The hospital bag is usually something that is over-packed or under-packed. Most people either bring way too much, or they find themselves wishing they had packed a few extra things. This is a simple list of the basic necessities you’ll want with you during labor.

General Labor Items:

  1. Birth plan, hospital paperwork, insurance information
  2. nightgown (if you don’t want to wear a hospital gown), socks, slippers that are easy to walk in, hair ties and barrettes, a robe
  3. extra pillows, items for labor massage, relaxation music or scented oils
  4. a birthing ball
  5. lip balm
  6. hard candies, gelatin snacks, oranges juice, or any other light foods that will help keep you energized during labor

Items for Your Partner:

  1. change of clothing and basic toiletries (you may also want to include a bathing suit if you plan on using the shower or birthing tub during labor)
  2. camera or video camera (make sure batteries are charged and you have extra if necessary)
  3. snacks and money for food
  4. movies, books, or magazines

For Postpartum:

  1. one or two changes of loose, comfortable clothing (include nursing bras and extra underwear)
  2. basic toiletries for yourself
  3. extra food or money for food (unless you plan on surviving on hospital cuisine)

For the New Baby:

  1. one or two outfits appropriate for the season
  2. one or two blankets
  3. extra hats and socks
  4. car seat