Packing My Hospital Bag for Labor and Delivery

Today I packed my hospital bag. After taking our birthing class I feel like I’ve been given the keys to a new car, but have no idea how to drive. I don’t REALLY  know what I’m getting myself into at the hospital do I? I’ve heard all kinds of stories and been given all kinds of advice.

Days & days of labor.
Abigail is a nice lady, but don’t hold anything she says during labor personally.
You are in for a “magical” experience.
You’ll think twice before doing that to her again.


(Almost) Everything I'm bringing to the hospital.

(Almost) Everything I’m bringing to the hospital.


I feel like I’ve forgotten something. There is a drug store near the hospital we will be delivering at and there will be family around to run an errand if needed. I still don’t feel properly prepared. Have any advice? My packing list is as follows:

  • Insurance Cards
  • Wallet
  • Coffee
  • Snacks
  • Mints
  • Gum
  • 2 Changes of clothes
  • Birth Plan
  • iPhone w/Spotify Offline Playlists & Contraction Timing App
  • iPhone Charger
  • iPhone Speaker Dock
  • Sound Connection Cord
  • Computer
  • Computer Charger
  • Camera
  • Camera Charger
  • Swim Trunks
  • Personal toiletries
  • Lotion
  • Tennis Balls
  • Wash Cloths
  • Bradley Method Workbook

Okay, I admit I may have over done it on the snacks. I am a worst case scenario planner. In case we have to be at the hospital for a long time and the kitchen can’t be bothered with what we need we have snacks and coffee for days. I keep hearing dad’s online say they wish they’d have “packed a sandwich.” I don’t know what time of day or night the baby might choose to arrive. It makes me feel better knowing that I’ve got “iced” coffee ready to go when I need it. Plus there is a mini-fridge in each of the rooms so it’ll be cold, just like I like it.

Packed and ready to go!

Packed and ready to go!

The baby’s bag is ready to go. I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around what is about to happen. I have a diaper bag packed for MY kid. When I leave for the hospital I’ll be coming home with ANOTHER person in my car. A person that will spend at least the better part of two decades living with me. That’s intense, exciting and exhausting all in the same thought. The baby’s bag includes:

  • Take home outfit
  • Onesies
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Baby Book
  • Baby Blankets
  • Baby Sling/Carrier

I’ve got a few items in the car as well. The car seat was installed at our local police department by a traffic safety officer. He showed me two ways to install it, via seat belt and anchor, and made sure I knew how to install it properly as well. I installed the car seat both ways and passed the inspection on the first try. That made me feel good. I can actually learn!

  • Car Seat (Pre-Installed)
  • Trash Bags
  • Pillows
  • Towels
  • Blanket
  • Bowl

I think I’m ready. Mostly. Is there anything you think I might need that I haven’t listed yet?


Joel Gratcyk is a social media strategist, father, husband, perpetual student and caffeine junkie. He misses sleeping, but loves being a parent more.

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Joel Gratcyk (Daddy's Grounded)

Joel Gratcyk is a social media strategist, father, husband, perpetual student and caffeine junkie. He misses sleeping, but loves being a parent more.

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6 Responses

  1. Dorothy B says:

    Joel, Honey, I realize you’re new to this and all, but you’re not moving into the hospital for weeks! Lol! You have enough gum to choke a village! You do NOT need to bring diapers, wipes, or blankets. (Ok, depending on the weather, maybe ONE blanket to cover the carseat, unless you have a carseat cover.) They will send you home w/ tons of that stuff! Unless you are walking somewhere after release (which I highly doubt Abigail will be up to going shopping), you will not need the sling, neither. Hospitals are required to wheel you out so you can’t hurt yourself. Wesley doesn’t need a bag. He only need the baby book (for his foot print), an outfit, and a carseat. Book & outfit can go in Mom’s bag. Everything else is provided – in abundance!! (Not sure why the trash bags & bowl are on the list for the car. I’m almost afraid to ask. Almost…) Good Luck! You will be just fine. Just remember to BREATH!!!

    • Joel says:

      I’m picking up honey straws and red raspberry leaf tea on the way home from work today. I do realize I’m “over preparing” but the items I don’t need can just wait in the car until / if I do. Some of the car stuff is more a “worst case senario” type of thing… there are lots of sitcoms/stories online about women not getting to the hospital in time, ruining car seats, etc.

  2. Beth says:

    I read your wife’s blog and hopped over from her’s and started reading. We had a baby last summer and my husband was always cold in the hospital room. He wished he’d had a blanket and extra pillow because I took the one he brought! I might even reccomdend clean pillow cases because mine got a little messy during labor and delivery and I was stuck with a not soft hospital pillow case the rest of my stay.

    The hospital will provide everything you need for baby as far as diapers and wipes and care. All we took was a coming home outfit and the car seat for the baby.

    Good luck!

  3. Oh man – I hadnt even considered packing a hospital bag! My wife sure, but I didnt know I needed one too! I better buy a bloody bag first! Loving the blog by the way…

  4. Ok, so in search of some tips on what to pack for my “daddy go bag” for the hospital I ran across your blog. I see some of the standard items I was planning but I just really want to know one thing. What are the tennis balls for? Is it for stress relief? My curiosity is peaked. Thanks for taking blog by the way.

  5. loo says:

    Tennis balls are for counter pressure during labor. Some women like to have pressure on the low back during contractions.

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