Whether you’re prepping to have your first baby or have been through the chaos of packing for delivery before, packing a hospital bag in preparation to deliver your baby can be stressful and chaotic. In order to help you not pack your whole house or forget the simplest things, we have compiled a list of things that mamas, babies, and partners will need to have on hand during your hospital or birth center stay.
When do I start packing?
We recommend having everything ready to go by the 8 month mark of your pregnancy due to the fact that you can go into labor at any point in the few weeks left before your due date. The average amount of time spent in the hospital for new moms is 2 days, and although that may be a short stay, life changes such as a new member of your family result in a good amount of luggage.
What to pack for LABOR:
⁃ Photo ID, insurance plan, hospital forms and a birth plan (if you have one)
⁃ Eyeglasses if you wear them
⁃ A bathrobe. 1-2 nightgowns (that you wouldn’t mind sacrificing to the cause), slippers and nonskid socks (for walking around the hospital). Make sure these are all super comfy and loose and preferably with short sleeves so your blood pressure can be checked easily.
⁃ Lip balm (hospitals tend to be very dry)
– Whatever will help you relax
⁃ Toiletries or personal items: shampoo, conditioner, contact case and contact cleaning solutions are just a few items to mention. Remember that you will only be there for a few days, so travel sized items are a must!
What to pack for AFTER YOU DELIVER:
⁃ Comfortable nursing bras
⁃ Several pairs of maternity underpants
⁃ A fresh and comfortable nightgown
⁃ A going home outfit that’s roomy and easy to get into
What to pack for your BABY
⁃ A going-home outfit. Bring some outfits in different sizes to make sure they fit.
⁃ An installed car seat. You can’t drive your baby home without one!
⁃ A receiving blanket. The hospital will provide some during your stay, but you will want one to tuck your baby in on the ride home, make sure the blanket is heavy if the weather is cooler.
What to pack for your PARTNER/LABOR COACH:
⁃ Money (cash AND card) for the vending machines or parking fee
⁃ Snacks and something to read or watch
⁃ Comfortable shoes and multiple changes of clothes
What NOT to bring:
⁃ Lots of cash or other valuables
⁃ Diapers. the hospital will provide them.
⁃ A breast bump. If you need one for any reason, the hospital will be able to provide you with one.
Pro Tip: Call the hospital or birth center you plan on delivering at ahead of time and ask what they have available for mothers who are in labor to use, you may be able to knock some items off of your list and reduce the chance of packing things you don’t need.
Pro Tip: Take 2 small duffle bags with you: one for while in labor, and one for after giving birth. That way you can stay organized and not have items such as your going home outfit out as soon as you get to the hospital or birth center.