The hospital bag: what to pack (and not pack) for delivery day.

April 22, 2013

Since my doctor was determined Liam would come well before 38 weeks, my hospital bag was packed at 36 weeks. And it sat in his nursery for another month.

But looking back, I'd advise expectant moms to go ahead and pack it that early anyway. It gave me time to add and take away, and it left me feeling a lot less anxious just in case the day came earlier than expected.

As we sat in the hospital, I thought about the things I'm glad we packed, what we didn't really need, and things to remember for next time. I also thought about several of my girlfriends who were currently pregnant at the time and what I wanted tell them.

Baby book

When your baby gets their first bath, they also get their footprints done. If you have your baby book handy, the nurse will gladly stamp your baby's foot directly in the book.

Our own pillows 

The hospital pillows weren't very comfortable and having my own pillow helped me sleep a little better (if you can sleep at all with a brand new baby right next to you). My husband brought his own pillow, too, which was good since he ended up having to sleep on the bench that the hospital tries to pull off as a bed.

File folder

It seemed like someone was walking in every hour handing us paperwork and having us sign something. It was helpful to have a file folder to shove all the papers in and have in one place once we got back home. I suggest the kind that snap shut so you don't lose anything important.

Notepad and pen

I knew I wanted to capture the progress through delivery, so Chris made sure to write it down on a notepad for me. If you think you'll remember all of the little details on your own, you won't. Since he wrote it down, I was able to capture Liam's birth story.

Make-up wipes

The last thing I wanted to do after delivery was get out of bed to wash my face. Make-up wipes let me stay in bed and helped me feel a little more clean and refreshed each day.


We brought snacks for both the nurses and us. The nurses really appreciated the gesture since most of them are on twelve-hour shifts. In fact, our delivery nurse was with us from check-in until birth so I know she didn't get much to eat! It was also nice for Chris to have something to snack on while I was in labor and needed him by my side, and for me to have options to snack on after delivery. 

Special baby blanket

The hospital had someone on staff come around and take newborn photographs. I had packed a special blanket and was able to use this in the picture. They just laid Liam down on the hospital bed, so it was nice to have something besides the sheet in the photograph.

Toiletry bag

I packed a toiletry bag ahead of time with travel-sized items for both me and Chris: shampoo, conditioner, soap, loofahs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, contact solution, deodorant and make-up wipes. The morning I went into labor, all I had to grab were my glasses and I was good to go. It was helpful not to have to scramble at the last minute to make sure we remembered everything.


This one's for my husband. Once I received the epidural, we were calm, relaxed and waiting around for a few hours before delivery. He mentioned he would have liked something mindless to read in the meantime while I was resting.

Water bottles

During labor, I didn't want Chris to leave my side. He was thirsty and had to resort to a tiny paper cup filled with tap water from the delivery room sink. After delivery, I was parched. Having water bottles handy would have been beneficial to us both.

Soft snacks

My appetite was shot right after delivery. Nothing sounded good. Snacks such as jello, pudding, and apple sauce would have been nice to have on hand since they are much easier to stomach than snacks such as crackers or pretzels (which we had plenty of). 

A million changes of clothes

I tend to overpack, and this time was no different. Two changes of clothes is plenty: one for after delivery once you get your first shower and one for the day you head home. Changing clothes is quite the chore right after delivery.

Boppy pillow

I brought a boppy pillow to help with nursing, but I ended up finding it easier to use several hospital pillows.

Baby clothes

I brought several outfits and blankets for Liam to wear after he was born. The hospital ended up providing great shirts that made it easy to check him and change his diaper. They also had plenty of blankets which could get dirty and go into their laundry. He ended up just wearing one outfit on the day we went home and using one blanket in the car (which was the same blanket he used in the photographs).

That's what I would keep, toss, and remember for next time. Do you have anything to add to this list?

Pin It!

1 comment:

  1. So with you on magazines - I was induced and in there for ages with nothing much happening, so they were a godsend.

    Thanks so much for sharing at the Friday Baby Shower, Alice x


Please leave your email so I can respond directly to your comment! I read each one and your words are much appreciated.