Although it would seem easy to figure out what to take for this pivotal event, when the moment arrives, you will not want to be rummaging through drawers and closets looking for items you need.

Have these items ready to go, and stored in a convenient location – maybe even already in the car.


For Mom

  • Your Birth Plan
  • Labour kit containing massage oil (recommended in most childbirth classes)
  • Robe
  • Warm socks (for the delivery room)
  • Maternity underwear (for the trip home)
  • Slippers
  • Nightgown (one that opens in the front if you’re planning on breastfeeding)
  • Nursing bra (if you’re planning on breastfeeding)
  • Breastpads
  • Clothing for trip home (consider bringing 1st or 2nd trimester maternity clothes, which will be roomy and comfortable)
  • Two pillows with pillowcases from home
  • Cosmetics, hairbrush, hair dryer, hairband or elastics
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Prescription medications from home (use only as advised by your doctor)
  • Mints or breath strips (helpful if medications or anesthesia cause vomiting during labour)
  • Lollipops (for a dry mouth)
  • Lip balm
  • Deodorant
  • Body lotion
  • Eyeglasses (contact lenses may need to be removed prior to a C-section)
  • Contact lenses and accessories
  • A nightlight (for soft light in the room during night feedings)
  • A pad of paper and pen to track Baby’s feedings and diaper changes
  • A large envelope to bring home documents (discharge papers, Baby’s first photo, etc.)
  • Recreational and Mood-setting Material; Reading material, candles, games, music
  • Inspirational items; picture of someone, or a sunset, or a Van Gogh


For Dad or Birthing Partner

  • Change of clothes
  • Pyjamas or sweats (if you plan to spend the night)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, razor
  • Snacks, sandwiches and beverages for you and Mom (keep food on hand so the “labour coach” won’t have to leave your bedside), especially if you or mom are on a special diet or do not want to live on hospital food
  • Watch with a second hand to time contractions
  • Loose change or dollar bills for vending machines
  • Books, magazines or CD’s (to help Mom relax)
  • Camera(s) and extra film
  • Camcorder
  • Batteries and/or chargers for cameras
  • Phone list of friends and family, plus lots of change for all the calls you may want to make or if cell phones are prohibited in the hospital
  • Phone card for long distance calls if cell phones are prohibited in the hospital


For Baby

  • A standards-approved car baby seat – MANDATORY – you will not be able to leave the hospital without one. It is recommended that the seat be fitted and installed beforehand.
  • Newborn clothing; all-in-one bodysuit, socks or booties, undershirt, etc.
  • Two receiving blankets
  • Extra newborn-sized diapers
  • Mittens or baby nail clippers (most babies are born with long fingernails and can scratch their face)
  • Cans/bottles of infant formula if you intend to bottle-feed so your baby can start with the brand you prefer
  • Hat, coat, snowsuit, sweaters, etc. (depending on the weather)