Are you all set for the big day? Chances are, you’ve spent the past several months dreaming of the day you finally get to meet baby. But don’t forget one of the most important third trimester to-dos: Deciding what to pack in your hospital bag—for baby, you and your partner. Your baby might arrive earlier than expected, so it’s worth having your baby hospital bag organized and packed around month eight of your pregnancy – just in case.
Some items are essential (you’ll need a car seat, for example); others will make you feel comfy and remind you of home.
Here’s a list of everything you may want or need with you in the hospital.
What to Pack in Hospital Bag for Mom
• Birth plan (if you have one). You might have discussed your birth plan with your medical team, but having a few copies printed and available for your healthcare providers means that everyone can refer to it in case last-minute questions arise. If you haven’t written your birth plan yet and you’re thinking of having one, check out these pointers on what to include in your birth plan for some useful tips.
• Hospital paperwork, ID, and insurance card. Hospitals require your ID, any medical cards, and insurance documents up front, so make sure you have a copy of these readily available.
• A robe. A comfortable robe is one of the best postpartum clothing items out there. (https://bit.ly/3hM8sig)
• Comfortable clothes. If you plan on breastfeeding after delivery, pack a nursing bra or tank in your bag. Pair your tank top with a soft, loose pant like joggers or lightweight sleep pants. Another option is packing a beautiful, dark-colored PJ set. Postpartum leggings (like these from Blanqi) can also be comfy. If you plan on laboring in water at any point, pack a dark-colored sports bra or a bathing suit top. (https://bit.ly/3hM8sig)
• Socks. Your feet may get cold during labor.
• Slippers and flip-flops. You’ll want slippers that are comfortable and easy to slip in and out of to wear as you walk around the hospital ward. Pack some flip-flops for using in the shower.
• Lip balm. Your lips can get chapped during labor. Having some lip balm on hand will help keep your lips hydrated and comfortable.
• Body lotion or massage oil. Some moms-to-be find a little massage during labor relaxing. If this could be you, pop some lotion or oil in your hospital bag. (https://bit.ly/2ErUTqM)
• Adult diapers. The hospital will hook you up with pads and those mesh underwear, but many Babylist parents said adult diapers, like Depends, were more comfortable and felt more secure. A perineal spray is also a priceless addition to your postpartum arsenal. Your bum will thank you.
• Portable bluetooth speaker and Spotify playlist. Playing music during labor can be an asset for some. If you make a playlist, add a lot of songs to it—labor can last 24-plus straight hours, and you don’t want to listen to the same 10 songs over and over…and over the entire time. Though you may find you just want silence!
• Toileteries. Don’t forget tissues, hairbrush, comb, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hairdryer, hair clips, and hair ties. Pack a plastic bag to pop dirty clothes in. (https://bit.ly/2RL3Iib)
• Glasses and contact lenses (if you need them). It may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s these little things that can escape your attention when packing your hospital bag. Don’t forget contact lens solution and a lens case if you use contact lenses.
• Snacks and drinks. Labor can sometimes be very long, so you could consider packing some snacks and drinks. However, speak to your medical team about whether or not you will be allowed to eat or drink anything during labor. Also, consider packing some of your favorite snacks for after labor as you may feel like some comfort food during your hospital stay.
What to Pack in Hospital Bag for Baby
• A car seat. If you’re driving home, this is non-negotiable—they won’t let you take your baby home from the hospital without a car seat, and it should be already installed. (https://bit.ly/32P28lJ)
• Bodysuits. Hospital policies can vary on what newborns can be dressed in so consult with your healthcare provider in advance about what to pack. You may need to add to what the hospital provides in terms of accessories and layers. Remember, with bodysuits it’s a good idea to choose those that fasten up at the front.(https://bit.ly/3fYVgpM)
• Blanket. The hospital will likely provide blankets, but a blanket of your own is always good to have on hand to use during skin-to-skin contact. It can also be used to keep your baby warm in the car seat on the way home.(https://bit.ly/32VN0Dv)
• Socks and booties. Newborns can get cold easily so take some socks and booties just in case. Even during skin-to-skin contact, your newborn can wear a hat and socks. (https://bit.ly/3fYVgpM)
• Going-home outfit. Consider the weather conditions: a bodysuit, booties, and hat could be fine during the warmer months, but in winter, pack mittens and a jacket or snowsuit, as well. (https://bit.ly/3fYVgpM)
• Do not bring diapers or wipes! The hospital has all the diapers and wipes you’ll need. In fact, one Babylist parent suggested bringing an extra bag for all the freebies you’ll bring home from hospital.
What Your Partner or Support Person Should Pack
As a birth partner you might also want to pack some things for your time supporting mom in the hospital:
- Snacks and water. Labor can be thirsty work even for supportive partners. Consider packing some snacks and water, as well as change for the hospital vending machines.
- Phone, camera and/or video camera, plus chargers and batteries. Don’t forget to pack a phone to stay in contact with loved ones, and for some entertainment during downtimes. The camera will come in handy to take some happy snaps. (Make sure the camera’s memory card has plenty of free space on it.)
- Clothes. Labor is an unpredictable process, so a change of clothes is always a good idea, as you never know how long the stay will be.
- Toiletries. After a long labor, you might need to freshen up in the shower. Most hospitals are fine with this, but you can confirm this beforehand.
- Spare glasses or spare contact lenses. It might be a long day, so having spares of these essentials could come in handy.
- Small pillow. You might appreciate getting a bit of rest during downtimes, as well.
- Entertainment. Something to do: books, a tablet, and a music player are all good options.
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