The ULTIMATE Hospital Bag Checklist
It’s kind of nerve racking to pack your hospital bag, and if you’re like me when it comes to packing, you take 6 times as many underpants as days you will potentially be gone, you know, in case you pee yourself every day, twice a day. I packed my hospital bag right around 30 weeks, because truthfully, you never know what could happen and I am the queen of preparedness. I would recommend having your bag somewhat packed around 35 weeks though if you’re a normal person. Some things I could pack wayyyy in advance like postpartum panties and nursing bras I was not yet wearing, but other things like makeup and my hairbrush had to wait until the day of to go in my bag, and for that, I have a list within a list for you! Use this as a general guide, don’t over pack (most hospitals and husbands frown upon taking too many items especially if you don’t think you feasibly use them i.e. if you don’t see yourself taking a shower at the hospital, don’t bring shower shoes or soaps, etc.), but don’t neglect to bring something just for embarrassment or the possibility that you may not use it (if there’s a probability you won’t use it, then leave it behind if it’s bulky). I went back and forth on taking my yoga ball (aka birthing ball) to Labor and Delivery when we left, and I had terrible back labor at certain points, so I was so happy I brought it, even if it did take Nik 3 trips to bring all our stuff up to the room. Anywhoosers, here’s your guide, and good luck mamas and daddies!
⎕ A comfy going home outfit, I recommend loose fitting shirts and yoga pants and flip flops or comfy shoes. Also bring shower shoes if you’re weird about that kind of thing and plan to shower in the hospital.
⎕ A comfy/cute postpartum day outfit for photos with your new little one (I had a cute robe with a nursing top nightgown underneath so I didn’t have to wear a real bra)
⎕ Things you’ll need for labor including:
⎕ Birthing ball or peanut ball (my hospital supplied peanut balls)
⎕ Massage oil, essential oils, or lotions if you want to be massaged during labor (nothing too smelly, and trust me, I like my smells)
⎕ Books, magazines, music or anything you think will help distract you. I advise you to try to sleep during early labor, but if you can’t you’ll want something to help pass time.
⎕ Ponytail holders, bobby pins, or headbands to keep your mane tamed
⎕ Phone and phone charger
⎕ Nursing bras/nursing tanks/nursing nighties, nursing pads, nipple cream (Lansinoh lanolin brand)
⎕ Extra pillows, hospital pillows suuuuuck
⎕ Breast pump (JUUUUUST in case baby ends up in the NICU. You can even just leave this in your car)
⎕ Make last minute checklist and put this in your bag so you’re not scrambling before heading to the hospital!
⎕ Comfy clothes (2 sets @ least), short sleeves and bring a sweater. Jeans are okay, but better to go with gym shorts or pants. Dad may get cold in the hospital, or hot if he’s helping with labor.
⎕ Closed toed, comfy shoes, dad will be doing a lot of standing. Also bring shower shoes if you’re weird about that kind of thing and plan to shower in the hospital.
⎕ Snacks and drinks, mom can’t eat usually, though I got to have a snackie snack before they started me on Pitocin. (side note, bring snacks for AFTER birth too. Mama will be hungry!)
⎕ Phone and phone charger
⎕ Pillows and blankets for dad to sleep with (hospital has some for mom but dad is S.O.L.)
⎕ Going home outfit (I recommend bringing 2 different sized outfits prewashed)
⎕ Onesies if you want to dress baby, we left our heat in our room up and kept him in a diaper for easy access to skin to skin with mom and dad. We did bring swaddles though!
⎕ Swaddle (2 or 3 just in case there is a blowout as we dealt with...)
⎕ Pacifiers (@least 2, you will lose one), sentimental blankies, or anything else you want in those first few nights for baby, would’ve been nice to have a paci for suuuuure. Hospital usually has blankies FYI.
⎕ Carseat with base installed in the car (seriously, do a trial run on this)
⎕ Camera, charged battery, and memory card
⎕ Shampoo/conditioner (I brought sample sizes, don’t get cray). Dry shampoo was nice too.
⎕ Face wash or makeup wipes
⎕ Chapstick, no joke, everyone needs it
⎕ Body wash and lotion if you plan to shower
LAST MINUTE ITEMS FOR MOM:
⎕ Birth plan (if you have one, we did not..., insurance Info, ID, and any hospital check in info (we had an admission packet pre-filled out)
⎕ Remind dad who your OB is and who baby’s pediatrician will be (write it down for him)
⎕ Makeup if you think you’ll wear it. I thought I would and I 100% did not even consider it (and I’m a part time makeup artist so that says something)
⎕ Take current weather into account and add or remove any items that are not season/weather appropriate. Also, trust me, you will be hot during labor and delivery, possibly cold afterwards.
LAST MINUTE ITEMS FOR DAD:
⎕ List of people to contact RE: labor starting. Have this conversation beforehand please…
⎕ Insurance info, ID, cash, hospital admission info (ask mom)
⎕ Nik can’t sleep with any light, so he brings an eye mask, if your boo is the same, remind them
LAST MINUTE GENERAL TOILETRIES:
⎕ Glasses / spare contacts, solution, and case
⎕ Toothbrushes and toothpaste (some hospitals have these)
This is a compilation of my specific hospital bag, so feel free to add or delete whatever you may or may not need! I will advise you to bring only ONE joint bag. I used a larger sized gym bag and Nik and I shared and the baby stuff fit in a single pocket. Remember, you are going to be tired, so don’t overdo it. I stayed in my hospital gown through all of labor and delivery, even past postpartum. Birth is messy and I wasn’t going to ruin my things. I showered and changed clothes the day after delivery (you’ll need to ask the hospital for towels BEFORE you shower hahaha). I wore a super comfy outfit home, and just a somewhat cute but very comfy outfit the day following delivery. Remember you won’t be back to pre-pregnancy size, so pack sizes accordingly, and also remember that if your feet are swollen, they will likely get worse after a few days in bed and being pumped full of fluids, so I say bring flip flops or slippers to wear.
Hope this helps you pack your own bag for delivery! Good luck mamas and daddies!