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You plan for a lot when you are having a baby. Where will the baby sleep, what will it eat, names, what do I need for the baby, and more. One of the things that you may or may not plan is what do I pack in a hospital bag?! A properly prepackaged hospital bag will make labor (well, after labor because who cares about shampoo when you are squeezing a watermelon out) so much easier and just a little more comfortable. You’ll probably find a lot of hospital bag checklists out there, but I still hope you find this one helpful.
Now, you might be asking when do I pack the hospital bag? The timing is up to you. Assuming you aren’t at high risk for going into labor early, you can probably wait until 36 weeks. Now, if you are looking at the genuine possibility of meeting your baby early, you’ll want to have it done sooner. No matter when you pack it the goal is to have a single bag you can grab and go on the way to the hospital.
Packing a Hospital Bag for Mom
Mom’s, how often do we go on vacation and forget something for ourselves because we are too busy packing for others? First-time mom’s, you’ll experience this at least once probably. Your hospital bag should be packed with you in mind first and foremost. You’ll just have achieved bringing a human into the world so damn it you deserve to have the good shampoo on hand. Here is the Teal Bandit hospital bags for mom checklist:
- Toiletries: All of these in travel containers is ideal. You should only be in the hospital for a few days.
- Chapstick (Your lips will dry out. You’ll thank me later)
- Hair ties for the mom bun
- Glasses case
- Contact solution and holder
- Nursing pads (Whether you decide to breastfeed or not, your boobs will probably still leak).
- Clothing: When packing your hospital bag think loose, think comfort, think “I’m ok with this getting ruined.” You’ll also want to consider if you plan on breastfeeding. Anything marked with an * is something to consider with breastfeeding. Also, even if you aren’t going in for a c-section, you never know if you will end up needing one. Try to think “just in case” and be mindful of how things will feel on your tummy.
- Socks (I suggest slipper socks with the grips on the bottom)
- Maternity Bras
- A comfortable outfit to go home in – we don’t recommend jeans.
- Regular underwear – break out the grannie panties for this one ladies. It’s gonna be messy, and you WILL ruin a pair…or four.
- Depends – yes, like the diaper. It will probably be more comfortable than the mattress of a maxi pad you’ll have to wear.
- Flip flops for the shower
- Phone charger
- A towel: let’s face it. Hotel and hospital towels are thin and scratchy. Bring one from home, but it’s best to make sure it won’t blend in with hospital laundry. Bring a fun print or color.
- Insurance card
- Photo ID
- Hard candies
- Snacks for after birth
- Change for the vending machine
- Any vital paperwork for the hospital
- A few copies of your birth plan if you have one
- Suggestions from other Bandit mama’s hospital bags
- Erica suggests toilet paper. She raised a good point that hospital toilet paper can feel like sandpaper.
- Kristen suggests your own pillow (just like with the towel, avoid a white case, so it doesn’t get mixed with hospital laundry)
- Bonnie suggests making sure your favorite food is on standby. You’ll be starving afterward and that food you avoided while pregnant will probably be just what the doctor ordered.
- Chris suggests making a special playlist of all your favorite songs, and she’s right! Good tunes are always a positive.
Packing for Baby
Ok, so this is the part of the hospital bag preparation where a lot of people pack waaaaay too much. While you are in the hospital, you really don’t need anything because the hospital supplies it. From onsies to burp blankets to diapers, wipes, and formula it will be there. But, that said you still need a few things for your newest family member.
- An approved car seat: Not sure where to begin? Check out Car Seats for Littles. They have all the info to get you started on the right path safely.
- A going home outfit or two. Why two? You’ll probably want to dress that baby right up, and there is a good chance the first outfit will get dirty.
- Appropriate outdoor clothing. Winter in New Hampshire? Bring a snowsuit. Springtime in Tennessee…I have no idea what you need. I’ve only been there in the summer.
Packing a Hospital Bag for your Partner
This is, of course, not applicable to everyone but if your partner is coming with you, don’t forget a few items for them!
- A change of clothes
- Their own snacks
- small pillow
The hospital bag and what you pack in it can be a very personal list. This is just a bunch of suggestions from a collection of mama’s who have been there and packed waaay to much or even left essentials at home (and wished they hadn’t). I would LOVE to know what you would add to the list! Comment below and let me know.
If you are a printable kinda gal (like me, I love to have a paper copy) I made this list neat and printable! To get the printable, click here to subscribe to our newsletter. Upon confirmation you’ll be sent the link to download your handy dandy checklist! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it.
Good luck with the baby and check back soon for more helpful tips, tricks, and mom fun.