Comprehensive Hospital Bag Checklist for Birth: 2023 Edition
You’re heading towards the end of your pregnancy, and it’s gotten to the time when you have to pack your hospital bag. So what do you actually need?
While hospitals provide some of the essentials for both mum and baby, it's a good idea to check with your hospital beforehand to see what they provide and what you should bring.
We’d suggest packing your bag several weeks before your due date (36-37 weeks pregnant ) to ensure that you have everything you need and are prepared for when it's time to head to the hospital. That way when the time comes you’re packed and ready to go. Of course, if you want to get a jump start on things, by all means start earlier—when to pack a hospital bag is up to you!
While you don’t want to leave out any essentials, there’s also no reason to overdo things. You’re likely to stay at the hospital for anywhere between 1 to 5 nights, so either take enough clothes and toiletries for 5 days for you and your baby, or have a backup supply bag at home that your partner can bring in on day 2 or 3 for you. Here it goes…
- Photo ID
- Birth plan (if you have one)
- Phone charger
- Lip balm (as hospitals are very dry)
- Hair tie (as there will be some sweating...)
- Toiletries (e.g. toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant)
- Comfortable clothing
- Maternity pads or disposable underwear. A perineal spray is also a priceless addition to your postpartum arsenal.
- Nursing pads
- Breast pump (if planning to use one)
- Nipple cream. If you’re planning to breastfeed, your nipples will appreciate you being so proactive.
- Snacks and drinks (e.g. granola bars, fruit, water bottles)
- Any necessary medications or supplements
- Earplugs – hospitals are noisy so they can be helpful so some shut eye.
- Remember to include a bag to put your dirty laundry in!
It’s a good idea to pack your baby’s things separately so they can be easily accessed by the midwife or your birth support person.
- A going-home outfit. Pack two different outfits in different sizes because you don’t know how big or small your baby will be! We’d suggest one in 0000 and one in 000.
- Socks or booties
- Beanie - We suggest only using the beanie while your bub is sleeping. There’s no need to use the beanie when bub is attached to you or partner as your body temperature will keep your baby warm. Also smelling your baby’s head is important for bonding – it can stimulate the flow of oxytocins which is good for breastfeeding
- Nappies and wipes - these are usually provided by the hospital :)
- Nappy balm
- Burp cloth
- Car seat (and you’ve got the installation sorted)
You’re about to experience one of the most memorable days of your life.
Wishing all the best for you and your baby-to-be!