The Hospital Bag Checklist: For Mom and Baby.
When Should You Start? – The hospital bag is often referred to as one of the third–trimester to-dos. More specifically, it is recommended to have it packed around 36 weeks. Although, every pregnancy is different, so there’s no harm in getting your bag together earlier. When packing, don’t worry about the last–minute personal items like your toothbrush or hairbrush, those items can be packed later.
What to pack for Mom? – First worry about packing the items for yourself.
- Your Birth Plan – Make a few copies so that there is enough to go around. Try to highlight some points for quick referencing. You’ll want a copy for your hospital room, your chart, and the labor nurses.
- A robe – This is the best postpartum clothing on the market. It’s comfy, and it will fit at any stage.
- Comfortable Clothes – Pack dark colored loose-fitting clothing; pajamas are perfect. If you plan on breastfeeding, pack a nursing bra or tank top. If you plan on a water birth, pack a dark-colored sports bra or bathing suit top. An essential for all Mama’s is a slip-on shoe or slipper. Trust me, you’re swollen feet will thank you.
- Drinks – A reusable water bottle is practical and space saving. If you prefer something other than water, get something with electrolytes like Gatorade.
- An extra-long phone charger – Hospital beds are notorious for being far away from an electrical outlet. You’ll want to have your phone fully charged and ready to go for photo-ops, so this is essential.
- Bath Towel – The towels the hospital provides are usually thin and way too small. Bring your own.
- Pillow– Having your pillow from home will provide the extra comfort you need.
- Adult Diapers– While the hospital provides mesh underwear and pads, many new moms recommend packing adult diapers for extra comfort and security.
- Portable Speaker– Music is a great way to set the tone. Remember, labor time is unpredictable, and you may find yourself wanting some distraction. Make a playlist of your favorite soothing songs.
What to pack for Baby? – Once you have everything packed for yourself, now you can focus on your baby.
- A car seat – The hospital won’t let you take your baby home without one. Make sure to have it installed and ready to go.
- A going home outfit – We recommend one newborn and one 0-3 months.
- Your pediatricians contact information – The nurses and doctors will be asking you for this info, so it’s nice to have handy. Be sure to write down their fax number or email so that the hospital can easily forward your baby’s medical records.
- Bottles and Formula – If you plan on bottle feeding, pack a few to bring to the hospital along with your preferred formula.
Note: Don’t bother packing diapers or wipes. The hospital has plenty! Plus, the extra room will allow you to stock up on the freebies. Once you have the bag packed and the car seat installed, you’ll be all ready to go when the baby decides to come.