Hospital Bag Check List

Often times moms and dads obsess over what needs to be included in a hospital bag. You’ve got the planners who have list upon list and double and triple check to make sure they haven’t missed ANYTHING.. then you’ve got the procrastinators who pack the bag as mom is huffing and puffing her way through labor. Either way, you’ll find many debates over what exactly needs to be in the bag, so that’s where I come in! You can google and you will find many different mom sites who offer lists of the “must haves” but honestly, you’re having a baby, not going on vacation! So I found a list off a common mom site and I’m going to break it down here for ya!

Hospital Bag Check List:
For Momma:

  • Tooth brushes for everyone and Tooth paste
  • Any reference book or pamphlet you might need
  • Pillows from home (Use colored cases to distinguish from your birth place’s linens)
  • Music you would like (You may need to provide your own iPod, CD Player or Tape Player)
  • Camera with film and batteries
  • Camcorder with charged batteries and accessories
  • Signed copies of your birth plan
  • Water bottles for ice
  • Your own wash cloths, colored ones work better
  • Waterproof pads for the car ride
  • Any clothes of your own that you wish to wear, as an alternative to hospital gowns
  • List of people to call after the baby is born (include your childbirth educator)
  • Lip Balm
  • Massage tools (Oils, massage tool, etc.)
  • Change of clothes for partner, including swim trunks for shower or pool
  • Baby Book for getting the foot prints done by the nurse when she does the paperwork
  • Focal Point (If you want one)
  • Socks for mom
  • Special foods or drinks
  • Suckers or hard candy
  • Snacks for labor support
  • Calling Card for Long Distance Calls

So this is the list they provide.. sheesh! So let’s break this down a bit; your essentials are as follows:
-Any hospital paperwork, insurance cards or any paperwork that is related
-Tooth brush
-rubber band/head band/hair pins to keep hair from your face
-Camera and any other assorted recording devices
-Birth plan (if you have one, if not DON’T worry)
-extra clothing (I preferred to deliver my kids in nothing more than a sports bra!)
-lip balm! (trust me, you’ll want it!)
-baby book
-if you’re planning to delivery natural any birthing aids you might be using

That sums up the must haves. Really, that’s it. Let me be realistic with you.. You’re in labor, you’re not having a party. You’re not likely to be playing games, you’re not likely to even be allowed to have snacks! Bring as little of your own linens as possible for fear of things getting left behind. Our hospital always had more wash cloths than I could even think of using! I knew who to call. Although I’d admit a massage would have been nice, oils and stuff is just bulky fun stuff. Perhaps that sort of thing would serve best during a natural labor. Chances are if you aren’t delivering naturally, there for have an epidural, you’re going to be resting when you can. The hospital will provide you with lovely socks with grippies for you to walk with along with all the ice chips and water in Styrofoam cups you want! The less you bring into the labor room the better! You’re not going to want to worry about keep track of all it when you’ve got a shiny new baby to play with.. trust me! Now let’s discuss the postpartum bag…

  • Nursing bras and pads (preferably the washable, soft ones.)
  • Breastfeeding book
  • Going home outfit for baby
  • Blanket for Baby
  • More film (Though you can buy this for higher prices in most gift shops.)
  • Another change of clothes for partner and any toiletries needed
  • Your own personal night gown, robe (They will get dirty!)
  • Personal Hygiene items (shampoo, your own pads, etc.)
  • Number of La Leche League or other breastfeeding support
  • Number of diaper service (if you need to arrange for delivery)
  • Car Seat with instructions
  • Going home outfit for mom (You will still be look to be about 6 months pregnant. Most women wear the clothes that they wore to the hospital, some bring nursing shirts.)
  • Birth Announcements, stamps, envelopes

Alright the must have essentials:
– Car seat (which typically is already ready in the car)
-Personal hygiene items (shampoo, toothbrush, hair brush= MUST!)
-Going home outfit for mom (yes, baggy clothing is best! also consider to bring something that won’t irritate a c-section incision site should that be the end results of delivery)
-Going home outfit/blanket for baby
-Nursing bras/tanks (if you’re going to be nursing)
-Boppy pillow (this sort of pillow WILL typically make nursing especially for a first time mom, much easier!)

Yup folks, THAT’S IT! The hospital is going to provide EVERYTHING ELSE. They’ll give you all the pads and cute undies you want! They’re going to provide you with all the lovely hospital gowns you could think to dirty up! (I wouldn’t suggest dirtying your own clothing). However, if you’re anything like me, you’ll WANT those things, which is totally fine, but remember, not essential. As far as your partner, heck, they’re on their own! Some other things you may want by that point are “normal food” rather than hospital mush, so make sure you take that into account and plan accordingly.

Obviously there is nothing wrong with taking more than this but just remember if you’re in a panic, as long as you have a few of the essentials then you’re going to be just fine 🙂 Pack your bag early to avoid not being ready when labor decides to show up! I started keeping mine in my car at about 34 weeks (but my kiddos were at the risk of being early) I think the ‘average’ time is about 37 weeks!