What should I bring and pack when I get admitted to the hospital in labor?

You may want to pack two separate bags for the hospital: An overnight bag for the items you'll need during labor and a larger bag for everything else that you'll need after delivery.

For mom and dad:

  • Cell phone and chargers
  • Preload apps you like to pass the time while you are waiting
  • Laptop or iPad (in case of long labor and after labor).
  • Camera with film or a camcorder (make sure batteries are full). Dr. Amos recommends a good small camera instead of a big SLR
  • CD player or iPod with additional external loudspeakers
  • Some cash for parking, food, and drinks
  • Your insurance card and any hospital paperwork you need.
  • Magazines to read
  • Glasses, contacts/contact solution
  • A favorite pillow or something else that makes you feel better
  • A large birthing ball

Body care & food:

  • Some water or nourishing drinks
  • Healthy snacks
  • Hair bands or scrunchies
  • Hand and body lotion
  • Massage oil
  • Lip balm for dry, chapped lips
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and other toiletries
  • Your own maxi-pads (hospital pads often don't have adhesive)
  • Hairbrush, make-up
  • Lollipops or hard candy


  • Warm socks
  • Nursing bra
  • Nightgown (with button front if you are breastfeeding)
  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Loose-fitting outfit to wear home

For baby:

  • Car seat for baby's ride home (required)
  • One undershirt or onesie
  • One outfit for in hospital
  • One receiving blanket
  • One outer blanket, or "snuggle"
  • A hat and pair of booties
  • If using cloth diapers, bring two diapers and velcro diaper covers
  • A going-home outfit
  • A pair of socks or booties
  • A cap
  • Baby nail clippers or emery board

Read More:
Quiz: Am I in Labor?
Labor, Delivery, and Birth Guide
First-Time Fathers and the Delivery Room