Hospital Bag Essentials: Preparing for the Big Day

I still can’t believe how fast the time just flew by!! I just feel like yesterday I saw those tiny two lines on the home pregnancy test. I’d bet that every mom would feel the same. Whatever a mom goes through be it the pregnancy nausea, delivery pain, post part depression, body shaming, gender difference at work place, being judged etc… everything is nothing when compared to this bundle of happiness.

For all the new mommies-to-be, get ready with your hospital bag so that u can just take that whenever your little one thinks they want to say “HELLO WORLD”. You never know!! Mine wanted to come a week before the due date.

Here is my Hospital Bag Checklist to prepare for your big day:

  1. Your Own Toiletries: Pack a small bathroom bag with your toothbrush and toothpaste, a brush and hair ties and travel-sized lotion, shampoo and conditioner or any other daily used toiletry kit. Ofcourse we shouldn’t look crappy while taking those newborn pictures or coming back to home with the little one. 
  2. Footwear: Slippers. Slippers, no-skid socks, or flip flops are a lifesaver for pacing the hospital hallways during labor, and when your feet are so swollen they won’t fit into anything else.
  3. Nursing Bra: A comfortable nursing bra like our nursing sleep bra (no underwires!) is a must for some moms, while other moms prefer to go braless because of frequent nursing. Do whatever makes you comfortable. I was mostly in the hospital gown except while leaving the hospital.
  4. Phone & Charger: Phone and charger are important for communication and at the same time can be used to take pictures too.
  5. Snacks. Though we have food available at hospital having some snacks which we like handy is helpful and definitely you would be super hungry after delivery and feeding baby.
  6. Bathrobe and Comfy Clothes. Get the comfy clothes which would be comfortable around the sensitive areas during and after pregnancy. I took my maternity wear which are comfortable and soft. Pack a going home outfit for yourself and for baby. You’ll probably still be most comfortable in your maternity clothes, while your baby will need a onesie, a blanket and any cold weather gear if it’s chilly outside
  7. Your Own Pillow: If you have any specific pillow which you used in the pregnancy to sleep, take it so that it will be useful during the labor.
  8. Lanolin. While you and your baby are learning to breastfeed in the hospital, your nipples may get sore. Lanolin can help soothe and protect them, and is completely safe for baby.
  9. Pads, Underwear and Diapers. The hospital will give you pads and mesh underwear while you recover from giving birth. However, some moms swear by bringing their own protection to be more comfortable. 
  10. Car Seat. Don’t forget to make sure your car seat is ready to go and that you and your partner know how to use it before you go to the hospital. This is the most important else you won’t be discharged from the hospital :).
  11. The Nice-to-Have Items. While many moms get by with just a few of the items listed above, some moms insist on having a few more comforts with them. Most popular were cozy blankets, a tablet for watching TV or movies, and overnight stuff for your partner. Mu husband packed speakers and other electronic stuff as if we are going for some vacation but we never got chance to use them 🙂
  12. Your birth plan (multiple copies so you can give it to your practitioner plus the various nurses and other staff on all shifts)
  13. Your insurance card
  14. Any other hospital paperwork you’ve filled out
  15. Hair clips or hair ties to keep your hair out of your face
  16. A camera and/or video camera, if you have one — even if you don’t want to capture your labor and delivery experience, you’ll definitely want to capture your first family portrait
  17. Your cord blood banking kit, if you’re banking your baby’s cord blood (if you decide to bank your baby’s cord blood at the last minute, you can have the company overnight you a kit or ask the hospital if there are kits available for you to use)
  18. Massage oils or lotions or aromatic diffusers or stability balls if that helps in relaxation and eases with your labor pain.
  19. A small basket of goodies for the staff to give along with the birth plan if you’d like. I packed one special for doctor and all others for nurses and staff (around 10).
  20. Going-home outfit for baby (don’t forget socks or booties and a receiving blanket, plus extra layers if it’s cold). Its better to have newborn as well as 0-3 months size, as newborn may not fit for some babies. Bring along a few diapers, although the hospital will probably provide them.

If you’ve already gotten your 24/7 for around-the-clock access to lactation support through your smart phone, remember to have that handy as well, so you can activate it as soon as you leave the hospital for any immediate questions that pop up.

Have these items packed in your bag and in the car or by your front door, so whenever baby decides to show up, you’ll be ready!