labor bag checklist
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What to Take With You In Your Hospital Bag | Printable Packing Checklist

Preparing Your Hospital Bag: What to Take?

When it comes to the excitement of expecting a baby, one of the things that can easily be overlooked is preparing your hospital bag. But, trust us, by week 36 of your pregnancy, you should have your hospital bag packed and ready. This is not something you should leave until the last minute, like when your first contraction hits. In fact, you’ll need not just one, but two bags – one for labor and one for your stay in the hospital. So, what to take in your hospital bag? This guide will provide you with a comprehensive checklist.

Preparing Your Labor Bag

The first bag you’ll need is for labor. This bag should contain items that will make your experience as comfortable as possible. You’ll want to include things like your birth plan, maternity notes, comfortable clothes, and snacks. Don’t forget items that will help you relax, such as music, books, or a cozy blanket. Remember, labor can last for quite some time, so having things that can distract and comfort you can be incredibly helpful.

What to Take in Your Hospital Stay Bag

After the hard work of labor, you’ll need a second bag for your hospital stay. This bag should include essentials like toiletries, changes of clothes, and a going-home outfit. It’s also a good idea to pack items for your newborn such as diapers, baby clothes, and a car seat for the ride home. Of course, don’t forget your phone charger, any medications you need, and important documents like your ID and insurance information.

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Printable Packing Checklist

Now that you know what to take in your hospital bag, we’ve made it easy for you by providing a printable packing checklist. All you have to do is print it out, and tick off the items as you pack them. This way, you can be sure you’re not forgetting anything important.


Frequently Asked Questions

When should I pack my hospital bag?

By week 36 of your pregnancy, you should have your hospital bag ready. This gives you ample time to gather all the necessary items without any rush.

What should I pack in my labor bag?

Your labor bag should include items that will make your labor experience as comfortable as possible. Consider items like comfortable clothes, snacks, and things that will help you relax like music or books.

What should I pack in my hospital stay bag?

Your hospital stay bag should have essentials like toiletries, clothes, items for your newborn, and important documents like your ID and insurance information.

Do I need to bring items for my newborn?

Yes, you should pack items for your newborn. This includes things like diapers, baby clothes, and a car seat for the ride home.


Packing your hospital bag doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little planning and a comprehensive checklist, you can have everything you need to make your hospital stay as comfortable as possible. Remember, the key is to start packing early and to include items that will make both your labor and hospital stay easier.

I’m sorry but as an AI, I am unable to process images or provide links. However, I can create a written table based on typical hospital bag contents for both labor and the hospital stay.

Labor Bag Hospital Stay Bag
Birth plan Baby clothes
Hospital paperwork Diapers
Maternity clothes Baby blanket
Comfortable shoes Baby car seat
Snacks Nursing bras
Water bottle Breast pads
Lip balm Maternity pads
Headband/hair ties Clothes to wear home
Music/playlist Toiletries
Phone charger Towel
Pillows Snacks
Massage oil or lotion Baby book or journal
Socks Infant car seat

Each person’s needs may vary, so it’s best to personalize your own checklist based on your and your baby’s needs. If your hospital provides a list of what they provide for birthing and postpartum care, it can help you avoid packing unnecessary items.

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The Importance of Preparing a Hospital Bag

As you approach the end of your pregnancy journey, preparing your hospital bag becomes a priority. This is not just a simple task of packing a few clothes and toiletries, but a carefully thought out process that ensures you have everything you need for labor, delivery, and your subsequent stay in the hospital. It can be quite stressful if left to the last minute, hence the recommendation to have it ready by week 36 of your pregnancy.

Understanding the Two-Bag System

Most people might assume that one bag would suffice for a hospital stay. However, the unique needs and experiences of childbirth call for a two-bag system – one specifically for labor and another for your hospital stay. This system not only makes it easier for you to find what you need when you need it, but it also ensures that items necessary for labor aren’t buried under post-delivery essentials.

Digging Deeper into the Labor Bag

Your labor bag is essentially your comfort kit during labor. It’s not just about packing your birth plan and maternity notes, but also items that will aid in relaxation and distraction. This could be anything from your favorite music playlist, a book you’ve been meaning to read, or even a picture of a loved one. Snacks are also a must-have; think energy bars, dried fruits, or even a sandwich. Remember, labor can be a marathon, not a sprint, and you’ll need all the energy you can get.

More on the Hospital Stay Bag

Once the labor is done, your hospital stay bag comes into play. This is where you pack your toiletries, clothes, and a going-home outfit. But it’s not just about you; it’s also about your newborn. Packing diapers, baby clothes, and a car seat for the ride home is essential. Don’t forget to include items like a swaddle blanket, pacifiers, or a special outfit for baby’s first photo. Also, ensure you have packed your phone charger, medications, and important documents like your ID and insurance information.

Utilizing a Printable Packing Checklist

A printable packing checklist can be a lifesaver. It not only ensures that you don’t forget anything, but it also gives you a sense of accomplishment as you check off items. You can find various printable checklists online, or you can create your own based on your personal needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions Expanded

Can I start packing before week 36?

Absolutely! The earlier you start, the better. This gives you ample time to ensure you have all the items you need and can help alleviate any pre-labor stress.

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Can I include personal items in my labor bag?

Yes, personal items that make you feel comfortable and relaxed are encouraged. This could be a favorite pillow, a cherished photo, or even a comforting aroma therapy oil.

Should I pack food in my hospital stay bag?

While most hospitals provide meals, it’s always a good idea to pack a few of your favorite snacks. Remember to consider items that are non-perishable and easy to eat.

Can my partner or support person bring items later?

While it’s possible for your partner or support person to bring items later, it’s best to have everything you need packed and ready. This is to avoid any unnecessary stress or inconvenience.


Preparing your hospital bag is an important step in your childbirth journey. It may seem overwhelming at first, but with a little planning and organization, you can ensure that you have everything you need for a comfortable and stress-free hospital stay. Remember, the key is to start early, consider your personal needs, and pack items that will make both your labor and hospital stay easier.

Additional FAQs

Should I bring any entertainment items in my hospital bag?

Yes, packing some light entertainment like books, magazines, or a portable DVD player can be beneficial. Labor can sometimes be a long process, and these items can help pass the time.

Can I bring my own food and drinks?

Yes, you can bring your own snacks and drinks. However, it’s important to check with your hospital to understand their policy on outside food and beverages. Some hospitals may provide meals and drinks for you.

Should my partner also pack a bag?

Yes, it’s a good idea for your partner to pack a bag too. They may need to stay with you in the hospital for a while, so they should bring essentials like a change of clothes, toiletries, snacks, and any items they might need to help support you during labor.

What documents do I need to bring?

Bring any necessary documents such as your ID, insurance information, and birth plan. It’s also a good idea to bring any relevant medical records or documents pertaining to your pregnancy.

What-to-Take-Hospital-Bag: A Table Guide

Items for Labor Bag Items for Hospital Stay Bag
Birth plan Toiletries
Maternity notes Change of clothes
Comfortable clothes Going-home outfit
Snacks Items for newborn (diapers, baby clothes, car seat)
Relaxation items (music, books, cozy blanket) Phone charger
ID and insurance information


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