The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist & More Before Your EDD!

A hospital bag is a bag of necessities you bring to the hospital when it is finally time to deliver your baby. It should cover all the essentials you’ll need before and after your labour. In addition to items for yourself, you should include items for your newborn and your husband, too.

Bringing everything you need with you will make your hospital stay more comfortable. Furthermore, your family can save the hassle of making multiple trips between the hospital and your home whenever you realize you missed something. 

Besides, as the EDD approaches, some of the common questions arising among first-time moms would probably be “What to prepare before labour?”, “How do I know if I am in the pre-labour period?” “What do contractions feel like?” and similar questions represent their mixed feelings of anxiousness and anticipation. 

It certainly isn’t helping and only doubles up the feelings when friends and family around you keep asking for updates when the EDD is near. So, a basic understanding of what’s going on or what is going to happen can help to ease yourself in that transition period.

Your baby:

So, what is your baby doing when you are waiting for his/her arrival? In weeks 37 – 40, the baby actually starts to practise simple movements such as blinking, head-turning, swallowing, kicking, and stretching. And these are the movements you can expect to see when a baby arrives! 

However, you can feel a slight reduction in baby movement because your baby will probably have a longer sleeping period and less space for movement. By the 37th to 40th weeks of pregnancy, the little one inside your tummy probably weighs 3-4kg!


Another basic idea you should have is that the time for your baby to be born does not necessarily fall on the week of the given EDD. It is normal if your pregnancy passes the EDD, but you should be aware that the life span of the baby’s placenta is limited. 

Once the pregnancy passes the life span, the oxygen and nutrients will no longer be transferred to your baby efficiently. Hence, visit your doctor more frequently when EDD is approaching, as the mentioned situation can happen before or after EDD. 

Signs of Pre-Labour

Pre-labour gives you the early signs of labour. 

Cervix dilates: This is one of the early signs that would be included in your weekly check-up when the EDD is near. 

Cramps and back pain: When the EDD is approaching, you will feel more cramps and probably increased back pain as your muscles are shifting to the mode of birth preparation.

Baby starts to drop: A few weeks before your labour, your baby would start pushing down on your bladder and with the position of head down and low. 

Stop gaining weight: You may stop or drop weight a few weeks before labour, and one reason could be the low level of amniotic fluid. No worries; your baby will still gain weight. 

Stop your work and pack your bag

For working mom-to-be, it is advisable to have your maternity leave by week 37 of your pregnancy. It is because you need to be mentally and physically prepared for the transition. To ensure you pack everything you need, you can start packing early, around your 35th week, and of course, using a checklist would help too. You may pack the non-perishable items for your labour and for your baby in the first 12 hours after he/she is born. So here’s a complete hospital bag checklist to ease your packing. 

Essentials For Mom

  • Important Documents & Stationery

This includes your birth plan, identification card, insurance documents, and any other hospital documents related to your pregnancy. Bringing your birth plan is especially important as it informs your medical team about your delivery preference regarding aspects such as pain management, newborn procedures, and postnatal care. Remember to bring stationery for filling out forms and documents, too.

  • Toiletries

You should bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, hair conditioner, shower gel, toilet paper, comb, hairbands, and a travel-sized hair dryer. It is always a good idea to prepare your own toiletries, as you never know whether the ones provided by the hospital will be suitable.

  • Skincare & Light Makeup

Pack a facial wash, toner, moisturizer, eye cream, lip balm, and body lotion to keep your skin clean and hydrated at the hospital. Since you will be taking photos with your newborn, husband, and other loved ones who come to visit, you can also pack some light makeup and makeup remover.

  • Sanitary Pads

Bring plenty of sanitary pads to prepare for your post-delivery bleeding. The blood volume in your body will increase by at least 30% during pregnancy to nourish your growing baby. After not having a period for the last 10 months, your postpartum bleeding is likely to be a very heavy period. Hence, maxi pads which are long and wide, will be the best in this situation. Your post-delivery bleeding is likely to last for weeks, so you should prepare some maxi pads at home as well.

  • Nursing Bras & Breast Pads

Aside from essentials for personal hygiene, bring breastfeeding essentials such as nursing bras and breast pads. For your nursing bras, choose bras with comfortable fabric and bras with clip design that you can undo single-handed while holding your baby in the other arm. As for breast pads, disposable nursing pads are convenient to use at the hospital.

  • Breastfeeding-Friendly Clothes

Prepare tops, dresses, and nightwear that enable you to breastfeed easily and comfortably. Pair your pyjamas or night dress with a night-time nursing bra that can keep your breast pads in place. Furthermore, the clothes you bring should be slightly looser to fit your postnatal belly and bigger breasts. Remember to include your homecoming outfit, too. 

  • Pillow & Blanket

Bring a pillow that you are familiar sleeping with, as hospital pillows may not be the most comfortable. Pack a non-white pillow case to avoid your pillow getting mixed up with the hospital pillows. Furthermore, carry an extra blanket just in case it gets cold during the night. Your blanket doesn’t have to be too thick, as the hospital will provide one, too.

  • Room Shoes & Socks

Bring room shoes to make walking around your hospital room easier. Pick soft, comfortable, and non-slippery shoes. Since your legs are likely to be swollen from IV fluids and water retention, bring shoes that are easy to slip on. In addition, bring a few pairs of socks to keep your feet warm.

  • Phone & Charger

You’ll probably remember your phone and charger without this checklist, but we will remind you, just in case. As things might get hectic during labour, do not bring too many valuable devices to avoid losing them.

  • Snacks & Sweets

Pack protein bars, dried fruit, and nuts to keep you energized during labour. Choose snacks that are high in energy but also easily digested. Remember to only pack snacks that you’ve already tried and actually like because this isn’t the best time to experiment. Pack your snacks in sealed plastic containers or zipper storage bags to keep them fresh. Labour can be a long day for your partner, too, so get him to pack his own snacks as well.

Essentials For Baby

  • Baby Clothes

Pack one homecoming outfit for your baby. You don’t have to bring too many baby clothes as the hospital will provide them for the first few days. Bring onesies that are suitable for newborns from 0 to 3 months. Choose natural fibre clothes as babies need to be wrapped in breathable fabrics. In addition, natural fibre bedding and cloth can ensure the baby stays warm and comfortable. 

  • Hat, Socks & Mittens

Bring a hat, socks, and mittens for your baby. Your baby doesn’t have to wear them all the time. They are mainly to be worn by your newborn on homecoming day when you leave the hospital.

  • Baby Blanket

The hospital will have blankets to keep your baby warm, but you can always bring your own if the ones provided are not very soft. Blankets are also useful to cover your baby on your car ride home.

  • Diapers & Wet Wipes

Bring a few newborn diapers and unscented wet wipes to keep your baby’s bottom clean and fresh. When choosing diapers for your newborn, consider how absorbent and comfortable they are and whether their fasteners are easy to use. 

  • Burp Cloths

Burp clothes are basically small handkerchiefs that will come in handy during feeding. As your baby is likely to spit up milk frequently, having burp clothes will keep your baby’s outfit clean. Bring two to three burp clothes to wash and change them regularly.

Essentials For Dad

  • Wallet with an identification card, driver’s license, credit card and cash.
  • Phone, other electrical devices and charger for entertainment while waiting in the lobby.
  • Jacket as it can get cold in the hospital.
  • Toiletries and a change of clothes in case he needs to stay overnight at the hospital.

Other Important Matters To Arrange

Besides getting ready for your trip to the hospital, you should be prepared for your trip back home, too. Here’s a list of things to prepare for your new family member.

  • Wash and Vacuum Your Car

A newborn’s immune system is weaker in the first few weeks after birth, and so will yours be after the labour. Hence, it’s important to clean the external and internal areas of your car to keep it free of dust and germs.

  • Get A Baby Car Seat

Getting a car seat is important for you to get your baby home safely from the hospital. When choosing a car seat, read your vehicle’s manual to understand which type of car seat is suitable. Pick a car seat that is easy to clean and a convertible one that will last through your baby’s toddlerhood.

  • Clean Your House

Your newborn’s skin is delicate and sensitive, so you want to make sure he or she comes back to a clean and safe home. Plus, once the baby reaches home, it would be more challenging to spend time cleaning the house. If you want a deep and thorough cleaning, consider hiring a professional house cleaning service. 

  • Inform Your Friends

This could seem obvious. However, informing your closest friends means they can help you adjust to your new parenthood. They can even work to ensure you get the best confinement nanny. If you are lucky to have allies with the same experience, they will walk you through the journey and offer their support. They can also offer advice on some of the things to expect along the journey and how to cope with difficulties along the way.

  • Prenatal Test

You don’t want to buy a lot of clothes for a girl only to get a boy. Let your physicians take some tests to determine the gender of the baby. This will help you with your shopping. You will consider the kind of clothes to buy for your new baby. The test will also determine any anomalies before the child is born. Your doctor will be able to tell if the baby’s delivery will be normal.

  • Clean Your Environment and Clothes

Babies are sensitive, and so are their mothers. To keep away from some complications, make sure your house, bedding, carpets, floors, and ceilings are sparkling clean all the time. The compound should also be free from dust. Ensure that you keep clothes clean to avoid the last-minute rush. All these activities are always overwhelming for an expectant woman, but with a professional confinement nanny, you have nothing to worry about.

  • Keep a Diary

Many people may not be used to this, but it can be very easy. Just dedicate five minutes to jotting down your experiences with the newborn. This will help you trace your health records and emotional well-being. Pen down any unusual experiences. The diary will also help you keep track of important items that you need before and after delivery.

  • Make Necessary Adjustments

There are some unavoidable essentials. You have to alter your car, bedroom and any other necessary place. Buy a toddler’s car chair and fix it in your vehicle. Ensure you have a cot and place it in a position that fits the baby. Most importantly, you will also have to adjust your diet. You may be used to fatty foods and an unbalanced diet, but you must do away with that and embrace a healthier diet. It is always advisable to have your meal plan before and after delivery. Ensure those around you know how to prepare your meals to make it easy.

  • Keep Your Medical Plan Ready

Choose your doctor and your baby’s doctor early. Make sure they know when to expect you. Ensure that you have planned for medical expenses, including your newborn’s health expenses. Preparation will help reduce last-minute panic because you cannot find your appointment card or the physician is not on duty. However, apart from your medical expenses, set aside an emergency budget just in case your coverage is not adequate.

  • Engage With A Confinement Nanny

Your newborn requires intensive care during the first few months after birth. With your body still recovering, the one month after you come home is likely to be overwhelming. To ensure both you and your baby get the best postnatal care, engaging with a confinement nanny would be a great help. If you are looking for other moms with experienced, trained and licensed confinement lady to recommend, read all the excellent reviews on PEM Confinement Nanny Agency’s website!


We hope you have found this detailed list helpful in getting ready for your baby’s arrival. Best of luck with your delivery!