What should you pack in your labor and delivery bag?

By Dana Kamp
Nurse placing newborn baby on hospital weighing scale

You don’t know if your little one will be making his or her appearance at 41 weeks or 37 weeks, after 20 hours of labor or two hours (fingers crossed), but you do know you want an overnight bag with all your necessities ready to go! Take your time and pack you labor and delivery bag early, using our list as a guide, so you feel confident that you have everything you will need for a smooth-as-possible labor and delivery.

Must-haves for Mama:

  • insurance card and any preregistration paperwork
  • copy of your birth plan, if you made one
  • labor aids (lip balm, focus object, tennis ball for massaging your lower back, massage oil/lotion, sugar-free candies)
  • CD player/iPod/mp3 player
  • pillow &/or blanket from home to make your stay more comfortable
  • robe and slippers
  • hairbrush, headband and hair tie
  • toiletries (shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, body wash, deodorant, makeup)
  • eyeglasses/contacts
  • comfortable nightgown or pj’s (appropriate for visitors to see) and warm socks
  • nursing bras and nursing pillow if you plan to breastfeed
  • cell phone and phone charger
  • camera/video camera and batteries &/or charger
  • going-home outfit (non-clingy maternity wear is best)
  • bottle of champagne or sparkling cider for celebrating the baby’s arrival

Bring along for Baby:

  • outfit &/or special blanket for hospital photos
  • baby book for recording birth day moments and preserving baby’s first footprints
  • going-home outfit (size preemie or newborn fits better than 0-3 months)
  • pacifier, if desired
  • infant car seat

The hospital will provide:

  • disposable panties (don’t laugh-these things are amazing!)
  • gown to wear during labor/delivery
  • snacks for Mama after delivery
  • maxi pads for post-delivery
  • diapers, cap and swaddling blanket for baby

Don’t forget Daddy!

  • change of clothes and sleepwear for several days
  • attaché case with toiletries
  • house shoes or flip flops
  • laptop, playing cards, video game player, or a book-entertainment for down time if/when Mommy doesn’t need your help
  • cell phone and charger
  • favorite snacks
  • patience, positive attitude and readiness to assist the mama-to-be


Giggle Mommies’ Extras

• Taryn, mommy of Xavier, brought Gownies in her delivery bag. They are cute labor and delivery gowns that snap up the back and have snaps along the front for easy access during breastfeeding.

• Dede, mama of Braeden and Logan, took peppermint essential oil to the hospital and sprinkled it on her pillow. Breathing in the scent of the oil helped her relax between contractions.

• Kaci, mommy of Briggs, was so glad she brought change for the vending machine so her hubby could grab a late-night snack without leaving the hospital. she also took home extra hospital panties for postpartum healing and comfort.