If you’re expecting, you’ve probably heard about the hospital bag—those items you should be packing in preparation for birth. Knowing what to pack in your hospital bag can seem daunting—but it doesn’t need to be! We’ve put together a list of everything you’ll need for your time away from home, and those first few precious days with baby. Plus we’ve got a great checklist you can print off, and keep on hand for reference. Here’s our complete list of hospital bag essentials.
Your insurance information: You don’t want to be scrambling at the last moment, searching for this information. Make sure it’s all stored somewhere accessible—along with any forms you received at your hospital tour.
Toiletries: We’re talking about toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, makeup (if you’re feeling ambitious), and contact lens supplies (if you wear them).
Lip balm: Because hospital air can be dry!
Nursing bras and tanks: Invest in at least two of each, and ask friends for recommendations. Better yet, be sure to try them on before purchasing.
A comfy robe and stretchy pants: When you’re finally allowed to take a shower, you’ll be thankful to have your own stretchy pants as a change of clothes. If you’re packing pajamas, make sure the top is button up. And a pretty robe will keep you warm—the AC can get cold in hospitals!
Fuzzy no-skid socks and slippers: There’s nothing worse than chilly toes—pack a few pairs of warm socks, and slippers for those post-baby hallway walks.
Nursing pads and cream: If you’re learning to nurse, your nipples may hurt at first—these products will help.
Your camera, cell phone, all chargers, and portable battery back-up: This is not the time to be running out of power! Make sure you’re prepared.
Your Covered Goods: So many of our fans say this is a hospital essential. If you’re entertaining family and friends, our covers will give you (and baby!) the amount of privacy you need. One mama told us her Covered Goods was a lifesaver when baby was re-admitted due to jaundice. “I had to pump so he could stay under the light,” she said, “and doctors and nurses were coming in constantly and it was so amazing to be fully covered and not feeling uncomfortable one bit with them being in while I was pumping!” Covered Goods moms and dads even use our covers for skin to skin in the hospital.
Photo credit: @cherishedsparrow
Your own pillow: This is a take it or leave it item, depending on your preference. If you choose to bring your own pillow, make sure you use a cover you're not too attached too—you don't want it getting ruined.
Maternity underwear: The hospital will give you a mesh pair—which you may (or may not) be into. A large pair of cotton undies will also do the trick.
Heavy flow sanitary pads: Again, the hospital will provide these items—but you may feel better using a favorite brand.
A breast pump: If you’re planning on pumping and own one already, you may want to bring it. Don’t stress if you haven’t invested in one yet, though—the hospital has pumps on hand for new mothers if necessary.
Magazines and light reading: You’ll probably have some time to kill in between giving birth and discharge. You’ll have access to a television in your room, but a little light reading material—think US Weekly and People—can be a fun diversion.
A properly installed car seat: The hospital won’t let you leave without one! Make sure you’ve got it installed and ready to go in advance—it’s not something you want to be Googling the morning of discharge.
A going-home outfit: Now’s the time to break out that precious sleeper you got from Grandma—you’ll be taking lots of pictures! And be sure to pack for the weather.
Your pre-pregnancy clothes: We hate to break it to you, but they just won’t fit. Save yourself from an exercise in frustration—leave the pre-baby jeans in your drawer.
Anything valuable: It probably goes without saying, but this includes any special jewelry, cash, or expensive items. Whether or not you have a private room, there’s no guarantee it will be completely secure.
This is only a guide—life can be unpredictable! Print off our checklist, use it to get started, and enjoy the process! And if you start to feel stressed, just remember—a partner or family member can always run home to grab anything extra you need. Good luck, and get ready to meet that bundle of joy!