Make your maternity hospital bag checklist today!
At some point during your pregnancy and doctor check-ups, the need to start preparing a hospital bag for yourself and the baby goes on the to-do list.
It is right around that 32-36 week mark when it is more pressing this be done as labor could happen at any time thereafter, if it has not already.
It is a good idea to start making a maternity hospital bag checklist so you don’t forget anything.
Some thoughts and questions may arise as you begin to work on your list…
– How am I suppose to know what to bring?
– What does the hospital provide for us?
– When should I start packing?
These are all great questions that I would like to try and help answer for you!
How to create YOUR baby hospital bag checklist
First off, I want to clarify one thing. You do not need a separate bag for your babies items and your own. They can all be packed together if that is going to be easier for you when that time comes. I personally had a suitcase with mine and my husband’s things and the diaper bag had all the babies items.
Honestly, I could have gotten by with less stuff but since this was my first birth, I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know all of the things that would be provided for both baby and I.
Each individual is going to have a different idea of what they would like to have available during their birthing experience. This will come down to everything from what snacks and beverages you want available for you and your labor team, to what outfit you envision your little one coming home in.
There are a handful of categories you will want to think about when creating your hospital bag checklist.
The following items should be considered:
– Clothing for baby (This is typically the go-home outfit. It may be good to have a couple different sizes for best fit. Otherwise, they are typically in a diaper and swaddled during their stay.)
– Clothing for mom (Think nursing bras and tops, loose-fitting jammies, slippers and don’t forget the granny panties!)
– Clothes for your support person (Whether it’s dad, grandma, auntie, or best friend, they need fresh clothes also.)
– Toiletries and medications (Things like hair care products, make-up if desired, razor, qtips and mouthwash are nice to have on hand. Travel sizes work great! It’s also good to bring your own stool softeners, Tylenol & Ibuprofen. If you get medically discharged before your child, the hospital stops providing you medications.)
– Snacks and beverages (Having some of your favorites on hand can give you and your support person a nice pick-me-up. The hospital has a cafeteria and deli but they may not be open at all hours.)
What the hospital/birthing center will provide for you
You might actually be surprised with how much the hospital provides for you and your baby, I know I was. I suppose every hospital or birthing center is going to vary to some degree. As a general rule though, they send you with all of the basics to take care of your baby and yourself after delivery.
Things provided for baby may include:
– Diaper cream
– Gentle cleansing soap
– Bulb syringe/nasal aspirator
– Head warming caps
Things provided for mom may include:
– Hospital-grade breast pump
– Perineal squirt bottle
– Nipple cream
– Nipple shield
– Witch Hazel wipes
– Pads/shorts-style underwear
– Gentle cleansing soap
Another nice thing about all of the items provided in-hospital for you is that you get to take most of them home!
When to start packing your bags
As you are moving through your pregnancy there are certain timeliness of when things need to be done. The hospital bag tends to fall on the list right around 32-36 weeks of pregnancy.
I know this can be a stress point for many woman, wanting to make sure you have everything you need and don’t forget anything for the baby or yourself. The best way to avoid this is to be prepared.
Since you don’t typically know when your baby is going to decide to make their presence, it’s not a bad idea to start early.
Find a bag or suitcase that you don’t plan on using until after the baby is born. I would suggest something with wheels if possible for easy transportation. As you plan and purchase items off your checklist, throw them in there.
I personally took care of the babies items first. I knew I wouldn’t need any of those things until after my daughter had arrived.
Planning ahead and being prepared = Complete baby hospital bag checklist
It is unavoidable that there are going to be a few items you need to pack the day of. Things you use every day like your phone and charger, eye wear or contact supplies, purse/wallet (At minimum your ID and insurance card).
I had a short list on my phone of reminders. So when the time came, I knew what I needed to do. This included items I needed to grab that day.
If you follow these guidelines, you are sure to be more prepared, have what you need (barring unexpected circumstances) and all the while have a less stressful birthing experience.
Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any additional insight on how to make the perfect baby hospital bag checklist!