It’s not here yet but the big day is quickly approaching, so I thought it might be a wise idea to talk a bit about packing bags for the hospital.  Obviously everyone has items they’ll want with them and this list may not be perfect for you…but hopefully it will get you started if you are wondering just what you are going to be needing.

Mom’s Labor and Postpartum Bag

  • Lip balm, lotion, other toiletries – You may not need to bring these in some circumstances because the hospital may provide you things…but what about a hair dryer? Toothpaste and a toothbrush? Deodorant? Or your own yummy smelling shampoo? You wanna look good for all those guests and photos.
  • Massage or aromatherapy oils
  • Glasses and/or contact lenses – They told me to take out my contacts before coming in so I will definitely be wanting both.
  • Watch with second hand or stopwatch, notebook, pen – to time contractions
  • 2 nightgowns
  • Robe
  • 3 pairs of socks (for labor and wearing in the days after)
  • Underwear
  • Slippers to walk around in the hospital
  • Clothes to wear home
  • Birthing guides or books
  • Birthing CD/DVD, iPod, CD player, etc
  • Books (to learn breastfeeding, etc. or entertain), magazines and puzzle books
  • Paperwork or birth announcements since you’ll likely have some time here and there to take care of a few things
  • A journal or baby book to begin documenting your new family member
  • Nursing bra or tanktop and nursing pads
  • List of phone numbers for family and friends, long distance card, cell phone
  • Camera and video camera
  • Water, fruit juice
  • Snacks, gum, candy for before and after
  • Baked snack for the nurses as a thank you for putting up with you
  • Large bag to help bring home gifts, gear, etc

Baby’s Bag

  • 2 one piece bodysuits/onesies – multiple sizes since you don’t know what will fit
  • Socks
  • 2 diapers (1 newborn & 1 preemie size) – These are just in case you don’t get any at the hospital but chances are you will. If you plan to use cloth diapers at the hospital too, you’ll want to bring them, along with an airtight container to take them home in.
  • 3 pacifiers (1 rounded, 1 orthopedic, 1 bottle nipple style) – Time to find out which your baby will like and the one from the hospital may not cut it.
  • Formula and baby bottles – If you find you can’t breastfeed for some reason, you may want your own bottles handy. They will certainly have something at the hospital if you don’t have any preferences.
  • 1 going home outfit
  • Hat/cap, cold-weather clothing if appropriate
  • 1 Carseat with head cushion insert, installed in your car
  • 4 receiving blankets- Both to wrap up baby and in case you need some extra padding in the carseat