As an upcoming parent, many of you may ask the question of what to pack in my hospital bag to give birth? Do not worry, for the newborn essentials needed for the whole family are items you should already have at home. If you’re feeling overwhelmed creating a baby hospital bag, this is completely normal and common, for school does not teach you this! Below, you will find the best hospital bag checklist that will ensure your experience will be of the least stress and most memorable! And in case you forgot, these hospital bags for labor are like your survival kits, so do not forget them!
What to pack in a Hospital Bag?
When you are about to leave for the hospital, there is no time to pack a pregnancy hospital bag, let alone being able to think clearly of what everyone needs. This is why packing ahead is extremely crucial and will make your life much easier, so below are some of the newborn essentials and items needed to ensure the most comfortability and ease.
Hospital bag for mom
- Birth plan: Make sure to include the specific details and print multiple copies for the various nurses and staff on shift. Also, highlight the key points for quick reference.
- A robe: This is one of the best and most comfortable clothing items after labor
- Your phone AND and an extra-long charging cable, hospital beds can be far from the outlet!
- Toiletries: These are very important, for you most likely will be in the hospital for some time! Bring shampoo, toothbrush/toothpaste, deodorant, extra hair ties, and face wipes in case you cannot shower immediately after birth.
- Drinks: Staying hydrated is even more important while in labor. Pack a reusable water bottle and some drinks that have electrolytes (Gatorade).
- Bring your favorite pillow and a bath towel
- Comfortable clothes are a must! A great PJ set works amazingly, and the perfect place to pick up one is Free Birdees. Also, pack a nursing bra or a tank top.
- Adult diapers: As weird as it may sound, many experts say this is more comfortable and secure than the pads/mesh underwear hospitals will provide for you.
- Don’t forget your insurance card!
Hospital Bag for Baby
- A car seat: If you want to go home from the hospital, a car seat is mandatory for your baby, so install one as early as possible!
- Don’t bring the wipes and diapers! Hospitals provide these items for you, so save your stash for when your baby comes home.
- An outfit: With your new baby, pictures are definitely a must, so pack at least 2 adorable outfits! Make sure the 2 (or more) outfits are different sizes, one being a newborn size and another 0-3 months old.
- Pediatrician Contact Information: The staff will ask for this multiple times, so it’s a good idea to have it right then and there. Include the email to your pediatrician’s office for easy communication of your baby’s medical records.
- Bottles (if you need): If you plan to feed your baby formula from the start, pack at least 2 bottles
Hospital bag for dad
- Snacks! If you don’t want your partner leaving the room to get food, make sure to pack snacks and some healthy treats! Also, you may want to munch on something post-labor.
- A camera: Whether it is your phone or a professional camera, this precious moment deserves to be remembered for generations.
- A sleeping bag and pillow: In case you are staying overnight, you would want this instead of the scratchy thin sheets hospitals provide.
- Some sort of entertainment: Ipad, Laptop, Nintendo Switch
How to get ready
Now that you have read the pregnancy hospital bag checklist and know what newborn essentials are needed for labor, preparing for this experience can be just as important. Either during your contractions or way before them, exercising and doing some techniques can be great for making this journey so much easier! Also, mental preparations are crucial as well, so educating yourself and envisioning what you may feel like during labor can also help when the real thing is happening!
- Child’s pose: This will help lengthen pelvic floor muscles and ease discomfort. Kneel down and sit on your heels. Extend your arms, which should be touching the floor and breathe deeply.
- Deep Squat: This also helps relax and lengthen the pelvic floor muscle and stretch the perineum. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, and slowly squat down as far as you can go, hands clasped around each other.
- Physical therapy: This can be amazing during your pregnancy and ease much of the pain you may feel. Usually, patients will start to go to physical therapy once they experience pain, which is normal. However, physical therapy can also help you prepare for the many challenges you will face, such as pushing the baby out.
Additional tips to prep for labor
Some other things you should keep in mind before going into labor is to be educated, but not to the point you get freaked out! Taking an informative class can be very helpful, and don’t forget to bring your spouse. In addition, choosing your birth team and setting can make a huge impact on how your labor goes. Therefore, make sure to do your research on what is best for your pregnancy and where the best doctors are! Lastly, daily exercise every day can make you sleep and feel much better. It does not have to be difficult, and a 30 min walk every day can make the difference.
When should you pack?
Preferably, you should start to pack your newborn essentials at 36 to 37 weeks pregnant. Although it may still be sometime before your due date, you do not want to take any risks of being unprepared if you go into labor early. Of course, there are some items you cannot pack early such as your iPad and toothbrush, so just don’t forget about those later!
When should you go to the hospital?
Although it is different for everyone, the general rule for going to the hospital is having contractions four minutes apart lasting for one minute, for at least one hour. If this is not your first experience with pregnancy, things may move quicker than last time, so do not be fooled! Of course, if your water breaks, that is the obvious sign to grab your maternity hospital bag and head to the hospital.
What Should the Mom and Baby Wear?
We know there are so many options when it comes to what to wear for the hospital and when you get home, so we will show you the softest baby clothing and best maternity outfits! This includes outfits to wear for you and your baby pre and post-birth, so you can be as warm and comfortable as possible post-labor!
Right before labor, there are a couple of options you could opt for which are all based on your preference. You could go simple and easy with a plain t-shirt that makes you feel comfortable and at home, but make sure you don’t use your favorite one because giving birth can get a bit messy. Also, you can use the gown the hospital provides you, so you won’t have to worry about a mess or if anything gets dirty. Lastly, for those at home deliveries in a shower or bathtub, a simple bikini works wonders.
Giving birth takes a huge toll on your body, so wearing something extra comfy and warm will be needed! If you don’t care how you look, your nightdress can be the perfect outfit, for it is light, stretchy, and breathable. For something warmer, you could go for a robe or a simple sweater, which are effortless to put on and great for the whole day. Leggings and sweatpants are also convenient and perfect if you want something that is less restricting.
Newborn Baby Clothes
Bringing a new human into this world is the best gift anyone could ask for, but now you have to look for comfy and soft baby clothes to ensure your little one stays healthy and happy. You want breathable newborn clothes, so your baby will be warm and comfortable, and the perfect place to get these types of bamboo baby clothes is Free Birdees! They offer amazing bamboo viscose pajamas, footies, and swaddle blankets, so you can choose which ones are the best. The bamboo viscose pajamas are great because you can have a matching outfit with your baby, which makes for the best and cutest pictures! Footies are also incredible because they cover your baby’s entire body and feet, which is important because the feet are one of the most sensitive places on your baby’s body. In addition, Free Birdees offers soft and breathable swaddle blankets, which can be used as a receiving blanket as well, for they are extremely similar.
With all the stress and chaos in your life, we hope these hospital bag checklists are able to prepare you for pre and post-birth while helping you ease some anxious feelings and make you feel more confident. We are all here for you, including Free Birdees, which designed some of their baby clothes specifically for newborns, so new parents like you will have an easier time knowing what to get and feel positive about your baby’s health and wellbeing. This may seem a lot, but it is always better to be over prepared for all situations than under prepared and scrambling to find something, so start early and get packing!