“Grab the hospital bag!” You're trying to stay calm, but there are a million things on your mind. The last thing you want to worry about is whether you’ve packed everything. Here are the key essentials you’ll want for everyone involved.
Tip: Most hospitals and birth centers provide diapers, wipes, pads, disposable underwear, clothes for your baby during the hospital stay and different tools for labor (such as a yoga ball or peanut ball). Double check beforehand to avoid overpacking.
Basic Toiletries (can vary by what your daily regimen includes):
- Shampoo / conditioner
- Body wash
- Face wash
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hair ties and brush
- Going home outfit- Something comfortable, easy to put on and that doesn’t put too much pressure on your waist (loose dresses are perfect)
- 2-3 additional lounging outfits (optional)- If you don’t want to wear the hospital gown
- Comfortable robe, cardigan or zip up sweater- In case the room gets too cold
- Comfortable underwear- Ideally something larger and looser to fit a pad. Another option could be disposable mesh underwear or adult diapers (totally acceptable).
- Bras- Nursing friendly options if you’re planning to nurse. Otherwise, pack your most comfortable one.
- Slippers or flip-flops- For walking around the room / hospital and to use in the shower
- Comfortable masks- Especially one that is easy to breathe in during labor
- Nipple cream (vegan option)
- Nursing pads
- Nipple shield (optional)- if nursing gets too painful
- Clothes- 6-8 onesies should suffice since your baby will be swaddled a majority of the time. Consider a kimono style so it’s easy to take on/off without needing to slide your baby’s delicate head through a neck hole. Pack newborn and 0-3 months sizes to ensure you have something that fits.
- Swaddles- For your little one to be wrapped in when they’re resting.
- Burp cloths- to clean up their spit up
- Going home outfit- Onesie, pants, cardigan or zip up, socks, mittens and beanie. Bring both newborn and 0-3 months since you’re not sure how big your baby will be.
- Installed car seat- Most hospitals won’t let you leave unless the car seat is properly installed.
- Announcement outfit or plaque (optional)
- Receiving blanket (optional)
- Pacifier (optional)
For Dad / Partner / Support:
- Comfortable clothes for 2-3 days
- Flip-flops or slippers
- Toiletries Masks
- Birth plan- So your healthcare providers know what you want
- Essential documents- IDs, social security numbers, and insurance cards
- Reusable water bottles: consider a water bottle with a straw so that you can easily drink from it in a laying back position
- Cell phone and long phone charger- just in case you’re far from an outlet
- Headphones or small bluetooth speaker- so you can listen to music while you're in labor