Packing Your Hospital Birth Bag

what to put in your hosptal birth bag TITLEWhat to bring to the Hospital when having a baby?…  Google Searched every modern pregnant lady ever.

Ask a group of women what to put in your hospital birth bag and you will get a range of answers. Some good, some creative, and some excessive.

what not to put in your hopstal bag

What my first hospital bag felt like…

With my fist birth I went the excessive route. I’m pretty sure I could have had quite the comfortable post-apocalyptic birth recovery with how much I over packed.

I soon realized that I only needed about 10% of what I brought. So in the spirit of simplicity, here are the essentials to remember when packing your hospital birth bag. Do a hospital tour and you may find you can can even shave a few more off the list.

For Mom & Dad:

  • 2 copies of your birth plan
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant, lip balm, hair ties, etc)
  • A few sets of comfy clothes for both
  • Nursing bras or tanks
  • Labor gown OR outfit you don’t mind getting dirty (if you don’t want a drafty hospital gown)
  • Phone charger
  • Camera
  • Music & speaker or headphones
  • Change for vending machines
  • A doula! Sure they cant fit in the bag, but a doula will help keep you both comfortable and feeling confident! Plus we doulas will bring our own bag of tricks(both literally and figuratively) to navigate labor and all that comes with it.

For Baby:

  • 2-4 sets of sleepers or warm baby clothes
  • Nursing pillow
  • Warm hat and blanket for the drive home(leave in the car seat to save room in your bag)
  • Car seat (leave in the car at 36weeks & there is no need to bring it inside when you check in)

Snack Ideas:

Remember- Don’t bring anything with a strong smell!

  • Water bottle
  • Clear juices/gatorade/EmergenC
  • Applesauce squeeze packs
  • Protein filled snacks (jerky, cheese, etc)
  • Breakfast cookies/granola bars
  • Dried nuts & fruit
  • Chocolate or other treats (you deserve it!)
  • Lolly pops or hard candies to help keep your mouth moist (preggy-pops may help with nausea)


  • Labor ball (they have them in each room)
  • Breast pump (they have hospital grade ones there)
  • Breast pads (most likely your milk won’t come in until after you are home)
  • Sanitary pads (hospital will provide)
  • Diapers/wipes (hospital will provide)

If you forget anything they will most likely have it available there. So no need to over pack! 


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bellingham wa doulaAbout the author: Molly Seimears is a birth doula in Bellingham, WA. She lives in Whatcom County and is passionate about birth and serving families in her community.


  1. Applesauce squeeze packs=brilliant!

  2. Most of the mothers I work with either over pack or forget a bag altogether. It’s great to have some guidelines for expecting parents.

  3. Good info Molly! I always remind women that if they forget something, they can always send someone to get it later.

  4. Great post! I totally overpacked for my first. I still overpacked a little for my second. I had a homebirth for my daughter and still gathered everything so I wouldn’t have to reach on high shelves for more toothpaste and necessities like that. I skipped the nursing pillow for my second though because it was so bulky and I ended up having lots of spare pillows in my room to use for both of my boys born in hospitals (two different ones).

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