What should you pack in your hospital bag?

What should you pack in your hospital bag?

There are many lists, even lists of lists--yes we're talking about Pinterest!, that will help you list every item you want to bring to the delivery room. What's worth taking to the hospital and what can be left at home? So you can focus on the important things like getting ready for the big day, we've done all the research and put together the best checklist.

"In general, with a labour bag, I am of 'less is more,' but some parents want the kitchen sink--and it's okay," Cara Terreri LCCE, a childbirth educator and doula from Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. It's all about what relieves anxiety before giving birth, even if you don't use half of the items in your bag.

It's your chance!

These are essentials for anyone who is traveling light.

  • Photograph ID, insurance card, and other paperwork for hospitals.
  • You should have plenty of copies of your birth plan for all shifts.
  • Ponytail holder, or headband.
  • You can keep your mouth moistened with sugarless lollipops or candy.
  • Notepads and pens for noting down tips from nurses, questions, or memories to add to the baby book.
  • Towelries: Shampoo, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and any other toiletries you might need.
  • You can provide snacks for your partner, and for you as well after delivery, as the cafeteria may be closed.
  • A prepaid card can be used to notify loved ones that your baby is here.
  • You can make a Who-to-call List so that you don't forget anyone if you are tired and distracted by the cutest thing you have ever seen.
  • For your first family portrait, you will need a camera, memory card, and a charger.
  • Slippers and socks.
  • Pajamas or nightgown: Choose sleeveless, or short sleeves for easy blood pressure monitoring.
  • Nursing or maternity bra - go up a size so that the girls can feel some relief (they are likely to be swollen and tender after your milk arrives).
  • Nursing pads--your milk will be delivered to you regardless of whether you breastfeed or not. You'll love the leak protection.
  • Comfortable outfit you can wear at home. You'll still look six months pregnant so consider maternity clothes and not prebaby skinny jeans.
  • You can use a foldable tote to carry all your extra stuff (diapers formula, gifts, etc.).

It is best to leave it

These unnecessary items should be discarded. They will eat up space and dad has enough to carry them around.

  • You will find plenty of diapers at the hospital, so keep your stash at home. You'll be in need of it later!
  • Extra absorbent maxi pads--see above.
  • If you have a breast pump, they will provide a hospital-grade model.
  • Stopwatch--no need for you to time your contractions. A monitor (or nurse!) will keep track of them for you.
  • Don't wear any clothes or nighties that you don't like.

Judgment call

These choices are up to you. Some mamas enjoy a few extra comforts, while others prefer to stick with the essentials.

  • Pump and birthing ball
  • To ease labor pains, you can use a heating pad, oil, lotion or other massage tools (tennis balls are a great option).
  • Additional (cheap!) pairs of underwear--you will be wearing those huge maxi pads so think granny pants. Some ladies will be fine with the hospital's mesh unmentionables, but others prefer to wear their own cotton shorts.
  • Water bottle
  • Robe, if your preference is for something warm or you intend to walk the halls while you labor.
  • Choose a patterned pillow case for your favorite pillow so it won't get mixed with hospital laundry.
  • Towel for the first postbaby shower. You'll be given one at the hospital. It won't feel as luxurious as your at-home towels.
  • Flip-flops and other types of shower shoes
  • Softener for the stool (because it was too difficult to push out the baby).
  • Nursing pillow
  • To celebrate the birth of your new family member, a mini-bottle of champagne or sparkling grape juice is ideal.
  • Photo of your children with you, to let them know that you are thinking of them. Or a gift for older siblings "from Baby" to help start the bonding process.
  • You can share a small basket with staff. You'll see a lot of each others for a few days so it is important to show gratitude early.

You can choose to surround yourself in the comforts and familiarity of home, or to get in and out quickly with minimal fuss. Trust your mama instincts to create a birthing environment that is right for you. You know you and your baby better than anyone.

Terreri says that packing the hospital bag can be a fun and exciting task in a woman's pregnancies. It signals that baby is near and makes the dream of meeting her more real. Try not to get too caught up in the 'when' or 'what' of packing. Instead, enjoy the fact that you can complete the task without having to use your hands. This is something you'll miss when baby arrives!

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Sizing Chart

Since every baby grows at his/her own pace, measure the baby's height for the best fit. It is much more accurate than going off of the baby's age. Call us with any questions and we will be happy to help you determine the best fit for your baby.

Newborn Onesie's

Size Weight Height
Newborn (NB) 5-8 Ibs. / 2.3-3.6 kg 17-21 in. / 43.2-53.3 cm
0-3M 6-12 Ibs. / 3.6-5.4 kg 21-24 in. / 53.3-61 cm
0-6M Up to 16 Ibs. / Up to 7.3 kg 17-21 in. / 43.2-53.3 cm
3-6M 12-16 Ibs. / 5.4-7.3 kg 24-26 in. / 61-66 cm
3-9M 12-20 Ibs. / 5.4-9.1 kg 24-28 in. / 61-71.1 cm
6-9M 16-20 Ibs. / 7.3-9.1 kg 26-28 in. / 66-71.1 cm
12M 20-24 Ibs. / 9.1-10.9 kg 28-30 in. / 71.1-76.2 cm
18M 24-28 Ibs. / 10.9-12.7 kg 30-32 in. / 76.2-81.3 cm
24M / 2T 28-32 Ibs. / 12.7-14.5 kg 32-34 in. / 81.3-86.4 cm
3T 32-35 Ibs. / 14.5-15.9 kg 34-38 in. / 86.4-96.5 cm
4T 35-39 lbs. / 15.9-17.7 kg 38-40 in. / 96.5-101.6 cm
5T 39-43 lbs. / 17.7-19.5 kg 40-44 in. / 101.6-111.8 cm

Cotton Pajamas

Garments are designed to fit snug for child's safety.

Size Weight Height
6M 12-16 Ibs. / 5.4-7.3 kg 24-27 in. / 61-68.6 cm
12M 16-20 Ibs. / 7.3-9.1 kg 27-30 in. / 68.6-76.2 cm
18M 20-24 Ibs. / 9.1-10.9 kg 30-33 in. / 76.2-83.8 cm
24M / 2T 24-28 Ibs. / 10.9-12.7 kg 33-35 in. / 83.8-88.9 cm
3T 28-32 Ibs. / 12.7-14.5 kg 35-39 in. / 88.9-99.1 cm
4T 32-36 Ibs. / 14.5-16.3 kg 39-42 in. / 99.1-106.7 cm
5T 36-42 Ibs. / 16.3-19.1 kg 42-44 in. / 106.7-111.8 cm


New Balance Boys

17-19 inches
39-41 inches
19-20 inches
41-45 inches
20-22 inches
45-46 inches
22-23 inches
47-50 inches
23-24 inches
50-54 inches
24-25 inches
54-58 inches
25-27 inches
58-62 inches
27-28 inches
62-67 inches


New Balance Girls

Size Waist Height
4 17-19 inches 39-41 inches
5 19-20 inches 41-45 inches
6 20-21 inches 45-46 inches
6x 21-22 inches 46-48 inches
7/8 22-23 inches 48-52 inches
10/12 23-25 inches 52-58 inches
14 25-27 inches 58-61 inches
16 27-29 inches 61-63 inches