Labor Hospital Bag Checklist Tips
Be prepared when the time comes for your hospital visit! Creating a checklist for your labor hospital bag in advance and being prepared, will allow you and your partner to breathe easy (as you can!) when the times comes.
If everything you need is within arms reach when you’re exhausted, and you’re able to take care of your family who’s there to support you, you can cut any small amount of stress out of your visit.
Thinking your list through step-by-step is the key, so nothing important is missed in the rush of the moment.
First things first, we’ll begin with;
- Insurance details
- Birth plan
- Pen/pencil and paper
- Important Phone Numbers
Your best option is to sort out the insurance details a couple of months in advance, just in case your bundle of joy arrives a little early! Once you’ve organized everything with the hospital, be sure to bring valid identification with you, and your insurance papers in your bag so the process runs smoothly. If you’ve prepared a birth plan yourself, see if you can pass it along to someone at the hospital while you’re finalizing your insurance details, and be sure to take a copy along with you.
Something for writing always come in handy, but bringing a pen and paper will let you jot down your thoughts, and some like to keep a diary following the few days after birth. It’s such a surreal time surrounded by so many people, you can get caught up in it all and it’s nice have something to look back on and remind you.
- Nightgown and Robe
- Comfortable/Stretchy Pants
- Underwear & Socks
- Nursing Bra
- Maternity Pads (or Adult Diapers)
- Outfit for the ride home
Nightgown and Robe
Two nightgowns and one robe was ideal for me, when you arrive you’re given some standard items, but you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible. I recommend cotton-based items during the day and silk so you can look great for your visitors.
Dark colors are important: you will experience some leakages, and they won’t show up half as much with darker colors like navy or black.
Comfortable & Stretchy Pants (2-3 pairs)
Yoga pants are fantastic and so comfortable, if you don’t already own a pair you’ve been missing out! They are ideal for your hospital visit, and they can stretch and give with your body as it recovers. Remember: dark colors!
Underwear & Socks (1-2 packs of each)
Be sure to get a pack or two of socks, and get definitely get some thicker pairs as well. For underwear, buy some inexpensive (or disposable) pairs for the early days which you don’t mind throwing away, and another pack or two of better quality cotton underwear.
Nursing Bra & Nursing Tank Tops (3-4 of one or 2 of both)
You may be feeling too tender in the days after so may just opt for some nursing tanks. Even if you choose not to breastfeed, your breasts may still be swollen when your milk starts coming in – a nursing bra will provide support while not being too restrictive and if you add breast pads, they can catch any leakages which will occur.
Under-pads (1 pack)
Necessary to prevent the hospital bed from stains, spills and leakages. Your hospital will charge you to replace their ones, grab your own beforehand and avoid the higher costs.
Slippers (2 pairs)
You’ll want one nice pair for visitors and a second pair you don’t mind getting dirty while you’re taking showers, or alternatively a pair of flip-flops are perfect for wandering the hospital and washing in.
Outfit for the ride home
Remember you will be a LOT smaller than you were a month before on the ride home. It’s hard to judge when you’re used to carrying so much extra weight, so I recommend a dress which will be loose enough to slip over you when you’re still feeling a bit achy. A newborn-sized garment for your baby, and possibly another larger size just in case. I also recommend a blanket for you and you’re baby for the right home, if you’re returning home in the summer months it can get cold with the AC on.
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Hand Soap
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Razor & Foam
- Lip Balm
- Face Wash
- Hand towel & Bath towel
- Light perfume
- Brush & Hair Dryer
- Cotton Buds
There will be a ton of photos getting taken with you and your newborn, so you’ll want to look your best, don’t forget to pack makeup and hair products! Check with the hospital first, they may have items like hair dryer (or even straighteners) on-hand so you can save a little space in your labor hospital bag.
Your partner will be spending a lot of time with you also, if you don’t live very close to the hospital, it could be an idea for them to have some of the above items on hand as well.
Other Items & Electronics
- Pillow and Pillowcase
- Snacks & Drinks
- Camera (or video recorder)
- iPad or Laptop
- mp3 player
- Electronic Chargers
- Clock or watch
- Car Seat
Pillow and Pillowcase
Everyone’s different in their pillow requirements and hospital issues are almost always pretty flat, pack one that suits your taste so you can nap and sleep easily. A small pillow for your baby to lay on while breastfeeding, or when your relatives see him will also protect the little one while he is fragile.
Snacks & Drinks
Unless you’ve got a super healthcare plan, hospital food is similar to what you are served at 35,000 feet above ground. Pack your favorite snacks into your labor hospital bag; small oatmeal bars are perfect for energy and a lot healthier and cheaper than the brands you’ll find in the vending machine, and a bar of chocolate will get you a much needed boost of carbs.
Camera or Camcorder
Most phones nowadays are equipped for high-quality photos and videos, but why not bring along a backup camera just in case your phone runs out at a crucial time – be sure you’ve got backup technology to capture these priceless moments.
Phone, iPad, Laptop, mp3 Player
Bring your phone along so you and your partner can called family and friends to let them know the exciting news, with so much going on I recommend keeping a list of people important to you so no-one feels (or is!) left out. An iPad, laptop or other gadget will keep your partner preoccupied while you’re in labor, and take their mind of what’s going on behind the closed door during the long wait.
If you don’t have your music on your phone or a spotify subscription, remember to set aside some time to fill an mp3 player beforehand.
Don’t get caught short, a common item forgotten when packing for anything! Although most chargers are similar nowadays and there’s usually one around, it’s always more convenient to have your own so your items don’t have to be out of sight.
A requirement by law so you ride home safely. Be cautious when borrowing a car seat from friends or family which is for a different age bracket and won’t provide the protection you need if it’s undergone some wear and tear.
– Items to keep your partner comfortable, like a set of toiletries of your own, a blanket and pillow and snacks for them if they’re spending a lot of time at the hospital with you as well.
– Some snacks and items in plastic containers for your guests is a nice touch for those who have taken the time to come out and see your family.
– If you’re not breastfeeding, don’t forget to bring a breast pump with you, as they are most likely not covered under your healthcare plan, and you’ll find yourself with an expensive bill for borrowing one from the hospital. Other guides have a lot of emphasis on items necessary for your baby, but a lot of it will be covered under your health insurance and items will be given with you to take away with you.
And finally, leave a checklist on top of your hospital bags for items that you probably won’t be able to pack in advance, such as: makeup, phone, iPad, and electronics chargers.
Good luck and all the best!
Did we forget anything in our labor hospital bag tips checklist? Any items you find you couldn’t do without? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!
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