal and something to write with
  • reading material/Bible

Baby Things

  • Receiving blanket
  • heavier blanket for the ride home is the weather is chilly
  • gown OR top and bottom
  • onesie (long or short sleeves, depending on the weather)
  • sweater
  • socks or booties

The hospital has diapers, shirts, and caps for newborns.

One thing that I have found very helpful is travel-sized toiletries!  It is totally worth it to grab shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, and lotion in these small sizes to cut down on bulk in your bag.  Plus, if in your mommy haze you forget them… no big loss!

Are you a mom who has “been there, done that”?

Any suggestions for the first-timers out there?  Chime in!

Jenny is a stay at home mom with three children and blogs at The Southern Institute for Domestic Arts and Crafts – a blog of sharing, learning, and creativity. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.





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This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

About donielle

Donielle is a natural momma of two, lover of real foods, and owner and editor of Grand Rapids Natural Living and Naturally Knocked Up. You can usually find her in the kitchen whipping up some nourishing foods, cuddled on the couch reading books to the littles, avoiding the laundry and Mt. Saint Dishes, or tapping away on the laptop. Her husband puts up with her sometimes crazy "hippie" ways, but loves her regardless. Welcome to my home away from home.


  1. If you plan to breastfeed take your boppy/nursing pillow. We forgot that and had the grandparents bring it.

    Also, Depends instead of undies can be helpful. A friend gave birth several months before me used them and said they were great. She had 1/2 a pack left and passed it on. She said – if this is weird for you don’t use them, but if you don’t care then they will make things easy for you. I didn’t care, so I used them. Plan to next time too.

    • @ShorterMama, Our hospital provides depends-like pads. Yes, they are extremely helpful!

      • @Jenny, I actually meant the depends underpants, instead of pads. They are like big diapers rather than pads. Using them instead of undies was great – I didn’t have to worry about ruining any undies. So we had diapers for the baby and diapers for the mommy. I had to pack diapers for the little one as well because we delivered at a birth center not a hospital.

  2. Oh and hugely important – ooops! CAR SEAT!!! Can’t take baby home without one!

  3. I would say check with your hospital first. My hospital had almost everything on the list already provided, except for clothes to go home in, and the CDs/reading material. And they sent us home with all the extras, too, which was very nice the first few days back home.

  4. great list Jenny! thanks. makes me even more excited for my little one to come! 🙂

  5. What a great list!
    I always make sure to take some relaxing smelling lotion. A hand massage from my husband really helps take my mind off labor pain, and soothing smells only sweeten the deal. The music is a must. I like to listen to the soundtrack to Sense and Sensibility; it has nice calm music.

    The funny thing is, both times I’ve had a baby, I went into labor the day I packed everything in my hospital bag. I even packed my toothbrush and deodorant– stuff I would need everyday and have to take out of the bag every time I used it while I was still at home. Each time, I went into labor that very same day.

  6. I’ll be definitely making notes from this wonderful post! thx jenny =)