Hospital bag Checklist of what to pack for mom, dad and baby
Is your pregnancy slowly coming to the end and you are starting to get ready for the big arrival of your sweet little baby? This week I am 30 weeks pregnant with my second baby. I would love to share with you a printable checklist for packing the hospital bag. Based on what I packed and used or didn’t use last time with my firstborn, I will show you what’s in my hospital bag the second time around.
I know, I still have quite some weeks to go until giving birth. So, I haven’t fully packed my hospital bag yet, but I like to think about and organize things early. Besides, you never know when baby actually comes, so I personally like to be prepared a bit earlier than later. Obviously, it is completely up to you when you want to pack your bag. I recommend not to wait longer than up to 37 weeks pregnant. Some babies just seem to like to make an early appearance, even if the whole pregnancy was without any complications.
Well, no matter when you decide to pack your hospital bag, you will have to do it eventually. With sharing my checklist what to pack for mom, dad and baby, I hope I can be a help and inspiration for you to get it done fast and efficiently. You don’t want to overpack and you don’t want to miss the important things.
At the end of this blog post you will find the printable checklist for packing your hospital bag as a free download. So, check it out and make sure you are ready when the big day comes.
What to pack in the hospital bag for mom
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maternity notes, documents and birth plan
Personally, I have collected all my own maternity notes, documents from the obgyn and examination results in a folder. That way I keep it all in one place and it is easy to access when needed. And I am simply able to just pack the folder and have it all with me. In addition, I will print out and add my birth plan (once I finish writing it…).
If you are planing to use birth affirmation cards, make sure to pack these as well!
My hospital let me pre-register and fill out all the paperwork ahead of time. So most likely I won’t need to show my insurance license anymore. I still decide to pack it in case there needs to be any clarification.
phone, headphones and charger
Be it to watch a series with my hubby in early labor stages, listening to music or a meditation playlist or snap the cutest pictures of my newborn during the first days of this precious new life, I know I will want my phone with me for sure. Don’t forget to pack a charger as well. I have also found it nice last time to have a small extension cord with me. The plug for the charger was far behind the head of my hospital bed and hard to reach.
Depending on your own preferences you might want to pack a camera in addition to your phone. Personally, I love photographs to look back on and like to experiment myself with pictures. In addition, we will have a professional newborn shooting done.
glasses and contacts
I will definitely not wear contacts for labor and birth. But I might be very happy to have them later on, when feeling more like myself again.
clothes: night gown for giving birth, dressing gown and Pjs, loose comfy outfits, black underwear, comfy socks, a pair of cheap slippers, going home outfit
With my first baby I was super happy about all the loose and dark clothes I had packed for myself. For those first few days postpartum my belly for sure still looked very pregnant. Comfy pregnancy pants were all I wanted to wear with my maternity tops. I was also happy about the cheap pair of slippers I brought and then threw away right after my stay. As a nurse I have always been too aware of what is all going on on a hospital floor… I didn’t want to bring home any of it.
toiletries: hair brush, hair bands and clips, tooth paste and brush, shampoo and conditioner, bodywash, deodorant, makeup and small mirror, face wash and makeup remover, lip balm(!), perineal postpartum spray
I will definitely pack my small mirror again to be able to do some quick “getting ready” in bed. And lip balm! Girl, I tell you. Hospital air dries out everything and I was so glad a friend had told me to pack it last time. Another thing I will pack this time is this herbal perineal postpartum spray. I plan on a vaginal delivery and have had many mom friends recommending it. I am excited to find out if it is actually that good.
breastfeeding: maternity bras, breast pads, nipple cream
As far as I remember, my hospital didn’t provide any breast pads last time. I ended up waking up all wet during the nights. And I had to change my bras and tops way too often. I will make sure to pack some myself this time. Also: nipple cream! A Lanolin cream was my life saver during those first days of breastfeeding. I cannot recommend it enough! My nipples had started getting sore and Lanolin ended up solving all the pain. And with that helping me to continue to build the beautiful breastfeeding relationship with my baby son. If you want to read and learn more about breastfeeding your newborn baby, check out this blog post.
high energy snacks and chewing gum
Personally, last time during labor I felt very hungry and it helped me to have healthy snacks ready to eat for a quick energy boost. And what I didn’t eat during labor, I definitely ate in between meals in the first few days after birth. Breastfeeding comes with great hunger attacks for me! (at times even in the middle of the night…)! I will be glad to be prepared again.
What to pack in the hospital bag for dad
phone and charger
Just like myself, my husband wants to have his phone with him for sure. I also let him pack his own charger in case our phones needed it simultaneously.
change of clothes, a pair of clothes to sleep in
Depending on what time of the day (or night…) your baby will come and how long labor and delivery will take, your partner will be glad to have a set clothes to change. Or even to sleep in. My husband will come with me to the hospital and stay for labor and delivery. Then most likely he will return home after a few hours to be there for our one-year-old. If your partner plans to stay at the hospital with you, obviously he might need a little more than just one set of change.
glasses and contacts
Again, depending on the time of the day (or night) he might prefer one or the other.
snacks and drinks, chewing gum
Just like myself, my husband got hungry and thirsty during labor with my firstborn. The long waiting and the important support during birth that was required of him wasn’t nothing. I was very happy not to have a hangry man by my side during that crucial time.
deodorant and toiletries
Depending on the length and the situation during labor and delivery, I know my husband will be glad to have some deodorant and toiletries with him as well.
some cash, credit card and coins for parking and vending machines
I will simply let my hubby pack his wallet and we will be good to go.
Checklist of what to pack in the hospital bag for baby
Obviously only if you have and use them. Personally, I find these wooden, rounded milestone signs super cute.
baby’s first teddy
With my firstborn my mom brought us a little plush lion to the hospital when visiting the first day. Ever since, this lion has been our son’s absolute favorite toy. He has become very attached to it and always falls asleep holding it in his arms. With our second child we will make sure to bring a little plush animal with us. We really like the idea now to give it to our baby from day one as well.
baby bum / nappy cream
I personally recommend a cream containing zinc oxide. It glides on the skin and creates and impermeable barrier to block moisture. Once baby’s bum starts to get a little red, I usually apply it right away. Most times after I already see an improvement next time I change the diaper. I like to bring it to the hospital with me, just in case. Most likely (and hopefully!) I won’t use it so early on.
In most of the hospitals those are provided for. Personally, I like to have my own swaddle blankets with us for some sweet pictures. And it makes me feel a bit less “hospitalized” if you know what I mean.
Those are simply great for every and anything. I love to bring my own muslin cloths from the beginning, so baby gets the smell from home. I usually wash them a couple times beforehand, since the material becomes softer and softer with every wash.
clothes: newborn vests, newborn sleepsuits, a pair of scratch mits, newborn hat, going home outfit
Most likely your hospital will provide newborn clothes during the time of your stay. Personally, I like to have a couple sets of our own with me. Again, for pictures and I like my baby to stand out from all the other babies around, lol. No but seriously, as mentioned, it just makes me feel less “hospitalized” and more of an individual family.
car seat, warm blanket
With the car seat we will make sure that it will be properly installed beforehand this time. Read about my experience with our firstborn in this blog post. It was not fun. This time, we will be prepared. Depending on the weather we will also have a warm blanket ready to cover our precious little newborn. Thinking about bringing my newborn baby home, I already can’t wait!
Printable checklist for packing your hospital bag
Get your printable, 1-page pdf version right here:
Obviously, this printable checklist for the hospital bag that I am sharing here is adjusted to my personal needs and preferences and the hospital I will go to when giving birth. Not every hospital or clinic provides you with the same material for postpartum and baby. So, you might want to find out about some specifics ahead of time. You could go on a tour to see the ward and ask right there and then. Or simply give them a phone call.
Besides packing the hospital bag, have you thought of everything else? Checkout the third trimester checklist to make sure that you are ready for your baby to arrive!
To find more helpful information and tips on pregnancy, birth, babies and motherhood check out my other blog posts.