When you’re pregnant, the to-do lists seem endless. There’s a nursery to prep, products for baby to stock-up on and what feels like weekly doctors appointments to keep track of. One task that feels daunting is packing your hospital bag. It’s never too early to start loading your favorite weekender bag with all the essentials.
What To Pack for Labor & Delivery
Excitement and nervousness will be at all-time highs when you head for the hospital. First things first - make sure you’ve packed the paperwork you need to be admitted. You’ll also need a photo ID and your insurance card. These may seem like no-brainers, but in all the happy chaos, it's extremely easy to leave these off your hospital checklist.
If you can fill your paperwork out online ahead of time — a practice that more and more hospitals are making available — go for it! That’ll be one less thing for you to take care of when you arrive.
When you're packing clothes for the hospital, make sure you pack for comfort. It’s a good idea to bring:
- Lightweight, super-comfy clothing or pajamas
- A robe, cardigan or zip-up hoodie for an extra layer of warmth
- Three pairs of socks, preferably with non-slip treads
- Two nursing bras
- Going-home clothes (in the size that you wore when you were roughly six months pregnant)
In addition to cozy, loose-fitting clothes, you should also stash the following in your bag:
- Your cell phone and charger
- Your usual weekend toiletries (i.e., a toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, face wash, etc.)
- Eyeglasses or contacts and solution
- A headband or ponytail holder
You may have a lot of time to kill before your little one makes his or her grand entrance, and there are only so many Netflix shows to binge before boredom sets in. Consider adding some of the following to your labor delivery bag checklist, too:
- Books and magazines (think easy, beach reading material)
- Simple, compact board or card games
- A coloring book
- A journal
What To Bring for Baby
Packing for your baby is simple: He or she will need an adorable outfit to come home in and a blanket for the ride home. The hospital provides any other must-haves. Don’t forget any products you may need to have on-hand at the hospital, like Wellements Organic Vitamin D Drops if you plan on breastfeeding your baby or Wellements Organic All-Purpose Balm, which can soothe a flaky head or chapped cheeks. Also, pack any special items for the baby's first photoshoot, if you plan to snap a few photos for Instagram at the hospital.
One more thing! Newborn babies come in all shapes and sizes — and so do infant clothes. A onesie labeled NB by one brand may be the same fit as a 3-6 months outfit from another, so bring your little one a couple different size options.
Don't Forget To Prepare for the Car Ride Home
In addition to that snuggly blanket you packed, you must have a rear-facing infant car seat properly installed in your vehicle. There’s no shortage of options available for new parents, so make sure you find a model that is:
- The right size for your car
- Comfortable for your child
- Easy to clean
Additionally, be sure to check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website for up-to-date info regarding car seat recalls.
The earlier you can pack your hospital bag, the better. Schedules and due dates are just two of the many things in which babies have zero interest. No one ever feels completely prepared to bring a new life into the world, but having a carefully packed bag full of useful, thoughtful and comfortable items from home can help.