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Here are some ideas from mothers, fathers and family members on what to take to the hospital for the birth.
- Hospital Bag
- For the Partner
- For the Siblings
- For the Baby
- Do Not Bring
- After the Birth
- Your PDF Checklist

Click here for helpful forms related to this topic!

Hospital Bag

  1. Documents
    • Your birth or labor plan, if you have one
    • Your health insurance card and hospital paperwork, if needed
    • Your driver's license or photo I.D.
    • Address, phone book, PDA, cell phone to contact family members
    • WHN TIP: Address Book

      Some hospitals do not allow cell phones, so you won't have your instant address book. Make a list of numbers before you go!

    • A phone card and quarters, since you may not be able to use your cell phone.
    • Camera, film, video camera

      WHN TIP: Policies

      Remember to check with hospital about photo and video policies.

    • Get the insurance company's phone number and call to add the baby to your policy.
    • Manila envelope or folder to keep loose paperwork together
    • One credit card and small amount of cash
    • Paper and pens/pencils (to write down questions or notes for hospital doctors and staff)
  2. Comfort items
    • Baseball cap (or any hat) for hair, in case it’s a while before mom or dad get to wash it.
    • Blankets/pillow(s)
    • Books or magazines
    • Extra set of loose clothes and shoes to wear when mom leaves the hospital, still feeling a bit pregnant.
    • Family photos
    • Front-opening nightgowns (2-3).

      WHN TIP: Extra Pair of Clothes

      Bring a couple of old nightgowns, t-shirts or P.J. tops for labor. Choose ones with shorter sleeves so staff can easily check your blood pressure. And, cotton tends to breathe the best.

    • Large towel (or two). Some hospitals only supply small towels. Consider bringing dark-colored towels in case of stains.
    • Maternity underwear, nursing bras and pads.
    • Mints, hard candy (to help with dry mouth)
    • mp3 player, radio, headphones
    • Robe/pajamas with bottoms; you may be walking the hallways.
    • Slippers and comfy socks
    • Snacks (for you and your partner), water bottles
    • Wristwatch with a second hand/ability to count seconds to time contractions
  3. Toiletries
    • Deodorant
    • Eye glasses/contact cases and solution
    • Facial sponge to use before and during labor
    • Hairbrush, comb, hair ties and clips
    • Lip balm (for chapped lips)
    • Make-up (for post birth pictures...if mom has the energy or the inclination)
    • Massage oils or lotion, tennis balls (for a massage)
    • Maternity pads
    • Necessary medications
    • Shampoo/conditioner
    • Soap/body wash
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste

For the Partner

  1. Extra set (or two) of comfy clothes
  2. Eye glasses/contact cases and solution
  3. Medications
  4. Pajamas, robe, slippers
  5. Quarters for phone calls, parking and vending machines
  6. Small amount of money to buy anything birthing mom may need
  7. Snacks and beverages
  8. Toiletries (shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)

For the Siblings

  1. Coloring books and crayons
  2. Books
  3. Gift for the baby (chosen by the big brother/sister)
  4. Gift from mom or partner for the big brother/sister (to help with jealousy)
  5. Snacks and beverages
  6. Special needs items: medications, toiletries, etc.
  7. Stuffed animals, toys

For the Baby

  1. Baby book (hospital staff may be able to put baby's footprints in the book for you)
  2. Baby nail clippers (newborns have longer nails, so they might scratch themselves. Staff may provide "mittens" for your baby's hands.)
  3. Booties
  4. Cans/bottles of formula
  5. Car seat (this is required by law)
  6. Going-home outfit and undershirt
  7. Hat
  8. Jacket (if cool weather or winter)
  9. Newborn diapers
  10. Outside blanket (extra warm one for winter)
  11. Receiving blanket
  12. Wipes

Do Not Bring

  1. Jewelry
  2. Any important valuables
  3. Lots of credit cards or cash. Instead, take one card or a small amount of necessary cash.

Your PDF Checklist

Click here for your PDF Checklist of all the information in this Get Help section.

After the Birth

Identification Bands

After your baby is born, identification bands with matching numbers are placed on mom, baby and one other person of mom's choice. I.D. bands are checked every time your baby goes to and from the nursery. Only authorized staff with hospital IDs will transfer your baby.

Additional Steps

  • After the baby is born, a few tests will be run. Tests will vary depending on the state.
  • You will need to complete paperwork for birth certificates and Social Security Numbers.
  • You may also wish to send out birth announcements.
  • Look Ahead – Need help finding a nanny, babysitter, or child care facility in the coming months or years? Check out our Child Care section.

Remember ...

The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical or legal advice. These tips are from doctors, nurses and people who have shared real-life advice; always check with a lawyer, doctor or appropriate professional you trust before making any legal or healthcare- related decisions. Thank you ...

A special thank you to the industry professionals, doctors, nurses, midwives, moms, dads, and families who gave us their time, insight and real-life advice.


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