FREE Motif Hospital Bag Checklist

FREE Motif Hospital Bag Checklist

Preparing Your Hospital Bag

If you’re giving birth at the hospital or birth center, you’ll want to pack your hospital bag when you’re in the third trimester or sometime around 34 weeks pregnant. Don’t wait until you’re close to your due date! If you wait until the last minute, it’s easy to forget something. We want to make packing even easier for you, so we’ve created a hospital bag checklist to make sure you’ve got all the essentials covered for you and your baby.

Packing for You


The first thing to pack is comfortable clothes for you. Whether you want to labor in your clothes instead of a hospital gown or just want to have something cozy to wear after you give birth, make sure you include several pairs of stretchy pants and a couple of large, loose-fitting shirts. 

Download your FREE Hospital Bag ChecklistDownload your FREE Hospital Bag Checklist
Download your FREE Hospital Bag Checklist

If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want to pack some nursing tops and nursing bras to have for the postpartum hospital stay. On the topic of breastfeeding, pack your nipple balm, breast pads, or nursing pads, and the contact information for your lactation consultant so you can give them a call if you’re having a hard time getting started. Most people want to have a special change of clothes for when they’re going home, so toss that in your bag, too.

Toiletry Bag

You need to pack a toiletry bag, too. Include personal items such as your toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, deodorant, shampoo, and conditioner. If you wear contacts, don’t forget to bring your case, solution, and an extra set of contact lenses or your glasses! If styling your hair before or after birth is important to you, remember to pack a hair dryer, straightener, and any other hair products you may need. If you have long hair, I recommend putting some hair ties or a headband in your bag, too. They can be very useful during birth and in the postpartum when you’re feeding your baby. The hospital will have mesh underwear, sanitary pads, and a peribottle for you to use postpartum, but many of my clients like to use adult diapers in the first couple of days after birth. If you’d like that option better, you’ll want to pack those in your hospital bag.

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Toiletry Bag

Other comforts that might help you feel more at ease during your stay at the hospital are your favorite pillow or blanket and flip-flops or slippers to walk around in (hospital floors are notoriously dirty!). While you can certainly use the hospital pillow, they aren’t usually as comfy as your house pillow and you’ll probably sleep better with that piece of home with you. Speaking of pillows, if you have a nursing pillow I recommend taking that to the hospital with you. It can seem bulky to take along, but those first couple of days can be the most challenging to get a good latch and many new moms feel like they need an extra set of hands. A breastfeeding pillow can make a huge difference as you and your baby figure out a system that works for you.

Packing for Baby

There are just a few essentials that you need to bring for your new baby. You’ll want to pack onesies and diapers, baby wipes, and a couple of swaddle blankets. Some babies have long fingernails so you might want to pack some mittens. If you don’t have mittens, you can always use a pair of socks in their place! Most parents have a special going-home outfit picked out, so make sure you put that in your hospital bag! If you have a baby book, you may want to bring that, too, so you have a place to store birth mementos or to put baby’s footprints. And maybe the most important thing—make sure you have the baby’s car seat! You won’t be able to take your baby home without it!

Packing for Your Support Person

There are a few things you can pack in your bags to help make the hospital a more enjoyable place for you and your support team. Stick your birth plan in your bag and make sure you have easy access to your playlist on your cell phone. Remember to put your phone charger in before you leave your house!

Lip balm and lotion can keep you comfy in the dry air of the hospital. Water bottles and money for the vending machine will make sure everyone stays nourished and hydrated. Most hospitals only provide meals for the birthing person in the postpartum, so bring some substantial snacks!

Before you leave your house, grab these few last-minute things: your driver’s license and insurance card, cell phone, and phone charger, and check one last time to make sure you have the infant car seat in your car!

About the Author

Rebekah Mustaleski is a Medical Advisor for Motif Medical. She is a Certified Professional Midwife with Roots & Wings Midwifery, where she promotes evidence-based maternity care for families seeking an out-of-hospital delivery.

Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.

Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.


Rebekah Mustaleski is a Certified Professional Midwife with Roots & Wings Midwifery in Knoxville, TN, where Rebekah promotes evidence-based maternity care for families seeking an out of hospital delivery. She is working to improve maternal outcomes during the childbearing year and to promote a sustainable business model for midwifery practices across the country. Rebekah is co-owner of Roots & Wings Midwifery, LLC as well as Treasurer for the Tennessee Midwives Association.

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