What to pack in the hospital bag for delivery

When I first prepared my checklist of all that I had to take with me to the hospital for delivery, I did not know where to start. I had heard from relatives / friends not to take too much, as was not needed, but I did now want to come short.

That is when the research started, where I cross check different friends lists or online ones of the ‘must haves’ of what not to forget in your hospital bag.

Find below the tips that helped me preparing the most practical (in my opinion!) hospital bag needed for the delivery time.

Let’s start with… when should you pack your hospital bag?

The hospital bag is pretty much the last thing you need to keep ready, but you can slowly purchase the items ahead not to forget anything when the special day arrives.
It is recommended to have your bag packed and ready to go by the time you reach 36 weeks of pregnancy, which is 9 months.
I had my delivery bag packed and ready with the last few items the night of my 36 weeks + 6 days, finding myself on my way to the hospital 6 hours later due to my water broke… call it luck!

Deciding what to put in your diaper bag may be overwhelming and confusing, so what worked for me was having 4 checklist and ensure all the items were ready: checklist for the absolute must-haves, a checklist for mummy, a checklist for baby and a checklist for your partner (let’s not forget daddy’s will be there too!)

Absolute Must-Haves

If you are delivering in the UAE, there is some documents you must carry with you to the hospital, which includes:

  • Emirates ID (both parents)
  • Passport (both parents)
  • Insurance card (both parents, just in case!)
  • Attested marriage certificate
  • Birth plan (if you have one)
  • Car seat ready installed
  • Covid-19 essentials: mask, gloves, hand sanitizer.
  • All your pregnancy documents, so the hospital staff have all your pregnancy info / details.

Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom

First thing to keep in mind if the length of your stay when packing for yourself. if you are delivering vaginally, then you’ll be staying in the hospital for 1-2 days. If you are delivering via c-section, then you can expect to stay in the hospital for 3-4 days. I would recommend to always take some extra items in case you end up in an unplanned c-section with a longer stay than you had planned. You may also want to check with your hospital what they provide for you and the baby and then possibly remove that from your checklist or carry less of those items. I personally preferred using my own products, but this is totally up to you.

Book, music, gadgets, or anything else to keep you entertained during labor.
If you are having a c-section, then it’s still a good idea to carry these to keep you entertained before you go into the operation theatre and afterward. After all, you’ll be in the hospital for a few extra days.
Comfortable clothes for after the baby is born.
The quantity of clothes depends on how long you’ll be staying in the hospital, but a set for each day is good. Keep an extra set of formal clothes if you are expecting guests to visit you at the hospital.
Comfortable pajamas that are loose-fitting.
With my first baby, I took 2 loose fitting pajamas with easy opening for breastfeeding. Do not expect to wear your pre-pregnancy clothes on as soon as you’ve given birth. You will fit into clothes from your second trimester, but this can vary from one body to another. If you will be breastfeeding, I would suggest to take open shirts to easily breastfeed.
2-3 pairs of socks.
Hospitals tend to get cold, so socks will keep you comfortable, and you’ll need to walk around. If you are having a c-section, then the hospital may give you special socks to wear to avoid blood clotting.
Comfortable slippers.
I kept a pair of slippers that I could use in the room and in the bathroom.
Cardigan or sweater.
Hospitals are always cold, so it’s a good idea to keep a cardigan or your coziest sweater with you.
Sanitary pads for Postpartum.
The hospital provides these, but I prefer to use my own; just keep in mind that the flow will be heavier than usual. I suggest to check with your pharmacy for the best ones to pack in your hospital bag.
3-4 underwear.
Though the hospital provides disposable underwear, it’s a good idea to carry your own. I bought some that were quite high and super comfortable, in case of an emergency c-section, to avoid the underwear putting pressure on the scar, if that was the case.
2-3 maternity bras for easy breastfeeding.
It is so much easier to breastfeed with the maternity bras that have a clip. If you are not breastfeeding, then you obviously don’t need these.
Breast pads.
Once the milk flow comes in you will leak, so it’s a good idea to keep breast pads with you to avoid leaks.
Nursing cover.
If you will be breastfeeding and are expecting guests then a nursing cover comes in handy, especially if you don’t feel comfortable feeding in front of others.
Although hospitals provide basic toiletries, you will feel fresher when using your own favorite products. Be sure to include a travel size shampoo, body wash, face wash, cream, lip balm, and toothpaste along with a toothbrush, hairbrush, hair tie, and deodorant. Ah! And if you want to go the extra mile, take with you a small makeup bag with your essentials, in case you decide to have some nice photos done at the hospital.
Phone with charger.
In a tech-driven world, it’ll be a catastrophe to forget your charger!
Water bottle.
I took my own 2l water bottle to make sure to always be hydrated, as it is easy to lose track of the time while delivering, at least make sure water was always available…

And my favorite one…

SNACKS! Yes, that’s the last thing I added to my bag just the night before heading to the hospital.
Personally, I packed some fruits, nuts, and sweets… as I wasn’t sure what I was going to be in the mood to eat… also count with your husband to be there, probably eating all of those while you push your baby out!

Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby

Before packing your baby items in the hospital bag, remember to wash the baby clothes and newborn baby essentials with a sensitive baby laundry detergent.

1 Baby welcome outfit.
This is the first outfit your newborn baby will wear as soon as he or she is cleaned. Since babies are swaddled, I would recommend a matching swaddle and hat set since many of your photos will include the welcome outfit. And why not? do not forget one cute announcement card for the first photo of your newborn!
3-4 bodysuits or sleepsuits.
As hospital always have the ac running and it can get quite cold, I would recommend to take long and short sleeve baby body options, and decide what the baby will be more comfortable on depending on that. You need to keep enough options because newborn spit-up often, diaper explosions, etc so you will most likely change your baby more than once a day.
1-2 hats.
You should keep your newborn baby’s head covered all the time, so having 2-3 hats handy would be a good idea.
2-3 muslin swaddles.
These will be your best friend’s, so make sure to have a few handy for the baby. As mentioned before, baby spit-up a lot so you will want extra ones.
1 blanket.
Even though your baby will be swaddled, maybe you want to cover him / her with your own blanket in case it gets colder, or when going home.
1 pack of newborn pampers and wipes.
I took a pack of my favorite wipes as Water Wipes, instead of the generic that the hospital provided. Also, took some extra diapers in case I wanted to have a different brand than the hospital’s one.
1 bath towel.
You only need this if you prefer to use your own rather than the ones from the hospital. Check out our BabyRoc range of soft bamboo bath towels. Having a personalized bamboo hooded towel is a good idea to include in your first baby photos.
Documents and Travel pouch.
Personally, this was a must-have for me in my baby’s bag, to keep all the pregnancy details safe stored, as well as all the baby’s scans, birth plan, etc. Check our beautiful range of handmade documents pouch available for your baby.
1 going home clothes.
The going home clothes are just as important as the welcome outfit as your baby will be going home for the first time and meeting your entire family. The outfit will be in all the photos and memories you create on the day.
Car seat.
This has been mentioned in the must-haves checklist, but I wanted to highlight how important it is to install your car set, test it out, and know how to use it before you get to the, but hospital. With my first baby, as my baby was born way before his due date, we did not have it installed… so my husband had to make sure to have it installed / ready before leaving the hospital, which was quite stressful.

Hospital Bag Checklist for Partner
Let’s not forget about your partner! He will be there too and will need to have a small bag ready for his stay in the hospital.
Set of clothes.
Your partner will be staying with you for the duration of your stay at the hospital, so a set of clothes for each day should be packed.
Since you will be carrying toiletries, just add your partner’s favorite items not already included in your list that your partner will need. These can include a shaving razor, shaving cream, tooth brush, deodorant, etc.

So, there you have it, the most practical hospital bag checklist. It may be overwhelming, but the main thing is not to pack too much and just the practical things you are sure will need. The most important thing to keep in mind that determines your checklist is the type of delivery you will be having, as this will be the factor on how many days you will be staying at the hospital.

Once you’ve finalized your hospital bag checklist and have your hospital bag ready, keep it in an easily accessible place in your house, and tell your partner where it’s kept. You’re all set for the baby’s arrival!


BabyRoc is an exclusively handmade online baby shop in Dubai, UAE that offers only the highest quality baby products for your baby.

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