Women's Health Texas – Austin


What to Pack in a Hospital Bag

With your due date approaching and labor right on the horizon, it’s important to know what to pack in a hospital bag and to have that bag ready when the time comes. Ideally, you should have your hospital bag packed by around 36 weeks, just in case you go into labor before your due date. Not sure what to pack? Here are our suggestions on what to pack in a hospital bag.

  • What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Mom
    • Hospital paperwork, ID, and insurance card. We suggest having copies of all of the necessary medical records on hand so that your healthcare providers can review your medical history easily. You’ll also be required to give the hospital your ID, any medical cards and insurance upfront so be sure to have that ready when you get to the hospital.
    • Your birth plan. We recommend printing a few copies – one for your chart, for your nurses, and you can tape one in your hospital room for reference if you’d like.
    • Toiletries. Among the obvious toiletries such as your toothbrush and toothpaste we also recommend: lip balm, moisturizer/lotion, a hairbrush, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, hair clips, and hair ties. Lastly, if you plan to breastfeed, we highly suggest packing nipple cream.
    • Comfortable clothes. While you don’t want to forget the essentials such as underwear and a nursing bra, we also recommend socks in case your feet get cold and slippers that are easy to slip in and out of around the hospital room. We also suggest a good pair of pajamas and flip flops if you plan to shower while there.
    • Snacks and drinks. We suggest bringing a reusable water bottle for water, as well as something with electrolytes like Gatorade or coconut water. You should also bring some of your favorite snacks for after labor because comfort food can go a long way during your hospital stay.
    • Pillows. Speaking of comfort, nothing beats having your own pillow during such a taxing life event.
    • Phone and charger. This might seem obvious, but don’t forget your phone. Also, an extra-long cell phone charging cord might be a good idea since there may not be many outlets in the room.
    • Adult diapers. The hospital will provide you pads, but many women have said adult diapers are more comfortable and feel more secure.
    • Entertainment. Whether it’s a portable Bluetooth speaker to play your favorite Spotify playlist or a magazine/book to keep you occupied, we recommend some type of entertainment.
    • Eye mask, white noise machine, and earplugs. These can be helpful to get good rest while at the hospital.
    • Glasses and contact lenses. If applicable, you don’t want to forget these during such an important time.
  • What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Baby
    • A car seat. It may seem obvious, but you’ll want to be sure to get this set and secure in the car so it’s ready to go when you need it.
    • A going-home outfit. (Or two). We recommend packing two different sizes since you won’t know what will fit your baby best.
    • Socks and booties. Your newborn may get cold, so we suggest bringing socks and booties just in case.
    • Your pediatrician’s contact information. Your doctors will ask you for this information, so we recommend having it handy.
    • A blanket. The hospital will provide blankets, but it’s always good to have your own just in case.

The hospital will provide you with all of the diapers and wipes you’ll need, but you may want to bring an extra bag to put them in to take home with you as well as an extra bag to put dirty clothes in.

What a Significant Other Should Pack

  • Clothes. Labor and babies are unpredictable, we recommend a change of clothes.
  • Snacks and drinks. Your significant other will also want to bring a reusable water bottle as well as some snacks to get you both by until you are able to go home.
  • Toiletries. Your SO may want to bring stuff to shower or freshen up as well.
  • Entertainment. Whether it’s a book, iPad, headphones, etc. your significant other will want some entertainment during downtime. We also suggest a phone, camera and/or video camera charged and ready to go to catch those sweet moments you’ll remember forever.
  • Pillow. As stated above, they won’t regret bringing their own.
  • Spare glasses or contact lenses. If applicable.

Once your bag is packed, you can rest easy knowing that you’re ready when your baby decides to come. We hope this checklist was helpful and wish you all the best with your soon-to-be sweet little one!