How to Prepare a Hospital Bag for Delivery
Moms-to-be! Are you ready for your big day? You’ve stocked up on baby gear, decorated the nursery and even figured out how to correctly install the infant car seat. But don’t forget one of the most important to-dos before your little one’s arrival: Deciding what to pack in your hospital bag! Just in case your baby might arrive earlier than expected, it’s worth having your baby hospital bag organized and packed around month eight of your pregnancy.
On average, moms who deliver vaginally stay in the hospital for one to two days. If delivery is via c-section, the hospital stay is closer to three or four days. Keep your length of stay in mind as you select what to pack in your hospital bag.
*A tip for the thrifty: Ask your hospital what they provide for new moms.
The following checklist will help you prepare everything you’ll need for yourself and your new bundle of joy before and after delivery.
What to Pack For Labor & Delivery
- Photo ID, insurance card & hospital paperwork
- Birth plan(if you have one)
- Slippers for comfortable walks in the hospital
- Flip-flops for use in the shower
- Lip balm
- Sugar-free hard candy or lozenges to keep your mouth moist during labor (candy with sugar will make you thirsty)
- Whatever will help you relax: comfortable pillows, music player, book, etc.
- Eye mask and earplugs to help you get rest in a busy and bright maternity ward
What to Pack For After Delivery
- Clothes: Soft, loose nightgowns (choose a front-opening style if you plan to breastfeed), comfortable clothes to wear during your stay, loose-fitting outfit to wear home
- Heavy-duty maternity pads
- Underwear: pack several pairs of comfortable underwear that are large enough to wear over the heavy-duty maternity pads
- Nursing and regular bras
- Toiletries: tissues, hairbrush, comb, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, skin care products, hairdryer, hair clips, and hair ties
- Phone and charger
- Favorite snacks and drinks
- Coming home outfit and warm blanket for your baby
- Glasses and contact lenses (if you need them)
Once all the bags are packed, keep them handy, either in the car or near the door, so you'll be ready to go at a moment's notice.