Hospital Bag Essentials For Mom, Dad & Baby
I think my husband asked me 1786 times if I had packed my hospital bag before I actually did it. Im not sure why it took me so long to do, other then pure laziness and procrastination. It made everything feel VERY real to be packing a bag for labor & delivery, not to mention it can down right overwhelming for a first time mom. Having a checklist for hospital bag essentials will help make things a little less overwhelming.
I advise you NOT to be like me and get it done around 36 weeks, if not earlier. The last thing you want to do is be packing your bag while you are in labor. Or worse, have to rush to the hospital and your partner has to find everything for you. Neither one of those are ideal situations. Baby can come at any time, so it will make your life easier to be prepared.
It can be confusing trying to decide what hospital bag essentials to pack, especially as a first time mom. There are so many checklists out there that have unnecessary items on them. That can make things even more confusing if you are packing your hospital bag for the first time.
I am about to have my second baby in less then a month, and I feel much more prepared for my hospital stay this time around; and knowing the items I will actually use vs. the unnecessary items I brought (or didnt bring) with my first.
I hope I can provide some inspiration in what I brought with me to the hospital; to better help you decide what you might want to bring. It is important to remember that this is your unique experience; and I cant stress enough that you should bring what makes YOU feel the most prepared.
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Hospital Bag Checklist For Labor & after delivery
1. Hospital Bag-
First off, you will need a bag to pack all your contents in. If you dont already have one, this is the one I purchased and I have been very happy with it. It doesnt need to be something fancy, practicality is key.
2. Nursing Bras-
Nursing bras are something that I found to be essential through pregnancy, labor & delivery, and postpartum. Its so important to find something soft, comfortable and supportive. These ones were my absolute favorite! They are so soft, stretchy, the perfect amount of support. They are the best sleeping bras for pregnancy & when you are nursing.
If you want something with a little more support, I really like these nursing bras. They are a thicker material so they have added support. And they have the snaps at the top, so you can have easy access when needed.
This is something I didnt bring when I had my first baby, and I wish I would have! These are nice to have for walking around your hospital room while you are in labor & after delivery. I found these slippers, and they are so comfortable! Comfort is key and its nice to have something with support (instead of just socks) after delivery.
I love some some warm socks for while you are laboring and for after delivery. I like these socks because they are warm, comfortable & provide the grips at the bottom that the hospital requires. They are great for when you get home as well for extra traction when carrying around your tiny new baby.
I would advise to bring a blanket with you for the hospital stay. The blankets at the hospital are thin and scratchy so its nice to have one from home. I like this blanket. It is thin so you dont get over heated, but still very soft and plush. Its always comforting to have something of your own when sleeping in a new place.
A pillow is another essential I recommend bringing from home. The hospital will of course provide pillows but they are uncomfortable and usually have a plastic cover on them. Having a pillow from home helps make things feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar place.
Some other items you might want for labor:
7. Peri bottle-
The hospital will provide you with a peri bottle but I learned after having 2 babies, the Frida Mom upside down peri bottle is so much better! It is angled, which makes all the difference when trying to clean up those first few times using the restroom after birth. Because you dont want to use toilet paper, this is essential. Trust me on this one!
Related: Postpartum essentials you dont want to forget
You will want something comfortable once you get settled in your room. I find that changing out of the hospital gown shortly after birth makes me feel a little more put together and a lot more comfortable. I like this set because it is very loose and the button down shirt provides easy access if you are breastfeeding or for skin to skin.
9. Boxer Briefs-
I like to bring some boxer briefs with me for an added layer on top of the mesh underwear the hospital provides. This is a personal preference, but I find comfort in having a little support down there after delivery. These are perfect because they are supportive but not tight, and they are super comfortable! They are very inexpensive so it doesnt matter if you get them dirty.
10. Joggers/ Leggings For Going Home-
I prefer to wear leggings home because I like the added support that they provide. They do look a little bulky due to the pads and underwear underneath, but if that doesnt bother you then I definitely recommend!. These leggings are a great option! Joggers are also nice for something a bit looser but with some added support. These ones are buttery soft and are a staple in my closet always.
11. Oversized Sweatshirt-
A cozy sweatshirt is my favorite thing to wear going home from the hospital. Something comfortable is key, so whatever that might be for you! I really like this one, it is nice and over sized.
12. Nipple Cream-
You will want some nipple cream if you are planning to breastfeed. Your nipples may become sore and cracked while you are getting the hang of things. This one is my favorite due to its all natural ingredients. No need to wipe it off before feeding baby.
13. Toiletry Bag-
I like to keep my toiletry bag pretty basic. You can bring travel sized shampoo/conditioner (if you plan to shower after birth), hairbrush, toothbrush/toothpaste, makeup (if thats something thats important to you), lotion, face wash/cream etc… Bring whatever will make you feel prepared. I do find its nice to freshen up a bit after birth.
Some other things you might want after delivery:
- Electrolyte powder (You want to stay hydrated after birth!)
- polaroid Camera
- Extra long charging cord/Portable charger
- Makeup Removing Wipes
Keep in mind: The hospital will provide all of the Postpartum Essentials you will need. There are a few things that I like to bring to make it more comfortable for myself. Just make sure to bring whatever what makes YOU feel prepared.
Hospital Bag Essentials For Baby
While this isnt an item that will fit in your hospital bag. This is an essential you will want to have with you before you can leave the hospital. You can wait to bring this inside until you are ready to go, but make sure to have it installed in your car ahead of time. This is the one that we chose, love and have used for both of our boys!
2. Pajama’s/Going Home Outfit-
You will want to bring a going home outfit, and maybe a backup just in case. Depending on the size of your baby when they are born, I would advise you to bring a few different sizes. I prefer the zip up pajamas because they are convenient and comfortable. Because we do so much skin on skin in the hospital, I didnt find it necessary to bring more then a couple outfits with me. These pajamas also have the hand mittens built in, which I love for newborns.
I have had 2 boys now so I havent had a need to buy cute little bows, but if I did I would definitely bring one with me. We have had 2 winter babies, so a cotton hat was necessary when bringing them home. We really like these ones for their universal fit.
4. Swaddle Blanket-
I like to bring my own swaddle blankets with me, as they are easier to wrap your baby up in then the hospital blankets. They are also really cute for pictures. These swaddles are really soft and come in cute colors and patterns.
5. Baby Blanket-
A baby blanket is nice to have for going home, or for snuggling your newborn when you are in the hospital. I love the waffle blankets for baby. They dont get too hot and are so cute!
Some other things you might want for baby:
Keep in mind: The hospital will provide baby care items such as; diapers, wipes, diaper cream etc… I wouldnt bring those unless there is a specific brand you want to use. These are all supplies you get to take home with you as well.
Hospital Bag Essentials For Dad
- Extra Long Charging Cords
- Camera (make sure he takes lots of picture of you and baby!)
- Comfortable Joggers/Sweatshirt
Don’t wait for the last minute to pack your hospital bag!
My biggest advice is to bring essentials that make YOU feel prepared. Dont let people convince you what you do/dont need. I always love to hear what other people bring to the hospital with them to get inspiration. But at the end of the day, this is your unique experience and you need to bring things that will make you feel most comfortable.
From one mamma to another, enjoy this experience and be present in your moment! This is such a special experience for you and your partner. Dont forget to take lots of pictures!