Hospital Bag Essentials

pregnant woman packing hospital bagWhile many expectant mothers get excited at the thought of putting together their hospital bag, it can also be difficult to decide what you need to bring to the hospital.  Rest assured that the hospital will have everything that you truly need to have a baby.  However, there are plenty of things that you may want that they will not have available to you.  In today’s blog, we will be providing you with a hospital bag checklist.

Toiletries

This is a major part of any hospital bag checklist because you will be away from home for a few days and being able to clean yourself up a bit can be very therapeutic. Here are some things to add to your list:

  • Oral hygiene items for both mom and dad
  • Hair care items → while a hair brush, shampoo, and conditioner are great, make sure you bring a hair tie to keep hair out of your face during labor
  • Personal hygiene items such as soap, deodorant, chapstick and shower shoes or flip flops

 

Remember, this is not a business trip or weekend getaway so leave the big suitcases at home.

Mom’s Essentials

The largest amount of space in mom’s to go bag will be occupied with clothes, but there are some things many expecting mothers don’t think to add to their hospital bag checklist. You’ll want to bring the following items:

  • A house jacket or short, lightweight bathrobe. Hospitals can be chilly, and it’s helpful to have layers you can easily take on and off.
  • 2 nursing tank tops if you’re planning on breastfeeding.
  • 2 pairs loose fitting, dark colored pants. Make sure you don’t bring tight yoga pants, trust us on this one. 
  • A few pairs of large underwear if you don’t plan to wear the mesh ones provided, remember they’ll need to be roomy enough to accommodate big pads.
  • A going home outfit, you can expect to be about the same size you were at six months, so plan accordingly.
  • License or ID and insurance card, even if you pre-registered they may still need these items to admit you.
  • Snacks- While you likely can’t eat during active labor, you’ll be probably hungry after delivering and through out your stay. Those middle of the night wake ups are tough!

No matter what you bring, the key thing here is to make sure you are comfortable.

Partner Essentials

Unless it against your wishes or hospital’s policy, your partner will be staying with you throughout labor, delivery, and recovery so it is important to make sure they have a hospital bag checklist as well. They will need:

  • Two outfits and pajamas, other clothing beyond that is optional. We recommend extra socks and a sweatshirt.
  • An entertainment device for the two of you to watch movies or TV shows during early labor and after baby is born.
  • Phones
  • Camera to take high-quality photos.
  • Chargers for all electronic devices, we recommend chargers with long cords so your phone can reach the bed while charging. 

Check with the hospital ahead of time to figure out whether there is a cost to issue the birth certificate and what methods of payment they accept.

Baby Essentials

While many hospitals will provide items that your baby will need, it is still worthwhile to make a hospital bag checklist for baby as well. Here are some things to bring with you for baby:

  • Car seat- check out our blog on choosing the perfect car seat.
  • Clothes for baby- most hospitals will provide clothes for baby, but you may want to bring a few newborn gowns and a take home outfit.
  • Keepsake Blanket
  • Keepsake baby book, if you have one. Most nurses are happy to put baby’s footprint in them.
  • Additional seasonally appropriate clothing. Remember, no bulky clothing (like bunting) is allowed in the car seat. 
  • Pacifiers- if you deliver at a baby friendly hospital they will not provide pacifiers for your use.

Tips

Here are a few additional tips to help you with you build your hospital bag checklist

  • Remember it is a short term stay, pack light because what you bring to the hospital, you have to take home. Plus a baby, plus a car seat, plus items the hospital gives you. You may be in pain and trying to leave in a wheelchair with all of that stuff will be difficult.
  • Find out what items your hospital has available to you, most hospitals will have the essentials such as pads, diapers, wipes, and bottom spray.
  • Limit the time your partner will need to run errands, and you’ll likely want them at the hospital with you not out and about searching for things you don’t need

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