It is almost time to greet your new baby, and as an expectant mom you are trying to make sure you have everything packed in your hospital bag ready for the baby’s day of delivery. You want to be sure it is by the door and ready to go when those contractions hit! How can you be sure you have not missed something? (Pregnancy brain is a real thing, you know!) So what are the items that are obvious, and what are the things that you might get to the hospital and say, “Oh, I wish I had thought to pack that!”? Let’s take a look!
Be sure to read to the end to find your free downloadable packing list!
When it comes time to deliver your baby, whether it is natural or by C-section, there are certain items you will want to have with you. Some of the most important pieces you will want included in your hospital bag are the outfits for you, your baby, and your partner to wear home from the hospital. While the hospital provides many things, having something comfortable and weather-appropriate to wear when discharged is a must! Including a soft blanket to tuck around your baby in their car seat will help them continue to feel swaddled on your way home. You will also want some socks and slippers. Everyone knows hospitals keep the temperature somewhere in the arctic degrees and having your favorite comfy socks and slippers to walk around in makes it more pleasant on your feet when you’re moving around your room, or going to the nursery. The hospital will also provide you with a hospital gown, postpartum underwear, and pads. However, many new moms prefer to bring their own for after delivery as well as a robe. Since you will be pretty sore after giving birth, you most likely will not want to deal with trying to get your legs into pants or leggings right away – especially if you have a C-section!
Diapers, Wipes, and Bottles Oh My!
The hospital will most likely provide diapers, wipes, and a pacifier while you are there and often send home what is still in your baby’s bassinet at the end of your stay. However, if you have preferred brands or styles of any of these, feel free to bring your own, and you can ask the nurses to use the ones you got. You may consider using diapers that are better for baby and the environment, check out Dyper in case you want to have some on hand ahead of time Usually, the hospital will provide bottles and formula if you are going that route. If you are planning to breastfeed and pump, talk to your hospital before your due date and find out if they will provide you with a pump or if you will need to purchase one yourself. If you are planning to breastfeed, you will want to be sure to pack some bra pads should you start leaking on the way home, and some nipple cream in case you experience chapping while your little one gets used to nursing.
Giving birth is not only painful, but it is also messy, and you are going to work up a sweat. (It is called labor for a reason!) While most hospitals will provide motel-sized shampoo, soap, and toothpaste, some moms prefer to bring their own. You will also want to be sure to include deodorant, a hairbrush, and any hair accessories such as headbands or ponytail holders that you want. Unless you have a planned C-section, you aren’t going to know precisely when you will go into labor. Meaning you could go into the hospital with a fresh face or right after carefully applying your makeup! Be sure to include makeup remover wipes in your toiletries case, so those after birth pictures of you and baby don’t have raccoon eyes from your mascara or eyeliner. Speaking of eyes, don’t forget your glasses! Contacts are great, but they are one of the last things you will want to deal with after just giving birth. If you are a contact-only wearer, be sure to pack a bottle of contact solution and a case along with an extra set in case the ones you are wearing when you go in cannot be reused. Be sure to pack any of your spouse’s medications, and if you are on any, discuss with the hospital ahead of time if you should bring your own or if they will provide them.
All the Extras
One of the first things you will want to put in your bag that is obvious but easy to overlook is all of your paperwork. You will want your birth plan, living will, your ID, insurance cards, information on your doctor as well as your chosen pediatrician. Check with the hospital before your due date to see if there is any other information they will require. An item that may not be so obvious is a charger for your phone and any electronics you will be bringing. Using your electronics can be an excellent distraction for yourself as the labor pains get more intensive, and you need them to call everyone and take pictures after you give birth! Magazines, books, puzzle books, music, a journal or notebook to write in – anything that you or your spouse may want for entertainment should be included. After giving birth, you will most likely be starving! Be sure to have snacks to avoid sending your spouse to the hospital cafeteria frequently!
Going into labor can be sudden or slow, either way it can be a stressful time for both of you. Packing your hospital bag for delivery ahead of time and having it in the car (perhaps beside the already installed baby seat), is a great way to make sure it doesn’t get left behind! Having a second bag that you keep in the house until the big day is a great way to keep your electronics and chargers together to be sure anything you want to take is included. To help you pack, we have put all of the information in this article into a free printable list so you can check it twice – just like Santa! See below for your free printable!