Hospital Bag Checklist: Everything You Need for Your Hospital Stay
by Amy L. Hogan
It’s a cold, hard fact that once the initial joy of a pregnancy wears off, the reality of giving birth sinks in. Yes, that baby has got to come out at some point, and the majority women choose to welcome their little ones into the world at a hospital or medical facility of some sort, which usually involves a 24- to 48-hour stay. So you better get packing for that adventure!
Many medical experts agree that around 8 months, if not a little earlier, is the ideal time to prepare a hospital bag checklist for mom and baby. You’ll want to fill your duffel bag with your medical and insurance necessities as well as some comforting items to help during labor. Despite the fact that those nesting instincts are in overdrive, there is no reason to overthink your third-trimester task. In fact, we’re taking all of the guesswork out of getting ready for GO time.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom
In addition to your birth plan and the absolute necessities – photo ID, insurance info and hospital forms – moms-to-be agree that these are the best things to pack in your hospital bag.
- A watch to time contractions
- Lollipops or lozenges
- Warm, slip-proof socks
- Glasses/contact lenses
- Soothing music
- Comfortable going-home clothes and flat shoes
Optional Checklist Items for Mom
The first couple of days after giving birth are challenging on a new mom. But with a little pre-planning, the initial postpartum period can include some basic pampering, which moms appreciate, especially just before those newborn photo shoots. Women who have been in the trenches tell us that these are their new mommy must haves.
- Cell phone charger
- A tinted lip balm for post-delivery photo ops
- Ear buds to listen to music
- Post-delivery snacks
- Light reading material/magazines
Hospital Bag Checklist for Moms Having a C-Section
If you’re having a C-section, plan on spending two to four days in the hospital. That period of time helps give your body a bit more time to heal while you bond with your baby. And to make that extended stay and recovery after surgery a bit more comfortable, you’ll want these must-pack items.
- Favorite toiletries/lotion
- Eyeglasses and contact lens solution/case
- A comfortable nightgown or two
- A warm cardigan sweater
- Several pairs of comfortable cotton maternity underwear
- A favorite pillow
- Easily, slide-on slippers
- A comfortable going-home outfit
Hospital Bag Checklist for Your New Baby
They’re the whole reason for this trip, right? And in a blink, it’s time to pack up and take that brand-new bundle of joy home from the hospital. Make your new family’s first excursion easy and stress-free with these items that are new parent approved.
- Going-home outfit for baby
- Pacifier (many hospitals don’t provide one)
- Approved infant car seat
- Warm baby blanket
- Seasonally appropriate outdoor wear
Hospital Bag Checklist for Your Partner
More than likely, Mom isn’t the only one pulling an all-nighter at the hospital, so it’s a good idea to remember to bring some things to make your partner’s time there more comfortable as well. Plus, they’re there to help make Mom’s transition from pregnant to parent a little easier, so make sure they’re ready to for everything.
- Electronics and extra chargers
- Change of clothes