If you are a chronic procrastinator, now is the time to change your habits. Having your hospital bag ready early is non-negotiable! If you are the type who is always early, completes tasks ahead of time, or is generally well organized—good for you—but you still need a hospital bag guide. Let’s go through items to pack for your hospital stay and delivery.
When to Pack
Most experts say to have your hospital bag packed by week 34 in case your little one makes a surprise appearance prior to their expected date.
Start With Essentials
Items you need to be admitted to the hospital should be together in your bag or purse. These include:
- Driver’s license and/or photo ID
- Insurance cards
- Birth plan, if you have one. This should already be in your physician’s hands
- Ask if you need any other paperwork
Items for Baby
A coming home outfit with legs is essential. You don’t want a gown which doesn’t allow for an infant being placed in a car seat. Install a rear facing car seat. Add nail clippers or an emery board. An extra outfit can come in handy along with a hat and slippers if weather appropriate.
Items for Mom
The following items are common for new moms to bring in their hospital bag.
- Toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrush, and deodorant. A hanging toiletry bag is quite useful to save space.
- Lip balm
- Brush and comb
- Makeup if you plan to wear any
- Postpartum sanitary pads and cotton underwear
- Glasses and/or contacts with lens solutions and case
- Hair ties
- Nipple cream
- Comfortable robe and pjs with slippers that grip, plus flip flops for bath and shower
- Top that opens in front
- Maternity leggings
- Nursing bra
- Comfortable outfit to wear home
- An insulated cup with a straw
- Cellphone with extra long charging cord
Items for Labor
Bring some massage lotion, a book, laptop or tablet. Have your favorite music ready with earphones or earbuds and a lot of songs. Mints and gum will help through a long labor.
Items for After Labor
Snacks will help rescue you from a long labor. Crackers, dried fruit, protein bars, pretzels, and hard candy will be welcome, a notebook and pen to record what happened, a nursing pillow, and some special gifts for big brother or sister. Chocolates for the nurses are a nice touch.
Items for Spouse or Partner
Pack toiletries like toothpaste and toothbrush, comfortable shoes, snacks and a water bottle, cell phone and charger. Spouses will need cash and credit cards for parking and vending machines, and maybe their own pillow, if desired. One change of clothes might be helpful also.
You might consider a fluffy towel in case you don’t want to use a scratchy one for your first shower after labor. Add your own pillow if you’re particular. Earth Mama Perineal spray will be welcome.
What NOT to Bring
- Medications (check with your physician)
- Diapers and wipes
- Bottles and nipples
With everything on your mind and your ever increasing to-do list, getting your hospital bag ready to go is one more thing you can check off your list.