As if the prospect of becoming a parent is not scary and challenging enough, there is so much preparation to do before your baby arrives! There are so many checklists, i.e. the baby registry, baby proofing the home, what to do and what not to do, and finally, what to pack in your hospital bag so you’re ready when that big moment arrives.
In movies and television, we often see the expectant mom yelling for their hospital bag or their partner grabbing said bag in the midst of all the commotion. So, what should be packed for the trip to the hospital for delivery?
Nowadays, you never can really guesstimate how long you will be vacationing on the labor and delivery floor; some moms leave within a day, while others can spend up to a week, so you really need to be prepared for anything.
First off, make sure that you have all your paperwork in order, even if that means leaving a note on the fridge. License, insurance card(s), credit card(s), and anything that your doctor may have had you fill out at your last appointment. This may even include a birthing plan, so make sure that this is easily accessible at the very end of your third trimester.
Now that all that is in place, new mommies should most definitely pack something comfortable that reminds them of tranquility and peace. That could be an iPod filled with favorite music, a laptop with all your favorite television shows/movies in the queue, or just a good book. It is also recommended that you pack a “distraction” puzzle book or magazine so that you can find another place to focus stress, anxiety, and/or pain prior to delivery. Along with that, a comfy pair of slippers or socks is super important to stay warm (and fashionable).
Planning on nursing? Better have a nursing bra with you along with any breast pump equipment that you plan on using once you’re home. The nurses will be more than happy to help you navigate how to use these somewhat newfangled objects if you are having any trouble. You should also pack a loose-fitting shirt in case you grow tired of the hospital gown and just want something that is your own. If you are a contact-lens wearer, we recommend that you ditch those at the hospital and bring your own glasses. Keep your glasses by the bed if you wear them at night, or have them already packed if you solely rely on contacts, since you never know how your body will feel and if you will care to put them in. Throwing on glasses will be ten times easier and more functional for the time being.
Extra phone chargers are also a must, as many people use their cell phones as multi-purpose objects. They can serve as a camera, video camera, and a way to let the world know that your bundle of joy has arrived. All of these functions are going to be super important, so don’t let your battery die! While you are picking up your back-up charger, head to the travel section of any drugstore to get overnight toiletries like a toothbrush, toothpaste, trial shampoo and conditioner, and deodorant. You may be getting some visitors before and after delivery, so you’ll want to feel your best. After all, you are bringing a new bundle of love into this world.
Comfy yoga pants, a nice but loose shirt, and underwear should also go into your hospital bag along with a few cute baby outfits. Why? Because you and your newborn will need something to leave the hospital in. Make sure you have a hat, gloves, and booties packed for baby and a hairbrush and some cute clips for mommy. Partners should also have a small bag packed as well, with a few changes of clothing and toiletries for overnight stays.
Packing some snacks is a good idea too: yes, hospitals have food and vending machines, but they might not have exactly what you like best, and after a workout like birth, you’ve earned your very favorite munchies!
Finally, you should have the car packed just like you would your hospital bag. There are a few essential items that have to come to the hospital with you but will most likely not fit into the overnight bag, and the main one is your car seat. Definitely pick up your car seat at least two-three months pre-birth, so that you can get adjusted to carrying it as well as picking it up and putting it and out of your car. With that in mind, getting an infant car seat that clicks into your stroller is a very good idea; the best ones may or may not be packaged as a travel system.
So here is your quick hospital bag checklist:
- paperwork and ID;
- nursing bra;
- change of clothes for you and baby (and partner);
- toiletries for you and partner;
- spare cell phone charger;
- magazines, books, music;
- glasses (if needed);
- money; and
- car seat.
Some of these items can be purchased at Magic Beans, like the car seat, stroller, clothing for baby, and nursing items, so stop by and let one of our beans help you get ready for the delivery of your new bean. If you register with us, you’ll have your own Registry Concierge to help you choose all of your gear and make sure it arrives on time, too. Good luck and congratulations!