I remember a few weeks to my due date, preparing for the birth of my little one I had packed a bag so big that my husband had to ask how long I was planning to stay at the hospital (hahaha). I very easily overpacked because I kept thinking, what if I need this and that and I didn’t have it? Isn’t it better to have a lot than not at all? These questions came from not knowing exactly what I needed.
It seemed like it would be useful to have things at the hospital, but I quickly realized that I didn’t need half of what was in my bag.
Here is a HOSPITAL BAG CHECKLIST to help you know exactly what you should pack for you and your little one.
You don’t have to be me,
unpack that huge bag and pack up only the essentials using this guide.
I also included a simple downloadable list that you can print.
WHEN TO PACK A HOSPITAL BAG
Do it now so there’s no last-minute running around. But seriously its best to be prepared. if possible have a packed bag close to the door, so you know where exactly it is when labor begins.
Your hospital will give you a suggested due date, but it is different for every woman.
In the event that happens, it’s good to be prepared with a bag already packed and ready to head off!
I would say, have your bag packed at 36 weeks because if your water broke before you head to the hospital it doesn’t take long for labor to start so you want to be prepared.
You’ll need to pack items for yourself, your partner, and your little one.
ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR HOSPITAL BAG
- A breastfeeding pillow (make sure you take your own)
- Nursing bras and breast pads
- Hair ties and a hairbrush (trust me, this is so important when in labour!)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash (make sure you pack yours because they don’t always have it at the hospital)
- Slippers or flip-flops to wear in the shower and for walking around the hospital
- Sweater/jacket and yoga pants for wearing in between contractions just in case it gets cold in the delivery room
- Cell phone and charger
- A camera for taking pictures of your newborn baby
- iPod and headphones to listen to music or a podcast while you are laboring so you can focus on something else besides the contractions.
- Camera battery charger- this is a MUST if you plan on using a GoPro or DSLR camera because they drain batteries really fast!
- Maternity pads- an absolute essential will have to bring more than one package, depending on how active you are, especially at night when sleeping xii. Comfortable clothes for leaving the hospital (loose sweatshirt/hoodie and leggings)
- A Valid ID (your health card and driver’s license will do)MATERNITY WARD BASICS:
- Your insurance card (if you have any)
- Loose clothes to wear home (one loose, comfortable t-shirt or top that can easily slip on and off without too much strain. This is great for all those wee checks your nurse will be doing throughout your stay.) TIP: Bring a pair of pajamas if you want something better than the t-shirt! I needed one at night because my room was always cold -no extra blankets or covers were available).
- Comfortable shoes for leaving (you will likely be given those lovely hospital socks, and if you plan on getting up and walking around immediately after having your baby, as I did, you might as well throw an extra pair of socks or two in your bag)
- Nursing bra, preferably no underwire, the ones without underwire felt a lot more comfortable for me. Especially if you start breastfeeding, the last thing you want is a very uncomfortable
- Toiletries: Toothbrush/toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner soap, flannel/washcloth, and hairdryer. If you use makeup, include makeup remover wipes!
- Towel and handtowel will usually be provided in your room, but it’s good to have a spare towel just in case or if your baby spits up on you
- A copy of your birth plan
WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR BIRTH PARTNER
- Snacks and beverages; It’s also good to have snacks and beverages for your birth partner because it gets exhausting being at the hospital! So having something to help keep them energized is great.
- Clean clothes
- Blanket/sleep covers
- Cellphone and cellphone charger
- list of phone numbers
- Glasses or contact lenses
WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR BABY
WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR BABY
- Baby blanket
- 3-5 diapers (They will give you more, but it’s always good to have some spares) and cream.
- Socks or booties (to keep their little feet warm)
- Baby washcloths
- Receiving blankets/cloth diapers
- diaper wipes
- Baby brush or comb
- Change mat
- Baby towels
- Hospital diaper bag to keep all of baby’s essentials.
- Baby caps to keep their heads warm,
- Baby booties if they are coming home in the wintertime.
- Blankets swaddle the baby during labor and also after birth for skin-to-skin contact.
- Breastfeeding pillow
- Nursing bra
- Nursing nightgown
- Lactation consultant information, just in case!
- Pumping supplies if you are planning on breastfeeding but for some reason can’t at that time, or it didn’t work out, you need to pump instead.
- Bottle/storage bags if breastfeeding doesn’t work out and you need to bottle feed your baby
- Nipple cream (to avoid irritation) and nipple shield (if they need it)
- Breast pads, you will need lots of them to prevent leakage
- Nursing bras because maternity bras don’t work for breastfeeding.
With these, you are good to go. There will be no need to haul a heavy bag with a lot of items that you will never get to use.