Gathering the supplies necessary for a home birth is no easy task. Yes, most of the items you need are easy to access, but finding a home birth checklist of everything you need can be tricky.

You also probably never realized how many tiny details and supplies really go into the whole birth process until you started to gather supplies for your own home birth.

Well Momma, look no further! Here you’ll find the complete home birth checklist you’ve been looking for. It’s organized by category, so that you can quickly locate the information you need and slowly work through your preparations one category at a time.

This home birth checklist includes items for your home, your birth bed, your birth tub (if you are planning a water birth) and your comfort during birth. We’ll also cover the supplies you should have ready for baby, your postpartum care and general clean-up.

In addition to these items, we’ll talk about when you need to have your home birth checklist complete, how to organize your home birth supplies, and a few other home birth tips and tricks to make your home birth as smooth as possible!

What do you need for a home birth?

During your third trimester, you should begin to put together a list of items necessary for your home birth. This will be an important question for your midwife. She will be able to provide you with a lot of guidance on the topic.

Many midwives will even supply you with a list of items that they specifically recommend you have on hand. You will also probably be advised to purchase a premade “birth kit” which we’ll talk about more in detail below.

Don’t look at this list and let the cost of home birth scare you away! You may already have many of these supplies on hand, or they can be purchased second-hand and sterilized prior to birth. We’ll dig into that a bit more in the organization section of this article.

Home Birth Checklist

For your home and birth bed:

As you gather your supplies, a great place to start is with things for your home and birth bed. The name of the game here will be protecting your linens, furniture and floor from birth fluids.

There are also a handful of other items included in this section that your midwife will want you to have on hand.


It’s best to have 4-6 large bath towels at the ready. These are an item you can definitely buy second-hand because you probably aren’t going to keep them after the birth anyway. When you organize your home birth supplies, you will be sanitizing and bagging all of the linens together. The fact that they are secondhand doesn’t matter at all.


You will want to have at least two sets of sheets for your bed (two fitted and two flat). These sheets will be used during birth, so you should plan on them being stained/ruined. This is another item that you can definitely purchase second-hand to save money because you will be sterilizing them before the big day.

In addition to these sets of sheets for the bed, you should be sure to have 3-4 other flat sheets ready to go to be draped over plastic drop cloths you may place on furniture or rugs.

Waterproof Mattress Cover

A waterproof mattress cover is essential for your home birth! Some mommas like to purchase two waterproof mattress covers. They then make the bed “twice” so to speak. First, mattress cover then fitted sheet and flat sheet. Then you take another mattress cover and put it over all of that and make the bed again.

This makes for an easy stripping of the bed midway through labor should your water suddenly break, or there is some other liquid discomfort when there’s a lot of time left before baby comes out.

Plastic Drop Cloths

In addition to protecting your mattress, you will want to purchase plastic drop cloths to cover rugs, floors, couches, chairs etc. Basically anywhere that you might labor is a good idea to protect. You should also ensure that the floor around your bed is covered with these drop cloths.

If you are planning a water birth, then placing drop cloths around your birthing tub is a good idea. One tip is to cover your plastic drop cloths with old sheets so that the plastic isn’t uncomfortable, loud and sticking to your (and everyone else’s) feet during labor.

Paper Towels

Maybe obviously, but have a 6-pack of absorbent paper towels set aside with the rest of your home birth supplies. They will undoubtedly come in handy for who knows what (and more).

Cookie Sheets/Trays

If I hadn’t written “/trays” you’d probably be thinking, why the heck do I need to have cookies sheets? But yes, they are to act as trays. If your midwife needs to quickly bring supplies from one room to another, she will be ever so grateful for a tray to organize her things on.

Cookie sheets are often recommended for this purpose on many home birth checklists and are inexpensive to buy, or you can sanitize used ones, or ones you already have. Trays are also easy to come by and inexpensive. Ask you midwife if she has a preference.

Large Bowl

Yes, this large bowl will in fact be used to catch the placenta. So, yes, you can use a large bowl you already have on hand, but that does gross some people out.

The only thing to keep in mind is to opt for a plastic or metal bowl. Usually, it’s not recommended to use glass just in case it should crack or break.

Extra Toilet Paper

This is another home birth checklist item that is sure to come in handy. Why not have some extra toilet paper on hand? Also, spring for the soft kind. Wiping after birth hurts a lot. In fact, you’ll be doing more of a “dab” and using your peri bottle, but the soft toilet paper does help.

Flashlight/Bright Portable Light

Most midwives come prepared with a bright flashlight, but it’s always good to have a back-up in your home birth kit. Make sure it’s nice and bright, like this one.

Alternatively, any bright portable light will probably do the job, so if you have something on hand like a camping lantern, no need to purchase something new.

Chux Pads/Bed Pads

Chux Pads are disposable, absorbent fabric with a waterproof backing. They are often blue and white and are usually used to protect beds and chairs from bodily fluids.

These will be necessary to have during your home birth for a variety of reasons during labor, while giving birth, and even good to keep under you during your first few days postpartum.

For your Birth Tub:

If you are planning a water birth, or even if you are preparing a birth tub for the purpose of laboring, there are some extra items on your home birth checklist.

Birth Pool

For a water birth, one of the most important items will be a birth pool! Your midwife will be helpful in recommending brands and what to look for in a birth pool. Some women purchase a birth pool and others are able to rent them.

In general, a great birth pool is padded on the bottom and may have handles on the inside to assist in pushing and getting in and out (like this one). You might also want to pay attention to the type of plastics used to make the pool.

This is inflatable “family” pool available on Amazon is reviewed by many as an excellent birth pool for home birth.

Pool Liner

Using a birth pool liner makes cleaning up your water birth so much easier. You simply drain the water and dispose of the liner. This will be essential if you are renting a birth pool, but it’s also recommended even if you have your own birth pool.

Lead Free Garden Hose

When it comes to filling your birth tub, it will take some time, and you need to fill it “in
position” so to speak. It will be necessary to run a hose from your shower or sink to your tub.

Be sure to choose a hose that is lead-free and safe for drinking water use. You should also pay attention to the hose length before you purchase to ensure it will spread the distance you need it to.

Don’t forget a hose adapter that allows you to use a hose at an indoor sink!

Water Thermometer

It’s important to have a water thermometer to check the temperature of the water during your water birth. Any basic floating water thermometer will do the trick.

Water birth Fishnet

Your midwife may suggest having a fishnet on hand for water birth clean-up. This net that will be used to scoop debris form the water prior to draining and removing the birth tub liner.

Supplies for your Midwife during home birth:

More than any other section, this section should be discussed in detail with your midwife. Many midwives will recommend that you purchase a premade home birth kit. Some midwives actually create their own personalized kits that are available for purchase on an online platform (almost like a registry…). Your midwife may have a preferred supplier as well. Don’t skip chatting with her about this.

This section includes a list of the common supplies that are included in these pre-made home birth kits to give you an idea. Some of the items are “medical” supplies, and may need to be purchased from a special supplier even if you don’t opt to get the other things that way.

  • Plastic/Rubber Gloves
  • Cord Clamp
  • Sterile Lubricating Jelly
  • Peroxide
  • Alcohol
  • Sterile Scissors
  • Digital Thermometer
  • Infant Tape Measure

For your comfort during your home birth:

Alright Momma, let’s talk about what you need to stay comfortable during your labor and delivery! There are a variety of pain management strategies you’ll want to try. Here is a list of ideas to get you started and make sure you are prepared.

Birthing Ball

A birthing ball, also known as an exercise or yoga ball, is an amazing tool for labor. It’s also great to have on hand in the weeks leading up to birth to help you stay fit, stretch, and possibly induce labor.

Hot Water Bottle/Heating Pad

You’ll be so glad to have this comfort item on hand during labor, especially if you wind up with back labor! Heat can provide such relief.

An electric heating pad needs to be plugged in which can limit its use a bit, but it stays at a constant temperature. A hot water bottle on the other hand can move around with you as needed but may need to be refilled with hot water after a while.

Essential Oils

Essential oils have a wide variety of uses during labor and birth. Some women like to diffuse them, some women use them with a carrier oil for massage, and others simply use them for smelling directly.

Some of the best essential oils for labor are:

  • Eucalyptus Globus Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Geranium Oil
  • Chamomile Oil
  • Clary Sage Oil
  • Grapefruit Oil

Check out the 7 Best Essential Oils for an Easy Home birth to learn more about how to use and select which oils or blends would be best for you.


Nothing can really throw of your labor vibe like bright, over head lights. Candles are excellent for creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Some women feel nervous about the idea of lighting many actual candles during their labor. Battery-powered candles can be a great alternative.


Music is an incredibly powerful tool during labor. It can be really fun to create a labor playlist prior to your due date. Be sure to have an easy to access way to stream music during your labor.

Wireless bluetooth speakers make this really easy. I recommend a higher quality speaker because clear sound quality will make the music so much more calming and grounding.

Tennis Balls

Tennis balls, or actual massage balls, are a great tool to have on hand during your home birth. These can be used by your partner to roll on your back or for use in massage in any other way. Some people put a few balls into a pillow case or sock to create a massager.


Something that surprises a lot of women during labor is how much their temperature fluctuates. I think it’s common to think you will be very hot, but you might be surprised how chilled you feel at times. Especially when you are in and out of the tub or shower for pain relief.

Having a cozy bathrobe on hand will be perfect for when you are chilled after getting out of the shower. You might find it helpful to also have a light-weight bathrobe for when you just want t a little something. Light weight bathrobes make excellent “labor gowns”.

Warm and Light Blankets

Additionally, having a few different blankets at the ready can be helpful for if you get chilled. Remember, everything involved with your home birth is at risk to get stained and possibly ruined, so make sure you have blankets dedicated to this purpose.

Extra Hair Ties/Head Bands

Even if you have extra hair ties stowed everywhere, be intentional about putting a few in your home birth supply area. This way, if you need one, it will be easy for your birth support people to locate one.

Lip Balm

Just like the hair ties, be sure to have lip balm intentionally placed with your home birth supplies so that it is easy to find and access during labor. It’s a great job for partners to be in charge of offering lip balm every so often because your lips will likely be very dry during labor.

I think my husband loved this assignment. It was something productive he could do for me during labor that he knew he couldn’t mess up!

For baby:

Let’s talk about the real star of the show, baby! Of course you’ll probably have spent time carefully prepping their nursery and acquiring all of the baby items you’ll need over the last few months. But here, we’re going to talk about the things for baby you need on their birth day specifically.

Receiving Blankets

It is recommended to have at least 6-8 receiving blankets on hand for the first hours and days after birth. Some of these might get quite messy and may not be salvageable, so keep that in mind. Maybe save your favorite or fancier receiving blankets until the first day has passed.

I found that in the first days after my baby was born we rarely put her in clothes. She was either swaddles in a receiving blanket, nursing, or doing skin-to-skin with me or my husband. Because baby’s do have a tendency to spit up, having a variety of clean receiving blankets at the ready is helpful.

These items will be important to sanitize and bag when you are organizing your other home birth linens. Don’t miss the steps on how to do this in the organization section below.

Disposable Diapers

The first few days of baby’s life include a small amount of pee and poop that’s known as meconium. If you are planning to cloth diaper, most mommas and experts recommend having disposable diapers on hand for the first few days until all of the meconium passes.

Unscented Wipes

Most birth centers and hospitals supply disposable dry wipes to be wet with water, or water-only wipes for use in the first few days after baby is born. This is because simple water works best for cleaning off meconium and because your new baby’s skin might be extra sensitive.

It’s best for you to follow suit and have these on hand as well.

Bulb Syringe

The act of using a bulb syringe to clear baby’s air passageways after birth is totally up to you, and something to discuss with your midwife. However, even if you don’t use the bulb syringe in this way, it is still an important baby care item to have on hand for clearing stuffy noses.


Of course, you’ll need to have clothing for your baby’s first weeks and months of life ready, but for the actual birth day, it’s great to have 2-3 simple onesies at the ready. Many mommas like the kimono-style shirts for newborn babies because they go on jacket style.

It’s also recommended to have a cotton newborn hat ready for baby. The World Health Organization recommends newborns wear a cap after birth in their Newborn Health Guidelines.

For your postpartum care after your home birth:

Making sure your home is well-stocked with postpartum care supplies prior to birth is important. Not only do you want to have the immediate care supplies necessary for your home birth checklist, but extras to use in the weeks after birth as well.

Mesh Underwear

If you haven’t had the pleasure of wearing disposable mesh undies, then you are in for treat. I’m kidding, only kind of. It’s a thing that all mommas seem to universally love! They are so comfy and also hilarious. Perfect for holding your pad, ice pack, and everything else in place for ultimate postpartum comfort, too.

After the first day or so, you probably don’t need to continue to wear the mesh underwear. But I did find it helpful to have maternity underwear on hand because the larger size and wide waist band was so much more comfortable and able to accommodate a large pad.

Adult Diapers

So many mommas swear by adult diapers for the first few days after birth. It can really help contain the postpartum bleeding and comfort measures.

Overnight/Maternity Pads

Beyond the first few days, or maybe even from the start if you don’t go the adult diaper route, you will want to have pads at the ready. Make sure to invest in overnight pads or maternity pads for the first 1-2 weeks at least. You will appreciate the extra absorbency!

Peri Bottle

This is an item that may be included in your pre-made home birth kit, but if not, be sure to snag one of these for each bathroom. It will feel very uncomfortable to wipe for a while. These bottles are how you’ll keep clean down there.

The MomWasher by Fridababy is a highly reviewed version of a peri-bottle. It costs a little bit more. But provides the benefit of an angled spout for easier maneuvering and cleaning control.

Tucks Witch Hazel Pads

Nothing will soothe your postpartum hemorrhoids and general discomfort down there better than witch hazel pads. Your midwife will show you have to line a pad or ice pack with these so that they sit right against your body.


Yes, they are exactly what you’re thinking. A padsicle is basically a pad that has been soaked in liquid and frozen for later use. A basic padsicle is just soaked in water, but you can also make your own padsicles that include aloe vera, witch hazel and lavender for added comfort.

This awesome kit includes everything you need to make your own padsicles. And while we’re on this topic, it’s worthwhile to have some reusable perineal cooling packs on hand too.

Sitz Bath Spray

The Motherlove Sitz Bath Spray is one of my personal favorite postpartum healing products. It’s basically a sitz bath in spray form. It really provides some soothing relief.

Nipple Cream

Breastfeeding starts right away as a new momma, and with it often comes sore and cracked nipples. This is especially true in the beginning. Including nipple cream in your home birth supplies is a good idea.

Nursing Pillow

Learning to nurse right from the start can be challenging. Nursing pillows like the Boppy can really help get baby positioned right for a better latch.

Clean-up supplies for your home birth:

Large Trash Bags and Plastic Bins

As you prepare for your home birth, you will be covering most of the fabric and rugs in your home with plastic drop cloths. This makes clean-up very easy, but there will be a lot of bulk to throw away.

For this reason, you want to be sure to have large black trash bags (like ones used for yard waste) ready to go. Many mommas also recommend having large plastic bins to act as trash cans. Or to hold soiled linens that you plan to wash.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Be sure to have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in your home birth kit. It works wonders on blood stains and as a general cleaning agent.


If you are planning a water birth, and especially if you rent or plan to reuse your birthing tub, you will need bleach to clean it after the birth.

Other home birth must haves?

We’ve covered the essential home birth checklist above. Here are some extra must-haves to help you feel super organized and ready for the big day.

Well-stocked fridge

It’s a good idea to have lots of easy to grab snacks and proteins on hand. Your birth team will need to eat (especially if it’s a very long labor), and they will want to be able to quickly and easily prepare snacks for you.

Things like fruit, veggies, nut butters, trail mix, soup, cheese and smoothies are excellent options for everyone. Some women like to get a crockpot going of homemade soup or stew in their early labors. Other women love baking in their early labors. Hearty muffins and quick breads are great snack options that everyone will love


“Laboraid” is a homemade electrolyte drink that will help keep you hydrated and energized during the marathon of labor and birth. There are lots of different recipes out there, but most include water or coconut water, lemon, honey, magnesium and a pinch of salt.

If you don’t want to go the homemade route, Gatorade and plain coconut water will work well too.


A handheld mirror is a great motivator for many women during birth. Being able to see baby’s head start to emerge really helps some women in the pushing stage.

Birthday Cake

This can be especially fun if you already have other kids who will be home or joining you shortly after the birth. Celebrate baby’s zero birthday as a family!

A Hospital Bag

Hopefully you won’t need this item! But it’s best to pack a very basic hospital bag just in case you need to be transferred. This way, you’ll have the things you need ready to go.

Other extra items:

  • Camera
  • Ink Pad for baby’s foot prints
  • Herbal Tea
  • Sitz Bath Herbs
  • A crock pot (for keeping towels, wash cloths and blankets warm)

How should I organize my home birth kit?

You want to have all of the items in your home birth kit together in the same place. A few plastic bins will work really well for this. I recommend organizing supplies for birth, baby, postpartum, and clean-up.

For your linens, you want to wash all linens in hot water and dry in a hot dryer for an extra 10 minutes. You should then store the linens in brown paper bags that are taped shut and clearly labeled with their contents. Again, it makes sense to bag like items together. You might have sheets, towels, baby, or birth, baby, and postpartum.

Start gathering your home birth supplies, Momma

With this complete guide, and the help of your midwife, you’ll know you have everything you need for your home birth. The guesswork is gone!

By completing this list 2-3 weeks before your due date, you can spend your last few weeks before birth relaxing and preparing mentally for your home birth.

Be sure to pin this article for later so that you can easily access it when you are packing and organizing!

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