Birth Supply Lists for Every Birth Place

Birth supplies, hospital bags, loading the car for the birth center… all of it is an exciting part of planning for your baby.  This collection of lists will help you make sure you have what you need when it's time for baby to make his or her debut – no matter where you've decided that will be!


What's Really Essential?

Honestly I have three essential birth supplies: a birth tub, a stack of blankets fit for me, and a straw. Maybe a towel to dry off with.

Simple birth is my preference. I birth in the tub and snuggle with my baby – no hat to block that sweet baby smell, please. And my body, not a clammy towel, will keep my baby warm. When we get out, I want baby skin-to-skin. A blanket over both of us is great, and kangaroo care works not only to regulate temperature, but to regulate heart rate, breathing, and even baby's blood sugar levels. I'll take that over a towel or blanket bundling my baby any day. The cord can stay attached for a good, long time… I've never had a lotus birth but I'm in no hurry for cord cutting and certainly not for clamping.

And the straw? Well, I always get incredibly thirsty during labor and regular sips from a straw are a fruss-free way to stay hydrated. Essential 🙂

There are others things I like to have on hand, too (a little peri-bottle and the disposable absorbent pads come to mind). But really, birth is very simple and after six babies, those three things are really all I feel I need 🙂 Every mama is different, though, and your birth list may be longer. Here are some ideas for what to have on hand:

Bare Bones Birth Kit

A simple birth kit doesn't need to contain very much:

  • Drinking straws
  • Disposable waterproof pads (“chux” pads)
  • Stretchy mesh underwear (these are disposable and/or washable and really nice to have!!)
  • Maternity pads (disposable or mama cloth… I switched to cloth after baby #5 and love them)
  • Cord clamp (unless your midwife brings this or a cord bander)
  • Sterile scissors
  • Peri Bottle
  • Lip balm (very helpful postpartum)
  • Camera
  • Music, essential oils, incense, etc. for your comfort/focus
  • Baby gear on hand

Deluxe Birth Kit

  • Drinking straws
  • Disposable waterproof pads
  • Stretchy mesh underwear
  • Maternity pads
  • Cord clamp (unless your midwife brings this or a cord bander)
  • Sterile scissors
  • Olive or coconut oil (for perineal massage and for preventing meconium stick on baby's bum)
  • Peri Bottle (2 – one can be used to squirt olive oil)
  • Lip balm
  • Camera
  • Music, essential oils, incense, etc. for your comfort/focus
  • Plastic sheet or mattress bag (for going over your bed)
  • Bulb syringe (I wouldn't use this to suction baby right away, but is helpful in the early weeks for a congested baby)
  • Goldenseal powder (for cord stump)
  • Measuring tape (for measuring baby)
  • Sterile gloves
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • Gauze pads (usually 4×4)
  • A disinfectant (such as iodine)
  • Baby gear on hand

Going to the Hospital or Birth Center*

  • Drinking straws
  • Insurance Cards
  • Your birth plan (make sure you create a birth plan that really works!)
  • Camera
  • Nursing bra / tank
  • Comfortable gowns for birthing in / wearing after baby comes
  • Swimsuit / sports bra (for birth tub)
  • iPod/Phone for music
  • Snacks
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant)
  • Hair supplies (brush, comb, something to put hair up)
  • Going home outfits for you and baby
  • Car seat
  • Diapers & wipes (especially if you want to use cloth)

*The hospital will supply many things, like stretch briefs, peri-bottles, pads, etc. Bring your own cloth diapers and mama cloth of you want to use them right away. Your birth center will let you know what they supply or if you need to order a birth kit.

(NOTE: Want a Perfect Birth Plan Template? Use this template and step-by-step videos to write a birth plan that gets your birth team on your side for a beautiful birth experience! Get the birth plan kit here.)

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About the author 


Kristen is a pregnancy coach, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! I've spent nearly two decades helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Does complete support for a sacred birth and beautiful beginning for your baby resonate with you? Contact me today to chat about how powerful guidance and coaching can transform your pregnancy, birth, and mothering journey <3

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