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If you are a first-time mom, then thinking about your experience during labor and delivery might be overwhelming. One of the best things you can do to reduce stress is to focus on what you can control, which includes your hospital bag. But are you wondering what to pack in a hospital guide? I’ve got a comprehensive but minimalist list for you to make sure your stay in the hospital with your new baby is as comfortable as can be.
What to Pack in a Hospital Bag: A Guide for Expecting Moms
When to pack your hospital bag
You can pack the stuff for the baby at any point. Then keep a list of what else you will need to pack for yourself when the time comes.
The truth is, if you start to go into labor at home, you won’t be rushing to the hospital right away. Getting the last few things in the bag is a great way to kill time while you’re waiting for contractions to get closer together. But having the list ready so you don’t have to think about it is helpful, because when the time comes, you’ll have a lot of other things on your mind!
Another thing to consider is if you end up going straight to the hospital after a doctor’s appointment. This happened with one of my children and my husband had to pack my bag for me. He was very thankful that I already had a list ready!
What to pack in a hospital bag for you
Here’s what you’ll want to pack for yourself, for before, during, and after labor.
- Photo ID and insurance card
- Any regular medications
- Nursing pillow (whether nursing or formula feeding!)
- Comfy clothes for the hospital and to wear home
- Nursing bras and tanks (if breastfeeding)
- Zip up sweater or hoodie (to allow for lots of skin to skin contact)
- Dry shampoo
- Shampoo/conditioner/body wash
- Face wash / skincare items
- Your own towel
- A pillow
- Phone charger
- Bluetooth speaker
- Headband or hair tie
- Earplugs / sleep mask
- Regular maxi pads
- Tablet/laptop and charger for watching shows and movies (unless you want to watch them on your phone screen)
What to pack in a hospital bag for your partner
Your partner shouldn’t need anything special unless he wants to read a certain book or likes some special snacks. Hopefully he knows how to pack his own overnight bag, but make sure he includes clothes, toiletries, and a pillow and blanket, as well as chargers for electronics.
- Pillow and blanket
What to pack in a hospital bag for your baby
Surprisingly, the baby doesn’t need much, and what you will need for your new little one is mostly provided by the hospital.
- A special outfit for pictures
- An outfit to go home in
- 1-2 other outfits or onesies
- Car seat
- Pacifier if you plan to use one
What not to pack (because the hospital provides it!)
The hospital provides a lot of things that might be a surprise. Don’t pack these, because it means you’ll have less to carry!
- Large water bottle
- Gauze and ointment (for circumcision)
- Nasal aspirator
- Baby hairbrush
- Sometimes baby fingernail clippers
- Super absorbent maxi pads
A final tip: When you head home take everything from your hospital room that you can! All those diapers, wipes, etc. are yours to have, so make sure you save room in your bag for them.
Is there anything I missed? Let me know in the comments!