What to pack for the hospital: prenatal life-limiting / fatal diagnosis or stillbirth | themorning.com/whattopack

Packing a bag for the hospital when you know you baby will not live long after they are born is difficult and tragic, to say the least.

My hope is that the limited moments you do have with your baby are incredibly meaningful and memorable. So, I put together this simple checklist, all based on the wisdom of mamas who have walked this road before you.

May this simple checklist allow you to be present in the moment, soaking up every single detail of your precious baby, not wishing you would have remembered this or that.



The number one advice from all moms who have been in this position is: make sure you have a PHOTOGRAPHER.

You can work with an organization like Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep to find a photographer near you. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep provides parents who are in the midst of experiencing the loss of their baby the gift of professional photography.

Even if you think you may not want photographs, trust me (and all the other moms who have lived through this experience) and reach out to this organization (or another local photographer that you trust). You may not want to look at the images right away but it is better to have them than to not.

If you are here because you love someone who is walking through the loss of a baby, you can help by asking the grieving parents if they have contacted a photographer yet and if not, you could begin that process for them.

What She Said

I wish we would have had a photographer present at my son’s birth.
We only received pictures after his arrival, but I wish I had pictures from the entire process.

“A photographer lined up is so so important…

What to pack for the hospital: prenatal life-limiting / fatal diagnosis or stillbirth | themorning.com/whattopack


What She Said

A diffuser and essential oils, our own pillows and blanket, made it feel more like home.


 I wish I had brought a nice blanket and my own pillow would have been nice. Hospitals just don’t have nice ones.


I brought scripture cards to hang on the wall with twine and twinkle lights and essential oils. We had lavender and peppermint diffusing in my room and it definitely helped me feel comfortable and safe. Plus, now every time I smell lavender, I think of my little girl. Having those little reminders and things from home make all the difference.



for mom
  • Eye drops
  • Satin Robe
  • PJ’s / Gown
  • Comfy socks
  • Slippers
  • Flip Flops (for the shower)
  • Toiletries
  • Dry shampoo
  • Going Home Clothes
  • Journal (to write down all the things you don’t want to forget)
angel maternity


pink blush maternity



What She Said

I also took a nice looking satin robe to throw on myself after my daughter was born. I had just given birth so wasn’t obviously going to wear anything fancy, but it made me feel prettier for all the photos we took with my daughter since I’ll treasure those photos forever.


Buy yourself some new comfy pajamas to wear when you get home.
I didn’t want to wear any of the clothes I had worn when I was pregnant.


What to pack for the hospital: prenatal life-limiting / fatal diagnosis or stillbirth | themorning.com/whattopack


  • Two outfits, one for baby to wear and one to keep
  • Two blankets, one for baby to be swaddled, one to keep
  • Two hats, one for baby to wear and one to keep
  • Two Headbands, one for baby to wear and one to keep
  • Personalized Items (blankets, hats, outfits, etc.)
  • Cuddle Cot (ask your hospital if they have one available)

What She Said

I bought two outfits for our daughter, one for her to wear while we held her and loved her- we kept this one for our shadow box- and a very similar one that we put her in before the funeral home picked her up. Same for blanket. (I still sleep with her swaddle blanket.)


We had two identical blankets. I swapped out the blanket we had him wrapped in at the hospital before the funeral home came with an identical one and I now sleep with the one that he used.



for memory-making with baby
  • Photographer – or someone designated to take photos
  • List of photos you would like to have with baby
  • Videographer – or someone designated to take video
    • You can use an app like One Second Everyday to create a compilation of the video footage you take, creating a beautiful keepsake of your time with baby.
  • Baby Book – for hand & foot prints, birth details, hair clippings, etc.
  • Letter to Baby – write a letter to your baby and read it to him/her after they are born
  • Stuffed Animal (two, one for baby and one for you)
  • Favorite Children’s Books to read with baby
  • Towel & Wash Cloth
  • Baby Soap & Shampoo
  • Handprint / Footprint Molds
  • Letter Board for Personalized Photos (baby’s name, birthdate, weight, length, characteristics or moments to remember, etc.)

What She Said

I wish I would have packed special scented baby wash and lotion to use on him only; so I could remember and smell that scent forever.


A special towel and washcloth to give your sweet babe a bath. Giving my daughter a bath after she had passed was something I never would have thought to do on my own but it is one of my most cherished moments. There was something so cathartic in caring for her in a “normal” way and having a special towel and washcloth helps take the sterility of being in the hospital out of the experience.


We read “On the night you were born” and stamped his footprints in to it. Another treasured keepsake.


I was really thankful to have one of my favorite children’s books to read to our son after he was stillborn.


I wish I had something like a stuffed animal that I could have kept with her at the hospital, and then brought it home with us.


We had a heartbeat bear that we brought home and use in his place when we take family photos or just when we want to remember him.