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 usually 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
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
Warm clothing to wear home and a heavy bunting or blanket (if the weather is cold)
Baby hat (especially for cold weather climates)
Baby car seat. (Call the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT for more information on the safety rating of a particular model.) A car seat is required by law and should be properly installed in your car before you go to the hospital.
Items for 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
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
Contact information of the doctor who will be caring for your baby, so the hospital can let the office know your baby has arrived
Other Important Items
Money for parking
Music (portable music player and favorite tapes or CDs)
Cell phone and charger
Items that comfort or soothe you, such as such as crystals, prayer beads, lockets, and photographs
Hospital checklist. Today's Parent. Accessed June 11, 2014.
Korst LM, Gregory KD, Fridman M, Phelan JP. Nonclinical factors affecting women's access to trial of labor after cesarean delivery. Clin Perinatol. 2011;38:193-216.
Patterson DA, Matus CD, Curtis J. Vaginal delivery. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC, eds. Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2011:chap 177.
Rosenthal TM. Episiotomy and repair of the perineum. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC, eds. Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2011:chap 166.
Cynthia D. White, MD, Fellow American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Group Health Cooperative, Bellevue, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.