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Hospital Bag Must Haves – A Veteran Mom’s Packing Checklist

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I’m typing this list just as I finish packing my hospital bag for the upcoming arrival of our Baby #3. He is set to arrive via induction this coming week. By many standards, I should have had this bag packed already, but as with most things having to do with this little one, I’m behind. Hopefully, by the time he arrives, baby boy will have a few drawers cleared out for his clothes and a place to sleep when he comes home. I make no promises! However, with this being our third, I feel like I have some experience and authority in saying what should be packed into a hospital bag:

Must Haves

Insurance Information
Upon check in, you will have lots of forms to fill out, and they will need your insurance card—even if you pre-register at the hospital.

Comfortable Clothes  (Pre- and Post-Baby)
On previous births, I dreaded the thought of having to sit in a hospital gown the entire time I was in the hospital. I was able to wear my own nightgown with both of my kids almost up until the delivery. I was so much more comfortable laboring in my black, cozy, cotton pajamas than I would ever have been in a hospital gown. I recommend something that buttons/zips up either the front or the back so they have easy access to any wires/IV’s etc.

You also want to be sure to bring some cozy clothes for post-delivery you. Maternity yoga pants (yes, you will still need to wear maternity pants), tank tops, and zip up sweatshirts or cardigans are my personal favorite. Layering is super helpful in a hospital—especially post-baby. I was freezing and then hot and then freezing again. Layers are your friend.

Cozy Socks or Slippers
Cozy socks or slippers are great for walking the halls during labor, and you will be so glad you have something warm and comfy to walk around in once your little one arrives.

Toiletries and—Dare I say it—Make-Up
I made this mistake with my first baby. I wasn’t even thinking about it, and I totally didn’t bring anything! The hospital does provide shampoo/soap, etc, but there is something very comforting about having shampoo/soap/lotion that you like and that smells good. Once you can take a hot shower and feel clean, you will be so glad you aren’t using hospital-supplied soap that makes your skin feel super-dry when you are finished! While you are at it, throw in your make up bag. Even if you don’t use it, it will be there (just in case you want it!) when you want to take some pictures with your newest addition.

Lip Balm
While this is considered a toiletry, I think it deserves its own mention. For some reason, both times I was in the hospital for the birth of my kids it was so dry. Having lip balm close by was amazing.

Pack multiple pairs of undies, maxi pads, nursing bras, and pads. Again, the hospital will supply pads, but they are bigger than any pad you’ve ever seen, and they are great right after you give birth, but once you recover you aren’t going to want to go home with that huge diaper on.

Here are the essentials: phone (don’t forget the charger!) and camera

Nice to Haves

  • Pillow & Blanket – who doesn’t love having their own pillows/blankets with them?
  • iPad or Computer to get online or watch a show (labor can go on for hours…)
  • Snacks and Drinks OR be sure to pack spare change for the vending machines
  • Boppy (you may also want to consider packing a Boppy if you plan to nurse)
  • An empty duffle bag – There will be diapers and wipes and other things that the hospital supplies that you will want to take with you.

Must Haves for Baby

  • Carseat
  • A few changes of clothes (including “going home” outfit)
  • Hats/Beanies
  • Paci
  • Cozy Blanket

Partner Must Haves

  • Comfy change of clothes
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Blanket and pillow

What are your hospital bag must haves?

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One Response to Hospital Bag Must Haves – A Veteran Mom’s Packing Checklist

  1. Monti December 9, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    Yes to all of these!

    Because my water broke and I went into labor 5.5 weeks early, I did NOT have a bag packed. I showed up to the hospital with my purse (which had my insurance card thank goodness) and the clothes on my back. The next day my mom and aunt went shopping and brought a bag full of pretty much everything on this list and I was so happy I thought I’d cry = )

    Doesn’t hurt to pack early!

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