The first rule for your hospital bag - Start packing it in advance! You'll probably should start at least 3 weeks before your due date simply because you never know when your baby will decide to be born and you don't want to pack the bag and count your contractions at the same time:) Moreover, it turned out to be not the easiest thing to accomplish especially if you are not a planning person (which I am definitely not))
So let's start
- For Yourself
- Nightgown or Pj's (PJ with buttons will work great for breastfeeding!)
- Nursing bras/tops
- Nursing pads
- Nice Clothes for discharge
Nursing bra - You will probably want to wear your bra all the time (at night as well) to avoid leaking or stretch marks. Nursing pads - you'll need if your milk comes soon.You will not need your underwear- Hospitals will provide you with gigandous pads and disposable undies(they might look ugly, but that's what you need))). And you want to look good on your discharge photos,right? So remember - take some nice flattering dress or tunic. You will still have a bump like you're 6 months pregnant, and it is likely that you still won't be able to fit into your prepregnancy jeans so don't take them.
- If your Husband or Boyfriend will stay with you - take clothes for him considering 2 day stay.
- Hair brush
- Makeup (Lip Balm!!!!)
- Hairbands (take a couple))
- Shower gel
Everything is pretty self-explanatory I assume)) Hospitals may provide you with things like shower gel or shampoo, but I felt comfortable using my own. If you are planning on taking pictures in the hospital (I bet you are) then you'll definitely need makeup so don't forget it. During the contractions, you'll have to breath hard so your lips are going to be very dry, so lip balm is a must have.
- Insurance card
- Eyeglasses (If you wear lenses)
- Camera (check if the card is in it and probably take one extra just in case)+charger
- Cell phone+charger
- Hard candies
And the most exciting part
- For the Baby
- Car seat installed (must have)
- Cute clothes for going home
- 2-3 onesies
- Receiving blanket
- Card for footprints
You must have a car seat installed so take care of it in advance. Hospitals will provide you with both diapers and wipes - you don't need to bring those. Hospitals will also provide you with blankets and shirts for the baby. Of course you can use your own clothes from the beginning, but I suggest to give those shirts a try! For us they turned out to be very convenient to use especially at night when you don't want to disturb your baby while changing his diaper. So the first thing I did when I got home - I asked my husband to go to Carters and buy the same shirts. 2 months later I still love them. Mittens were a must have for me because it turned out babies can be born with pretty long nails, and nurses won't trim them in the hospital. Otherwise guess what? that cute face will be all scratched up within hours!
Nurses will take footprints of your little one right after birth for the birth certificate. You can also give them an extra piece of paper or index card and ask for the copy for your baby book.
The pdf version of the hospital bag checklist will be available shortly.