• Packing For The Hospital: Birth, Baby & Beyond!
Packing For The Hospital: Birth, Baby & Beyond!
I am honored  to introduce today our Guest Blogger Carolyn Sinclair.
Carolyn is the Owner of Fifty-Seven  a Registered Midwife, Babywearing Educator & CPR Instructor. After giving birth to her first child in 2011, Carolyn decided to put her career as a Midwife on hold to stay at home and work in her community. Now  a busy mother of 2, she focusses on providing education & support to families during the 57 months from pregnancy to preschool. Carolyn is a very active member of the West Toronto Community. She is Organizer of The Bloor West Moms Group Online Meetup (with over 1200 members), hosts The Breastfeeding Cafe & West End Walking Group, and owns Movies for Mommies at The Humber Cinema. Follow Carolyn's journey of motherhood through the 57 months on Instagram at with_care.  

Here is her practical advice on what to pack for the Hospital: 

If you’ve got a baby on the way and need some advice about what to pack, I’m here to help! As a Midwife and Prenatal Educator I get asked almost every week about what to pack for the hospital. With all of the unknowns of labour, packing can become a daunting task for an expectant mother. So let me help ease your nerves by providing you with a simple list of must haves for the big event. 

Although not all of my clients deliver in hospital, everyone needs a bag packed, just in case. I suggest getting it out of the way early so you can feel prepared. Having your bag packed and ready by around 36 weeks is ideal. 

It can be tempting to pack a ton of stuff to take to the hospital, but in my experience less is more. Remember, you'll need to bring home everything you pack, plus a new baby, and you'll be recovering from giving birth. If plans change and you need to stay at the hospital for a few extra days, friends and family can be called for extra supplies, or your partner can take a quick trip home.

Here is my go-to list of items to have packed & ready.

 Mom's Bag:

  • Provincial Insurance Card (OHIP) & Private Medical Insurance Card (if you have one)
  • Paperwork from your Midwife or Physician (if you were provided with any to bring)
  • Birth plan, Prenatal Class Book etc.
  • Labour Support Aids: Massagers, Heating Pad, Music, Guided Meditations, Hypnobirthing Scripts, Homeopathic Remedies, TENS Machine* etc.
  • Something to Wear During Labour (if you do not want to wear the hospital gown, a nightgown with full button opening is ideal, as they are easy to take on and off with an IV in place)
  • Slippers (or flip flops, rubber sole is ideal)
  • Socks x2-3 pairs (labour is messy so extra socks are needed)
  • Robe
  • Face Cloth x1
  • Towel x1
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, contact supplies, glasses, hairbrush, hair ties, headband, lip balm, massage oil or lotion etc.
  • Comfy Underwear x2-3 pairs (most hospitals will provide 1 pair of mesh underwear)
  • Nightgown or Pajamas (for postpartum if all is well)
  • Nursing bra x1 
  • Nipple Cream 
  • Breast pads (disposable or reusable) 
  • Maternity Pads** or Adult Incontinence Briefs
  • Comfortable change of maternity clothes for trip home 

*If you're interested in trying a TENS Machine, they can be rented from many pharmacies

 **Please Note: Avoid all maxi pads with plastic dry weave top, as it can impact healing of your perineal tissue. Natracare makes excellent natural cotton pads. Available at well.ca. Use Promo Code: MOVIEMOM for $15 off your first purchase of $60. Expires September 1, 2015

***Please Note: Many of my clients have asked about incorporating essential oils into their labours. Since most hospitals are now scent free we cannot allow scented oils to be used. Some clients choose to incorporate oils into their early labour while still at home, or for those choosing a home birth.

Support Person's Overnight Bag:

  • Cell phones & chargers
  • Change & cash for snack machines and parking
  • Camera
  • Comfortable change of clothes
  • Pajamas
  • Toiletries
  • Swimwear (if you and your partner plan to incorporate water into your birth)
  • Contact info for important family members

 Baby's Bag

  • Sleepbelt (Perfect for Bonding & Skin-to-Skin with Baby)
  • Cotton Hats x2-3 
  • Onesies (aka undershirts) x2 
  • Sleepers x2 
  • Socks x2 (if sleepers don't have feet)
  • Light receiving blanket x2 
  • Warmer blanket for trip home in winter months 
  • Newborn Diapers (most hospitals will provide a few to start) 
  • Baby Wipes (unscented) 
  • Burp Cloth 
  • Natural Oil for baby's skin (eg. coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil) 

 Large Items:

  • Infant Car Seat (Installed correctly. Contact the OPP to make an appointment for their free car seat installation services.)
  • Birth Ball (Most hospitals have them available but some people prefer to bring their own)
  • Pillow x1
  • Basin (for car ride, if necessary)
  • Healthy Snacks & Drinks for mother & support people e.g. mints, gum, coconut water, juice, trail mix, fruit, veggies, sandwiches etc.
I hope this simple list helps you feel a bit more prepared for the birth of your little one. Wishing you all the best in your labour, birth & beyond!

Please get in touch with me if you need any help with preparing for your newborn’s arrival. I offer group and private in-home classes, workshops & consulting services to help parents through the 57 months from pregnancy to preschool. That’s 9 months +4 years! I specialize in Prenatal Education, Baby Prep, Infant CPR & Family Safety, Babywearing & Starting Solids. Check out www.fifty-seven.ca for more information or give me a call at 416.972.9367 or Carolyn@fifty-seven.ca.



  • Susana Goldin-Douaire

Comments on this post ( 4 )

  • Nov 27, 2015

    Hello Carolyn, Thanks for sharing this advice, It’s very helpful information for mothers who have got a baby on the way. All products are important. Great article.

    — Jeff Mccoy

  • Sep 16, 2015

    A dark robe is a must!!! And by dark, I mean black. Easy to wear and open for examinations and such…

    — Laura

  • Sep 02, 2015

    WOW- great read and very helpful!

    — Karina

  • Aug 06, 2015

    Great list! One thing I found is that I really did NOT need a lot of items I packed when I had my babe in the hospital. Your list is the straight basics. I highly recommend packing Newborn-sized clothes, instead of 0-3 months. I was shocked how tiny my little person was and she was swimming in 0-3 mth sleepers when we left the hospital. Also, baby wipes are a great idea. We used the washcloths at the hospital with water and she left with a terrible diaper rash.

    — Robyn

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