The Hospital Bag Checklist:
Pack the Perfect Bag

Hospital rooms can be quite cramped, but with the help of the Hospital Bag Checklist you will be well prepared (but clutter-free) for childbirth and your first days with your newborn baby.

An efficient way to organize your maternity hospital bag is to pack separate bags for yourself and your baby, with a third small bag (a backpack or something similar) for the actual labour and childbirth stage. The hospital checklist will therefore consist seperate lists for a Labour/Birth Hospital Bag, the Mother's Hospital Bag and the Baby's Hospital Bag.

Here you will find the list fully explained, but for the printable, user-friendly list you can go to Step 2: Preparing for Baby.

The Labour/Birth Hospital Bag Checklist:

- All your necessary admission documentation

- Energy giving snacks and fluids for you and your birth partner

- Maternity pads (3 or 4 will normally be enough)

- Linen savers (also 3 or 4)

- Your favourite calming CD (if facilities are available)

- Something to read (you might have some time to kill between contractions)

- An extra change of comfortable clothing and some spare underwear

- A clean facecloth (for cooling your face during labour)

- An old/dark facecloth (for post-birth shower)

- Clean, comfortable post-birth clothing (preferably dark colours, not your prettiest new pj's)

- A little cash (not enough to worry about it dissapearing)

- A clock/watch to time contractions (and later for timing breastfeeding sessions)

- Lip balm (labour = heavy breathing = dry lips)

- A list with important phone numbers

- A copy of your birthing plan and preferences

- Important medication, especially if you have a serious condition (make sure you inform/alert your doctor and the hospital staff)

- A camera (remember to charge!)

- Baby's first outfit (nappy, vest, baby grow, socks, hat)

- Receiving blanket (your newborn baby will want to be wrapped warm and cosy, even if it's hot outside)

The Mother's Hospital Bag Checklist:

- Maternity pads (at least one large pack)

- 5 sets of pajamas/other clothing suitable for breastfeeding (a top with buttons all the way down works best)

- A nightgown if you prefer (especially in winter)

- Nice warm socks and/or slippers (comfort is the keyword)

- 4-5 pairs of old/disposable underwear (or any underwear that you don't feel sorry for)

- Feeding bra's (if you plan to breastfeed - remember: no underwire)

- Breast pads (even if you don't plan to breastfeed still bring a few pairs)

- Coarse sea salt for sitz baths (if not provided by hospital)

- Your normal toiletries

- Nipple cream (don't be stingy, get something that really works)

- Arnica oil for massaging breasts

- An extra towel (old/dark that you don't feel sorry for)

- Schlehen Blackthorn Berry Elixir (an excellent tonic for new mothers)

- Rehydration Aid (to ensure a proper supply of breastmilk, be sure to maintain your body's hydration levels)

- A note pad and pen (to record feeding times and other details - your memory might not be what it normally is)

The Baby's Hospital Bag Checklist:

- Around 40 newborn nappies (or size 2, according to your doctor's estimate of your baby's size)

- Dark washcloth for baby's bum (newborn skin may be too sensitive for wet wipes, so rather use a lukewarm wet cloth if possible)

- Baby wipes (for sensitive skin)

- Bum barrier cream

- Diaper rash cream

- Cotton balls (for wiping tiny bums and cleaning eyes)

- Mild liquid baby soap (see baby skin care recommendations)

- Baby lotion (preferably aqueous cream, fragrance free)

- Baby hair brush

- 2 or 3 baby towels (a hooded towel works best)

- Petroleum jelly (to help remove meconium from baby's bum)

- Surgical Spirits (for navel care)

- 5 longsleeved baby grows (I prefer the old fashioned button-up ones - comfort and convenience is your first priority!)

- 5 body vests (long- or short-sleeved according to season)

- 5 pairs of baby socks (even in summer)

- 2 beanies or warm baby hats (a baby can loose a lot of heat through his head)

- 1 warm baby jacket or jersey

- 3 receiving blankets

- 1 warm baby blanket

- 4 or more burp cloths (small facecloth sized one work well with a newborn)

- 1 or 2 pacificiers/dummies (optional)

- Infant colic drops

- Infant saline nose drops

- Infant probiotics (check with your doctor first)

- Rescue remedy (for mother and baby, to calm down)

- 1 newborn bottle + small tin of formula (even if you don't plan to bottle feed, keep something ready as a backup)

- In case of planned bottle feeding (see detail on the Bottle feeding page:

* 3 or more bottles

* Formula

* Bottle brush and detergent

* Sterilizing equipment

* Formula powder holder

* Bibs

When you check into hospital for the birth, you can first leave the two bigger bags/suitcases in the car (or somewhere suitable) and only take your Labour/Birth bag with you. After the birth you keep your Labour/Birth bag with you and you birthing partner can bring the Mother's bag and Baby's bag to your room.

If you've pack everything on the above Hospital Bag Checklist you will be fully equipped for the first days with your newborn baby. Many of the items on this checklist may also be easily obtained at the hospital, but be sure to find out about the accessibility before you rely on that fact. For instance, most hospitals have a good pharmacy that will probably stock baby formula. Just remember that newborn babies don't keep office hours and you may just find yourself with a screaming baby and no breastmilk at 3 AM, the pharmacy is closed and you have no access to formula...
...and believe me you don't want that!

So if you are still mother-to-be go to the printable version of the Hospital Bag Checklist, print the list and do your shopping, and you maternity hospital bag will be fully equipped without unnecessary clutter. You can also add your own items to the Hospital Bag Checklist, and I want to encourage you to speak up and let Clueless Mom know if you think it is an essential item that should be on the list. That way the hospital checklist can be improved and everyone can benefit!

All the items on the hospital bag checklist also appear on the Complete Newborn Checklist, so you don't need to take the hospital checklist along when you go shopping.

From Hospital Bag Checklist back to Newborn Baby Checklist

Go to Diaper Bag Checklist

Newborn Baby Home Page