What was in my hospital bag?

When I was packing my hospital bag, I found it difficult to find a practical list of things I might need during the birth. There were many lists out there, but they seemed to differ drastically, and I couldn’t always see why those items were useful. It seemed you had to plan for a million different contingencies, but you didn’t have endless space. In the end, I merged lists from books (especially this one) and friends to create my own. I’ve included it below for you, editing out the items I did not actually use.

Within my large hospital bag, I had the contents organized into smaller bags (labor, after labor, baby, partner, electronics, and general), which I packed with my husband so that he’d know where to find things when we needed them.

Yes, I’m aware this is a lot of stuff, especially as we ended up trekking to the hospital two times in the middle of the night with all of it. Then, the last time we went in, we went without any of it … thankfully my in-laws brought it to us. And we used *almost* everything on this list! (In the end, we were unable to use the shower or pool, but I was glad we had those items in case).


  • Flannel/wash cloth
  • Water bottle with a sports cap
  • Coconut water (for the electrolytes)
  • Straws
  • Rescue Remedy to add to water
  • Slippers or socks with grips on them
  • Flip flops (for the shower)*
  • Snacks (for you and anyone with you)
  • Travel blanket/scarf (used for myself and afterwards for the baby)
  • Birth ball and pump
  • TENS machine
  • Old nightgown
  • Massage oil

After labor:

  • Maternity pads x 12
  • Disposable underwear & large sized underwear
  • Tucks pads (soothing witch hazel pads)
  • Toiletries (arnica cream, lavender essential oil, regular medication, nursing vitamins, lip balm)
  • Nightgown or top that opens in the front for nursing
  • Nursing bra/sleep bra
  • Comfy, lose clothes for wearing home
  • Ear plugs / eye mask
  • Lansinoh nipple cream

For baby:

  • Oral syringe & latch assist (in case breastfeeding is difficult)
  • Diapers x 5
  • Cotton wool
  • Baby nail clippers
  • Hat
  • Onesie /sleepsuit x 2
  • Car seat
  • Burp cloth / muslin / swaddle
  • Jacket

For Partner:

  • Swimsuit + flip flops (in case you want them to be in the shower or birth pool with you) *
  • Shirt that opens in front for skin-to-skin
  • Change of clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Yoga mat (in case they have to sleep on the floor)


  • Phone charger
  • Phone w/ camera
  • Playlist or hypnobirthing soundtracks
  • Contraction timer app
  • Whatsapp group of people who you need to contact immediately (although some hospitals don’t have great phone service or wifi connection, so check beforehand)


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