Hospital Bag Checklist
As much as we appreciate a due date, babies always arrive at their own schedule. When the time comes, you need to be ready. Do you have your hospital bag packed?
Pack your hospital go-bag using this list of essentials, so you’re prepared no matter when your little one makes their debut.
How Early Should You Pack Your Hospital Go-Bag?
Packing your hospital bag at the last minute may mean you miss some things. As much as we would love if all babies arrived on their due date, only about 5 percent do. It may seem early, but packing your go-bag three weeks to a month before your due date gives you the time you need to thoughtfully pack everything you need.
Make sure you keep some space in the bag for items that can’t be packed ahead of time. Keep a list of the last-minute items you need attached to the bag, so you can quickly gather them when it’s time to get to the hospital (we’ll tell you what these things are in the list below!).
11 Essentials for Your Hospital Go-Bag
Items You can Pack Beforehand:
1. An Outfit for Your Baby
Your baby spends a lot of the time in the hospital wearing only a diaper, but they need something to wear when you take them home. We offer a beautiful selection of newborn onesies and sleepers for your new little bubs. A cute first outfit is key for those newborn photos!
Some hospitals provide formula for moms who aren’t breastfeeding. Other hospitals do not, which is why you should have a small tub of formula (and a couple of bottles) packed just in case. You can always call the maternity ward at the hospital in advance to see whether they provide formula.
3. A Baby Blanket
Hospitals have blankets, but they don’t let you take them home afterwards. Besides, your own soft and cozy blanket is nice to cuddle under during skin-to-skin contact. In cooler weather, you can use this blanket to keep your baby warm in the car seat on the way home, too. Find the perfect baby blankets here.
Moms are given the absolute basics at the hospital, but you need to bring your own personal care items to feel a bit more like yourself after you have the baby. Pack your hairbrush, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lip balm, and hair ties.
5. Comfortable Clothes and Shoes for Mom
Moms staying at the hospital overnight need clean and comfortable PJs and some fresh clothes. Consider a soft, loose nightgown with an open-style front (if you are breastfeeding) for the ultimate comfort. If you’re not one for PJs, a robe is also a practical choice during your stay. Make sure you also pack slippers or flip-flops to wander around the maternity ward.
When it’s time to head home, you need clothing that is soft and loose, with a drawstring/elastic. Form fitting clothing typically does not feel good immediately after childbirth. Remember to pack flat shoes that are comfortable and supportive (or just wear your flip-flops).
6. Non-Perishable Snacks and a Water Bottle
You may not be allowed snacks or drinks during labour, but you should pack some goodies for after you give birth. Making sure you have a water bottle helps keep you hydrated and typically holds more water than the disposable cups you get at the hospital. During your stay, you’re limited to hospital food or waiting for a kind soul to bring you takeout, so having your favourite snacks on hand are key.
7. Heavy Duty Pads and Underwear
The hospital provides you with mesh underwear and some pads during your stay, but you’ll want to bring some of your own for the trip home (or just in case you don’t get enough at the hospital).
Your regular underwear may be too tight or too cute to bring on this journey. Pack a few large pairs of full coverage underwear until you’re feeling up to going back to your regular underwear.
The Last-Minute Items:
Bring all your current medications to the hospital. Make sure you refill any prescriptions before having the baby, so you don’t run out at an inopportune time.
9. Glasses and Contacts
Don’t forget your spectacles. You need to see, after all! Contacts are optional as you may not feel up to putting them in during your stay at the hospital.
10. Phone and Charger
There will be short moments of downtime at the hospital. Having a charged phone enables you to update your family on your new little bubs and take a million photos of #momlife.
11. Paperwork and ID
Responsibility always seems to come with paperwork, doesn’t it? Make sure you have your photo ID or health card for hospital admittance. If you have private insurance, bring proof along with you. Some hospitals have you complete paperwork weeks before you come in to have the baby, but for others, you want to make sure all the necessary papers are ready to go.
Don’t Stuff Your Go-Bag with Items
Although you might want to pack everything and the kitchen sink, it is important to avoid packing certain items. Avoid packing anything expensive or of value (you will not be focused on these items, and you don’t want them to go missing). Don’t bring too many items for your baby either. You’ll likely be in the hospital such a short time, just keep extra outfits and items at home.
Hospitals provide many things that you’ll need, including:
- Hospital gowns,
- Disposable cups for water/ice,
- disposable mesh underwear,
- thick sanitary pads,
- aftercare items, such as pain medication and
- standard pillows and blankets
- basic wipes
- swaddle blanket during your stay
Your Partner Needs a Bag Too!
Your partner needs to pack a bag for themselves if they are staying overnight with you. This means clothing, toiletries, phone, charger, snacks, water, money for vending machines, pillow, and entertainment.
Have You Packed Your Bag?
Packing before your water breaks allows you to be methodical with your packing. There are other items you may wish to bring along or prepare, such as a camera, playlist, or essential oils. When packing, remember that the items in your go-bag should bring you comfort during this huge moment in your life.
What is a must-have in your hospital go-bag? Tell us below in the comments.