Our team has decided to help first-time parents because we all remember how challenging the before-birth period is! So, we have asked multi-child parents to recall their childbirth experience and share it with us. Now we know exactly what to pack in a hospital bag!
Some things are crucial, and you can’t go without them, e.g., car seat protector (in some states, you won’t be able to leave the hospital with your newborn if you don’t have one). And some stuff will make you more comfortable and happier.
So, arm yourself with our comprehensive hospital bag list, and you are good to go!
When Should You Pack Your Hospital Bag
As you know, labor should occur on the 38th-40th week pregnant. However, your hospital bag must be ready around the 36th-37th weeks, just in case your labor will start earlier than you expect.
Do not forget to pack the following things! Of course, you’ll be able to give birth without them, but it’s all about your comfort!
- Your phone
- Phone charger
- Pen and notebook
- Some goodies for the staff in the hospital
- Your family photo, if you’d like
You should agree beforehand a list of the must-have documents with the hospital or birth center.
According to our experience, you’ll definitely need the papers mentioned below:
- Picture ID (you may take your driver license)
- Insurance card
- Your medical records/prenatal medical records
- A birth plan (if you have one)
Comfortable and nice clothes are a crucial part of hospital bag must-haves! You don’t really need lots of stuff there, but some things are indispensable before, while, and after delivery. However, some hospitals or birth centers provide their patients with necessary items like slippers bathrobes, etc. But you may want to take those stuff from home to feel more comfortable and secure. So, here are things to bring to the hospital when having a baby:
- Slippers and bathrobe: Some mommies say that they didn’t like hospital things because of inconsistent size. So, you may want to take your own slippers and bathrobe.
- Socks: You need them to stay warm and cozy. A lot of new moms like soft, anti-skid socks Noble Mount. They are so cute, fuzzy and warm! Openings are elasticized so they won’t dig into your swollen legs. You’ll appreciate them during your hospital stay.
- Best maternity bra: It’s item #1 in our best hospital bag checklist for moms-to-be. If you are expecting, you already know how comfortable and indispensable it is. There are lots of different models. We recommend choosing the best maternity nursing bra, which will grow with your changing shapes during pregnancy and let you feed your newborn comfortably. You need at least 3 of them since milk tends to leak, and your bra will become dirty soon.
- Nursing Tanks: If you like wearing tops, such tanks are a perfect pick for you! They look stylish; you can wear it under a jacket. The best nursing tank allows easy access when it’s time to feed.
- Pregnancy nightgowns: Such clothes are useful not only while you are expecting but during labor and breastfeeding. Let us recommend Baby Be Mine 3 in 1 Gown, you’ll fall in love with this stylish piece, as we do! It’s available in different beautiful colors and patterns. An adjustable waistline and front panel do not limit your movements, no flashing at all, but it lets easy access for medical monitoring and examinations. Shoulder snap will allow skin-to-skin contact and easy breastfeeding after delivery. This gown is made of cotton and is machine washable. A lot of happy mommies advise this beauty as the best postpartum outfit for the hospital!
- Postpartum belly wrap: You can pair it with your nursing tank. Such wrap accommodates and supports a belly perfectly.
- Comfortable, breathable underwear: If you have a c-section, you’ll need high waist panties, that won’t put pressure on your stitch.
Do not forget to put these things into your postpartum hospital bag!
We do want to include some snacks and drinks into your labor bag must-haves. During early labor, you will have to eat and drink something to keep up your energy level.Do not eat high-fat or sugary products as they can make you feel sick during labor.
So, what food and drinks to pack in your hospital bag? Here are our tips:
- Sandwiches with peanut butter/cheese/ham
- Rice cakes
- Cereal bars
- Easy to eat vegetables or fruits
- Mints or gums to keep your mouth fresh
- Water in a small bottle
- Isotonic drinks
- Weak sweet (but not too much) tea
Pack food into small plastic containers, bags, or foil; they must be accessible! Take products that you like, do not experiment.
It’s a good idea to pack necessary toiletries into your hospital bag beforehand! Here is a toiletries checklist for you!
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- A hairbrush
- Hair ties or clips
- Glasses/lens care
- Dry shampoo
- Lip balm
- Vanity pack
- Hand cream
Experienced mommies say that it’s better to buy a special cosmetics kit which has toiletries you need in the hospital. We think Convenience Herbal Essences Kit is a perfect decision. It includes all items you may need in the hospital, plus the kit comes in the adorable toiletry bag!
Another great option is the Pre-Packed Set for Labor and Delivery. It’s a grab-and-go kit; there are all must-have toiletries, even slippers, and socks!
You need something that will relax you during those long hours. Think about what you like the most, and don’t forget to pack it into your hospital bag. It may be:
- A book or a magazine
- A tablet with downloaded apps, music or movies
Your little one may take long hours before coming into this world, so make sure you have something to distract you while you’re waiting during early labor.
Lots of bleeding might happen after delivery, so you have to pack some of the following items into your postpartum hospital bag:
- Hospital disposable underwear
- Large pads
- Adult diapers
Some birth centers will hook up you with some of these items, ask a consultant, decide what will be the most comfortable for you, and include it into your hospital bag list.
Nice to have
It’s so nice to have something from home during your hospital stay after birth! Some new moms say that cozy stuff made them comfortable and secure. Let’s see what you can take:
- Massage oils or lotions: Your skin will need care, protection, and moisturization after pregnancy and delivery! Plus, you’ll want to get rid of stretch marks, and that requires kind of effort. Include Palmer’s Cocoa formula for New Mom Skin Recovery into your hospital bag necessities. This kit boasts tightening body lotion, bust cream, nursing butter, and skin therapy oil. All items are natural-made and hypoallergenic. Ask your partner to give you a message with a lotion or oil; it guarantees a true relaxation!
- Pillows and a bath towel: It’s not really necessary since a hospital will provide you with such stuff. But just imagine how comfortable it is to lie on your own pillow under your cozy blanket with your sweet little one! And soft towel will be so gentle to your skin! Hospital items may not be half as good as your own!
- Nipple cream: If you’re planning to breastfeed, nipple cream is a must! When you start nursing, you may suffer from sore nipples. Put Motherlove Organic Nipple Cream into your hospital bag! It’ is natural, lanolin-free, and unscented. You won’t need to wash it off before breastfeeding. New mommies say that this cream soothes sore nipples in no time!
What to Pack in Hospital Bag for Baby
Finally, we are done with the hospital bag list for you! It’s time to learn what to pack in a hospital bag for a baby!
- Baby clothes: Your baby won’t need many clothes during your hospital stay after birth. You have to pack two hats, two pairs of socks, two-three baby costumes. A lot of mommies prefer sleep-and-play costumes, something like Carter’s Simple Joy. They are made of high-quality materials, allows hassle-free packaging, come in adorable colors, and are price-reasonable.
You’ll also need newborn going home outfit – aim for 0-3 months size because newborn size may be too small.
- Bottles: You only have to put them into a baby hospital bag if you plan to bottle-feed. Then you need 2-3 of them.
- Your pediatrician’s contact information – doctors and nurses will ask you for that information because they must send your baby’s medical records to the pediatrician’s office. It’ll be great if you provide them with a fax number.
- Car seat: As it was mentioned above, hospital staff won’t let you take your baby home if you don’t have an installed baby car seat!
That’s all the stuff you need for a baby!
What Your Partner Should Pack
It’s great if your partner wants to attend a birth and stay in hospital with you! Let’s see what to put into a hospital bag for dad:
- Comfortable clothes
- Pillows, blanket, bath towel
- Snacks and drinks
- Entertainments: a book, a magazine, a tablet, downloaded music, movies, games, etc.
Generally, your partner will need almost the same things as you do. Well, maybe a little bit more food!
Pack your hospital bag according to this comprehensive hospital bag checklist for mom, dad, & a baby, and you are ready to go! By the way, all the items we have listed here could make perfect gifts for mommy after birth!We, at Parenthoodroutine, are always here to help you become TOP parents!