What to pack in your hospital bag

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

3 min read

There are many things to do when you get a positive pregnancy test—appointments, ultrasounds, shots and tests tend to take over. By the time you get to your third trimester, it can be easy to get swept up in prepping for baby at home and impending labor that you forget you also need to cover some of the logistical basics. That's right, it's time to pack your hospital bag. If you have no idea where to start—and are maybe panicking because you've left it a little late—don't worry! We've got you covered. Here's our handy guide (and printable list if you scroll down) about what you need in your hospital bag.

When should you pack your hospital bag?

When you decide to pack your hospital bag will largely come down to what kind of planner you are. Medical viability (the point in pregnancy when a fetus could survive outside of the womb) is generally thought to be between 23 and 24 weeks. Of course we want baby to stay put as close to 40 weeks as possible—but theoretically, you could be headed to the hospital earlier. Twenty-three weeks is unlikely (most babies are born between 40 and 41 weeks), so packing your hospital bag between 32 and 35 weeks leaves enough time for most to get prepared. 

What to pack in your hospital bag for parent

Depending on where you give birth, you may be provided a few things during the labor process. It's best to contact your hospital or birthing centre to understand what they can or will supply and what you need to bring yourself. 

In terms of volume, you may want to pack enough to last a few days. While many are in and out of the hospital quickly, it's best to be prepared—labor can take longer than expected and sometimes monitoring during recovery is recommended.



  • Maxi or maternity pads
  • Perineal bottle (often provided, but it's nice to have one for home as well)
  • Skin care (face wash and cream, lip balm, coconut oil—a multipurpose wonder for nipples and baby bottoms)
  • Hair care (brush, elastics)
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Medications
  • Breast pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Bird&Be Postpartum Supplement


  • Phone and an extra long charger (with your labor playlist ready to go)
  • Camera
  • Portable speaker (great for your playlist during labor and as a white noise machine once baby is here)
  • Portable fan
  • Portable light (so you don't have to turn on the hospital overhead lights if you're staying a night, or two)
  • Breastmilk pump and bottles (if you're planning to pump)


  • ID
  • Birth Plan (if you have one)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Electrolytes (electrolyte sticks are the low-sugar option, but you can include sports drinks or coconut water)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Books or a tablet to pass the time
  • Breastfeeding pillow
  • Optional: A pillow or towel (hospitals have these, but you may prefer your own)

What to pack in your hospital bag for baby

  • Car seat (make sure it is fully installed prior to heading to the hospital)
  • Car seat cover
  • Diapers (newborn and size one)
  • Wipes
  • Onesies/Sleepers (newborn and 0 to 3 months)
  • Burp cloths
  • Swaddles (opt for velcro for ease)
  • Baby socks
  • Baby hat

Hospital bag checklist

What to pack in your hospital bag - checklist