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Packing for a Birth in the Hospital





If you're planning to have your baby in a hospital, pack a bag ahead of time.

Here are some tips for making sure you include all you need.

Start by choosing a small bag. You may be in hospital for only 24 to 36 hours and personal storage space is limited. Place your specific labour items at the top of your bag or in a separate container. Along with items for labour, pack your personal belongings and items for your partner and the new baby. This checklist can help you plan and organize. 

For Your Labour Kit:

  • Baby's Best Chance: Parents' Handbook of Pregnancy and Baby Care
  • lip balm or lip gloss
  • massage oil or talcum powder
  • snacks and drinks for you and your support team
  • partner's swimsuit, so they can get in the shower with you
  • music player (with headphones) and some music
  • a picture, a design, a figure, or anything you find pleasant to look at
  • list of friend and family phone numbers
  • slippers
  • dental care products
  • hair care products
  • skin care products
  • Include small comfort items such as hand cream, lip balm and socks.

For Your Partner:

  • sleeping bag or bedding and pillows (hospitals usually only supply the sleeping mat)
  • sweat pants and top suitable for sleeping

Personal Items:

To be brought in after the baby is born. (Note: your clothes should be loose fitting and comfortable).

  • washable dressing gown (front opening for breastfeeding)
  • two or three nightgowns or pairs of pyjamas (front-opening for breastfeeding)
  • nursing bra and pads, if desired
  • at least three pairs of underwear
  • socks
  • comfortable bedroom slippers
  • large sanitary pads
  • clothes to wear home

For the Baby:

  • Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) approved infant seat
  • undershirt and sleepers
  • diapers, pins, and plastic pants or disposable diapers (newborn size)
  • sweater, bonnet and booties (if wearing a gown)
  • shawl or blanket, depending on the weather
  • soft carrier to help calm your baby

Reminder! Be sure to tell your partner where your bag is, in case it needs to be retrieved when you are not home.

Resources & Links: 
Printable checklist of items to take to the hospital

Last Updated: August 11, 2013