If you are near the end of a pregnancy, you could go into labor at any moment. Are you prepared? Have you packed your hospital bag? Are you at a loss as to what you'll need once you walk through those hospital doors and worried you'll pack too much or not enough for your stay?
You're not alone. We all wonder what to bring, even with our second or third baby. The truth is, you don't know how long you'll be at the hospital, or what the weather may be like on the day you and your baby are released. Take note of this simple list of what to take to the hospital when the baby is on her way.
- Your ID, insurance card, hospital paperwork.
- Your birth plan if you have one.
- Eyeglasses or extra contact lenses.
- Toiletries including toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, brush, makeup, hair band or elastics. Include your own shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
- A bathrobe, pjs, slippers, underwear, and socks. You probably won't be too comfortable in the hospital gown they provide and the socks they will give you are sure to not fit well. Your pjs should be loose because they'll be checking you over quite a bit.
- Nursing bras, tops, and pads.
- Reading material. You may be in labor for a while, especially if you are being induced.
- Cell phone to deliver the good news.
- Comfy outfit to go home in. Your maternity clothes will probably still fit. Include a light jacket if it is fall or spring.
For Your Partner or Labor Coach
- Camera or video camera if you're up for it. Include batteries or charger and make sure there is plenty of storage left on the memory card.
- Reading materials.
- Cash for parking, vending machines, or gift shop.
- Change of clothes.
For Your Baby
- Car seat, in place and ready to go.
- An outfit to come home in. Bring layers if the weather in your town is unpredictable.
- Blankets for the car ride if it's cool outside.
- Hat and baby mittens if it's cold outside.
- Pacifier if you plan to use one. However, the hospital usually provides them.
- Cloth diapers if you prefer to use those instead of the ones the hospital provides.
This should be what you need for your stay. Ask family or friends who come to visit if you find you need anything else. You shouldn't be at the hospital for more than a couple of days unless there are complications, so leave extra space in your bag for any gifts you receive or items that the hospital gives you. If you are still lacking some nursery items, don't worry — you have time to get those too.