Feeling a little lost on what to pack in a hospital bag? I got you, mama, I have been there before! In fact, I pushed it off so long during my first pregnancy that we ended up showing up to the hospital with only a leftover bag of chips from lunch that day (to our credit, he did arrive 4 weeks early).
That being said, on the next child, I made sure I was fully prepared. So, let’s do this mamas! Here is a complete guide of what to pack in a hospital bag and when to pack it.
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Here’s my biggest tip; don’t stress too much! While it’s nice to have everything packed and ready to go it won’t be the end of the world if for some reason you do not have it all. I’ve been there, done that and we were just fine! Luckily, pretty much all you need to give birth is your vagina! The rest of this stuff is all for your comfort and convenience.
How to Choose a Hospital Bag
Of course, you could just use any old duffle bag you have lying around. But hey, maybe you’re in the market for a new bag and this is the perfect excuse to buy one so here are some great options.
However, I do recommend looking into the diaper bag options on this list. If you choose one of these, you are killing two birds with one stone. Not to mention a diaper bag has tons of different pockets which will make it easy for you to keep everything organized.
When to Pack Your Hospital Bag
It’s totally up to you! I would recommend having it done before you hit 38 weeks just in case your little one makes a bit of an early appearance. It’s never good to go into labor feeling completely unprepared. If you are a high-risk pregnancy or pregnant with multiples, think about packing around 35 weeks just to be ready for anything! Once everything is all packed, have it waiting by the door or pack it in the car.
While you will probably be packing for baby and dad as well, focus on yourself first when packing your hospital bag. After all, you are the one doing all the hard work during this stay and you want to be as comfortable as possible. Having everything you need and want will make you the happiest and calmest version of yourself.
What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Mom
- A warm robe– It doesn’t matter if it’s new or old, just make sure it’s comfy and you are willing to sacrifice it.
- Layered lightweight comfy clothing– I cannot stress the comfy thing enough. Also, hospital temperatures can greatly vary so it’s good to have some layerable items like a cardigan. It’s also a good idea to pack a few nightgowns of your own because they will make you feel human, unlike the hospital ones.
- Going home outfit… because after it all, you and your new baby get to finally go home together! Remember you will likely still have a bit of bump, so plan this outfit accordingly.
- 2 or 3 pairs of socks– You will hopefully get to do some walking during and after labor around the hospital halls.
- Slippers & Flip Flops– Your feet are going to be swollen. I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you that this probably won’t go away right after labor either, so these will be your best shoe options. Plus, remember those dorm room showers? Well, the hospital showers have the possibility of being just as bad so flip flops are required.
- 1 maternity bra
- Nursing Pads
- Lanolin or another Nipple Cream
- 3 Pairs of Ruinable Underwear
- Headband/scrunchie/ponytail holder
- Travel Sized Toiletries– This includes; toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, your favorite lotion, contacts lens case/solution, eyeglasses, hairbrush, makeup (it’s okay to want to feel confident and pretty during your hospital stay!)
- Cell phone and charger
- Insurance information and hospital forms
- Photo ID
- Birth plan– I recommend writing one, even if it’s just super simple! It will help you have the experience you want.
- Sugar free candies to keep your mouth moist
- Snacks– bring all your guilty pleasures, abandon the diet plans at least for this stay
- Pillow– Everyone has different taste in pillows, but I think most would agree hospital pillows are not ideal so bring one you love and put it in a distinguishable pillowcase.
- A bath towel
What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Baby
- Coming home outfit– Bring 1 newborn size and 1 one to three-month size because there’s truly no knowing what size your little one will be.
- 2 white onesies – I like long sleeve kimono onesies with the built-in hand mits for my newborns.
- 1 Hat
- Socks or Booties
- Scratch Mittens (or just use the socks!)
- Blankets– One warm blanket and some for swaddling
- Approved Infant Car Seat– So, this might not quite fit in the bag but you will want to have it ready to go either in the car or near your things.
What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Dad
- Camera and camera charger
- Cell phone and charger
- 2 changes of clothes and underwear
- Travel Sized Toiletries– This includes; toothbrush, deodorant, contact lens case/solution, glasses
- Light reading or iPad with pre downloaded shows/movies to watch
- Folder– Put dad in charge of keeping track of all paperwork the doctors give you and the baby during your stay. If it all gets in a folder, you’re a lot less likely to lose anything.
- Snacks– Bring him his favorites so he will stay away from yours!
What was your hospital bag must-have?
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