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The 2021 Hospital Bag Checklist by Joeyband™

mom nesting hospital bag

The 2021 Hospital Bag Checklist by Joeyband™

Congratulations! You’re into the final few weeks of pregnancy, and anticipation levels are growing ahead of your little one’s arrival.

To avoid any last minute stress, it’s a good idea to start working through your hospital bag checklist in advance. This way, if you go into labor early, you don’t have to panic about what to bring to the hospital for you or your baby. 

What to Bring to the Hospital for Mom, Dad, Partner and Baby


When to Pack Your Hospital Bag

The 36-week mark is a good general benchmark to start working through your hospital bag checklist. Lots of parents-to-be choose to keep their hospital bag near the door - or even in the car - so it’s ready to pick up and go when your baby’s on the way.

Hospital Packing List for Labor

Hospital Bag for Mom

  • Photographic ID - i.e., a driver’s license or passport, your insurance card
  • The name and phone number of your baby's doctor. Call ahead to your hospital or birth centre to check what paperwork you need to bring. 
  • Your birth plan, if you have one
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Toiletries 
  • Sanitary pads 
  • Eye glasses, if you wear them
  • Pyjamas or a nightgown
  • Bathrobe
  • Two comfortable outfits
  • Several pairs of postpartum underwear, including nursing bras
  • Nursing pads and nipple cream (if you plan on breastfeeding)
  • Eye mask and earplugs, in case your ward is bright or noisy
  • Joeyband™ for skin-to-skin post delivery 

Hospital Bag for Partner or Family

  • Toiletries
  • Camera or video camera (in addition to your phone) to capture those first family moments
  • A few changes of comfortable clothes
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Books, magazines or music
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Money (or a credit card) for parking and vending machines.
  • Pillow and a small blanket for resting in between labor periods.
  • Pain relief tablets in case of headache or backache. 

Baby’s Hospital Bag 

  • Baby nail file and nail clippers to stop your newborn scratching themselves on the face. You can also pack a pair of newborn mittens.
  • Baby’s first outfit to go home in. Don’t forget socks or booties, and a hat if it's cold out. 
  • Baby blanket to tuck around your new addition in the car seat for the ride home. We love Canadian brand Louloulollipop for blankets with fun patterns and high quality materials. 
  • Baby Swaddle (if you choose to swaddle) to help baby and yourself get some sleep in the hospital - hospitals can get cold!

Remember, you can’t drive your baby home without an installed, rear-facing car seat. Make sure to clue up on how it works ahead of time, so everything is safely in place for your journey home.

Important: What to Bring for C-Section Delivery

The Joeyband™ Needs to Be In Your C-Section Hospital Bag

So we’re biased - but the Joeyband™ really is a new parent’s best friend (just ask our customers!). The arrival of the Joeyband™ has helped to mitigate any risk associated with post C-section skin-to-skin. 

Using our patented design, babies can now be secured to their parents directly on the operating table immediately after birth. They can also safely stay together through repair, transport and into recovery. Find out more of the ways the Joeyband™ supports C-section parent and baby bonding on our “3 Ways The Joeyband Supports C-section Parent and Baby Bonding” blog post.

Other Hospital Bag Checklist Items

Hospitals can feel a little stressful, so it’s nice to have something that reminds you of home. If you have room in your hospital bag after packing the essentials, some new parents like to include items that both comfort them and bring comfort.

Popular items to pack include:

  • Your own towel
  • Your favourite snacks 
  • Massage lotion or essential oils 
  • A nursing pillow (if you’re planning to breastfeed)
  • A journal or notebook to record your birth experience, or your baby’s first minutes and hours.

What Others Recommend for Your Hospital Bag

While there are some hospital bag staples, everyone has their own interpretation of items they couldn’t go through labor without. Here are the things these celebrities chose to pack in their hospital bags. 

Kristen Bell’s Hospital Bag Recommendation

During her labor and delivery with both of her daughters, actress Kristen Bell told that socks, a robe and some pre, during and post-pregnancy underwear were all included in her hospital bag checklist.

She also packed Christmas lights for softer lighting, and her iPod with soothing playlists.

Lauren Conrad’s Hospital Bag Recommendation

On her blog, Lauren Conrad included things like her own pillowcase, lavender spray and air freshener and dry shampoo among her hospital bag packing list.

Joeyband™ Co-Founder Hayley’s Hospital Bag Recommendation

We recommend maximizing on skin-to-skin contact from the moment your baby is delivered, so of course the Joeyband™ is top of Hayley’s hospital bag checklist!

Comfy sweatpants, ‘parent-proof’ underwear (non-wireless nursing and sleep bras and leak-proof briefs) also make it on her list, as well as a pair of flip-flops for trips to the bathroom - or those labor-inducing hospital corridor laps!

Are you expecting a baby, or maybe you have a newborn? Follow us on Facebook or Instagram, or subscribe to our newsletter for our latest news and updates, or for more useful, baby-handling knowledge from our experienced Joeyband™ team.