Whether you need the ideal checklist on what to pack in a baby hospital bag or you’re just tired of dealing with over-weighted hospital bags, stick with me till the end of this guide, and we’ll crush these problems like a walk in the park.
One can never be too sure about a specific checklist on what to pack in a baby hospital bag, and that’s okay, although frustrating.
This is due to the constant changes in the demands of pregnancy—one minute, everything seems right, and the next minute, you’re scanning through the checklist again, thinking of what needs to be added or removed.
That’s precisely why in this guide today, I want to help you compile a simple yet full-scale checklist.
But before we get started, I’d like to take a step back, using the next two minutes or less to tell you the best time to begin packing up your baby hospital bag.
Stay with me.
When To Pack Your Baby Hospital Bag
The best time to begin packing your baby’s hospital bag is a month before the due date, and I’ll tell you why!
Studies brought forward, show that just 5% of babies are born on their actual due date.
In other words, there is a 95 percent chance your baby will come to a couple of weeks before or after when you are expecting.
Understand: it’s not a medical issue, just a natural experience.
I’ve witnessed first-hand a woman who gave birth after 11 months of pregnancy.
Read that again…
And NO! It wasn’t a medical issue.
The doctors confirmed it.
What I’m trying to say is anything is possible during pregnancy, and that’s precisely why you have to be prepared, especially for the unexpected.
That said, you’re packing up this early because it gives you much time to consider everything and prepare for the unexpected.
And you’ll have to follow this idea because you’re not ready to gamble on the comfort of your pregnancy.
Next up, let’s build that checklist I promised you earlier:
Essentials Items to Put in Your Baby Hospital Bag
If this is not your first pregnancy, you already know the hospital will provide the basic items you’ll need during your stay.
That’s enough to make you understand there’s no need to bring the whole wardrobe. Lol.
The hospital got you covered, saving you a lot of stress.
However, hospitals vary in policies (regarding items to give or allow during childbearing), so one is never sure what to bring along.
But you can still get around the situation by researching as much information as possible about the hospital or birthing center you intend to use.
Visit their website and read about them and their birthing policies, book sessions with their specialist, and ask to be clarified on their modus operandi.
With all that in check, you just made everything easier.
For The Mom, The Hospital Will Generally Provide the following:
- Sanitary Pads
- Hospital Gowns
- Disposable mesh underwear (you can choose to bring yours because you might not be satisfied with the provided standard)
- Toiletries including soap, tissue, toothbrush/paste
- Pillows and blankets
- Grip socks
- Labor tools like massagers etc., and birthing ball
- Personal cup for water
- After-care items like peri bottles and witch hazel pads
- Flip flops (not all hospitals will provide this. Consider going with yours)
Items Hospitals Will Provide For The Baby:
- Size 1 diaper
- Soap and shampoo
- Basic wipes
- Flannel swaddle blanket
- Medications (if needed)
Now, let’s talk about what to put in your baby’s hospital bag.
Just a reminder: The goal is to set up a simple and full-scale checklist that is also lightly weighted.
And because the hospital has taken care of the major things for you, there’s no point doing extra.
Things To Include In Your Baby Hospital Bag
Before packing up, try finding out about the hospital policies regarding childbearing.
For instance, some hospitals will insist you put on their issued gown instead of yours during the actual childbirth.
In such a situation, any gown you intend to wear for the labor is now out of the checklist.
That way, nothing useless will find its way into the checklist.
Things To Include For The Mother
A Light Weight Baby Hospital Bag
I discovered that one of the most contributing factors to heavy hospital bags is the bag itself.
Quite alright, that’s not always the case, but it happens in most cases.
If yours happens to be seemingly heavy, consider getting a light-weighted one from Amazon.
The good one ranges from $40 and above.
And be sure to pick one with many exterior spaces with other attachments like organizing pouches—it helps keep items organized in the bag.
Means Of Identification
It could be your ID Card or Driver’s License. In any case, an official means of identification should be carried to the hospital.
You also want to carry any documents (if any) given to you by the doctor.
Credit Card or Cash
Being financially stranded at such a critical period is something you don’t want.
Take your credit card or a small amount of cash because you might want to use the vending machine during your stay.
Consider Birth Plan as a wish list. It communicates your preferences to the doctors and midwives taking care of you during labor and birth: How you want the childbearing to happen—if you want a vaginal delivery or C-section, also if you want a water birth, etc.
Medications And Medication list
If you’re on any medication, the pharmacist at the hospital can provide them for you, but it could be more expensive.
So, take yours along unless you don’t mind spending more bucks on a medication you already have.
Also, consider going with your medication list—the doctor(s) taking care of you will want to know every medication you’ve been dealing with recently.
And it’s way easier to hand over a list than to engage in a verbal explanation.
Pajamas or Hospital Gown
Consider getting a hospital gown for yourself (if you don’t have one) because you’ll need one right after delivery.
There are tons of beautiful labor gowns and hospital gowns at Gownies.
And if you can spend the next 3 minutes there, you’ll see a beautiful gown for as low as $30.
Socks and Slippers
Get a sock to keep your feet warm, and the socks need to have a firm grip on the hospital floors to prevent you from slipping over.
Also, go with slippers (flip flops preferably).
Apart from the regular soap, brush, toothpaste, deodorant, cream, etc., you can choose to go with a makeup kit just in case you need to take a professional photo.
Don’t forget your hair bands and lip balm as well.
It would be best if you went with your hairdryer too. However, be sure that the hospital does condone plug-in devices because not all hospitals are comfortable with such.
The hospital will provide disposable underwear for you, but it’s not ideal to completely bank on theirs.
The postpartum period is not certain—you might bleed more than expected.
So, it would be best to go with yours too—it saves a lot. And if you’d like to get your disposable underwear, simply visit here, and that’s it!
There’s not much need for glasses unless you can’t see a thing without them. Nevertheless, go with it to avoid the unexpected.
This is part of what the hospital will provide, although thick ones. If you’d prefer thin ones, consider going with yours.
Supportive Bra and Nursing Bra
A supportive bra will be handy during the hours or days before and after birth because your milk will come in either of those moments.
You’ll need the bra to deal with the discomfort that comes. The nursing bra gives easy access with regards to feeding the baby.
The truth is, you don’t need to bring your pump because the hospital can help you with one (that’s if you need it).
Unless you plan to pump exclusively, there’s no point going with yours.
However, if you need help learning how to use a breast pump, ask for a lactation consultant who will put you through it.
The hospital will provide you with the usual hospital gown.
But you might want to change into something personal during the postpartum stage.
Some women wear hospital gowns throughout their stay, and that’s okay, but if you don’t fit well with the hospital gown, take some personal clothes that are very comfortable.
Having all the comfort you can get during this stage would be best.
If you’re sure about the kind of pillows you deal with, go with yours. It’s that simple.
Cell Phone and Charger
The big moment is not reversible, and I’m sure you’ll want to capture every moment of it. So that’s why you’ll have to go with your phone.
You’ll take the charger too because you don’t want a phone with low power, with no way of powering up.
However, if the camera on your phone or selfie isn’t clear enough, consider using a digital camera. I’m sure you have one of those.
Book or Magazine
Sometimes you might get bored and need to live through it. A magazine or any good book to read does the job.
If you have a journal or a diary, consider taking it too. There might be a need for it.
This could be a list of songs or podcasts you’ll want to play during childbirth.
If you need it, this item should be added to your birth plan (I discussed it earlier in this guide).
Outfit For When You’re Leaving
This shouldn’t skip your mind. Take a comfortable outfit you’ll wear when you leave the hospital. Let me give you an idea: you should consider getting a matching outfit for you and the baby.
You can get some of the best matching outfits for mothers and sons/daughters at a cost-effective rate at places like Walmart and Amazon.
If you are having Cesarean Delivery (C-section), consider adding the following:
This will serve as C-section recovery underwear because it is high-waisted and offers light compression. However, you can also consider getting fold-over underwear that fits right under the incision.
Postpartum Belly Band
Consider using a Postpartum Belly Band to support belly support right after a C-section. First, however, ask the doctor when it’s ideal to begin wearing it.
Nine times out of ten, women experience a certain level of constipation right after a C-section.
A snack containing a lot of fiber (like oatmeal etc.) can help you deal with constipation.
So, consider going with good fibered snacks.
Things To Include For The Baby
Diapers and Wipes
These are essential items you don’t want to leave behind.
Take enough diapers and wipes because you’ll be dealing with a newborn—things can get messy quickly.
Enough diapers and wipes will save any messy situation.
Whether it’s the summer or winter, you’ll need a blanket to wrap your baby during your remaining stay in the hospital and when you’re in the car going home.
Alternatively, you can opt for a Baby Bunting Bag that doesn’t cause much stress as a blanket.
Baby Booties, Mittens, and Hats
To prevent your baby from self-scratching, you need to cover his hands with a pair of baby mittens, and then you’ll need baby hats and booties to cover them up properly.
Bottles and Formula
You might have planned to feed the baby with formula, but you should check out the hospitals’ policies because some hospitals may not want you to bring your bottles and formula.
Milestone Card or Blankets
If you have a monthly milestone card or blanket, don’t forget to bring them along—they serve as a special means of announcing your baby to the world. However, there’s no point in bringing both cards and blankets.
You should bring cards since you’ve already accounted for a blanket. However, if you don’t have cards, you can get them here.
Going Home Outfit
While picking a dress for yourself, don’t forget to consider the baby. Pick something special and sentimental for the baby.
If possible, use a matching outfit, as I suggested earlier in this guide, while returning from the hospital.
Baby Car Seat
A car seat is supposed to be installed a few weeks before the actual due date for delivery.
Some car seats are not easily installed, so the earlier, the better.
Baby Bunting Bags can also be used in the baby car seat.
Things To Include for Your Non-Pregnant Partner
First, the hospital makes only a few or no provisions for your partner (husband, family, relative, friend, etc.), so it’s your job to fill in the blanks to make their stay with you easy.
And you do this by telling them what to come along with. It’s that simple!
Your time at the hospital will last for at least one night. So, your partner should come in a comfortable outfit and pajamas.
Comfortable footwear and Socks
Your partner also needs to come with comfortable footwear that grips and a pair of socks as well.
Toiletries, in most cases, will not be provided for your partner, so do well to remind them about bringing theirs.
They could bring the basics like toothbrush/toothpaste, face wash, deodorant, and lotion. That’s it!
Medications (if any)
This is only if the partner is your husband. In such a situation, he’ll need to provide details on the medications he’s been into.
Pillows and Blankets
Since the hospital’s provision regarding your partner isn’t exactly okay, inform them about bringing theirs so they don’t experience a long, cold night decorated with a series of discomfort.
Phone and Charger
The partner will often do most of the phone jobs like taking pictures, announcing the baby, helping you make the calls, etc.
So, it’s only natural to have them bring their phone too.
Since we’re not certain how long the labor and delivery process will take, your partner might want something to keep their mouth busy.
You could personally make provisions for snacks by bringing them along so your partner doesn’t have a cause to leave your side.
Provision For Water
Your partner shouldn’t share the same water with you or the baby. Instead, provisions should be made especially for the partner to keep everything in place.
Form of Entertainment
While you’re pretty occupied with the situation, your partner shouldn’t get bored. Try telling them to come with, at least, a book to keep them active.
Consider Covid-19 Protocol
Don’t forget about making provisions for facemasks, hand sanitizer, and disposable gloves.
The hospital might provide for these, but you never know. Just go with yours.
Things You Don’t Have To Bring
- Gadgets like laptops and pads
- Expensive jewelry
- Too many clothes or diapers
- A whole stack of cash
The hospital is not a crime city, quite alright, but these aren’t necessary at all.
Besides, they’ll only cause you to deal with a heavy hospital bag, which is not the intent of this guide.
As I said earlier, there are many uncertainties surrounding pregnancy and childbearing.
One is never too sure about what to expect, and the best way to deal with such a situation is to prepare for the unexpected.
That’s why I’ve taken quite a long time to put together this comprehensive checklist on what to pack in a baby hospital bag, putting all possible situations into due consideration.
With this checklist, I believe you’re fully set for the big day.
Finally, everything mentioned in this list is entirely necessary but not compulsory.
Besides the basics for childbearing, everything else is based on personal preference.
Remember that. And Good luck.