Just Another Hospital Bag Checklist

If you’re pregnant and preparing for labor, you might realize soon enough that there are tons of free checklists for expecting Moms out there – especially for the hospital bag.

There are many “Ultimate” checklists buzzing around the internet and several other “Best” checklists swimming among the cracks of search engines (such as Google).

The thing is, there IS NO perfect checklist for you out there because the checklist you want should be the one that caters to YOUR NEEDS.

But what if you don’t know what you need?

Easy. Just pack everything! – not. But really, carry items you think you will use – assuming that you will stay in the hospital the first day you arrive and 48 hours after giving birth (in short, at least 2 days).

Instead of putting several pounds of weight in “the hospital bag” that you will not use, let me walk you through a labor experience and help you find your needs.

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The Arrival

As soon as you arrive in the hospital, the first thing you need to do is check-in at the front desk. Make sure you have your insurance documents (insurance cards, etc.), your contact information, and any other document that is required. More importantly, if you bring your purse, you already have the most important items on hand (driver’s license, social security info, etc).

Packing Items:

  • Insurance documents, contact information, driver’s license
  • Purse

When the Nurse is ready to bring you into your labor room, you will be instructed to undress and change into the “labor gown”. This is provided by the hospital that has been washed and cleaned. It will also accompany you throughout labor. But what if you don’t want to use the hospital gown? No worries! You can pack your own.

Hospital rooms can also be a little chilly (depending on your body temperature). It doesn’t hurt to pack a sweater or cardigan in the bag in case you need it.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, the next thing you change into is the “socks with grips” – also provided by the hospital. In case you didn’t know, hospital floors are….quite slippery. And when you’re with a baby bump, slipping and falling is a BIG “no-no”. But don’t worry, these socks are new.

Don’t feel like using hospital-provided socks? Grab a pair of your own and pack it in the bag! Just make sure the socks you have comes with grips (very important).

Packing Items for Mom:

  • Robe or gown
  • Sweater or cardigan
  • Socks with grips

If you arrived and haven’t dilated yet, chances are, you’ll be staying in the hospital for a few hours before baby comes. That means – you need to find ways to help you dilate so that you can meet baby soon!

You can:

  • Walk
  • Exercise
  • Use a “birthing ball”
  • Try nipple stimulation
  • Take a warm shower

Most hospitals should provide a birthing ball (if requested) but if you’re wary of using something that has been used by others, you can pack your own birthing ball.

While you’re waiting to dilate, you may also find that the hospital room can have dry air. You will need lip balm (or Chapstick) and water (provided by the hospital). Trust me, lip balm is the #1 thing you need when you have contractions. I remember how cracked my lips were but thankfully, I had my Chapstick!

Sometimes, our Mom bods doesn’t dilate fast enough that we find ourselves caved inside the hospital room for several hours.

In the meantime, you can also find other ways to entertain yourself. Make sure you have your phone with you. It’s always easier to hop into the”Social Media” world when it’s at your finger tips. If you tend to use a lot of battery, make sure you have your phone charger as well. Don’t want to use your phone? Try watching Netflix or YouTube on your tablet. A bigger screen is always easier to watch than a small screen.

Let’s say you really don’t want to get all “tech-y” while you’re in the labor room. You can also bring a word search book, crossword puzzle, or a book to read.

Or maybe you really DON’T NEED entertainment and just want to relax. Bring an essential oil diffuser or Bluetooth speakers to listen to relaxation music.

And finally.

The second your contractions kick in, you’ll be in for a loooong battle so make sure you have hair ties and headbands to keep away those long strands of hair from getting in the way!

Packing Items for Mom:

  • Birthing ball
  • Lip balm (or Chapstick)
  • Your phone
  • Phone charger
  • Tablet
  • Word Search book
  • Crossword puzzle
  • A book to read
  • Essential oil diffuser
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Hair ties
  • Headbands

On the other hand, if you arrived at the hospital because your water broke or because you’re ready to push – pack this!

  • 2-3 towels (because if your water broke, you’ll be soaking wet for a while)

Giving Birth

As soon as you give birth, there is no better way to capture this precious moment than to use a camera or video recorder. Your baby’s cries is a good sign that baby is safe and healthy. And the small teeny, tiny body that you’re staring at? It will be a memory that you will remember for the rest of your life.

After the Nurses take your baby’s APGAR (Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration) score, you’ll be rolled out into the postpartum labor and delivery room. This is where you’ll nest for the next 48 hours (or more).

Packing Items for Mom or Dad:

  • Camera
  • Video recorder

Postpartum

Let’s face it. You just gave birth. You’re exhausted. And you want to sleep but can’t bear to rest because you’re too busy staring at the jewel you just pushed out. It’s okay. This is your moment.

But now what? Eventually, you’re going to want to freshen up. You’ll need your toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, makeup (optional), and any other toiletries you use!

And if you tore down there, you probably won’t feel like taking a shower right away but when you do, you may prefer to use your own shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and towel.

After freshening up, you might not want to wear those dirty socks anymore! Bring a flip-flop or slipper and change into them.

But wait. You want to wrap baby in his or her own blanket right?! You might want to bring a receiving blanket or baby blanket and also change him or her into the set of clothing you’ve been preparing for.

Packing Items for Mom:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Comb
  • Makeup
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Towel
  • Flip flop or slippers

Packing Items for Baby:

  • Receiving blanket or blanket
  • 2-3 sets of clothing

Since you’ll be nesting in your postpartum room for the next few days, your husband (or spouse) will need to prepare for “the sleepover”. He’ll be there to assist with baby care while you rest, bring you food when you’re hungry, and also assist you to the bathroom if needed.

Packing Items for Husband (or Spouse):

  • Phone
  • Phone charger
  • Blanket
  • Pillow
  • 2-3 sets of clothing
  • Toiletries
  • Sweater

Don’t forget that it’s very important to bond with your baby through skin-to-skin. Your baby will need your comfort, love, and care. Oh! And one more thing. Baby needs a feeding too!

Make sure you have a nursing bra so that you can feed baby easily, a nursing top that is loose and comfy, and nipple cream!

Although feeding your baby is your top priority, caring for yourself is also pivotal to your health. The hospital will most likely provide you items to help you with postpartum recovery (may vary among hospitals). You may get disposable undies, pain relieving spray, a squirt bottle, witch hazel pads, and maxi pads to use until the end of your postpartum stay.

Are you working and planning on going on Maternity Leave too? This is the perfect moment to call your disability vendor and notify them of baby’s birth! That way you can start your disability benefits and avoid stressing over job security and income. You will need your disability vendor information, your claim documents, and your baby’s birth date as well as the last date you worked.

Just a side note – – – > Are you aware that there are 6 (Must-Do) Items After Giving Birth? Click to read more!

When the night comes, there might be a chance that your husband will get hungry for a midnight snack. Don’t forget to bring change or coins – it is very handy for that Snickers your husband has been dreaming about!

Packing Items for Mom:

  • Nursing bra
  • Nursing top
  • Disability vendor information
  • Claim documents

Packing Items for Husband (or Spouse):

  • Change or coins

Going Home

Ahhh~

The day we’ve been waiting for. If you’re like me, you’d do anything to leave the hospital as soon as possible – that means making sure everything is completely prepared and packed so that you can leave and climb into your own bed.

When going home, baby will need a car seat and booster car seat. Make sure you have it installed appropriately or else the Nurse won’t let you leave! Safety is priority and it’s your responsibility (as well as the Nurse) to make sure baby leaves the hospital in a car seat that is installed correctly. And if baby was delivered during the cold season, don’t forget the car seat cover. It will block out cold winds and keep baby warm.

Your baby will need a going home outfit that is cute and snugly looking. Not only does your baby need a going home outfit, you and your spouse will also need one!

Packing Items for Mom and Husband:

  • Going home outfit

Packing Items for Baby:

  • Car seat
  • Booster car seat
  • Car seat cover
  • Going home outfit

As you finish up the check-out process, sign your name, and gather your stuff, be prepared to face the longest (and wild) road ahead – the road to Motherhood.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and found it helpful.

Not all labor experiences are the same but having a glimpse of what you may expect (and what I went through) will help you determine the items you TRULY NEED instead of the items you DON’T NEED.

To top it all, I have just another hospital bag checklist for you. It’s Free. And printable. Download, print, and pin it to your refrigerator! 

Click to gain instant access to your Free Hospital Bag Checklist – among other Freebies!

Oh, and one more thing.

If you enjoyed this post, please share? Other Mama’s may find it helpful as well!

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