What to pack for the hospital when you go into labor

Below is a list of items you should remember to pack for the hospital when you go into labor. This list was found in the Johnson?s – Mother & Baby book, which is proving to be a very wonderful and useful resource for Julia and I as we prepare for our first child. You can find more useful baby information on Julia’s site.


* 2-3 old nightgowns, a couple baggy t-shirts, and a bathrobe
* 2-3 nursing bras
* Breast pads
* Slippers
* Several pairs of underwear, either cotton or disposable
* Toiletries: toothbrush and toothpaste, washcloth, towel, brush, hair ties, face cream, shower gel, shampoo, makeup, small mirror, perfume
* Plastic bags for dirty clothes
* Clothes to wear home
* Snacks for you and your partner
* Magazines, books, or other diversions
* 2 copies of your birth plan
* Health insurance and hospital preregistration information


* Stretchies and suitable nightwear
* Undershirt
* Sweater or coat and a hat to come home in, depending on the weather
* Blanket

***Remember that you must install a rear-facing infant seat into the car in which you are bringing the baby home

Father: Update – some deliveries take a while and if there are complications, you may be there for a few days.

* A change of clothes
* Drinks and snacks
* Change for the public telephone or a phone card. You cannot use your cell phone inside the hospital because it interferes with equipment
* Telephone numbers for friends and family to let them know the good news
* Camera and film, or video camera
* Wipes to refresh hands and face
* A bag with basic toiletries

Extra comfort aids for labor (check with your doctor to make sure you can bring these extra items with you)

* Soothing images for use in labor, such as photographs of loved ones, or relaxing places you?ve visited on vacation
* An extra pillow or pillows
* A CD player and CD?s of relaxing music, plus spare batteries
* A cassette player and books on tape plus spare batteries or IPod
* A thick pair of socks
* A hot water bottle for pain relief
* A journal
* A big box of tissues
* Lip balm
* A spray bottle, filled with cool water to spray your face
* A pregnancy book with highlighted pages for easy reference on medications, birthing positions, etc. that will help you make quick decisions in the delivery room if your doctor asks

Originally posted at PhotoJulia.com

6 thoughts on “What to pack for the hospital when you go into labor

  1. I can see most of the mother things but the dad things I kind of wonder about. A change of clothes? Well…maybe…not sure why.

    Soothing images? Well…OK. I guess you will both be going in with your own suitcases. I was just lucky enough to be there for all four…never mind having all that stuff. Happy packing!!

    archshrk responds: For some deliveries, the hospital stay can be quite long. If you’re there by your wife’s side for eight hours or more, having a change of clothes could be really helpful.

    A new father I work with said one thing he wish he had had was a pair of flip-flops. He would sleep on a couch at the hospital, so every time he wanted to visit his wife, he had to put on his shoes to walk down the hall.

    In the end, you’ll manage with whatever you bring but it’s nice to think about what you would like to bring.

  2. Reading materials for the countdown: Jenny McCarthy’s Belly Laughs…it’s the funniest book on childbirth and real down to earth honesty from one woman’s point of view. I got it for my baby shower…Baby Laughs for after the welcome home party…for before delivery. It’s a must read for new mothers.

    Make a jar of smelling salts for the hospital room:

    3 C sea salt
    2 C epsom salt
    1 C baking soda
    1 handle mason jar with lid.

    Add to this 20 drops of Lavender essential oil, 2 T lavender flowers, 2 drops Sweet Orange essential oil, 2 T dried orange peel. Shake vigorously to mix ingredients.

    Open jar as needed to release calming energising vapours.

    Afterwards, the salts may be used for relaxing baths at home.

    At the Hospital: Ice chips, or cool water for her(most hospitals are revising their position on food/drink before delivery). If they don’t, make sure you have a bowl with a washcloth to wet her lips during labour.

    If nursing, bring your pump. Hospitals won’t supply them. Also, use and abuse the Lactation Consultants and Certified Nurse-Midwives. They give LOADS of helpful advice the maternity ward staff can’t/won’tgive you.

    Make sure the hospital dims the lights. It is easier on the baby and makes the bonding experience more intimate.

    Once baby says hello world, make sure there is TV or Radio on…continue when baby comes home…same with dimmed lights. Logan has radio set to classical station 24/7. This will help baby get used to noise, and lessen the fright factor. That was the first thing my mother did when she came in to see her grandson.

    Make sure you take the diapers, baby wash, and other toiletries the hospital provides. Housekeeping is required to THROW THEM OUT after you leave.

    Make sure you ask for extra ice packs at the hospital(trust me, you’ll thank me later).

    For daddy to be: At home for after the bundle of joy arrives: Stock up on yogurt, orange juice, fresh fruit, and lots of bottled water. Make soothing baths, help wash and brush her hair if she needs help. Take two hours out of your day to give her time to herself. A new baby can be very overwhelming.

  3. I can see most of the mother things but the dad things I kind of wonder about. A change of clothes? Well…maybe…not sure why.

    If the father plans to stay the night in the hopsital with the mom, this is a great idea. That way he doesn’t feel so “stale” the next day, wearing the same clothes he probably sweated out about a million calories in!! He he he!!

  4. I think that all of the things listed are great and really important during labour. Why wouldnt you want a nice picture of your family or why wouldnt you want your husband / boyfriend to be there with you and im sure that you would want a change of cloths anywhere you stay over night so it all make sense.

  5. I am due to go into labor any day now, and reading this helped. I hope my fiance takes the “dad’s advice” too, because he already said he was going to stay with me at the hospital. I have a diaper bag packed for the baby, and a small bag packed for myself that I will have to add to now that I have read this. I really only put in clothes to come home in, my camera, and a bottle of hair gel. I want to be fully prepared.

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