The Key to Packing Your Hospital Bag for Delivery

There is a lot of information out there about what you need to take with you to the hospital. But here is the real key to packing your hospital bag efficiently: take a tour of the hospital you will be delivering at. Here you can ask what the hospital will have for you, so that you don’t under or over-pack. But here is a checklist of pretty-much-necessary things that you should have, whether the hospital provides it or you pack it with you.

For mama:

  • nursing bras
  • nursing pads (you may or may not start leaking at the hospital—we ended up staying in the hospital longer than expected, so my milk had time to come in and nursing pads were needed!)
  • going home outfit and shoes (you can choose to bring additional changes of clothes for yourself, but I just lived in hospital gowns for the several days we were there)
  • socks (so you don’t have to put shoes on every time you walk around, but aren’t barefoot)
  • toiletries (hospital will most likely have some basic, hotel-quality toiletries available, but you may prefer your own)
  • hairties
  • chapstick
  • phone charger
  • pillow and blanket (we all know hospital accommodations, hard as they try, are not exceptional—consider bringing your own pillow and blanket to stay comfy in your postpartum recovery room)
  • medications you would normally take (hospital may require you to check them in)
  • insurance cards, ID, paperwork (ask hospital for paperwork before your due date so you can fill it out ahead of time instead of when you are already in labor)
  • gum
  • SNACKS! (granola bars, apples, bananas, beef jerky… things to munch on when hospital cafeteria is not open)

For spouse:

  • change of clothes/pjs
  • socks
  • toiletries
  • pillow and blanket
  • phone charger

For baby:

  • going-home outfit
  • diaper bag (keep in car for drive home)
  • carseat

Things hospital may have that you don’t need to pack:

  • nipple cream
  • mesh underwear
  • pads
  • hospital gowns
  • baby clothes and blankets
  • burp cloths
  • boppy pillow
  • diapers, wipes, ointment
  • breast pump

Things I packed that I just didn’t use:

  • extra clothes (I lived in those hospital gowns—they weren’t hideous, and it prevented me from bleeding on or leaking breastmilk on my own clothes)
  • flip-flops (someone suggested it so I wouldn’t have to step directly on the shower floor—I ended up not using them)
  • reading material (we really had no time or energy to do anything while in the hospital—any spare time we had between feeding baby, feeding ourselves, and me pumping was used to sleep or have family visit)

I think we packed pretty light compared to those other checklists out there. We just had one duffle bag, a grocery bag of snacks, our pillows and blankets, and baby’s carseat and diaper bag in the car.

Have fun packing!


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