About a month before my due date my husband and I began packing our hospital bag using the checklist by Pregnant Chicken. Since I was spending a lot of time away from the house, we agreed it would be best if I kept the bag in my car!
Before we agreed to do this however, we had a close call where we thought baby was coming! We ended up at the hospital and guess what? We had nothing that we wanted or needed in order to have a comfortable stay (even for the 5 hours we were there)!
If we would have ended up staying at the hospital and delivering little man, we wouldn’t have had anything. Better yet? I would have had to rely on my husband to relay to my parents what to bring up to the hospital. I know there would be things he would miss!
We ended up not delivering the. Thankfully! Though, we still didn’t get our bag fully packed until delivery day.
Don’t put that kind of stress on yourself!
I know it can be hard to prioritize your hospital bag when there are so many other things that need to happen before baby arrives! I can promise though that it is NOT fun having contractions and trying to track down your phone charger.
I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in the hospital again for it to not actually be time for baby to come. So, I did everything (taking a bath, relaxing, hydrating…) before actually coming to the conclusion that baby was coming. So, when it was time to go, it was TIME TO GO!
Don’t put yourself in a situation where you are having contractions and trying to find the camera!
Check out these items for your hospital bag that are nice to have, good to have, and that you have to have!
Also, print off the free checklist at the bottom to mark off items as you go. That way, you’ll know you have everything you need for your hospital bag!
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The following list of things you should pack in your hospital bag does not include the “fluff” that many checklists include. Who wants to be carrying around a bag of things you won’t actually need?
Not me! And trust me, when you are in labor you won’t want to either!
This list includes everything that I personally brought with me and a few things that I wish I would have had with me in my hospital bag!
Nice to have:
These are definitely things that you would not initially think of when thinking of items for your hospital bag! But let me tell you, they are important! I promise that you will not regret having them with you.
I recommend grabbing a smaller bag to throw these items in so that they are easily accessible or in a smaller pocket in your hospital bag.
Personally, I don’t wear makeup. But if I did, I know that I would have liked to have it with me. After delivery (and the days following delivery) you most likely won’t feel the prettiest. A lot of stuff is happening and a lot is changing.
Plus, you are going to just feel “off”. If wearing makeup is something that is part of your usual routine and makes you feel good, pack it!
My husband tends to stay up later than I do at night. Even with us both being exhausted from being up late having baby (and simply not being in our own bed), he still wanted to stay up a tad later. He wasn’t able to though because I NEEDED sleep and couldn’t with him up watching TV.
Having headphones would have made the experience for him a little more comfortable!
Let me give you some helpful information. You are going to want some chapstick! There is nothing worse than being in labor and having your lips crack open.
Save yourself some discomfort!
Great to have:
These are things that I would HIGHLY recommend having. They are items that if you don’t have them with you in your hospital bag, you are going to regret it.
Some of these things can be supplied by the hospital but I have heard that some hospitals don’t supply them! Having had the experience of having these items at my disposal after delivery, I couldn’t imagine not having them!
Once you are feeling good enough to get up and walk around, you are going to want a good pair of slippers. Why? Well, you probably aren’t going to want to do much bending over so having a nice pair of shoes to easily slip on is beneficial! And believe me, you will be getting up more than you probably want.
Baby will need to eat, he or she will cry, and they will need to be changed. Now, dad will be there to help out but there will definitely be times that you need to get up to care for baby.
Personally, our little babe spent some time in the NICU. So, I frequently had to be up and about walking to the different units. Having slippers was a life saver when I had to walk down to the NICU at 1:00 am!
The hospital usually supplies a little hate for baby once they are born! My son wore his until we were ready to go home. It is important for baby to wear hats at this time because you don’t want them to get cold.
I have read more recently that baby’s heat doesn’t actually escape through their head as much as previously thought. But you have to think, why not still cover his or her little head and keep them warm?
I brought a hat just in case and I am glad that I did. He wore the one we packed home!
The hospital I delivered in dressed my son in a little shirt that had mittens attached to it. I am not sure if other hospitals provide items like this. Most of the time baby is swaddled as well. Though, if you are holding baby and they aren’t swaddled it might be nice to have mittens just in case!
Baby nails, if you haven’t had a baby yet and don’t know, are sharp! They are like the baby equivalent to puppy teeth. Ouch!
I hate it when my son scratches his face. It doesn’t seem to matter how often I cut his nails, he somehow scratches his little face. It breaks my heart. So, I say better to play it safe and pack at least one pair just in case!
Your own pump if you have it
If you have your pump before baby comes, I would bring it to the hospital with you! We used the hospital’s pump while we stayed there. Though, it would have been nice to have my pump there because I found myself being a little anxious about knowing how to work my own pump once I got home.
The hospital should supply mesh underwear to you after delivery. I know that I asked for an outrageous amount of these because I do NOT enjoy feeling dirty.
I probably used way more hospital resources than I should have but hey… I just had a baby! Comfort is key.
If you think you may feel awkward asking for more, definitely invest in some! You will want them when you are home from the hospital as well. I think I continued to wear the ones that I brought home from the hospital for the first month home with baby!
You will still (most likely) be bleeding for the first 6-8 weeks being home. I felt much more comfortable being able to wear these underwear during this time!
The hospital I delivered at provided me with numerous robes. I wore one when I delivered my son and they gave me a fresh one after delivery. They then gave me another one the next day so that I could shower and wear something clean.
Having a robe to wear is important. Let me tell you why. You aren’t going to be moving around that well after delivery and bending down to pull your pants down to use the restroom is a task you will not want to do.
I was also a little unsteady for awhile after delivery so bending over most likely would have been a safety issue too!
I am not sure how many robes are handed out at all hospitals but I would make sure to pack one for yourself just in case! I had my robe from home just in case. Plus, it may make you feel more comfortable to have your own robe. I know sometimes the numerous strings I had to tie on the hospital robe was annoying.
Some mamas decide to invest in super stylish robes but I would definitely go with a simple bathrobe. After delivery, you just want to be comfortable!
Your own pillow and one for dad
THIS! To no surprise based on how many hospital resources I have already used, I asked for (probably) the whole hospital supply of pillows. I have got to say, the MUST make hospital beds more comfortable in the labor and delivery unit.
When we toured our hospital we loved that the unit provided a full-sized bed for mom and dad to be able to sleep in the same bed during their stay. Being able to have my husband right next to me was such a blessing but those beds were so uncomfortable.
I had to use so many pillows to support my back. As for the pillow I used for my head, it was a no go from me. It was far too squishy (great descriptor). I would have killed for my pillow from home and I guarantee it would have made a huge difference in my comfort level!
Again, my hospital provided this for me and made sure that I had it packed for home before we left! If you are worried about not having this resource given to you in the hospital, I would purchase some of your own. I stopped using it once I was home but initially it was really nice to have. You are tender and sore down there after delivery and the spray relieves a little of that!
Change of clothes for dad
We had clothes packed for my husband and I am glad we did! When you are staying away from home for a few days it is nice to have the opportunity to shower and put on some clean clothes!
Dad will probably be sweating during delivery too! It can be stressful. Make sure to pack some extra clothes for dad in your hospital bag!
After delivery you’ll be exhausted. If you are a first time mom, you may not know just yet how to hold your baby or feel comfortable doing so!
Having a nursing pillow can help with this! The pillow allows for you to not have to use too much more of your strength holding baby the numerous times he or she will need to eat.
Blanket for baby
This one is more sentimental. The hospital should have blankets that you can swaddle baby with. Though, if you have a special baby blanket for your little one, it may be good to bring it with you to create the memory of having that blanket there from the beginning.
HAVE to have:
Toothbrush and toothpaste
I would invest in buying a new toothbrush and toothpaste to put in your hospital bag. That way, you can’t forget them!
A sleeper or two for baby
I would bring some sleepers for baby just in case! My son was swaddled a majority of the time and didn’t have anything on under his blanket. Though, he was in the NICU. If he had been in our room with us the entire time, I am sure he wouldn’t have been swaddled as much as he was. If this were the case, he would have definitely needed something to wear to keep him warm when you are bonding!
Good luck delivering with your hair down. I couldn’t even imagine. You’ll want some hair ties with you in your hospital bag just in case you need one during your hospital stay! I personally love this kind!
The hospital can be cold sometimes! It would be smart to bring some socks just in case. Better yet, get some socks that have grips on the bottom so that if you are up and about in your room, you don’t have to wear your slippers!
Large water bottle
Some hospitals provide you with a nice large cup with a straw that is perfect for your hospital stay! Some… don’t. Hydrating during this time is so very important. Do not make the mistake of not having a great water bottle with you to keep yourself hydrated!
Snacks for dad
Be careful with this one… I wasn’t able to eat at all during labor and delivery. Keep in mind, I was in labor with my son for 23 hours. I was so hungry and my husband felt terrible eating in front of me!
They have to eat mamas. Make sure to pack some small snacks that they can have that might not smell strong and make you want some!
Dark comfortable pants
When you do start to feel comfortable wearing pants again, you will want some really comfortable one and you will want them to be a dark color! Since you will be bleeding after delivery, you don’t want to worry about wearing light pants.
I would suggest looking at getting some men’s sweats. I wore my husband’s sweatpants and was so happy that I did!
Dark comfortable shirts
You will want some comfortable shirts to lounge in at the hospital too! I personally used my husband’s shirts because they were baggy. It may be smart to have them a dark color as well because you never know when your milk will come in. I didn’t wear a bra during my entire time at the hospital because I wanted to be comfortable. So, it would have been seriously obvious if my milk would have come in.
It didn’t until about a day after we got home from the hospital. Though, once it did, there was no stopping it. Your milk has to regulate to how much you need to produce for baby. Therefore, you may initially produce more than you need.
My son is four months old and I still sleep in a nursing bra just in case because I woke up numerous times with my shirt and bed soaking because my body hadn’t adjusted to how much I needed to produce. Even though it wouldn’t likely happen now, you never know!
So, nursing bras are important. Not only for the reason above but also in the case that you need to feed baby somewhere other than home. Or, if you have company over. They easily unclasp so that you can feed your little one!
Phone and long charger
You most likely won’t forget your phone. BUT, you may forget your charger like we did on our “almost” delivery day. Our phones died and we had no way of contacting anyone which would have been unfortunate if baby had decided to come.
And this could definitely be the United States citizen of me, but I wanted a long enough charger that I could lay in bed and be on my phone at the same time. I was tired, okay?
Camera (or your phone)
Now, most people probably use their phone for pictures during their stay at the hospital. Though, if you prefer to use a camera, don’t forget to pack it! Also, don’t forget to make sure there is enough memory for those pictures!
While some hospitals have some soap that you can use, I would rather have the soap that I am used to using. That way, I know I like the soap and smell good (the soaps at the hospital don’t have much smell to them).
Come home outfit
If you plan to bring baby home in a specific outfit, you won’t want to forget it! Remember to pack that cute little take home outfit you bought in your hospital bag.
Car seat installed
Before you take baby home, the nurses in the unit will make sure that you have your car seat installed and baby buckled in appropriately. My husband installed ours a few weeks before our due date because… you never know when baby will decide to come! We put ours on our registry and were super blessed to be given it as a gift! For example, my son came two weeks early. So, we were glad we had the car seat installed already!