Short Answer – There is no short answer, you’re going to need a list. (Luckily, we made one for you!)

First off, don’t wait until right up to your due date to get your stuff together! You’re gonna want to get organized around month 8 so you’re prepared if you go into labor a bit early.  

Another pro-tip, you might want to pack TWO separate bags, one for the items you’re going to need during labor, and another one for items you won’t need until after delivery. (This makes finding stuff during labor that much easier.) Print out the packing guide below and use it as your checklist to make sure you’ve got everything you need ahead of time.

So without further ado, we present…

 

Beenke’s Ultimate Hospital Packing List

 

For Labor:

  • Your Paperwork – Insurance info, photo ID, hospital forms (even if you’ve already registered, some hospitals will need it again…so be prepared)
  • 2-3 Pairs of Warm Non-Skid Socks – You might want to walk the halls before labor.  Just know, these socks may get destroyed, so don’t expect to take them back home.
  • Robe and/or Nightgown – Let’s face it, hospitals gowns suck.  Bringing your own will make you more comfortable particularly if you need to walk around.  Choose a loose, comfortable gown you don’t mind sacrificing to the cause.  
  • Eyeglasses – If you need them to see (and you might not want contacts during labor).
  • Relaxation Tools – Whatever you think will make you more comfortable.  Items to consider: your own pillow, music or movies, massage tools, aromatherapy oils, etc.
  • Video Camera – If you’re filming (with extra batteries, charger, memory card)
  • Cell Phone – (with charger and all the numbers of people for your partner to call programmed in)
  • Toiletries – Pack a toiletry bag, for both you and your partner.
  • Cash and Change – For vending machines, in case you (or your partner) get hungry.
  • Sugar-Free Hard Candy or Lozenges – To keep your mouth moist during labor (sugar will make you thirsty).
  • Ponytail Holders – If you have long hair, you’ll want ponytail holders to keep it out of your face.
  • Pen and Paper – Your partner may need to write something down or fill out forms.
  • Lip Balm – It’s really dry in a hospital, not sure why… but be prepared with some good lip balm.

For After Baby Is Born:

  • Nightgown #2 – If you plan to wear one after delivery, you’re going to want a second nursing nightgown.
  • Snacks – You’re going to get hungry (and so will your partner).
  • Homecoming Outfit (for you) – Think loose and comfortable.
  • Homecoming Outfit (for baby)- Think cute, cuddly and warm newborn outfit.
  • Maternity UnderwearYou can wear the mesh ones the hospital gives you… but most mamas prefer to bring their own.  Roomy cotton undies are a solid choice.  
  • Nursing Bra and Pads – Whether you breastfeed or not – you’ll appreciate the extra support and leak protection of a nursing bra and pads, trust us.
  • Gifts For Older Siblings –  Some parents like to bring gifts or other small items to give to their older children (either from them, or from the baby) when they come to visit. It helps make your other children feel like they’re not forgotten and that they’re part of this special day.
  • Extra Bags – The hospital is going to send you home with a lot of swag, plus you may get gifts from friends and family, so you’re going to want a cool bag to carry it all in.

To Bring Baby Home:

  • Approved Car Seat – Be sure it is rear-facing and properly installed.  Also be sure you know how to buckle your baby in correctly before you leave the hospital.
  • Blankets – You want a nice blanket to keep baby warm in transit.
  • Cold Weather Gear – (If appropriate). You may need to bring a hat, snow suit, etc. babies are very susceptible to cold, so be prepared if you live in a cold climate.