There are differing opinions about what you need when having a baby. We have gathered the best ideas for a hospital bag checklist with all the essentials.
Hospital Bag Checklist Essentials For Mom, Dad, and Baby
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You have survived morning sickness, months of anticipation of the arrival of your new little one, and your due date is fast approaching. It is time to start thinking about packing your hospital bag. The best time to prepare your bag is around week 37 or 38. There are many differing opinions on what is needed when you go to the hospital, so we have gathered the best ideas and made a hospital bag checklist for you with all the essentials.
There are three people to think about when packing your bag—mom, dad, and baby.
Hospital Bag Checklist Essentials For Mom
Photo ID, Insurance Card, And Birth Plan (if you have one)
There will be paperwork to fill out. Be sure to have all the information you need going into the hospital. Most hospitals nowadays have pre-registration, but there is always the last minute information and confirming who you are.
Your birth plan is essential also if you have one. Letting the hospital staff know the plan for your birth and what you want to have happen in written form, is an important step of making sure it will happen.
Don’t forget your eyeglasses on your hospital bag checklist, if you wear them! There is nothing worse than rushing out the door without them. If you have an extra pair, pack them in your bag early. Otherwise, have a list of things you want to be sure to grab as you are leaving and make sure your glasses are on the list.
Cell Phone And Charger
Chances are you will be in the hospital for a day or two. Don’t forget your cell phone and charger. There will be many people who will want updates as well as many pictures to take.
Lip Balm is an essential item for every hospital bag checklist. Hospitals are very dry, and your lips will need lip balm. Be sure to pack your favorite kind and keep it handy.
Toiletry And Personal Items
Pack some travel size shampoo, conditioner, and soap to take with you to the hospital. You will want your toothbrush and toothpaste as well. Bring a small amount of makeup, but it is possible you won’t have the time or feel up to doing all your makeup. A hairdryer is nice also, especially if your hair doesn’t do well as wash and wear (Check with your hospital. Not all allow blow dryers.)
Headband Or Ponytail Holder
Being able to get your hair out of the way during labor will be very helpful. You may want to avoid using clips as they can poke you. Headbands and ponytail holders come in handy to put your hair up when visitors come and you haven’t had time to do much with your hair.
Non-Perishable Snacks And Change For The Vending Machine
With all the excitement you may not be hungry right away. Besides, you don’t really know when baby is going to come. That moment when you do get hungry may not be the most opportune time to get food. Having snacks available and money for the vending machine will be something you will appreciate.
Maternity/Nursing Bras And Nursing Pads
Even if you don’t plan to nurse, the support and protection of maternity or nursing bras will be nice.
Non-Slip socks are super helpful. They will keep your feet warm and keep you from slipping when you get up to walk around. Be aware of the possibility that they may not make it home.
Nursing Pillow (Boppy)
This is a great invention and a must have. You will love having a nursing pillow and how it supports the baby as you are learning to nurse.
A robe can help keep you warm. It is also easy to put on and be used as a cover-up when people come for a visit.
Going Home Outfit
Don’t forget an outfit to go home in. Make sure it is a loose and comfortable one. You won’t be fitting into your jeans yet.
A few items to consider that aren’t essential but you might want them…
Hospital pillows are not very high quality, so consider bringing your own. Be sure to use a colorful pillowcase so it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital ones and taken.
The hospital provides gowns, but if you feel more comfortable in your own, bring a couple. If you are breastfeeding, be sure to have ones that open in the front. I always love wearing really comfy clothes during the day.
Hospital towels can be flimsy, so consider bringing your own.
Things To Help You Relax And Pass The Time
Many women find themselves very busy and distracted, but if you are worried about getting bored, bring some cards, something to read, or a tablet.
For some women, music helps them to relax. Bring music if that is helpful to you.
Postpartum or Disposable Underwear
The hospital will supply you with underwear, but some women don’t like them. If you are one of those, bring some of your own. They should be large and breathable.
Hospital Bag Essentials For Dad
Cell Phone And Charger
Dad will want his phone and charger as well. He will be the one who will be doing most of the updating during and taking of pictures, so make sure he has his phone and charger.
You could share yours, but…dad should have his own snacks. You are going to be pretty hungry. Dad is going to want to eat before you, especially if labor takes a while. You may want to pack a few extra for him.
Any Daily Medication
Be sure dad brings any medication he needs. This is a good one to put on your list to grab at the last minute if you don’t have extra to pack in advance.
A Change Of Clothes And Jacket
The room may be too cold and dad may want a jacket. On the other hand, the room may get too hot and dad may want to change clothes after all is said and done. Having both on hand will be appreciated.
Dad may want to bring a few things along for entertainment. Maybe something to read, listen to or watch.
Toiletries And Personal Items
If the hospital allows fathers to shower, pack a few things for dad. Travel size shampoo and soap works great. Don’t forget the toothbrush and toothpaste!
Camera And Video Camera
Most hospitals won’t allow you to take pictures or video of the birth of your baby, but you may want to capture relatives and friends coming to visit and seeing baby for the first time. Don’t forget the camera and video camera for those moments.
Hospital Bag Essentials For Baby
Burp Cloths are essential from the start of a newborn’s life. Add them to your hospital bag checklist. Having a few in your hospital bag will come in very handy.
If you choose to use a pacifier, be sure to pack a couple in your hospital bag for baby.
Baby Hat Or Bows
Baby hats are great for keeping baby warm. Hats and bows are also fun for pictures with baby. Pack a few in your bag to use at the hospital.
Warm and/or Swaddling blankets
A couple of warm blankets and/or swaddling blankets are always handy while in the hospital and for coming home.
A Coming Home Outfit
You will want a cute coming home outfit for your new little one. Be sure and pack a couple of different sizes to make sure they fit.
Don’t Forget The Car Seat!
Of course, this won’t be in your bag, but be sure you have your car seat in your car ready to go a few weeks before baby is to arrive.
A couple of non-essentials for baby but things you might consider…
You may want to record a few things in the baby book so you don’t forget baby’s book, as well as who visited.
The hospital will probably have onesies, but you may want to bring a few cute ones of your own (Be aware of hospital policies. Some will only allow hospital products until you are taking baby home).
Those are the essentials you will need for your hospital bag checklist. They cover everything for mom, dad, and baby. Just remember to check with your hospital. There are things that they will provide (you can still bring your own) and some things that they don’t allow.
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Eveliina is an intern currently working with us! She is on her way to getting her degree in Marriage and Family Studies! Eveliina is a wife, a mom, and a grandma. She loves every moment of life. She also has a love for photography and reading!