While I was pregnant, I read countless articles, lists and posts about what to bring to the hospital. I created a checklist and started packing my hospital bag about three months before my due date. I added more and more as it got closer. Finally checking off the final last minute items from my list after contractions started. It turned out that we had way too much stuff! We didn’t use half of the items we brought to the hospital. It was a pain to drag all that stuff in and out (for my husband). So I wanted to share my 10 essential delivery hospital bag checklist with you, so you can be prepared with what you really need, but not bring enough for a vacation – like I did.
1o Essential Delivery Hospital Bag Items
Slippers are a must have for labor and delivery and for recovery. You can pace your room or the halls in your slippers during labor. I brought two pairs just in case the pair I wore during labor got yucky. I recommend non-slip soles on your slippers. These were a must have to slip on your feet when you slowly and painfully get out of your hospital bed to go to the bathroom after labor. I bought two pairs on sale at JC Penney’s that looked similar to these.
2) Pajamas and an Eye Cover
Another must have item to make your stay more comfortable. I actually brought two sleep shirts, one short sleeve – thinking I would wear it during labor and delivery – and one long sleeve which I planned to use afterwards. At the hospital, I ended up wearing the hospital gown during labor and delivery and for the first few hours after delivery. However, I was still glad I brought two pajama tops though because we ended up staying in the hospital for 48 hours. I changed into one of the pajama shirts a few hours after we moved to our own room. The second shirt was a welcome clean item to change into after finally taking a shower when I got clearance the next morning. The eye cover is useful as it is never really dark in your hospital room due to all the equipment lights. I love this eye cover.
3) Toiletries (Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Face Wash and Moisturizer, Lotion, Chapstick)
Be sure to bring your toothbrush and toothpaste no matter what! It was amazing to brush my teeth. I would also recommend bringing your regular face wash and moisturizer. Bring some lotion and chapstick too as the constant AC in the hospital and loss of fluid will leave your skin and lips feeling dry. I also recommend bringing a small thing of shampoo, conditioner and body wash. If you take a shower it will be nice to have your familiar items instead of the hospital provided combo shampoo and conditioner. Which always reminds me of being a kid – not the way you feel after delivery – not at all.
4) Going Home Clothes
No way will you want to go home in whatever outfit your contracting and anxiety filled self rolled into the hospital wearing. Bring yourself something very comfortable to slip into. Make sure it is something you fit into at 6 months pregnant. You will leave the hospital at about your 6 month pregnant size. I brought yoga pants, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt, some warm socks and boots because I gave birth in late December. If your due date is in the summer then I recommend flip flops 😉
5) Cell Phone Chargers
You will want to take lots of photos of your new little one. The last thing you want is your cell phone dying. It will also be useful to communicate with family and friends about visiting and asking for what you need…like food for your partner who stays faithfully at your side and yet the hospital does not provide food for them. Lamesauce if you ask me.
6) Pillows and blankets for your partner
Every hospital will differ as to what they provide so I recommend bringing these items to make sure your partner is comfortable. If you have a favorite pillow, may as well bring it for yourself as many people complain about the hospital pillows because they are very thin. I just asked for more! If you do bring your own pillows make sure to bring a pillowcase that is not white or they will mix it in with the hospital pillows.
7) Snacks for your partner
As I mentioned before your partner does not get fed in the hospital. You will get fed handsomely. Neither you nor your partner will want to be separated, so bring some snacks to tide them over until family/friends arrive with reinforcements.
8) Baby Going Home Outfit and Blanket
You will most likely want to bring them home in something that covers them fully and is warm and cozy, although that may depend on the weather where you are. Bring two sizes! Newborn and 0-3 months as you never know what your baby will fit in! Mine was a little peanut, 5 lbs, 12 ozs so she fit in newborn and still does at week 7! However I’ve heard of many babies that never fit in newborn clothes. Bring a blanket too! Especially if it is cold where you live.
9) Infant Car Seat and Base (pre-installed)
In California you cannot leave the hospital without an infant appropriate car seat installed in your car, so make sure you bring one and preinstall the base in your car. You do not want to be messing with that when you are leaving the hospital. Many agencies like the Sheriff’s Office provide free safety checks to make sure your car seat is properly installed and I recommend it! Just google “Car seat installation” for your local area and you’ll find your resources. I highly recommend the Britax infant car seat! It is so simple to install in the car and also so easy to pop the seat in and out. Simplicity is really necessary for those sleep deprived mommy and daddy brains! We got the below travel system from Britax and as I mentioned we LOVE it. Plus, how can you go wrong with something that has such a high safety rating? If you are a two car household, I definitely recommend getting an extra base or one for Grandparents if they will be heavily involved. It just makes life that much easier. Let’s face it, when you have a newborn you need things to be just that much easier!
10) Your Birth Plan and Safety Net Items
This is anything that will make you feel more comfortable and prepared. We brought a hypnobirthing CD (uploaded onto our phones), our textbook from your childbirth preparation class, pictures of my mom who had recently passed away, a folder with important paperwork – birth certificate worksheet, list of people to contact pre-birth and post birth, our birth plan (bring a few copies!) and other knick-knacks.
Ok so there you have it. My must have list for the big day!
Here are a bunch of things you will need but the hospital will provide so don’t worry about adding them to your hospital bag:
Pads, lots of pads – buy these for home but don’t worry about bringing to the hospital
Sitz bath (for vaginal delivery)
Perineal spray bottle
Food, snacks, lactation cookies and lactation tea
Something you can’t pack in your hospital bag but MUST BRING: Your confidence in how amazing you are and that you will get through it no matter what twists and turns your personal labor and delivery story takes! Be strong mama, you got this!
Did I forget anything? I’d love to hear what items you found to be essential for your hospital bag. Please comment below and let me know!
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