You’ve read the books, prepared the nursery, waited anxiously for 9+ months, and you’re finally ready to give birth (or at least as ready as you’ll ever be). Now, all that’s left is to pack your bag. Here is your ultimate hospital packing list:
1. Your Clothes
Keep in mind, nightgowns, comfy pajamas, and bathrobes are the dress code. Comfort is the goal here. Just make sure everything is covered up; visitors tend to pop in unexpectedly (wanted or not).
Unless you plan on leaving the hospital in your PJs, you’ll also need something to go home in. Make sure your clothing is about the size you were at 6 months pregnant. Although we wish our bodies would bounce back minutes after having a baby, recovery naturally takes a bit longer.
You’ll need a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, brush…all the necessities. Honest’s lip balm and moisturizing lotion are a must—giving birth can leave your skin feeling very, very dry and you can snuggle and shower your little one with kisses without worrying about exposure to nasty toxins.
You may want to consider make-up, too. There will be a lot of pictures taken and you may appreciate a touch up.
Don’t neglect your feet—bring lots of socks and slippers. Hospitals tend to be cold and so are their floors. Also it’s a good idea to bring flip-flops for the shower.
4. Home Comforts
Nothing can replicate the perfect thickness of the pillow or the coziness of blankets from your bed. Bring them along and you will be grateful. They can make a huge difference in how well you sleep.
You will want your cell phone of course. But the most forgotten item on the way to the hospital is the cell phone charger. The last thing you need is for your phone to run out of juice just when it’s time to spread the good news.
You want to make sure your baby’s debut is documented and a cell phone may not cut it. Bring in the big guns – a good camera and/or video camera to catch it all.
6. Nursing Accessories
A nursing bra and breastfeeding pillow are great to have with you. If you’re just learning to breastfeed, you need all the help you can get. And if you don’t plan on nursing bring a sports bra to keep things under control.
Giving birth will keep you busy but believe it or not there is a lot of down time. Magazines, books, and even playing cards can help the time go quicker. Bring some music too. It can help calm you pre-delivery and bring the baby into the world with your favorite tunes.
Snacks and drinks are always a good idea. Both you and your husband (or other guests) will appreciate having something to nosh on after the birth. Vending machines and hospital cafeterias only go so far. You might want to throw some champagne in there too for an after delivery celebration. You deserve it!
9. Husband’s Things
Your husband is not doing any pushing but he will be hanging around for a while so make sure he brings extra clothes, a toothbrush, etc. This goes for any “helper” who plans on staying for the long haul. You might also want to throw in aspirin for headaches and pen and paper for any lists he needs to write.
10. Baby’s Things
Make sure you have a car seat for the baby. Most hospitals won’t let you go home if you don’t have one—with good reason.
While the hospital provides your with conventional diapers and wipes, we recommend bringing a small set of your own non-toxic baby supplies like those from Honest so your tiny baby’s first bath and diaper are free of harsh chemicals.
And of course the baby will need adorable going home clothes, a cute hat, perhaps a sweet receiving blanket…it’s time for the big reveal.
~ Jill Besnoy