As your baby’s due date approaches, preparation for the big day take center stage. Putting your hospital bag together is an easy task to check off the list but the idea of what to pack can be overwhelming, especially for first time moms. Based on our collective personal experiences, we have compiled the perfect list of hospital bag essentials for you and your partner. Each item on this list you will no doubt use and be thankful to have:
- Comfortable Pants – Whether you prefer form fitting leggings or loose sweatpants on a regular basis, a loose/forgiving waste band is a must for the days after delivery.
- Zip Up Sweatshirt – Allows for easier skin to skin and nursing. Also since hospitals and birthing centers are generally cooler, it helps provide easy layering and warmth.
- Slippers/Flip-flops – Depending on preference or time of the year, something easy to slip on and off as you get in and out of your hospital bed is helpful.
- Maternity Tanks – One or two should be good. The stretchy material is comfortable but not too restricting. Plus less coverage than a tee shirt allows for easier skin to skin.
- Comfortable Underwear – This is a must for everyone. Lilladu tip: witch hazel pads are a great investment as they provide instant relief!
- Cell Phone Charger – Keep your phone charged for all those first photos of your sweet newborn.
- Newborn Take Home Outfit – In addition to a hat, a pair of socks and onesie, it might be best to bring one newborn outfit and one 0 to 3 month outfit in case your little one is a little bigger than expected.
- Swaddle Blanket – Even better a SwaddleMe.
- These velcro swaddles are a guarantee your swaddle will stay and keep your little one swaddled for longer.
- Bathroom Essentials – You will want/need your own shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush and hairbrush. But leave the makeup and specialty face wash at home unless it’s an absolutely must for you personally
- Pumping Bra – This is for those that suspect they may need to pump in the hospital at first. Also, hands-free is a must for those pumping every 1 to 2 hours! In addition, throw in a few breast pads for in between nursing/pumping sessions.
- Chapstick – They limit water pretty quickly and sometimes those ice chips just don’t cut it. Your lips are the first thing to suffer so chapstick is necessary.
- Car Seat – You need a car seat to take your new addition home! If you are planning on reusing a car seat previously purchased, make sure it is not expired. Most hospitals will ask to see your car seat to verify the expiration date before discharging you and your baby. Lilladu Tip: before having your baby, call your local fire department’s non emergency line and see if they offer help inserting your car seat correctly into your car. Most around the country offer this assistance for free!
What to Leave at Home:
- Jewelry including your wedding rings – A lot of hospitals will require you to remove upon arrival and if you have a c-section all facilities require it to be removed. It’s safer to leave at home in a safe place.
- Ipad or tablet – you think you’ll use it but even after 36 hours of being induced, it won’t leave your bag.
- Invitations for family and friends to visit - Somewhat joking but with all seriousness, only invite the most important people in your life to the hospital. You are going to be tired (really, really tired). Give yourself a few hours to rest and be taken care of and let guests visit in a few days when you are at home and can use an extra hand with the house or even the baby.
Additional items to pack for your partner:
- Advil/Tylenol – Seems strange to bring but medical personnel are not allowed to hand out medicine to non-patients so whether your partner has aches from sleeping on the bench “bed” or from not sleeping at all, they will be thankful you tossed the bottle in your bag.
- Sweatpants/Sweatshirt – Most partners stay at the hospital with you so they will need clothes comfortable enough to sleep or rest in.
- Comfortable Shoes – They should be prepared for extended periods on their feet. Flip flops or warm socks would be useful as well.
- Bathroom Essentials – Similar to yourself, they will want their toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, soap, etc. that they typically need every day.