The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist

November 29, 2022

I knew my hospital suitcase (because as if everything would fit in a bag) would take me months to organize. I started scanning other people’s hospital bag checklists on Pinterest months before my due date. I would cross-reference the lists to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I asked everyone I knew what they had brought. I made a list of everything I usually pack for an overnight stay. Finally, after exhausting all my resources, I had the ultimate list. As we got closer to the due date, I started piling everything on our kitchen table. Anything that I was currently using that couldn’t be put on the table, I kept a list of… on the table. I’m an over-preparer (can you tell?) when it comes to almost everything. My husband and sister accompanied me to the hospital on the morning of my induction. I think they were embarrassed by all the things we brought, but I didn’t care. Despite their embarrassment, they still made the 2-3 trips to the car to make sure I had all my shit! I was so well-packed!!! Now, I don’t expect everyone reading this to bring everything that I did. But at least you have a massive list of everything you could possibly imagine… plus some other shit. You can pick and choose what works for you!

I’m smiling because that bag is full of snacks!

The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist

I hope you find this list helpful. Also, don’t judge me. I am very high maintenance when it comes to being comfortable. Especially when I’m trying to be comfortable after a little human exits my body.


  • Sound Machine (you want to be able to drown out hallway sounds and screaming babies… and screaming ladies giving birth).
  • Portable Bluetooth Speaker (tip: make playlists on your phone. I made a calm one and an upbeat one).
  • Battery Operated Small Fan (if you tend to run hot… you can bet your ass you’ll be hot whilst in labour and giving birth. So, invest in a nice bedside fan).
  • Camera (and charger, memory cards, etc.).
  • Diffuser and Essential Oils (if you’re into that and they allow it).
  • Your Phone (duh, I don’t think I have to list that one but, there it is).
  • Phone Charger (tip: make sure it is a long cable so it can reach to your hospital bed or bring extension cord – see below).
  • iPad (tip: download a movie or some of your favourite shows to watch).
  • Headphones.
  • Magazines or Books.
  • A long extension cord with multiple plug-ins (if your bed is not close to outlets… that is a real piss off. Save yourself the headache and be prepared).
  • Breast Pump (save yourself some drama and read ALL the instructions before… you can even test it out. You don’t want to be trying to figure that out at the hospital).


  • Anything you would bring for an overnight stay somewhere (deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, face moisturizer, etc. – you want to be as comfortable as possible).
  • Chapstick (hospitals are dry!).
  • Nursing Bra/Tops.
  • Depends (aka adult diapers).
  • Peri Bottle (to spray after your pee – it will take you 10 minutes to pee).
  • Perineal Spray with Witch Hazel (feels lovely post-birth).
  • Cozy Towel (you don’t want to use the hospital little shit towel).
  • Eye Mask.
  • Nipple Cream/Pads (if you plan on breastfeeding).
  • Toilet Paper.
  • Soap/Shampoo/Conditioner (if you’re able to take a shower, it is so worth it to have your own products. They will help you feel a little bit human!).
  • Face and Body Lotion (hospitals are dry, remember?).
  • Essential Oil Roll-Ons (I loved smelling nice things).
  • Cozy Slippers (tip: buy some you are okay with throwing out after because… hospitals).
  • Heating Pad (this was a lifesaver for back pain).
  • Comfy Pyjamas (I ended up just staying in the hospital gown, but, I know some people love having their own pyjamas).
  • Hair Brush.
  • Comfy Robe.
  • Warm Socks.
  • Ear Plugs (I never use ear plugs but if you’re an ear plug person, then bring them for sure).
  • Kleenex (Nice soft luxurious Kleenex).
  • Change of Clothes (comfort is key! I wore a baggy loose dress when I left the hospital. I don’t know why people say to bring yoga pants. I could not IMAGINE wearing anything tight in my nether regions the day after giving birth!).
  • Warm Blanket (I like a nice blanket to sleep. Hospital blankets are like a thin sheet with a piece of dollar store felt over top.).
  • Your Favourite Pillow (I know it seems annoying to have to bring a pillow but, hospital pillows are sh*t. You will thank me later.).
  • Water Bottle (you will be drinking water like a mofo. Make sure it is big and has an easy flip lid, not a screw-off because that’s annoying when you’re drinking every two minutes).
  • Black XXXXXL Underwear (like 200 pairs… for obvious reasons. These will come in handy your entire postpartum life.).


  • Gatorade (a clear colour so you can drink it once labour begins).
  • Fresh Fruit (tip: watermelon and pineapple were heavenly).
  • Snacks Galore (bring all your faves – most hospital cafeterias close early).


  • File Holder for Important Baby Papers.
  • Notepad & Pen.


  • Breastfeeding pillow.
  • Comfy PJs (4-5: bring a few different sizes just in case).
  • Baby Blankets.
  • Formula and bottles (if you don’t plan on breastfeeding).
  • Cute Stuffed Animal (for photo obviously).
  • Diapers.
  • Wipes.
  • Baby Hats.
  • Mittens.
  • Swaddle.
  • Car Seat Installed (figure this all out before… practice!)


  • Anything he would bring for an overnight stay somewhere.
  • Comfy Clothes.
  • Warm Blanket.
  • Pillow.
  • PJs.
  • Laptop/Tablet.
  • Book/Magazine.
  • Everyday-type medications (just in case).
  • Water Bottle.
  • Comfy Slippers.
  • Change for Vending Machines (just in case).
  • Food!

Some other things to think about before your babe arrives is who is going to come visit in the hospital (if anyone). You don’t want to be dealing with that afterward, so get it sorted out beforehand. Know the visitation rules and hours, etc. Have someone take some photos. My sister took some candid photos in the hospital, and I’m so happy I have those now. Although, in the moment, I couldn’t have cared less. I was too focused and nervous.

While your list may look a bit different than this, I think this is a good starting point.

– Renee Reina

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Expect the unexpected.