Hospital Bag: How to plan & pack for your birth
Updated: Jan 21
Ahhhh, packing for the hospital. It’s important, but might seem petty compared to BIRTHING A BABY. But please don’t neglect it! I always suggest starting by your last month of pregnancy (around 36 weeks). If you’re nesting, you’re probably already done and I send you virtual high fives! If you’re a procrastinator (or just darn tired… or I dunno, maybe a bit in denial?) you may not know where or how to start. The good news for you is I love organization, lists, and efficiency. When I was pregnant, I probably spent more time making these lists than actually packing. I developed a system that worked for me, and have saved you the trouble with some tips below. I think it “checks all the boxes”…pun totally intended. Make like Santa and embrace the list life!
Making your lists
Bag 1: packing for labour/birth
Bag 2: packing for recovery (partners can handle their own)
Bag 3: packing for baby
My clients all get a copy of an exhaustive (but fully editable) list to help them pack.
But none of that is revolutionary… here’s how to LEVEL UP your lists and make packing less stressful:
Checking them twice
Step 1: As you collect/buy things, CHECK them off.
Step 2: As you physically pack them, CROSS them off.
Step 3: Things you can’t pack it till you’re flying out the door, HIGHLIGHT them!
If you’re a list-lover like me, you’ll find the multi-step process extra satisfying!
Naughty / Nice list
Tip 1: DON’T have your bags all over the place / DO keep the bags together and visible (by the door is great if you have the space!)
Tip 2: DON’T separate your list and your bags / DO keep your list visible and fixed so it can’t be lost (a clipboard hanging on a hook would work!)
Tip 3: DON’T lug your larger items and/or postpartum bags into the hospital until needed / DO bring up your birth bag right away* Happy listing and packing! Let me know if you have anything to add—I’m always looking for ways to improve the “system” I share with clients.
[*Some people prefer a larger, rolling style suitcase with designated compartments instead of the multiple bag method. This is great for minimizing trips but can be cumbersome to others. Do what you prefer or what restrictions allow!]