Hospital Bag Must Haves Checklist

Labor and Delivery Hospital Bag Must Haves

If you’re wondering what to pack in your hospital bag for labor and delivery, you’ve probably done a bit of research and, if you’re like me, are a little overwhelmed with all of the things people pack. I tried to be as minimal as possible because I knew carrying a bunch of stuff in and out of the hospital was not going to be easy.

I may have had a slightly different experience than the typical hospital stay because I was (unfortunately!) admitted for the full week before my scheduled induction date due to high blood pressure and excess amniotic fluid. Regardless, I tried to take into account what we used mostly during labor and post-delivery.

Comfy Labor Gown

I received this labor gown and robe set as a shower gift, and it made me feel much more normal before and after delivery! I still recommend wearing a hospital-issued gown for the actual labor and delivery in case of any messes, but having your own gown is helpful to make you feel more put together and comfy afterward. The front of the gown crosses over so it’s really easy for nurses and doctors to check your belly or below. It also snaps down for breastfeeding and snaps down the back for epidural access. I didn’t know if I’d end up wearing this for sure (it’s a little extra!) but Andy convinced me to wear it during the week before delivery to make me feel better and it worked!


The catered meals weren’t always filling enough (I lost 7-8 pounds in the week leading up to induction) and they sometimes came at different times of the day, so having snacks on hand is super helpful, especially if you like to have sweets! I brought these fig bars, trail mix, gum, and electrolytes packets from home.

Pillow and Blanket from Home

Another hack to feel more at home! Having one of my bed pillows from home made me so much more comfortable in the hospital bed. Did you know they don’t reuse the hospital pillows?! So interpret that with comfort in mind as you will. I was burning up in the hospital, so I didn’t use a blanket but it’s a must for dads and support people who are staying overnight.

Shower Shoes and/or Slippers

I brought my cloud slides to wear in the shower, and I also brought slippers but unfortunately, I was barely out of bed to use the slippers. I would definitely recommend the shower shoes and you could even wear them around the room too. My feet got very dirty in the room.

Bags for Dirty Clothes

You don’t need fancy bags—you can just use a grocery bag. I used an extra travel pouch I’d packed. Having a separate bag for dirty clothes makes the first load of laundry easier and keeps you more organized, especially if you’re changing clothes and undergarments in the hospital and you need help going through your bag. I used this mostly for underwear and bralettes!

Nursing Bra

You won’t wear a bra during labor and delivery, but before and after is much comfier with one, especially if you’re already leaking! I love these nursing bras SO much that I think I’ll keep wearing them forever. And they’re so affordable! I bought three.

Dry Shampoo

I didn’t think I’d want to shower in the hospital, but I did and I felt so much better afterward. BUT I didn’t want to do my hair, so dry shampoo came in clutch. Especially because I had night sweats so bad! Plus it refreshes your hair and makes it smell better too.

Roku/Apple TV

Okay, I know this one seems super extra and it is, but having the Roku meant we could stream whatever we wanted including HBO and YouTube. If you know you’ll be in the hospital for an extended period of time, just bring one. They’re small enough not to take up much room and can make a huge difference in entertainment value while you’re sitting in bed for days. Andy and I both agree this is one of our very top essentials.

Rolling Suitcase

One of my hospital bag must-haves regrets is not packing a rolling suitcase for me. I packed an overnight duffle and didn’t think about how annoying it would be to carry it on my lap when leaving the hospital. Andy had so much to pack up and take to the car that it would have been a lot easier to consolidate into a rolling suitcase with his duffle on top. Learn from my mistake!

Lip Balm

My lips (and skin!) got so dry with the hospital air. This is my absolute favorite lip balm and it does the trick, plus makes you feel like you’re having a little self-care moment when you put it on.

Extra Long Charger

I know this is on every hospital bag checklist, but it really is helpful. I ordered the two-pack so Andy and I both had our own charger. Our rooms surprisingly had quite a few outlets, but they were sometimes farther away from the bed or sofa/recliner, so having a long cord made things more convenient.

Jewelry Case

I came into the hospital wearing a normal, everyday outfit since my visit was a surprise one. Then, my c-section was a surprise and I had to very quickly take all my jewelry off. Including an earring I had never taken out since I got it pierced! Luckily, I had a little case for my jewelry so Andy could keep it safe.


I sort of threw this in my bag last minute not thinking I would actually use it, but I’m so glad I did. With so many doctors and nurses coming in and out to check you, I felt more comfortable after shaving my legs and underarms. (My underarm hair grew so fast when I was pregnant!) I know they don’t care, but it made me feel more comfortable.

Breast Pads

I didn’t pack any breast pads and I wish I had! I didn’t even know that I would need to use these so much after giving birth. Even though my milk didn’t totally come in until the day I got home, I was still leaking a little bit in the hospital. I thought maybe the hospital would provide them, but they didn’t. Just throw a few extras in your bag just in case!

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