One of the most important third-trimester to-dos is packing your hospital bag.
Don’t know where to start? Here is the ultimate hospital bag checklist in 2019.
We’ll list everything you might want or need in the hospital.
However, you won’t want to over-pack and end up packing a giant bag.
So, we’ll list must-haves and some nice-to-haves for you and your baby, as well as your partner.
And, every hospital is different. Ask your hospital what they will provide and what you need to bring from home before deciding what to pack.
Hospital bag checklist for mom
1, Important documents
Your birth plan, your insurance card, photo ID, hospital forms and any other hospital paperwork you’ve filled out.
Print multiple copies of your birth plan so you can give it to your practitioner and nurses on all shifts, and perhaps another to tape up in your hospital room.
Have copies of your medical records handy, too. So that your practitioner can easily review your medical history.
2, Cash and change
It’s easy to forget your wallet during the pre-hospital frenzy.
So put some spare change and cash in your hospital bag for vending machines, car park, and other emergencies.
3, Toiletries bag
A bathroom bag with toothbrush and paste, hairbrush and hair ties, deodorant, face wipes, lotion, regular or dry shampoo, conditioner, and hairdryer.
You’ll thank this for the post-delivery shower. Remember, travel-sized products are your friends.
Your bath towel may give you peace after the shower as the hospital might supply a very thin, scratchy, small towel.
Don’t forget the lip balm and moisturizer. The hospital air can be incredibly dry.
Remember your eyeglasses (if you wear them), and leave your contact at home, as you won’t want to mess with your contact solution at this time!
Also, pack a plastic bag to pop dirty clothes in.
4, Slippers, socks and flip-flops
Slippers that are easy to slip in and out of would be comfortable to wear as your feet might be swollen.
Warm socks can also help if your feet get cold during labor.
Pack some flip-flops for using in the shower, too.
5, Cozy cloths
A soft robe for pacing around during labor or afterward.
A soft, loose nightgown to help you sleep well during your hospital stay (choose a front-opening style if you plan to breastfeed).
Pack nursing bra and nursing pads in your bag. Whether or not you plan to breastfeed, you’ll appreciate the support and leak protection.
Comfortable going-home clothes in six-month maternity sizes as you’ll still look 6 months pregnant (sorry).
6, Phone and charger
We know you’ll never without your phone, especially at this particular time.
You’ll need your phone to keep you distracted during labor, to contact your family and friends, and, when the baby arrives, to take tons of pictures!
But do remember to bring an extra-long cell-phone charging cord. Hospital beds are notoriously far away from an electrical outlet.
Or you can bring a portable power bank in case you can’t find an outlet. Don’t forget your USB charger cable!
7, Drinks and snacks
You’ll be hungry when having a baby and hospital foods can be awful.
So do yourself a favor and prepare some drinks and snacks for the labor.
Bring a reusable water bottle and, if you prefer something more than water, an electrolyte drink like coconut water would be great.
Choose some of your favorite snacks that are easy to toss in your bag with zero prep-work – like pretzels, M&M’s, or protein bars.
1, Heavy-duty maternity pads and underwear
You’ll bleed for 6 or even 8 weeks post-delivery regardless of whether you had a vaginal or cesarean birth, this is called lochia and it’s a normal part of childbirth everybody goes through.
Your bleeding will start off bright red and slowly and gradually darken and then turn to white.
The hospital would give you some pads and underwear after delivery, but you may want to use your pads and underwear.
Maternity pad would be a good choice, as it’s softer and more absorbent than standard pads.
And you also need several pairs of comfortable underwear that are large enough to wear over heavy-duty maternity pads.
2, A comfy pillow from home
You know the kind of pillow most hospitals would provide: thin, scratchy, and smells strange, and you may have trouble sleeping.
Bring a comfy pillow from home would not only make you feel more comfortable but remind you of home (the smells), which is always comforting.
Use a non-white pillowcase so they don’t get mixed up with the hospital pillows.
A maternity and nursing pillow might be a great choice if you decide to nurse.
3, Nipple cream
Your nipples would be sore if you plan to nurse and nipple cream can soothe and protect them.
Lanolin would be a great choice and it’s safe for the baby.
4, Eye mask and earplugs
To help you get some rest in a busy and bright maternity ward.
5, Diversions and entertainment for a long labor
Books (light), magazines (disposable), tablet (for music and movies), puzzles, handheld electronic games…Choose something that can keep you distracted.
Hospital bag checklist for the baby
You might be aware of what you’ll need in the hospital, but figuring out what to pack for your baby can be a little less intuitive.
The truth is: when you’re just starting in life, you don’t need all that much.
Here is the complete list of what to pack for your baby.
1, Car seat (installed)
This is a must-have.
The hospital won’t let you take your baby home without a car seat (and it should be installed correctly).
Install your car seat a few weeks before you’re due and get it inspected by a certified technician (you can find one through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
You and your partner should know how to use it before you go to the hospital.
2, A coming-home outfit for the baby
Consider the weather conditions: a onesie, booties, and a hat could be fine during the warmer months, but if it’s chilly outside, pack mittens, a jacket or snowsuit, and a blanket as well.
Bring two different outfits in different sizes to make sure they fit! Consider one outfit in newborn size and one 0-3 months.
3, Your pediatrician’s contact information.
The doctors and nurses will ask you for this information several times, so it’s good to have it handy.
Include the fax number for the pediatrician’s office so they can easily forward your baby’s medical records.
What not to bring
1, Do not bring diapers or wipes
The hospital would have all the diapers and wipes you’ll need!
Bringing an extra bag for all the freebies you’ll bring home from the hospital would be helpful.
2, Do not bring jewelry
You’d better take it off and leave it at home in case you lose them in the hospital.
Hospital bag checklist for your partner
1, Cloths and toiletries
2, Snacks and a reusable water bottle.
3, A lightweight sleeping bag and pillow
4, Phone and charger
5, Entertainment (books, iPad, laptop, headphones…)
6, Cash and change
Notice: You’re supposed to pack your bags and put them in your car or by the front door no later than 37 weeks, in case your baby decides to make an early appearance.
Now you are all set for the big day! Just wait for the baby!
Print our list here: Hospital Bag Checklist What to Pack in 2019