Hospital Bag Checklist: What You Really Need

Pregnant woman writing packing list for maternity hospital at home; blog: Hospital Bag Checklist: What You Really Need

If you’re nearing your due date, it’s time to pack your hospital bag. But what do you really need to bring? Use this handy hospital bag checklist as a guide!

Your Birth Plan

If you have a birth plan, make sure you print out several copies to put in your hospital bag. Have enough copies for your chart, labor nurses, and one to tape up in the room. 

ID, Insurance Card, and Other Documents

Have a file folder or envelope to keep all of your important documents and paperwork in. Bring your birth plan, ID,  insurance card, and any registration forms you’ve filled out for the hospital. 

Your Phone and Charger

Everyone relies so much on their phones these days that it’s unlikely you’d forget to take yours to the hospital. However, put it on your hospital bag checklist just in case. Don’t forget your charger. Look for an extra-long charging cord in case you aren’t near an outlet.

A Camera 

A lot of people use their phones to take photos and videos because they are convenient and many have really good cameras. But if you have a separate camera that you want to use, then pack it along with any chargers, memory cards, or batteries you’ll need.


A robe is a must-have for your hospital bag checklist. You can put it on over your hospital gown to walk the halls during labor and it’s a favorite postpartum clothing item.

Slippers or Socks With Grips

Comfortable slippers or nice socks with grips on the bottom are great for keeping you cozy while walking the halls during labor or just getting around your room. 

Something to Listen To

Some women like to listen to music, podcasts, or even audiobooks during labor. Make a playlist and bring a Bluetooth speaker to connect to your phone. 

Entertainment Items

If you have a long labor or an extended hospital, you might want some things to distract you from the discomfort. You may not be in the right frame of mind to read, but you can download some TV shows or movies onto your laptop or tablet.

Lip Balm

The air in hospitals can be dry, so pack your favorite lip balm to have handy.

Your Pillows

Hospital pillows aren’t the most comfortable and the linens tend to be scratchy. Bring your own pillow and pillowcase. 

Bath Towels

Just like their pilows, hospital towels are not the greatest. They are scratchy and often pretty small. So pack a nice towel for your post-delivery shower.

Hair Ties or Headbands

During labor, you will likely get sweaty and you won’t want your hair in your face or sticking to your neck. Bring hair ties or a headband to hold your hair back.

Sugar-Free Hard Candy or Lozenges

You can use sugar-free hard candies or lozenges to keep your mouth moist during labor.


Bring a supply of favorite snacks that will last throughout your stay at the hospital. Opt for non-perishable items that you can pack in your bag ahead of time. You can also bring cash or change for the vending machines.

Water Bottle or Drinks

Bring your reusable water bottle to drink out of. If you want other drinks for hydration like coconut water or Gatorade, pack those as well.

Nipple Cream

If you’re breastfeeding, being proactive about protecting your nipples is beneficial. Nipple cream is a good thing to put on your hospital bag packing list.

Extra-Absorbent Maxi Pads or Adult Diapers

The hospital will provide you with pads and mesh underwear, but some women prefer to bring their brand of preference. Some women have also recommended adult diapers as the best option.


After delivery, you’ll be looking forward to a shower. Bring shampoo, conditioner, face wash, soap, a toothbrush, toothbrush, your hairbrush, and any other items that will make you feel a little bit more like yourself.

Pajamas Comfortable Clothes

You will be in a hospital gown during labor, but you can some comfortable clothes for after delivery. Pack extra underwear and if you’re planning to nurse, pack a nursing bra or tank. Choose loose bottoms like sleep pants or joggers. Or you can opt to bring pajamas. 

Don’t’ forget to pack a comfy outfit to leave the hospital in. For shoes, opt for a pair that is easy to slip into like Crocs or Birkenstocks. Comfort should be your priority because you probably won’t care too much about what your outfit looks like

Things for Baby

The hospital will provide you with things like a blanket, hat, and diapers. But you should bring a few things for your bundle of joy. A few outfits, pacifiers, and car seats are essentials.

At Kernodle OB/GYN, we have a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services that will ensure that you get the best care possible in all stages of life. If you have questions or concerns about pregnancy and childbirth, call us at (336) 538-2367 to make an appointment.

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