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What to Pack In Your Hospital or Birth Center Bag (Plus What NOT to Pack & a Few Nice-to-Have Items)

When Should You Pack Your Hospital Bag?

It's best to plan for any surprises. Babies like to come on their own time, which could mean you're going into labor before your due date!

You should plan to have your hospital bag packed and ready to go (minus some smaller last-minute items like your toothbrush and contact lenses) by week 36 or 37 of your pregnancy. This will ensure you have everything you need to get out the door quickly whenever baby decides to come.

Here's what you should consider packing in your hospital bag. I broke it down into must-haves, general items, nice-to-have, for baby, and for your partner. Plus, read to the end of this post for what you DON'T need to pack! (The hospital will send you home with lots of freebies!) Happy packing!

Must-Have Items for Your Hospital Bag

These are necessary items that you'll need to bring, whether for safety or hospital admin reasons.

  • ID/Wallet

  • Insurance Card

  • Pediatrician's Contact Information

  • Birth Plan (if you have one)

  • Car Seat (already installed)

General Items for Your Hospital Bag

These items will keep you comfortable during your hospital stay & are generally considered necessities as well.

  • Joggers/Sweatpants

  • Loose-Fitting Shirts

  • Cozy Socks

  • Nursing/Pumping Bras or Tank Tops

  • Comfortable Postpartum Underwear (like Thinx brand) or Disposable Underwear (like Depend)

  • Pajamas/Bathrobe

  • Going Home Outfit (something comfortable)

  • Slip-On Shoes

  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste

  • Hairbrush/Hair Ties

  • Face Wash/Wipes

  • Deodorant

  • Dry Shampoo or Shampoo/Conditioner

  • Glasses/Contacts & Cleaning Solution

  • Medications/Vitamins (be sure your doctor knows what you're taking)

  • Lotion

  • Lip Balm

  • Extra Long Phone Charger

  • Phone

  • Water Bottle