Packing your hospital bag is exciting and a must for nesting mamas. You want to make sure you’re completely prepared for whatever may happen, and you don’t haven’t forgotten anything. That mindset, however, can lead to overpacking, which can create more work for you once you bring your baby home. You don’t want to have a giant suitcase to worry about unpacking the first few days your little one is home, so it’s essential to make sure you bring exactly what you’ll need in the hospital and nothing more. If you want to know what to pack without all the excess, this is the guide for you.
Important Paperwork And ID
Having all your important paperwork with you is vital and your priority when packing your hospital bag. Make sure you have your insurance card, hospital paperwork, cord blood banking kit if you’ve chosen to store your baby’s cord blood and your will. You can put everything in a folder or large Ziploc bag to ensure it stays safe. Also, make sure you have your driver’s license or ID readily available, as you will need it to check in to the hospital.
If you’ve written out your birth plan, make sure you have it to give to the doctor. If your partner or friends accompany you, have them hold it and make sure the nurses and doctor are clear on your wishes. If you haven’t gone over the plan with your doctor beforehand, consider calling them and letting them know what you would like to do. Having them on the same page will help make the process smoother and more straightforward if you are in active labor and unable to communicate your desires between contractions.
Make sure to pack an extra phone charger and any other chargers you may need for your devices. If you’re bringing a camera, have it filled with a blank memory card as well as a full battery, so it doesn’t die when you need it most. If you use an iPad or laptop, consider storing them near your bag until after you’ve delivered. Grabbing them will not be your priority when you realize it’s time to deliver your baby! There are usually multiple outlets you can charge your electronics in once you get to the hospital; just be careful which one you choose. If they’re in the way of the equipment your doctor uses, there is a chance they can get dropped or stepped on.
Outfit For Your Baby
It can be tempting to bring a bunch of the adorable outfits you’ve purchased for your little one. Try limiting them to one or two since they will be in a hospital onesi the majority of the time.
Clothes For You
You will want to pack the comfiest clothes you own. Stick to baggy shirts and loose-fitting pants, as your stomach will take a few weeks to shrink, and you won’t want anything pressing against it. You will also want to bring a nursing bra and breast pads, loose underwear, socks, comfortable pajamas or nightgown, and a warm sweater. If you like to wear robes, you can also bring one as a cover over your hospital gown.
Don’t forget to pack your toiletries, as most hospitals don’t provide them to you. Ensure you have your toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, glasses or contacts, eye drops, soap, and lotion. The hospital will provide you with special post-natal pads, so bringing those is unnecessary. If you have any other toiletries you use daily, don’t forget to add them as well.
Hospital food is notoriously bad, and having snacks on hand can help you if you’re feeling hungry. Generally, you won’t be allowed to eat during active labor, but if you are induced or your labor progresses slowly, you may want to eat something small. After delivery, it’s great to have your favorite snack around to eat as you’re feeding your baby or resting.
Packing your hospital bag is so much fun, but making sure you bring the right items with you can get overwhelming. Stick to important paperwork, your birth plan, necessary electronics, one or two outfits for your baby, clothes and toiletries for you, and snacks for when you get hungry. Following this guide will make sure you have exactly what you need for your big day!