Hospital Bag Checklist: What To Pack In Hospital Bag
Chances are, youve spent the past several months dreaming of the day you finally get to meet baby. Youve stocked up on baby gear, decorated the nursery and maybe even figured out how to correctly install that infant car seat. But dont forget one of the most important third trimester to-dos: Deciding what to pack in your hospital bagfor baby, you and your partner. So where to start? You dont want to leave out any essentials, but theres also no reason to overdo thingswhich is where The Bump baby hospital bag checklist comes in handy. Read on for when to pack that hospital bag and what to put in it.
Dads Hospital Bag Checklist
Here is our full checklist of what to pack:
- Change of clothes: Comfy clothes recommended, such as sweatpants, sweatshirts and pajamas
- Comfortable shoes such as sneakers, Crocs or other slip-ons
- Your own pillow and blankets from home
- Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner and more
- Glasses, contact lenses, and contact solution, if needed
- Healthy snacks, like trail mix, fruits, veggies, and more
- Reusable water bottle
- Loose change for the vending machines
- Camera and camera charger
- Cell phone and phone charger
- Speaker for music: even better if you and mom put together a playlist or two beforehand!
- Massage oil
- Birth plan: easily communicate what you want the birthing experience to be with the midwife or doctor by writing down your birth plan and bringing it along to the hospital
- Insurance information and other relevant paperwork
- Car seat: you cant take your little bundle of joy home without a car seat, so we recommend putting this on both your checklist and moms
- Push present: whether you got mom jewelry, loungewear, a tech gadget, or something else, you’ll want to have this gift in hand for the right moment
Below weve added details on some of the most important items youll need to have on your packing list.
The Labor And Delivery Room
The labor and delivery room is where youll spend most of your time while in labor at the hospital. Depending on your birth plan and the options available to you, you might bounce on a yoga ball, take a shower or labor in a special tub as your contractions get closer together.
A nurse will monitor your labor and your babys heart rate, either once per hour or continuously. If you get an epidural, an anesthesiologist will go through that process with you and administer the epidural in the room.
Most hospitals allow you to have partners, midwives, doulas or family members in the room with you while youre in labor if you choose, but they usually have a limit. Ask about this during your tour and keep the number in mind as you write your birth plan.
And your family wont be the only ones in the room with youduring your labor, you might encounter multiple labor and delivery nurses. They change shifts every eight to 12 hours, so the nurses you meet when you arrive might be different than the ones there when you give birth in the hospital.
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A Purse With A Change Of Cash Or Credit Card
You may not need it in the theatre, but you may want to buy one or two things with money after your C-section. When you are almost close to your due date, put some cash and a credit card into your hospital bag and pack it along with your hospital bag as part of your C-section hospital bag checklist.
C-section is a pretty quick procedure and with high success rate. You need not fear, just arm yourself with the right information and prepare adequately.Wishing you safe delivery.
Optional Hospital Bag Checklist Items For Mom
Very light reading
Earbuds to listen to music on your phone
Hairdryer if yours is too bulky, consider this inexpensive travel blowdryer
A comfy pillow from home
A postpartum recovery essentials kit
Matching hospital outfits for you and baby Baby Be Mine sells some Instagram-worthy mommy-and-me sets
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Hospital Bag For Labour And Birth
You should pack a bag in plenty of time to bring to the hospital so that you are ready to go when your baby is due.
Hospitals have limited space for personal items, so try to pack lightly.
Ask your partner or support person to take your outdoor clothing after you’re admitted.
It is best to leave valuables at home.
Your partner or support person can bring in anything that you might have forgotten.
Below is a list of suggested items to pack for your hospital stay.
When Should I Pack A Hospital Bag For My Pregnancy
Everyone is different, but if everything is going fine, you should pack your hospital bag by 37 weeks pregnancy, as 37 weeks is considered full term, suggests Pett. Otherwise, if your doctor says youre at risk of pre-term labour, or if youre having multiples and know youll be having your babies earlier, you should pack sooner.
Along with having the babys infant car seat installed for when its time to bring baby home, Pett recommends planning for what to pack in the hospital bag for baby. You should bring baby accessories like an infant hat for baby to go home with, she says. Pett suggests that your baby hospital bag should also include undershirts, one-piece sleepers, receiving blankets, diapers, wipes and a going-home baby outfit.
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Hospital Bag For Mom: Labor And Delivery
Hospital paperwork, ID, and insurance card. Have copies of your medical records handy, so that your healthcare providers can easily review your medical history. Hospitals require your ID, any medical cards, and insurance documents up front, so make sure you have a copy of these readily available.
Birth plan . You might have discussed your birth plan with your medical team, but having a few copies printed and available for your healthcare providers means that everyone can refer to it in case last-minute questions arise. If you haven’t written your birth plan yet and you’re thinking of having one, check out these pointers on what to include in your birth plan for some useful tips.
Bathrobe. A soft bathrobe is useful for pacing around during labor, or afterward, if you spend some time in the hospital.
Socks. Your feet may get cold during labor.
Hospital Bag Essentials For Your Birth Partner
As a birth partner, you might also want to pack some things for your time supporting mum in the hospital:
Snacks and water. Labour can be thirsty work for supportive partners. Pack some snacks and water, as well as change for the hospital vending machines.
Phone, camera and/or video camera, plus chargers and batteries. Your partner will also want a phone to stay in contact with loved ones, and for some entertainment during downtimes. The camera is needed to take some snaps.
Clothes. Labour is an unpredictable process, a change of clothes is always a good idea, as you never know how long the stay will be.
Toiletries and towel. After a long labour, even your partner may need to freshen up in the shower. Most hospitals are fine with this, but you could confirm this beforehand.
Spare glasses or spare contact lenses. It might be a long day, so having spares of these essentials could come in handy.
Small pillow. Believe it or not, your partner might also need a rest while assisting during a long labour.
Entertainment. Have something to do for when the going gets a little boring: books, a tablet, and a music player are all good options.
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Taking A Hospital Tour
Schedule a tour of the hospital where you plan to give birth a month or two in advance of your due datemost hospitals recommend you tour the facilities at around 32 weeks.
On the tour, a guide will show you where to park, where to check in and what the delivery rooms look like. Theyll also go over labor and delivery options available to you, and show you the recovery rooms. Dont be afraid to ask questions, and if you have a birth plan, bring it with you .
Hospital Bag For Your Baby
Bodysuits. Hospital policies can vary on what newborns can be dressed in so consult with your doctor in advance about what to pack. You may need to add to what the hospital provides in terms of accessories and layers. Remember, with bodysuits itâs a good idea to choose those that fasten up at the front.
Socks and hats. Newborns can get cold easily so take some socks and hats just in case. Even during skin-to-skin contact, your newborn can wear a hat and socks.
Blanket. The hospital will likely provide blankets, but a blanket of your own is always good to have on hand to use during skin-to-skin contact. It can also be used to keep your baby warm in the car seat on the way home.
Going-home outfit. Consider the weather conditions: a bodysuit, booties, and hat could be fine during the warmer months, but in winter, pack mittens and a jacket or snowsuit, as well.
Car seat. This obviously isnât for the hospital bag, but the right car seat should be installed in your car around the same time you pack your baby bag so itâs ready for the day you bring your newborn home from the hospital. You wonât be able to take your baby home otherwise.
Keep in mind, diapers and wipes will be provided by the hospital or birthing centre, so you donât have to worry about packing them. However, if you prefer, you could bring your Pampers sample kit to the hospital with you.
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Leave These Things At Home:
- Breast pump & accessories: youll have access to one at the hospital if you need it
- Nursing pillow: most moms who bring this dont use it
- Diapers/wipes: the hospital will give you plenty!
- Candles: Candles arent allowed in the birthing center. Instead, bring flameless LED candles or an essential oil diffuser.
Hospital Bag Checklist For Labor And Delivery
Important Documents: Bring copies of your birth plan , a picture ID, health insurance information, and hospital registration forms. Even if you’ve already registered at the hospital, some need to confirm your records before they can admit you.
Cash and Change: Bring at least $20 in cash and change for snacks, gift store runs, and any of your miscellaneous cravings. Because…hospital food.
Smartphone and Charger: We know, you’re never without your phone. But be sure you pack chargers in the hospital bag, too. Besides needing a phone for obvious reasons you’ll want to download helpful apps, like a contraction timer and white noise.
Music, Movies, and Magazines: Load up your smartphone or tablet with tunes and anything you might want to binge-watch on Netflix. It’ll help district youand your partnerduring a long labor.
Relaxation Tools: A homemade hot pack can bring you instant relief during active labor because it molds to your bodyand it can easily be warmed up in the hospital’s microwave. Other items to pack in the hospital bag for labor: a back massager, stress-relieving squeeze ball, and massage oil or lotion.
Soft Pillow: The pillows in the hospitals may be uncomfortable, and bringing one you’re familiar with may help you relax. Don’t forget one for your partner, too, if they’re planning on spending the night.
Flip-Flops: Pack flip-flops for the shower or to wear home if your feet are swollen.
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Ner Hospital Bag Checklist
Encourage your partner to pack their own bag of essentials for the birth.While they wont need quite as much as you and the baby, having their own gear on hand can make the time at the hospital much easier.At a minimum, we suggest they pack:
- Change of clothes
- Cell phone charger
- Snacks and water
If your partner plans on staying with you after the birth, theyll need to include a pillow, blanket, eye mask, earplugs, and toiletries in their kit.Sometimes, though, if you live close to the hospital, the nurses will encourage your partner to go home and get a good nights sleep so they can come back fresh in the morning. This is especially common if you plan on breastfeeding your little one.The nurses will be there to help you, so your partner may have nothing to do. Theyre better off recuperating at home so they can support you the next day when you need it the most.Talk to your doctor and the hospital about what they recommend and then your partner can pack their bag accordingly.
Cleansing Face And Body Wipes
There are no two ways about it giving birth is a messy experience. Whether youre laboring or delivering, an increased amount of bodily fluids comes with the territory.
Taking a shower might be out of the question for a little while, so it can be refreshing to have access to your own personal stash of cleansing wipes.
We love these lavender-scented ones to add some freshness to the hospital smells. They make a great addition to any hospital bag checklist.
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When To Pack The Hospital Bag
So you are ready to swing into action and get all the stuff ready, but when is the appropriate time to pack the C-section hospital bag? The timing is relative for different women.
But, since a scheduled is C-section delivery is usually planned between the 37th to 39th week of gestation the C-section hospital bag should be fully packed before then.
Most women love packing for the baby, especially after completing most of their shopping, and personally, it is the best time to pack. You do not have to pack the bag all at once.
You can take a few days breaks before continuing. When you have packed your hospital bag, it is essential to recheck all the items to avoid missing anything to ensure that no one is missing.
Why 2 Hospital Bags
In one big bag, it can be hard to find what you need, especially since youre likely commanding someone to find items you packed.
Make sure your partner or support person knows which bag is which.
When you arrive at the hospital, only take in the bag for labor and delivery.
Then, after baby arrives, let your support person take that bag out to the car so it doesnt take up space in the recovery room, where youll likely spend a couple of days.
During that trip, they can switch essentials like your toothbrush, and then return with the recovery and postpartum bag.
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What To Pack In Hospital Bag For Dad
Camera If you plan on taking your own photos , dont forget to pack your camera! This is a great job for dad during your hospital stay.
Snacks Another great job for dad! Fill his bag with plenty of snacks and treats that both of you can enjoy during your stay.
Comfy clothes Think sweats, t-shirts, hoodies. Comfy clothes for dad is essential for the hospital stay! Along these lines, dont forget to pack his pajamas!
Slippers He will also need a pair of slippers for walking around the room and hallways.
Blanket/Pillow This is typically provided by the hospital, but you may want to bring your own if he will need extras.
Chargers Dont forget phone/iPad/computer/camera chargers! The longer the cable, the better.
Socks/Underwear Need I say more?
Toiletries Toothbrush, toothpaste, glasses, contacts, etc.
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Hospital Bag Packing List For Your Partner
- Change of clothes
- Bathing suit This is important if you and your partner are planning on a water birth or using the birthing pool during labor.
- Snacks Labor can be a long process, so you want to be prepared.
- A cooler filled with drinks and sandwiches This keeps the partner close by and can help avoid multiple trips to the hospital cafeteria.
- Quarters for the vending machine and/or payphone- Remember not all hospitals allow cell phone use.
- Watch with second hand
- Video/still camera Make sure you have extra tapes, film, batteries, chargers, etc.
- Address book This will help you contact friends and family about your new arrival.
- Massage oils Many labor classes discuss the use of massage oils during class because they can help alleviate back labor.
- iPod/CD player Soothing music may help you and your partner relax both during and after labor.
- Take out menus
- Crayons, markers, paper, coloring books
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Checking Into The Hospital For Birth
Chances are youll be in labor when you arrive at the hospital, though not if you have a scheduled induction or c-section. Luckily, hospital staff members are prepared for this, and the check-in process is usually quick. Theyll ask you for your name and insurance information, and they might also need your license plate number if the labor and delivery wing has a special parking lot.
Once youre checked in, the nurse at the front desk will put a wristband on you and another nurse will escort you to a triage room .