Packing List for the Birth Center – When Baby Comes

What do you pack for yourself (and baby) when you go to the hospital or Birthing Center for labor and delivery? Here’s a sample packing list that will help you remember all of the important things!  

Tip:  Make a list of “last minute items” to pack – these are usually the items that you use daily (your bathroom robe, pillows, camera, etc.); you may also want to add the baby items that you still need (car seat, a ‘going home outfit’ for baby, etc.) to this list.

Labor and Delivery Packing List:  What I Brought to Hospital Birthing Inn

For You:

  • Bring Your Own Pillow 

  • Comfy Slippers
    • The ACORN Women’s New Spa Slide Slipper are super comfortable.

  • Comfy shoes
    • If you go into labor during dinner and forget to pack your “comfy shoes,” then you may end up going home in pajama pants and high-heels.
    • Socks
      • Non-skid socks are nice for effortless bathroom trips and/or walks around the birthing unit
      • If you have sweaty feet, bring your best sweat-absorbing socks
      • Bring extras.
    • Comfortable underwear (aka, granny panties)
      • Bring extras. Things get messy.
    • Nightgown
      • If you are going to be breastfeeding, try to find a nightgown that opens up in the front – for ease access
    • Robe
      • …because your butt will show in the back of the hospital gown.  I would recommend a terry cloth material for your robe because you’ll be sweating a lot.  The Women’s Terry Cloth Bathrobe Robe (Ecovaganza); An Eco Friendly Gift of Luxury is really comfy.

    • Thermos for water 
      • No-spill thermoses are the best.  I am obsessed with the Contigo AUTOSEAL Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler.  It keeps your drinks cold/hot and best of all – it won’t spill in your purse.  I take mine with me everywhere.

    • Comfortable Going Home Outfit for yourself

    For Your Significant Other:

    • Snacks / Drinks for Your Significant Other
      • They get hungry too – don’t let your spouse’s hunger hinder his ability to support you during labor.  Bring snacks that you know he’ll eat (for Mr. Mia, it was beef jerky .. but I made him eat it in the other room because I wasn’t allowed to eat).
    • Toothpaste and Toothbrush for Your Spouse
    • Toiletries for Your Spouse (deodorant, contact lens supplies, etc.)
    • Change of Clothing for Your Spouse 
    • Pajamas for Your Spouse
      • Make sure that his PJs are the type of PJs that he would feel comfortable wearing in a hospital room that hospital nurses are constantly walking in and out of
    • Pillow and Blanket for your Spouse

    For Baby:

    • Baby’s Outfits
      • Newborn Size and 0-3 months size, depending on size of baby (for twins or early deliveries, you may need to bring preemie sized outfits).  See Top 12 Must-Have Newborn Clothing Items for more newborn clothing essentials.
    • Cute Baby Hat 
    • Cute Baby Bows/Headbands (for girls)
      • Check out for adorable baby headbands and bows.
    • Swaddle blanket(s)

      • The Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets were my favorite swaddle blankets because they use Velcro (the Velcro is key and makes swaddling a baby significantly easier).

    • Diaper Bag
    • Side-Snap Onesie Bodysuits
    • Car Seat 
      • Make sure you have it installed in your car – they won’t let you leave the hospital without this basic step!  We used a Chicco carseat and loved it.

    • See Top 25 Must-Have Newborn and Baby Items for more must-have baby gear


    • Camera
    • Charger for the Camera
    • Cell phone charger
    • A good music playlist for distraction
    • Books to read that don’t require concentration
      • Personally, reading was the last thing that I wanted to do, but I’ve heard some women say that reading, for them, was helpful during labor.
      • When I was pregnant, books that took my mind off of how uncomfortable I was:  Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth and Baby Laughs: The Naked Truth About the First Year of Mommyhood (both written by Jenny McCarthy).
      • I also really liked the books The Girlfriends’ Guide to Surviving 1st year mother (Perigee) and The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy (both written by Vicki Iovine).

    • Pen and Paper 
      • Because what if you need to write stuff down?
    • Your birth plan (or an idea of what you want to happen)
      • If you have one…even though birth plans are usually worthless because you can’t really control too much of what happens during the process, and the nurses might laugh at you if you show them your “birth plan.”
    • Don’t forget a photo ID
    • Your Insurance Information
    • Your Check Book (for misc. orders)
    • Cash (for vending machines) and Credit Cards

    For Breastfeeding:

    • A book on nursing/breastfeeding
    • Nursing bra and nursing shirt
    • Snacks for you
    • Nipple cream
    • Nursing pads
    • Nursing pillow (e.g., the Boppy Pillow or the Leachco Cuddle-U Nursing Pillow)


    • Face Wash 
    • Shampoo and Conditioner (Travel Size)
    • Lip balm 
      • Nothing worse than chapped lips without chap-stick  and hospitals are dry
    • Loofah Shower Sponge (if you use one)
    • Sanitary Pads 
      • Find sanitary pads that are to your own liking (the hospital sanitary pads and huge and uncomfortable)
      • Make sure they are heavy duty
    • Contact Lens and Solution
    • Eye glasses (and case)
    • Make-Up 
      • (if you are so motivated)
    • Head bands and hair ties

    Did we forget something?  
    If so, leave a comment!


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