You've probably spent the last few months imagining your baby's arrival (and Googling every possible question). Your nursery looks picture-esque, you received what feels like an endless amount of deliveries with baby items (and some for you) and now all you can do is wait. If you are anything like me, you probably spent a copious amount of time figuring out how to pack everything in a small hospital bag…you just never know what you may need.
The first time I was pregnant, I overpacked. I tried to stuff every little thing I could in multiple bags and while I was at the hospital, I didn’t use a majority of the items. The second time around, I nailed it. I only packed what I knew would be handy and based on my experience the first time, I knew there were certain items I wanted of my own vs. what they offered at the hospital. Here’s our one bag hospital check list for mamas.
Mom’s side of the bag
- Identification (for you and the person staying with you), insurance card/information, any medical forms and list of medications you take and will need during your stay. Needless to say, the hospital needs this information for your stay.
- Phone charger or a portable power bank, headphones, laptop/tablet. Think about what you really need and what will keep you busy/distracted, but also remember to pack what you need to capture the big moment (most people tend to use their phones).
- Toiletries for your entire stay – toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, facewash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hairbrush, etc. Remember to pack extra hairties or clips!
- Personal care items like DIY padsicles, peri bottle and adult diapers. Yes! It’s sounds strange, but adult diapers like these from Always or disposable underwear like these from Frida mom tend to hold up all the weight from the pads and ice packs. Frida mom has a kit of all the essentials you need, but you can also purchase them individually on Amazon. Pro tip: purchase ice packs and witch hazel pads for your at home care!
- Comfy clothes for after delivery and your going home outfit. Yes, you will likely take a ton of pictures, but during this time comfort comes first so pack what makes you feel relaxed – a bathrobe, loose dress or pajamas. Packing a nursing top or a soothing shirt like this one from Lalabu helps during the cluster feeding stage and allows for skin to skin time. Just make sure if you plan to breastfeed, it is easy to maneuver. Don’t forget to pack one or two mommy and baby matching outfits (if you’re into that!).
- Socks or slippers with really durable grippers. You won’t want to be fumbling around trying to put on shoes during your stay so pack stuff you are okay throwing away, if needed.
- Breastfeeding pillow. Whether you plan to breastfeed or bottle feed, a pillow will give you extra support and alleviate the stress on your shoulders and back and hopefully avoid the dreadful “mother’s thumb.”
- Not for the bag, but download a baby feeding and activity tracker app on your phone like this one. This will help a ton when you are sleep deprived and can’t remember when you started/stopped feeding…nurses will ask you regularly about feedings and diapering.
Baby’s side of the bag
- Baby wipes or reusable cloths, whichever you prefer. Most hospitals have one type and it might not be what you want to use on your little one.
- Cloth diapers if you plan on using them. Hospitals usually offer disposable diapers.
- Nail filer to trim your baby’s very sharp nails. Holding your baby is the best feeling in the world, getting scratched is not. It’ll also help prevent the scratches they give themselves (pajamas like Vaali V have foldable mittens which also help in this case).
- Baby clothing and accessories. The hospital will put a cap on your little one and wrap them up snug in their swaddle blanket, but you will need to pack a going home outfit. Pajamas like the ones from Vaali V are great for the stay at the hospital because they are made from 100% Pima Cotton so it’s soft on baby skin and they have essential features like 2-way zippers for quick diaper changes and vital checks, foldable mittens and convertible footies to keep them warm. For your little one’s going home outfit, Vaali V’s bodysuit is a good option for something soft and cute and you can can snuggle them up with a Vaali V blanket after strapping them into the carseat for that extra comfort during the drive.
- Portable white noise machine to help soothe your baby.
Lastly, remember to bring an extra bag because the hospital will offer you many products that you can take home. Just remember, what you want to bring is entirely up to you and your comfort. Start by making a list and pack early and put it in the car so it’s one less thing to worry about when the time comes. If you forget something or don’t have time to pack in time for labor, the hospital will have the essentials and you can lean on family and friends to drop off items, if needed.