Preparing for the arrival of your new baby is one of the most exciting times for expectant parents, while also sometimes intimidating. You finally get to meet the person you’ve been anxiously awaiting for the past nine months. Creating a hospital bag checklist is not only considered pregnancy self-care, but it’s also essential for expectant parents to ensure they have everything they need when the time comes to head to the hospital for labor and delivery.
Having a well-organized and comprehensive hospital bag checklist ensures both mom and baby are well-equipped for their stay. We’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist to help you prepare for baby, from essential items for mom to the must-haves for the newest member of your family.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom:
- Identification & documentation: Ensure you have your photo ID, insurance information, and any necessary hospital paperwork.
- Comfortable clothing: Pack loose-fitting, breathable clothes for labor and recovery. Consider bringing your own hospital gown if it will make you more comfortable.
- Robe & slippers: A comfortable robe and non-slip slippers will make moving around the hospital more pleasant.
- Nursing bras: If you plan to breastfeed, nursing bras provide essential support and convenience.
- Toiletries: Don’t forget your toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, skincare, and other personal items to help you freshen up.
- Hair ties: Keep your hair out of your face during labor with hair ties.
- Glasses and contacts: If you wear glasses or contacts, be sure to pack them, along with necessary supplies like contact lens solution.
- Snacks: Labor can be long, and you’ll need energy. Pack some healthy snacks to keep you fueled and avoid vending machine options unless you’re excited about those!
- Entertainment: Bring books, magazines, or a tablet loaded with your favorite shows or movies to help pass the time.
- Phone charger: You’ll want to stay connected to share the exciting news with family and loved ones. Bring your charger to keep your battery up!
- Labor comfort items: Consider items such as a birthing ball, essential oils, or music that can help create a calming atmosphere during your delivery.
- Pillow and blanket: Hospitals provide bedding, but having your own pillow and blanket can help you feel more at home in the medical setting.
- Postpartum care items: Have items like disposable underwear, maxi pads, lanolin cream for breastfeeding, and any prescribed medications on hand as you head into your fourth trimester.
- Going-home outfits: Pick a comfortable outfit for the day you leave the hospital. Choose something loose and easy to put on that works for the season you’re giving birth in.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby:
- Infant car seat: This is one of the most crucial items. The hospital will not allow you to leave without a properly installed car seat. Ensure to get this in your car a few weeks before your due date.
- Clothing: Pack several onesies, sleepers, and socks for your newborn. Consider the season when selecting outfits, and bring outerwear for colder months.
- Receiving blanket: Soft, lightweight receiving blankets are versatile and can be used for swaddling or as a nursing cover.
- Diapers and wipes: Bring enough diapers and wipes to last your hospital stay. To make your life even easier, you may want to sign up for a diaper subscription ahead of delivery so you know you’ll always have them on hand.
- Burp cloths: Prepare for post-feeding clean-ups by having lots of burp cloths handy.
- Going-home outfits: Choose a cute and comfortable outfit for your baby’s first trip home. Don’t forget a hat and booties!
- Essential oils: If you enjoy aromatherapy, bring some essential oils to create a soothing environment.
- Notebook and pen: Having a notebook to jot down important information or tips from the nursing staff can be invaluable.
- Birth plan copies: If you have a birth plan, make sure to print copies for your healthcare providers. It can help them understand your preferences.
Packing your hospital bag for labor is an essential step in ensuring a smooth and comfortable experience for both mom and baby. This checklist will help you feel confident that you have everything you need as you enter parenthood. Remember to personalize your checklist based on preferences and needs. Good luck with your delivery!