When I was pregnant I scoured the internet for what I should pack in my hospital bag. I read countless blogs and articles and, of course, I looked on Pinterest. I never found one list that had everything I ended up packing or wish I had packed, so I have decided to make a comprehensive list!
*If you want the full list without my ramblings click here for the downloadable PDF checklist!
MUST HAVES: MOMMY
Bring more than you think you will need.
Slippers and/or socks
Hospital floors are generally slippery, so I recommend slippers for walking in and socks to keep your feet warm if you find your feet are cold.
(shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrush/paste, deodorant)
You will certainly be showering at some point after birth and as great as hospital soap is you would probably have a much nicer shower if you had something that made you smell nice or feel more at home. Personally, it was the worst shower I have ever had, to some it might have been the best, but either way I felt a lot better having my familiar bathing essentials with me. I recommend travel size for space saving.
HAIR TIES (bring many)
Even if you aren’t breastfeeding you can still leak! Disposable and reusable both work well.
Birth “Plan” and Notes
Have this with you and make sure your birth partner is familiar with your preferences.
An Outfit for Labor and Delivery
Make sure this is nothing you really love because things can get messy and stained. I also recommend something that opens in the front for skin on skin, breastfeeding and delivery.
A Going Home Outfit / Extra Clothing
Yes Mommy, you too need something to wear home! Make sure it is something comfortable. Remember, you will probably still look pregnant and jeans are probably going to be a no-go. I had a soft flowing maternity/breastfeeding dress.
A Breastfeeding Bra (if planning on breastfeeding)
A Plastic Bag
For your dirty clothing of course!
A Small Spray Bottle
After a vaginal birth toilet paper is a no-go. You can fill the spray bottle with some water, spray down there after you wee (you might be able to dab with toilet paper after).
Snacks and Drinks
I recommend coconut water, juice and bone broth for drinks. And for food I recommend gummies (they are easy to eat and provide fast energy) and anything light and easy to eat.
Large or Disposable Underwear in Black (high cut)
Nightie/Shirt Suitable for Breastfeeding
Insurance Card and Information
THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT: MOMMY
You might be able to use the birthing pool or you might want to be modest while lying in the bath.
Flip Flops (for your shower)
No, not to look like Kim Kardashian immediately after birth. I’ll tell you now you will literally feel like you have no abs and no support once your bundle of joy is out of you. You stomach will be soft, abs and tissue stretched. I HATED this feeling and I cried in relief when I got home and put my binder on. It made me feel so much better. I had support and I didn’t feel so weak. I can NOT recommend one of these enough. This is on my must have list.
I recommend putting one of these (and a plastic bag) down on your car seat at week 37 in case your water breaks.
An Extra Bag
For all of the freebies you will get or could get.
Ipod and Headphones
You might find yourself in the hospital longer than you wanted and you might feel better wearing some of your own clothing as opposed to staying in a hospital gown.
Birth Ball and Pump
Have this ready to go in the car. Don’t take the one from home you probably won’t have time to deflate it.
A Breast Pump
Most hospitals have them, but they can help you learn to use yours if you bring it. I didn’t bring mine, but depending on your situation you might find this handy.
Hot Water Bottle
MUST HAVES: BIRTH PARTNER
Camera, Charger and Memory Stick
I put this on the mommy list, but your birth partner should be in charge of this stuff, not you. The same goes for your cell phone.
Cell Phone & Charger
Snacks and Drinks For You
You don’t know how long you will be there and the cafeteria might be closed. Bring something for you to chow on! You will thank yourself.
Vending machines, parking and phone calls.
Mommy might want you to get into the birthing pool with her for a massage. You might say now that you would NEVER do that, but you might think differently when you are there and they don’t allow you to get in naked.
Extra Clothing, Deodorant, Toothbrush
You might get dirty or end up living in the waiting room because you refuse to go home for one reason or another. You will want to freshen up a bit if this happens, so be prepared.
THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT: BIRTH PARTNER
Book or Something to Read
Phone Numbers of Family
Your phone might die or you might even forget your phone at home, so having these written down and packed ahead of time might be a good idea!
Pen and Paper
MUST HAVES: BABY
Bottles and Formula (if planning to formula feed)
Going Home Outfit
Cotton Wool (cotton pads)
Wipes are not recommended as a new born baby’s skin is ultra sensitive and new. We used square cotton pads and water, worked a treat!
Time of year should dictate the thickness of the blanket.
Two Sleepsuits with Feet
Socks or Booties
THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT: BABY
A Toy (Photo Prop)
Or anything warm if you have a winter baby and live in a place with a cold climate. Make sure you take this off before strapping baby in a car seat!
I think it is best to have your bags all packed and car seat installed by 37 weeks just in case baby comes around that time. I would also recommend putting your bags in your car the moment you realize you are in labor. I am trying to create the ultimate list, so if I have left something off let me know in the comments!