Friday, October 8, 2010

Pack your bags, she's having the baby!

A friend of mine asked what I packed in my hospital bags when it came close to time to deliver my babies. Hopefully this helps someone else out too :)

For Baby:
1. Car seat. Obviously you can't leave the hospital without it. Yet, it's amazing how many people forget to install that sucker before they head to the hospital.
2. Going home outfit. Yes, cutsie them up...we want to see pictures!
3. Binky (if you plan to use one). The hospital around here no longer provides them.
4. A cute hat. The one the hospital provided was, well, not cute.
5. Cozy receiving/swaddling blanket. The one the hospital provided was not soft.

--What the hospital did provide: diapers, cloths you wet to use as wipes, a nose/throat sucker thingy (I have no idea what those are called), alcohol wipes for umbilical cord, pretty much anything else you can think of for baby--

For Mommy's Labor Bag (I would highly suggest a labor bag and a post-baby bag)
1. Birth plan. Are you wanting a water birth? Drug free? Epidural? Who do you want in the room for delivery? Are you going to listen to music? Do you want it completely silent? Etc. Write it down, give it to the nurse when you get to the hospital.
2. An open mind. Huh? See #1? Yea, that goes out the window if there is anything wrong with you or baby. Planned on doing it drug free but your child was 9 1/2 lbs and you ended up getting an epidural after 16 hours of pitocin induced labor? Yea, me too. Or how about your child was 9 1/2 lbs and you ended up having to have a c-section. Yup, plans change.
3. Chapstick.
4. Camera!!! Assign someone duty beforehand of taking pictures if you are going to have the birth documented. You'll still want your camera though for all the middle of the night pictures :)
5. Bathrobe. You'll want something to cover your fanny if you end up walking the halls. Plus, your body temperature will rise and fall throughout'll want something easy to take on/off.
6. Slippers (or socks). See #5.
7. Books, magazines, movies, playing cards, etc. Something to pass time if you get an epidural or even just to take your mind off the contractions if you don't.
8. Something to hold your hair back.
9. Lotion or massage oil. Just make sure you can stand the smell of it.
10. Glasses. If you end up having a c-section (and some hospitals require it regardless) you'll need to take your contacts out. 

For Mommy's Post-Baby Bag (leave post-baby bag in the car guessed baby)
1. Toiletries. Most important is toothbrush and contact stuff. I think our hospital supplies travel sized shampoos and soap.
2. Makeup. You may decide you don't want to bother. However, with my 2nd I just felt so much better about the huge belly I was still sporting after I put some mascara on.
3. Maternity clothes to wear home from the hospital...if you're like me. And if you're like my friend that didn't even look like she had a baby, well, please excuse me while I briefly hate you.
4. Nursing bra or tank.
5. Jammies. If you don't want to wear the hospital gown you'll want to bring jammies that have easy access to down below as well as open in the front on the top if you're planning to breastfeed. Don't bring your favorite jammies because they may get ruined. 

--What the hospital did provide: mesh undies (so you may want to bring your own loose cotton undies that you don't care about throwing away), a water bottle (but if you're partial to your own bring it), pads galore, ice packs, ours even provided some shampoo, meals were all included for mommy at our hospital except from 12 am to 6 am--

For Daddy's Bag (don't forget to pack for Daddy too!)
1. Toiletries. 
2. Money to buy food. At least at our hospital the food for Daddy costs extra. Bring some change too in case you need a late-night-cafeteria-is-closed vending machine run.
3. Pillow. Even dad's need their rest. Make sure hospital provides a blanket!
4. Something to wear to bed. You'll be up and down a lot in the middle of the night so you don't necessarily want to just wear your boxer briefs. Or maybe you do. Heck, your wife just showed the world her goods.
5. Make sure your wife grabbed the camera!
6. All the phone numbers for people you'll want to notify. 
7. Snacks. See #2

Pack light. Try to keep everything in one backpack for labor and one backpack for post-labor. After all, the only thing you really need to have there is YOU and a car seat. 

Readers: Do you have anything to add to the list? 


  1. Great list Greta! (Wow that almost rhymed)
    This is so detailed I'm actually forwarding this to my pregnant sister in law who has been harassing me to make her a list. Thank you for making my life easier.

    Also, I'd like to add.. maxi pads. LOTS OF MAXI PADS! Or keep on requesting packs from your nurse then stock em in your bag ;-)

  2. Oh okay I was seeing double as always. You did say pads. Duh. I am idiot.

  3. Having just gotten home from the hospital less than 24 hours ago, I agree the list is very complete. A few "tweeks:" I swelled (a lot, as in I actually weigh more now that I delivered) and so I couldn't get my slippers on. Flip flops are good if you're just looking for a way to not be barefoot. Dads should bring button up shirts so they can easily participate in the whole skin-to-skin thing without having to hand over the baby first. Jon actually went home to get button up shirts as our stay was much longer than expected. It was nice as he did not have to meet with all the doctors shirtless that way but Katherine never had to go without our touch.

  4. My nursing bras didn't fit until a few days later when my milk came in. So one of my 'old' bras was necessary. Or a tank with built-in bra. In fact, several of those tank. I wore one in the tub (to cover up at least a little!), I then wore one post-tub but while I was still in labor and then wore another one after the baby was born.

  5. @Tina--I"m so glad you're able to pass it on! And I totally did that with the pads; I asked for a ton which was nice to not have to buy when I got home. Hmmm...I'm thinking a new post about What To Make Sure You Have On Hand When You Get Home From The Hospital. Thanks for the idea :)

    @Amber--I love your idea about the button up shirts for dads too! What a great idea. Congrats again!

    @Katie--I never thought about that with the bras. I didn't have anything with our first son and was so awkward with nursing. With our second, I used a nursing tank and it was great!