Delivery Checklist: What You Need to Prepare Before the Big Day*

Delivery Checklist: What You Need to Prepare Before the Big Day*

“Prepare for the big day.”

You’ll hear that sentence a lot as you get closer and closer to your delivery date. And the more often you hear it, the less prepared you’ll feel. Trust me. And that’s OK, because to be brutally honest, you will never be prepared for your delivery day. It will never go the way you thought it was going to go, and there will always be an element of surprise; trust me on this, too. However, there is one part of your delivery day that you can actually prepare: Your hospital bag.

Hospital Bag Checklist

One of the first things I did, before my son’s room was even complete, was make
sure my hospital bag was packed. It sat packed in my bedroom closet for the last
two months of my pregnancy, and was in the trunk of our car for the three weeks
leading up to my due date (side not: I actually went into labour exactly a week early when my water broke so I was super stoked that my hospital bag was already taken care of and in the car).

Over the months that my hospital bag sat in the closet, I brought it out often to check on items and also to make sure I’d not forgotten anything. Eventually, I made myself a list before I moved my hospital bag from the close to the car, and it looked something like this:


  • Diapers (1 pack of Newborn + 1 row of Size 1, just in case)
  • 3 x swaddle blankets
  • 3 x cozy newborn hat
  • 6 x long-sleeve onesies size newborn
  • 6 x short-sleeve onesies size newborn
  • 1 x complete warm outfit for the ride home from the hospital for baby
  • 1 x bottle and nipple (in case breastfeeding doesn’t work)
  • Slippers (for me, and they were white, this is an important fact to
  • Warm housecoat
  • 3 x loose PJs
  • Favourite cozy sweater
  • 1 x breastfeeding bra
  • 6 x large covering underwear
  • Package of heavy-flow pads that stretch front to back
  • Comfortable and warm outfit for me to wear on the drive home
  • Delivery plan (written on a piece of paper, remember this, too)

I had this printable hospital bag checklist with me for quite some time, and I made
adjustments to it often, mostly for baby’s items not mine. I carried it with me to
work everyday and would take it out and stare at it like it would make me better
prepared for the delivery itself. I’m here to tell you; it didn’t.

On the other hand, here’s what it did help me with the day I went into delivery and welcomed my beautiful baby boy to the world.

Labour and Delivery: You Can Only Be So Prepared

Having what I thought was a properly packed hospital bag helped me focus on the task at hand: pushing out a near 10lbs baby. Yes, you read that correctly. And while my delivery went relatively smoothly (and is totally a topic for another blog), and my hospital bag was seemingly perfectly packed but:

Things can simply go wrong! 

If you’ll refer back to the list above, I packed newborn sizes for my not-so-newborn-sized baby boy. Which meant the only thing he could really wear were the no-sleeve onesies. I gave birth at the end of November in Montreal, so you can all imagine the temperature. I also ran out of diapers, as he was too big for the newborn sizes.

Remember those white slippers I brought with me? Well, those were ruined the
moment I took my first steps after the epidural wore off and I went to take a shower. In fact, no matter how much gauze you put, blood from the birthing will still run down your leg and pool into your brand new white slippers.
I also ruined every single pair of the large underwear I brought, regardless of the
over-sized pads.

Besides, those three sets of PJs, I wore one set and my housecoat for the whole 2-3 days we were in the hospital with our new bundle of joy after the birth.

Delivery plan

Oh, and that delivery plan? The one that listed walking and using the exercise ball and trying to be as natural as possible without drugs and with specific music in the background the whole time? Yeah, that never even made it out of the bag and I never looked at it again. Birthing plans are a cute idea, but they rarely ever come to fruition, and that’s OK, too; because all that matters is both of you come out happy and healthy in the end, no matter the process it took to get there.

Preparing for the Big Day

To sum it up, packing a hospital bag for your delivery day is important, but don’t stress about it too much. I was pregnant at the same time as two other friends, and we went through the process together and each of our hospital bags looked almost completely different, and that was fine for each of us. We brought what we thought baby needed most for the delivery day, and of course us, too.

The most important thing I can tell you is this: Prepare to be surprised. Prepare for pain. Prepare for relief. Prepare for the shock that comes with no longer having baby inside, but instead having him/her in your arms. And also, prepare to feel so much love for the little person you’ll finally get to meet that you think your heart might actually burst. And most of all, prepare to be the most incredible mother to your new little bundle of joy.