Baby Checklist: What to Pack for Hospital Delivery

What to Bring and What to Leave Home for Your Newborn

View of a man hugging his pregnant wife from behind and smiling.
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More often than not, parents tend to overpack for the hospital trip, especially when it comes to items for their baby. By not overpacking, you can save the hassle of lost items and focus on the things that matter most to you. 

Newborn Needs for the Hospital Stay

The fact is that the hospital will likely supply for nearly all your baby's needs during your stay—and may even permit you to take unused items with you.

These include:

If intending on formula feeding, check with your hospital to see if they will provide the necessary supplies. Some hospitals are changing their policies regarding the availability of formula, bottles, and even pacifiers. 

Baby Essentials for the Hospital Stay

Be sure that you check the following essential items off before you head to the hospital: 

  • A nursing pillow
  • Other breastfeeding supplies, like lanolin and nursing pads 
  • Scratch mittens. (You may want to consider these if your baby is sent for any needle pricks of vaccines. Occasionally, babies have been known to scratch themselves during intense crying spells following uncomfortable procedures.)
  • Baby nail clippers
  • Special blanket or heirloom baby item for pictures
  • Weather-appropriate going home outfit for baby
  • A newborn hat, though many hospitals will provide you with one that you can take home. Your newborn will have a difficult time regulating his temperature, and a hat is key to help keep him warm and comfortable.

Take a list of everything you brought and double-check before you leave the hospital that you have everything on the list packed in the car.

Baby Items for the Car Ride Home

Many hospitals state that you cannot be released following delivery unless you have an an infant car seat.

This is not an item you want to leave home without. You should have the seat installed in the vehicle that the baby will return home in. You may consider going to your local police station to have the seat installed, or to check that you have it installed properly.

Depending on the climate, pack warm blankets and/or a car seat cover. While little newborn coats can be preciously dear, you want to avoid using heavy outerwear because of the danger of coat compression. Heavy clothing can cause your car seat harness to function poorly in an accident.

Keep what you pack simple. The less you have, the less you will forget, and the less you have to worry about. Allow yourself to focus on your baby, rather than to be distracted with items that are more than likely unnecessary.

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