Congratulations, mama, you’re about to meet your little bundle of joy soon! Now, it’s time to prepare for the big day. Do you have all the things that you might need so you can get to the hospital at a moment’s notice?
Apart from the crib sheets or bassinets that you might want to purchase beforehand to welcome your baby home, you also need to prepare a few essentials for when you’re at the hospital. If you’re not sure where to start, here is a pregnancy hospital bag checklist for putting together your essentials.
When to pack your hospital bag ?
In general, it’s a good idea to have a maternity bag packed for the hospital by week 36 of your pregnancy. You’ll have a lot to deal with once you go into labor, so having everything in one place eases the stress and increases mobility in case your due date arrives sooner than anticipated.
What to pack in hospital bag for mom ?
- Hospital admission forms, medical records, ID, and insurance cards. You will need to have copies of your filled-out admission forms, medical records, ID, and insurance card ready. The hospital staff might ask for these immediately, so put them somewhere your partner can easily find them. This will speed up the whole admission process.
- Birth plan. A birth plan is a record of your preferences during labor and childbirth. While it’s a good thing to thoroughly discuss your birth plan with your medical team during one of your pregnancy appointments, it’s often easy to forget important information in the heat of the moment. In that case, having a printed birth plan on hand for your healthcare providers can save time and prevent confusion.
- Nightgown or bathrobe. Childbirth is difficult, but you can take away some of the heaviness during labor by wearing comfortable and lightweight clothing such as a nightgown or a bathrobe. Other than that, it can help you move during your recovery period at the hospital. Remember that comfort is essential when you’re transitioning into motherhood.
- Nursing bras or tank tops. You’ll want nursing bras or tank tops that are comfy enough to sleep in. A going-home outfit. Aside from the nightgown and bras, also bring along an outfit for going home. You might want to choose something loose or with a drawstring waist, so it’s easier to put on and off after delivery.
- Lip balm. When you are in labor, your lips can get dry and chapped pretty fast. You will be glad if you have a lip balm to keep them hydrated and moisturized.
- Massage oil. For some moms-to-be, a good massage can help them cope with the pain during labor.
- Nipple cream. Breastfeeding may be natural, but it’s not free of unnecessary challenges. If you’re pregnant and planning to breastfeed, get yourself some nipple cream to soothe the chafing and irritation.
- Heavy-duty maternity pads. Choose those that are thicker, softer, and more absorbent than regular ones. The hospital will surely provide some, but it’s good to have a few on hand in case you need them right away. You may be bleeding a lot in the first couple of days after pregnancy.
- Pillows. You might want to bring your favorite pillow at home just to get a comfortable night’s sleep in a hospital bed after delivery. You’d be surprised how much comfort a familiar pillow can bring.
- Phone and charger. If you want to keep in touch with your loved ones, don’t forget your phone and charger. Use it to take pictures to document the last stretch of your pregnancy (you can finally fill in the baby book!), share the news of your baby with friends on social media, and communicate with people during your stay in the hospital.
- Toiletries. Of course, don’t forget to throw in the basics! These include a deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, hairdryer, hairbrush, hair clips or ties, and face wipes. Remember to pack flip-flops for the shower and the car ride home if your feet are swollen. Bring a plastic bag or two to put your dirty clothes in.
- Snacks and drinks. Talk to your medical team about whether or not you can bring food and drinks into labor and what they recommend, and then consider bringing the snacks that you find most comforting.
- Entertainment. To make the long hours of contractions more bearable, bring entertainment like a book, magazines, or a tablet with series or movies downloaded on it.
What to pack for baby ?
- Homecoming outfit. Babies come in all shapes and sizes, so pack two different outfits in different sizes. Also, they should be appropriate clothing for the climate. For example, a bodysuit can be appropriate in warm weather, while a sweater might be good for the colder months.
- Blanket. Hospital blankets are good for swaddling, but if you have a favorite blanket of your own that is cozier, softer, and more lightweight, feel free to use it. Not only does it prepare you for skin-to-skin cuddling, but it also keeps your baby warm in the car seat on the way home.
- Socks and a hat. Because of their thin and delicate skin, infants can easily get cold, so be sure to bring some socks or booties and a hat. Even while you’re holding them skin-to-skin, their head and feet should be covered.
- Your pediatrician’s contact details. The medical staff will request this information from you, so have it prepared. List the pediatrician‘s email or fax number so they can send them your baby’s medical records.
- Car seat. If you’re driving home from the hospital, having a car seat properly installed is an absolute necessity. Hospitals require you to have a car seat when bringing your baby back home.
What to pack in hospital bag for dad ?
- Snacks and drinks. It is always a good idea to pack some snacks. An extra $5 for vending machines can also go a long way, especially if the hospital does not allow people to leave and come back and you’re gonna be there for quite some time.
- Phone and video camera. If he’s planning to take a lot of photos and videos, make sure to bring enough batteries and chargers for these devices if there’s a chance for an overnight stay.
- Clothes. Labor may take some time. Hospitals’ ACs are usually stronger than expected. Bring a hoodie and sweatpants to stay warm.
- Small pillow. A pillow might help you get a quick nap during downtime.
- Book. While waiting, dads can keep themselves entertained by reading a book. It could be a guide for first time parents or an old classic novel that will help ease the anxiety of waiting.
- Extra bag. After the baby is born, the hospital is likely to give or hand you some freebies (e.g., diapers, toys, etc.). Bring an extra, lightweight, and compact bag for these in case there’s no room left in your maternity bag.
Download our pregnancy hospital bag checklist pdf to have a quick and smooth preparation of the things you need!