by Justine Deputy, RN, MSN

Packing the hospital bag is one of those things on the to-do list that is kind of fun! It is a sign that the day you get to meet your little one on the outside is near. You want to make sure you are prepared with everything you need, but also don’t want to bring six suitcases. So keep reading to learn what is useful to have handy.

List taken from The Birth Center Client Manual.

Personal Items:

  • Two Comfortable Outfits
  • Long T-Shirt
  • Button Down Shirt
  • 2 Pairs of Underwear
  • Nursing Bra
  • Comb or Brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Favorite Pillow (if desired)
  • Change of Clothes for Partner / Support Person


  • Plenty of Liquids (such as juices, Gatorade, tea, broth, or popsicles)
  • Snacks for Support Person(s)
  • Celebration Meal
  • Be sure to bring plenty of food; you’ll be hungrier after the birth than you might think.
  • Do not rely on take-out options. You never know what time you will need or want to eat.

Baby Items:

  • 2 Baby Blankets
  • Footed Onesies
  • Socks
  • Onesies
  • Car Seat (Can’t go home without it!)

Sibling Items:

  • Favorite Toys or Books
  • Security Blankets
  • Sleeping Bag or Blanket
  • Pillow
  • Snacks


  • Music
  • Movies
  • Camera
  • Video Recorder
  • Batteries
  • Chargers

For the first few days, have the following available at home:

  • Digital Thermometer
  • Sanitary Pads
  • Diapers
  • Pre-Made Frozen Meals

Some other items recommended by our birth center mamas: Robe, chapstick, shampoo, soap, snacks for immediately postpartum before celebration meal, and an extra hair tie.

You and your partner know you best! Maybe there are items on this list that you don’t need, or maybe there are items missing that you do want to bring because they are a comfort for you. You can personalize a bag that fits your wants and needs.