Now that you’ve had the perfect baby shower, it’s time to prepare for baby’s arrival. It’s hard figuring out the best things to pack for your hospital stay as a new mom. You know you’ll need an outfit to leave in and a couple for baby but…what else? The more prepared you are, the less running around you’ll have to do when you’re in pain and the less trips you’ll have to send someone on postpartum. So I’ve saved you the hassle and compiled an easy hospital bag checklist just for you! What’s nice is you can check it off as you pack things.
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Where to start
First you’ll want to start by choosing a hospital bag to put all of your items in. Hopefully you got a cute bag as a gift at your baby shower. If not, The Mommy Pro Shop has some great options with tons of storage for all your items. I had a baby bag and a mommy bag, just to keep life simple. Next up is identifying things that you need (what you’re here for). Then, identify some stores that you want to shop at to obtain the items. I’ll have some links here for my suggestions but there’s a ton of other places you can get similar items.
Whether you choose The Mommy Pro Shop, Amazon, or another store, be sure to check out Rakuten first for deals to earn cash back on your purchases. That could add up to be onesie or bottle money! Get your money (and save it) where you can. A bottle here and there can get expensive, especially as you try out different nipples to see what your baby likes best. You even get a $10 reward when you sign up with my Ebates code, and make a qualifying purchase.
Hospital bag checklist essentials
So first things first, I made a note to confirm your primary physician for baby with your delivery hospital. This isn’t something you’re packing, but still an important step before you make it to the hospital. This makes the transfer of your baby’s records much simpler postpartum.
Flip flops and slippers
I cannot emphasize this enough. Don’t bring flip flops OR slippers. Bring both! Slippers are nice for walking around your room and on the few occasions you little one has to leave the room you can follow. But flip flops!!! Oh flip flops! I refuse to shower in a basically public (to me) shower without them.
You’ll likely have guests coming by that want nothing more than to hold baby. On the occasion that they can pry him away from you, utilize this time to clean yourself up. You’re going to feel a little gross because it’s like period on 10. You don’t want to get that on good shoes but you also don’t want to be bare foot. Bring some “burner” flip flops you don’t care about and this will also provide some stability and ensure you don’t slip.
Birth plan, ID, insurance cards
Some people have special instructions on how they’d like their birth handled. If you go to the hospital late in your labor, you may be in too much pain to communicate that plan. My personal plan went out the window because they didn’t take me seriously when I knew I was in active labor. So no pool was blown up and I wound up getting the epidural when I’d originally planned for natural birth. Having that birth plan ready, hopefully your doctors will stick to your wishes
ID and insurance cards are standard and will likely be in your wallet but take it out of the sticky part (where it’s impossible to slide your ID out) because you won’t want to be fumbling around when you’re trying to get through registration ASAP. Also bring any hospital registration forms necessary for your chosen facility. This could be nothing or a packet of forms if you haven’t previously filled out pediatrician information.
Outfits for you and baby
You’ll primarily be packing outfits for baby. You need just one for yourself, to leave. For your stay, pack BOXERS and a comfy robe. Do not pack panties and do not get the “women’s boxers” because they are tight in the leg area and you’ll practically be wearing a diaper. The boxers are really just to make you feel like an adult but they’re also comfy once you make it home. I highly recommend Hanes, especially if you’re a curvy girl because the legs are soooo comfy. You’ll also want a soft robe with pockets. You’ll appreciate it a lot more then a hospital gown. Be careful to not get a fluffy robe, as you’ll want it to not roll up as you get in and out of bed.
Also, while on the subject of undergarments, bring a bra. Whether breastfeeding or not, BRING A BRA. You’ll probably be lactating so buy nipple covers as well. If you are breastfeeding, buy the bras designed for this as they’ll easily snap and unsnap during feedings on both sides. Don’t try to get a cute structured one that looks like a real bra. I made this mistake for the both of us. I loved the ones that were similar to sports bras. Go up in band size because you’re unlikely to completely deflate initially.
Lastly, pack an outfit to leave in. Jogging pants preferred. Leggings are an option but you’ll have diaper booty. And jeans are out of the question. A large t-shirt will suffice. You’re just going home so it’s not ANTM.
Now that we have you out the way, it’s time for the fun stuff, baby clothes! The hospital will likely provide a onesie and a swaddle sack. But you want your baby’s first outfits to be special especially when the photographer comes around for first pictures. I’d say pack at least 3-5 of your favorite outfits. Because we’re women and we need options! Also because you don’t know how long your stay will be and waiting on a circumcision for a boy takes more time.
Don’t forget to include socks and mittens. Babies are notorious for scratching themselves and hospitals are cold. There two are essential!
I HATE using toiletries provided from absolutely anywhere. Don’t get caught slipping when it’s time to leave. Pack your toiletries well in advance. Include, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, lotion, deodorant, and hair are products. I’d usually opt for my own rag but in this case, I’d use what the hospital provides because, again, it’s going to look like a murder scene.
Also pack toiletries for baby like a manicure kit so baby doesn’t scratch himself (only use a file, you’ll thank me later), and Vaseline (take as many from the hospital as they’ll provide).
Home going hospital bag checklist essentials
Have the car seat ready and properly installed. I rode around with it a month before my due date and glad I did because he came 2 weeks early. I’ve heard that you can have it checked by your local fire department but mine only did it certain days throughout the month so I did not.
Pack another bag (empty) because you will absolutely leave the hospital with more than you came with. This extra bag will likely be easier to carry than the ones they send you off with. Hopefully your doctor will be as cool as mine getting you as much free stuff to stock up on. Get extra extra underwear and huge pads as you can. I think I still have some because I was terrified to run out.
Cash and change
This is a good thing to have for both you and your guest. It’s less essential than other things but for some labor can be long. You and your support team could be starving waiting around. As you may have read in my labor and delivery story, mine went pretty quickly. But postpartum you could want something between the meals they provide (I did). Most hospitals at the very least offer a vending machine, but mine also had a Wendy’s. I only knew this because I volunteer every at that hospital November 12th, giving a welcome basket to the first baby born on my Founders Day.
Cell phone, charger, headphones
When the time comes, the most you’ll grab will likely be your cell phone in the heat of the moment. You’ll be so ready to go that electronics will be low on your list of things to grab. Pack a charger and headphones in advance because there will be a lot of people trying to get in touch with you and you with them. A dead phone creates unnecessary stress. Headphones are optional because you’ll probably just want to look and listen to your baby in awe.
You’ve completed your hospital bag checklist!
Just like that your hospital bag is packed and you’re ready to go for your labor and delivery. I included links to some of my favorite items and hopefully this helps you prepare. Don’t forget you use Rakuten Ebates to save on all your purchases AND earn cash back.
Is there anything I missed that you found helpful having on you hospital bag checklist? Let us know below.
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
Introducing myself as an expert in hospital bag preparation for new moms
As an experienced parent and a passionate advocate for preparedness, I have firsthand knowledge and a depth of understanding when it comes to packing a hospital bag for new moms. I have spent considerable time researching and compiling information on what essential items should be included in a hospital bag checklist. I understand the challenges and uncertainties that new moms face when it comes to preparing for their hospital stay, and I strive to provide comprehensive and practical advice to make the process easier.
Concepts used in the article
The article discusses the importance of preparing a hospital bag checklist for new moms. It highlights the need for being well-prepared in order to minimize stress and running around during the hospital stay. The following concepts are covered in the article:
Choosing a hospital bag: The article suggests selecting a suitable bag to hold all the necessary items. It recommends options from The Mommy Pro Shop, which offers bags with ample storage space.
Shopping for items: The article advises identifying the items needed for the hospital stay and suggests shopping at preferred stores. It mentions The Mommy Pro Shop and Amazon as potential options, and recommends checking out Rakuten for deals and cashback offers.
Essential items for the hospital bag checklist: The article provides a list of essential items to include in the hospital bag. These include flip flops and slippers for comfort and hygiene, a birth plan, identification and insurance cards, outfits for the mother and baby, toiletries, a manicure kit for the baby, and a properly installed car seat.
Tips for packing outfits: The article advises packing comfortable and practical outfits for the mother, such as boxers, a soft robe, a bra, and a loose-fitting outfit for leaving the hospital. For the baby, it suggests including multiple outfits, socks, and mittens.
Importance of toiletries: The article emphasizes the need to pack personal toiletries rather than relying on those provided by the hospital. It recommends including items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, lotion, deodorant, and hair care products. It also suggests packing a manicure kit and Vaseline for the baby.
Additional essentials for going home: The article suggests having cash and change on hand for food during the hospital stay, as well as a cell phone, charger, and headphones for communication and entertainment. It also recommends packing an extra bag for the items received from the hospital and advises having the car seat properly installed in advance.
Providing information related to concepts used in the article
If you have any specific questions or would like additional information on any of the concepts discussed in the article, please let me know and I'll be happy to provide further guidance and clarification.