Woo! Congratulations! You’ve made it this far and life is about to get even more exciting as your little babe is born.
As you anticipate your delivery date and the upcoming pain you’re about to endure (haha- just kidding) it’s important to remember your essentials for your hospital bag. I can’t believe I didn’t write about this already but I was reminded just how important this part is when one of my fellow smother mother’s reached out to me via private message. Thanks, Sam!
The Truth About Hospital Bag Checklists
When I was pregnant I literally stalked every kind of hospital bag checklist out there. I was on pinterest, asking for facebook recommendations, reading up on my favorite mommy blogs and even purchasing books. I was a mess. There was so much out there.
But after my actual delivery and going through the motions of “having a baby” I realized this: You do not need half the shit they say you do.
So my hospital bag checklist is going to be simple and to the point. I’ll go over the absolute must-have’s for you, baby, and your partner.
Pack a Month or Two Before Your Due Date
Because most women will go into labor between 38 and 42 weeks, it’s advisable to pack well ahead of your due date. A month before is usually good, but even packing two months before won’t hurt.
The Absolute Must-Haves for Mom
3+ Pairs of Underwear: Preferably some good ol grannie panties. Yep ain’t nobody going to be looking at your undies at this point so you might as well be comfortable.
Nursing Bra: You may or may not choose to breastfeed but it will be really good to be prepared. A nursing bra is nice because it’s comfortable. You can get the one without underwire too so you’re comfy and can sleep in it if needed. My favorite nursing bra is the Medela Women’s Nursing Seamless Bra.
Comfy Robe: This was an essential for me. You can skip this one if you rather wear the hospital gown but c’mon those things tie in the back which means you’ll more than likely moon someone a time or two. Instead, go to your local target, walmart, or TJ Maxx and pick a comfy cotton robe.
Snacks: If you have a go-to snack, throw it in your bag. I spent hours in labor with no snacks. The hospital had popsicles but I was craving something chocolate. I would totally pack a little snack pack with your favorites.
Toiletries: Can’t forget these! You’ll want your hair brush, regular or dry shampoo (let’s be honest here), toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, extra hair ties and face wipes. Oh and remember your contacts and/or glasses, if you wear them!
Your Birth Plan: Map out your must-haves so you can share with your nurse. Want extra skin to skin time when the baby is first born? Document it. Delayed umbilical cord cutting? Write. It. down.
Cell phone charging cord: Preferably an extra long one. Hospital beds are known for being far away from an electrical outlet, and you’ll want a fully charged phone for all the pictures you are about to take of your new little babe.
The Absolute Must-Haves for Baby
Car seat: This is non-negotiable—they won’t let you take your baby home from the hospital without a car seat, and it should be already installed.
Clothes: Pack 2-3 different outfits in different sizes because you don’t know how big or small your baby will be! Aim for one outfit in newborn size and one 0-3 months. Don’t forget sockies!
Your pedi’s contact info: The doctors and nurses will ask you for this information several times, so it’s good to have it handy.
Pacifiers: I’d throw 2 or 3 brands in your bag. Sometimes the little babe will take it sometimes he/she won’t. Don’t sweat it.
Bottles: If you’re not too fond of breastfeeding be sure to pack your own bottles. I highly, highly recommend breastfeeding if your able. I have a wonderful guide on nursing with a newborn. Check it out.
Do not bring diapers, receiving blankets, or wipes. The hospital will have these FREE OF CHARGE so don’t waste your own.
The Absolute Must-Haves for Your Partner
Snacks: Try to pack something from each of these categories: salty (like pretzels or goldfish crackers), sweet (such as hard candies, M&M’s or gummy bears), protein (think beef jerky or protein bars) and healthy/fresh (dried fruit or carrot sticks, for example). You will appreciate these post-birth snacks, too. Believe me!
iPad/laptop/headphones & general entertainment
His/Her favorite pillow: The Hospital sheets and pillows are the worst. Bring your own pillow if you can, and bonus points if you have hands to bring in an extra blanket!