Hospital Bag Checklist: 16 Must-Have Best Items For Delivery


July 17, 2022

As a newborn photographer in Leesburg, VA, I get the opportunity to talk to mamas about their baby’s journey into the world. Preparing for the delivery day is a common topic. Being uncertain of what to actually pack in your hospital delivery bag can be stressful. With that said, I put together a quick hospital bag checklist so you can focus on what matters the most – your baby’s arrival!

A mom in a white dress and a dad in a navy blazer and khaki pants sitting on a bench holding their baby boy during a studio newborn session

Image of a baby's head in his mothers hands captured during a studio newborn session in Northern Virginia

Start with the Essentials

I know this part is kind of…overstated and a little bit boring, but it’s vital. Your most important hospital bag checklist items are basically all of your documents and paperwork.

  • Your social security card, if you have it
  • Your ID/driver’s license (and an extra photocopy of them!)
  • Your health insurance cards. If you can, also bring a photocopy of them!
  • A list of any materials (such as latex) and medications ( such as specific painkillers) that you are allergic to.
  • Your birth plan

It helps to have all of these items in a folder that’s ready to go. This way, you’re organized should the day come a little earlier than anticipated!

A baby boy snuggled into his parents arms during a newborn session in Northern Virginia

Add the Essential but not so Boring Items

Here are some other hospital bag checklist items I hear about as a newborn photographer in Northern Virginia that are essential and will make your life easier!

  • Products for post-partum. For example, some heavy-duty pads or soothing nipple cream and a breast pump can be helpful. Each mama will be different here, so think about you.
  • Clean and easy-to-use bottles, as well as formula if you are not going to be breastfeeding. Hospitals do often have the formula, but right now (with the current shortage), if you can snag some, bring it!
  • Clothes for your newborn to wear home. You’ll do best with a simple newborn outfit or even just a swaddle.
  • Speaking of clothes, you’ll want a comfy outfit for you to wear home as well. Fashion is irrelevant here, ladies. Just bring something easy to get on. It’s recommended the outfit be baggy and something you don’t mind potentially staining!
  • Electronic chargers for any devices you may need, such as for your phone or tablet.

A black and white image of a dad kissing his newborn son on the head during a newborn session with Stephanie Honikel Photography

A father holding his newborn son in a white swaddle blanket while mom is kissing the head

A mother gently kissing the head of her newborn son during a studio newborn session in Northern Virginia

Consider Some Items for Comfort

There are several hospital bag checklist items I’ve had come up in conversation as a newborn photographer in Northern Virginia that are for comfort. Believe me, you’ll be happy you thought of them now instead of in the hospital!

  • Something, anything, to get your hair out of your face! It’s going to bother you, I promise. Bring a hair tie or a headband to keep your hair back and out of the way!
  • Maybe some soft and comfy socks or lightweight slippers. They’ll make you feel a little bit more at home. Hospitals are often on the colder side as well, so keeping those feet warm will be nice!
  • Bring some simple toiletries to make yourself feel a little bit refreshed. You’ll appreciate having a toothbrush/toothpaste, maybe a facewash/wipe, or even some deodorant, with you for those instances.
  • Nursing bras for breastfeeding.
  • Pack some items to distract yourself in case you’re taking a while to reach the point of delivery. Sometimes, again, this can take days. Bring a good book and a tablet you can use to watch some TV shows or go old school with some crossword puzzles and word searches!
  • This one’s for the spouses, but bring snacks! Mamas, what you’ll be allowed to eat pre-delivery will depend on your doctor. So, consult them before eating anything yourself. However, if you have your spouse with you that entire time, they’re going to get tired of vending machine food eventually. Pack them some of their favorite munchies!

If you can, maybe also bring your favorite blanket or pillow as well!

Conclusion: Hospital Bag Checklist Must-Haves

As expecting parents, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with all of the preparations that come with having a baby. One important item that often gets overlooked is the hospital bag. It’s crucial to have your bag packed and ready to go so you’re prepared for when labor starts. Hopefully, this hospital bag checklist will help you be way ahead of the game for that special day!

One last thing: don’t forget to schedule your newborn photoshoot in Northern Virginia. You’ll want to do this way before the baby makes their arrival. Let’s start talking all about your baby’s special day during your newborn session with me as your newborn photographer in Leesburg, VA!

Want even more resources? Check out some of my other posts below:


  1. I’ve had two, pretty spot on. Nipple cream for sure (the hospital I delivered at only had small sample packs) and snacks for everyone 🙂 nothing fancy but go for comfort!!!! My kids are now 11 and 13, it goes fast! Feels like I was just packing up that bag.

  2. Monica Simpson says:

    It can be overwhelming trying to remember everything so this is an excellent list!

  3. Stacey says:

    This post is super helpful especially for those first time moms! Well done!

  4. Nadalie says:

    Very helpful and thorough! Sharing this to my cousin who is a couple of months away from due. Thanks!!

  5. Tisha says:

    Definitely stuff on this list I didn’t think of when I was packing for the hospital

  6. Great list! I brought so much stuff with my first kiddo and didn’t use much. For my second, I kept it pretty simple which was helpful.

leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *