For time parents we have lots to think and worry about. You have spent many months working hard preparing in welcoming your new baby. You have organized and prepared the nursery room, shopped for the many things you and your baby will need, and probably even discussed with your partner on who will be taking you to the hospital when the time comes.
An important thing to remember about during your pregnancy and especially in the last trimester is packing a hospital bag for you, your partner, and for your baby. To simplify this, you can either bring a bag for yourself, a bag for your partner, a bag for your baby, or you can pick a bag that is big enough for all three. Either way it needs to be packed, organized, and ready to go.
Some individuals like their items to be packed separately which is completely fine. If your not sure where to begin or what to pack, what to pack in a delivery hospital bag is explained further below listing all of the needed essentials.
What to pack in a hospital bag for mom
- Your birth plan/insurance card/ID: Be sure to bring your insurance card and some form of identification; they will inquire about this at some time. Another thing you might want to bring if you have it is your birth plan. You can print a few copies-one can be placed in your chart, one for the nursing team, and some tape one up in their hospital room.
- A robe: Ditch the hospital gown and relax in one of these. This is something you can put on and take off easily, and it becomes handy after you have given birth.
- Toiletries: This is very important for you as it can make you feel better after giving birth. Be sure to include a hairbrush, shampoo and conditioner, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, lip balm (always), a headband and extra hair ties, face wipes (while you rest), face wash, contact lens and solution, glasses if you wear them (you might want to take these off during labor).
- A blow-dryer and a hair straightener: This may bulk your bag, but if you have the space, bring it. You will use it when you take your first shower after delivery.
- Clothes: Your hospital stay will be at least for two days, so plan on bringing enough clothes, but be sure they are comfortable. You can bring some maternity clothes, loose lightweight pants, or even leggings. Do not forget to include non-slip socks, and slippers for easy navigation within your room. If you plan on breastfeeding (most do), grab a bra or a tank top. If you planned on laboring in water, grab a sports bra or a bathing suit top.
- Drinks: Hospitals will provide some tea, juice, coffee, and of course water, but if you have some drinks that are of a favorite, bring them along.
- Cell phone charger: You always want to make sure your phone stays charged so you can stay connected with your partner when they leave, or when family members want to call, and even have enough battery for pictures.
- Nipple cream: This will help your nipples stay in contact and not dry out if you plan on breastfeeding.
- Pillow and bath towel: Pillows are provided but are not very comfortable, so be sure to bring one or even two of your favorite pillows. Bath towels are also provided but are thin and not very gentle on the skin, so pack a decent size towel to dry off in after taking a shower.
- Adult diapers or maternity pads: Pad will be given out after your baby has been delivered, but if you would rather have a specific brand that your more comfortable using, by all means bring them along. Just be sure the pads are heavy-duty, because you will have some discharge and left-over blood after delivery.
- Body lotion or massage oil: Many moms find that a massage during labor tends to be soothing and relaxing.
- Snacks: You can bring all of your favorite snacks to munch on during your stay, so your partner can avoid all those trips to the vending machine. Just be sure it will not cause any interference during your labor.
- Medications: Do not forget to bring any prescription medications you take on a daily basis. This is very important. Talk to your nursing team upon settling into your room.
- Cooler bag: You would want to bring one of these with, so you can take home whatever breast milk you were able to pump and save.
- Own pump: If you have done your research and have found a pump that you purchased; bring it along so you can pump in between feedings if you don’t want to use the hospital brand.
What to pack in a hospital bag for dad
- Snacks: Bring plenty of snacks for you and your partner to last for the entire length of stay which is usually two days. Hospital snacks can add up in cost over time, and you can avoid all those trips to the vending machine. You do want to stay with your partner as much as you can for support. Most importantly, do not miss the delivery of your newborn.
- Book/iPad/laptop/headphones: Bring something that will keep you entertained and busy during your time spent at the hospital, and do not forget to bring a charger for all your devices.
- Lightweight sleeping bag and pillow: Sleeping on the provided couch isn’t comfortable, and the pillows provided are also not the best. So, if you have a sleeping bag and a comfy pillow, be sure to pack to bring along.
- Toiletries: You need your set of toiletries as well to freshen up throughout the day. Do not forget deodorant, shaver and shaving cream, shampoo, and some conditioner.
- Medications: Any prescription medicine you take on a daily basis you do not want to forget.
What to pack in a hospital bag for baby
- Car seat+stroller combo set: This obviously will not go into your baby’s bag, but it is something that needs to be brought with at some time. You can bring it and leave it in the car, and when they ask for it, you can go grab it. They will not let you leave the hospital without this. They will perform a car seat test with your baby in it ensuring your baby can tolerate the seat.
- A going-home outfit: Be sure to bring a few size outfits (newborn and 0-3 months) for your baby to go home in. This will ensure one of these outfits will definitely fit your baby; not knowing exactly how much your baby will weigh. If the weather is cold outside, you can include weather appropriate accessories-hat, warm blanket, socks, jacket, and mittens. The saying is you dress your baby as how you would dress yourself!.
- Your baby’s pediatrician contact information: If you have found a pediatrician for your baby, your nursing staff will want to have this. If not, they will appoint one for you which you can always change later.
- Bottles and formula: If you do not plan on breastfeeding, the hospital will provide some of the most widely used formula in hospitals. If you prefer to use your own set of bottles and formula, be sure to bring enough supplies for your stay as newborn babies feed every 2-3 hours.
- Diapers and wipes: You do not need to bring any diapers or wipes at all unless you plan on using a certain brand for both. Babies will have about 8 wet diapers a day on average. You’re nursing staff will provide enough supplies that will allow you to stash and take home if you wish.
What Not To Bring
- Diapers: You do not need to bring any diapers or wipes at all unless you plan on using a certain brand for both. Babies will have about 8 wet diapers a day on average. You’re nursing staff will provide enough supplies that will allow you to stash and take home if you wish.
- Cash/jewelry/valuables: It would be best to keep any cash, jewelry, or anything of value at home. You can always lock it up with security if you wish.
Be Prepared And Ready To Go
You never know when this time will come, as it will happen at an unexpected time mostly. The important takeaway from all of this is to reserve time to pack your hospital bag and have it ready to go. The last thing you want to do is become stressed out and panic, which will not be good for you or the baby.
To simplify this matter, you can place your hospital bag somewhere near your house door, and if your that one person that forgets a lot, you can even place it in the car right next to the car seat. Have fun packing.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this, and please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.