The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist  

Share this article:

facebook email
article image article image article image

parents packing a hospital bag

Baby on the way? Congratulations! If you’re like most parents-to-be, you may be feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to do before the big day arrives. There are doctors’ appointments to attend, clothes to buy, gear to assemble, a nursery to set up, and so much more.

We’re here to help take at least one item off your to-do list with our handy hospital bag checklist. From pregnancy hospital bag essentials for mom to hospital bag must haves for baby—and even for your support partner—we’ve got you covered. Ready to tackle that hospital bag checklist? Read on!

Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom

Let’s start out with hospital bag must haves for mom. While this list is completely customizable, here are some basic ideas for maternity bag items to get you started.

  • Hospital paperwork and identification. Health insurance information; ID or driver’s license; pre-registration forms (if required by the hospital), birth plan (if you have one), list of important phone numbers.
  • Comfortable clothing. Loose, comfortable outfits for labor; comfortable pajamas or nightgowns; robe and slippers; nursing bras and underwear.
  • Toiletries and personal care items. Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush/comb, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lip balm, face wash, hair ties/headbands, any prescription medications, glasses/contacts (if you wear them).
  • Entertainment and electronics. Books, magazines, e-reader, headphones, phone, charger, power bank/portable charger.
  • Comfort items. Pillow from home, nursing pillow, cozy socks, stress-relief items (such as a stress ball or essential oils).
  • Postpartum care items. Postpartum recovery underwear, comfortable going-home outfit, belly wrap or band, nursing pads, maternity pads, nipple cream, etc.
  • Snacks. Whether or not you can eat during labor is up to your doctor and individual medical situation. In any case, it’s a great idea to pack a few light snacks in your maternity hospital bag such as applesauce and electrolyte drinks to help with hydration.

Consider including a fun, better-for-you option like Welch’s® Fruit Snacks Reduced Sugar on your hospital bag checklist. Made with real fruit, these mouthwatering snacks feature the same delicious flavors you get with Welch’s® Fruit Snacks regular Mixed Fruit, with 25% less sugar. Plus, they’re an excellent source of Vitamins A, C & E.

What to Put in Your Baby Bag for Hospital

Now that we have mom covered, what do you need in your hospital bag for baby? Many parents opt to have a small separate bag for baby, but if your hospital bag is large and sectioned, you can designate a specific area for your little one. Ideas include:

  • Clothing basics. Pack onesies, sleepers, socks, mittens, and a hat.
  • Swaddle blankets or receiving blankets. Most hospitals will provide these items, but you may want to add your own to your hospital bag checklist just in case.
  • Diapers and wipes. Again, most hospitals will provide diapers and wipes, but having a few of your own never hurts.
  • Car seat. While this item won’t fit in your maternity hospital bag, it’s the ultimate must-have. Make sure you have a properly installed car seat for the trip home!

Optional Things to Pack in Hospital Bag

Here are some unexpected ideas for maternity bag items that may not be as popular, but still useful, depending on your needs.

  • Snacks and drinks for your partner or support person, like chips, granola bars, and Welch’s Fruit Snacks.
  • Camera or video camera if you prefer these over a smartphone, plus extra batteries
  • Depending on how glam you want to be in those hospital photos, you may want to pack a flat iron or curling iron, under eye patches, a portal makeup mirror, and other beauty items.
  • Reusable totes to carry home extra items or gifts that you may receive during your stay.

When to Pack Hospital Bag

So, when do you start packing up your pregnancy hospital bag essentials? It’s pretty much up to you, depending on how much of a planner you are.

As a general rule of thumb, a good time to pack your maternity hospital bag is between 37 and 38 weeks. This way you’ll have your basics ready, with the flexibility to add other hospital bag checklist items later.

You should also take into consideration whether or not you have a high-risk pregnancy or are scheduled for a C-section. If your OB feels you may go into labor early, consider packing your bag around 35 weeks.

If you have a scheduled C-section, you already have a built-in timeline for packing up your hospital bag must haves. You may want to add a few items to your C-section hospital bag list, such as a belly binder to help reduce the swelling and speed up incision healing, or a feeding support pillow to assist you in finding comfortable positions when nursing your baby.

Thank You Gifts for Nurses

Labor and delivery nurses work hard day in and day out, sometimes at all hours of the night. Some moms like to pack a small thank-you gift in their hospital bag for delivery nurses and other hospital staff who helped bring their bundle of joy safely into the world.

Nurse gifts are totally optional and not a must-have for your hospital bag checklist. If you decide to give gifts, know they don’t have to be extravagant by any means.

A popular idea is to make little goodie bags with a thank you note and a few fun treats for the nurses, such as gum, candy, and individually packaged snacks. Welch’s Fruit Snacks are the perfect choice, since they’re delicious, portable, and an excellent source of Vitamins A, C & E. Plus, these nut-free and gluten-free snacks are a great option for nurses or other staff members who may have food allergies.

It’s Time to Pack Up Your Hospital Bag Must Haves!

That concludes our childbirth bag checklist. We hope these ideas for maternity bag items were helpful for you as you navigate how to prepare for labor.

When packing your maternity hospital bag, be sure to include mouthwatering Welch’s Fruit Snacks for yourself and your support partner. Or stash them in your baby bag for hospital staff as goodie bag stuffers. Best of luck during this exciting time!

fruits snacks one
fruits snacks two
fruits snacks three