Meeting your baby may be all that’s on your mind, but are you and your partner ready for that special day? Putting together a hospital bag will help everything go a bit more smoothly and give you fewer things to worry about, allowing you to focus on you and your newborn.
As it gets closer to your baby’s arrival, it can be easy to forget to pack your hospital bag. Start putting the bag together around eight months into your pregnancy and be sure it’s absolutely ready when you hit 38 weeks (even earlier is better!). Hospital bags are incredibly important for making labor as comfortable as possible for you, your partner, and your baby, and will ensure everything is ready for your new one to head to his or her new home.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Mommy:
- Paperwork: Hospitals require you to have your hospital paperwork, ID, and insurance card. It is likely when you go into labor, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is grabbing your paperwork. Packing it ahead of time will ensure you have it when the hospital asks for it.
- Comfy Clothes: From nightgowns to bathrobes, and warm (nonskid) socks to slippers, find your comfiest and loosest items to pack for ultimate relief. Both during labor , and after delivery, you’re going to be sore and uncomfortable. Having what you find comfortable to wear will help soothe you.
- Favorite Pillows and Blankets: We can’t stress enough how important it is for you to feel as comfortable as possible. While hospitals will provide you with blankets and pillows, we recommend you pack your favorite ones from home. Not only will this ensure you are comfortable, it will also help you feel a little more at home during a crazy time. We also recommend that you bring a colored or patterned pillowcase so it does not get confused with the hospital pillows.
- Eye Mask and Earplugs: Considering you’ll be in a maternity ward of a hospital, it is unlikely you’ll be able to sleep as soundly as you would at home. Bringing an eye mask and earplugs can help drown out the chaos surrounding you and help you get the rest you need and deserve. If you really want to splurge, get noise cancelling earbuds.
- Lip Balm and Lotion: It is likely that your skin will become drier as the hours of labor go on. Having lip balm and lotion on-hand will help you stay moisturized and will rid you of additional discomfort.
- Battery-Powered Candles and Scents: Lowering the lights in the hospital room and having a nice scent, like that of lavender, can help induce a sense of calm and relaxation for both mom and partner! Check out all these options and choose your favorite look and scent for maximum relaxation come labor-time.
- Entertainment: Labor is like a marathon; help pass the time with your favorite ways to distract yourself such as books, magazines, movies, and more.
- Maternity Pads: Although hospitals typically provide these, consider packing your own as well. Bleeding after giving birth is normal, and maternity pads are practical and necessary for absorbing this flow.
- Bras and Underwear: Be prepared with several pairs of soft underwear that will fit well over your heavy-duty maternity pads and pack a few nursing bras.
- Snacks and Drinks: You’re going to feel drained after your labor and delivery. No matter how good the hospital’s food is, you may just be craving your go-to comfort food. Pack your favorite snacks and drinks to refuel and rehydrate.
- Cosmetic Bag: Think of all the toiletries you need: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face cleansing/moisturizing products, makeup, and any other daily go-to. Pack these items into a cosmetics bag so you can keep yourself feeling and looking fresh.
- Going Home Outfit: We know your dying to fit back into your favorite pre-baby jeans, but leaving the hospital after giving birth is not the time for that, sadly. When picking your going home outfit, keep in mind that you won’t be fitting into your pre-baby clothes quite yet. Keep your outfit loose and comfortable.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Partner:
- A Camera: This is a momentous occasion for your family! Pack a way to document the journey, whether it be with a phone or a video camera, and make sure you bring the necessary chargers and batteries.
- Pillows and Blankets: Just because you’re not giving birth, doesn’t mean you won’t be uncomfortable at the hospital. Ease your comfort with some pillows and blankets. These will also be useful when squeezing in quick naps during any downtime.
- Entertainment: If you can’t sleep during your partner’s downtime, pack some books or movies to help you remain calm and distract from the chaos around you in the hospital.
- Snacks and Drinks: Again, no matter how good the hospital’s food is, you may just be craving your go-to comfort food. This is a scary, stressful, and exciting time. Having your favorite snacks and drinks will come in handy… it is called comfort food for a reason!
- Clothes: You may be in the hospital for a while, so a change of clothes will most likely be necessary. Consider packing your comfiest and favorite items. In case labor progresses slowly, you’ll want to have items comfortable enough to sleep in.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby:
- Baby Blanket: Bringing your own, personal receiving blanket for your little one as he/she enters the world not only helps keep your baby warm, it also provides the baby with a personal, comforting item. Down the road, it may just be their special blankie they won’t go anywhere without.
- Clothing: During your stay in the hospital, bodysuits are a great go-to for easy changing. It’s important to also pack your baby’s going home outfit! Remember to consider the weather conditions and pack your baby’s outfit accordingly.
- Socks: You’ve got the clothes… don’t forget the socks! Your baby may just be a newborn, but that doesn’t mean their feet and toesies don’t need to be kept protected and warm.
- Car Seat: A car seat may not go directly in your baby-to-be’s hospital bag, but it is crucial for getting your little bundle of joy home safely and soundly.
- Diaper Bag: It will be useful to have a diaper bag to pack the extra items you may receive for your baby from friends, family, and the hospital.
Getting ready to meet your new baby can be an exciting and overwhelming time. By preparing a hospital bag, you and your family can feel more relaxed and comfortable when that big day arrives.
To learn more about how you can prepare for the arrival of your little one, please read more on our Blog.
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