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What to Pack for Your Hospital Bag


As the end of your pregnancy approaches, it's important to have a hospital bag packed. Use this list for the hospital so that you know what to pack for the hospital. Even if you're planning a home birth, it's a good idea to have some things packed just in case.

woman packing an oversized hospital bag 

Many people choose to pack two bags, one for them and one for the baby. Here are some things that you should include in your hospital bag. You may not need everything, but you'll probably be glad to have it just in case.

Your List For The Hospital Bag

  • Your health insurance card.
  • Cash in case you're required to pay for parking or valet services at the hospital.
  • Something comfortable to wear in labor. You may need to wear a hospital gown, but some hospitals will let you wear your own clothing.
  • Warm socks or slippers.
  • Hair brush and hair ties.
  • Toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, deodorant, makeup, toothpaste and a toothbrush. You might be surprised at how great that first post-labor shower can feel!
  • Lip balm.
  • Snacks for your birthing partner. You may not be allowed to eat during labor, but if it lasts a long time, your partner should have a snack available.
  • A book, magazines, or something else to keep your mind occupied during those early stages of labor.
  • Camera, including extra batteries or a charging cable.
  • MP3 player and cell phone, including charging cables.
  • Special, comfortable clothes for after the birth. You'll probably have lots of visitors so choose something you'll feel good in.
  • Nursing bra, nipple cream, and breast pads.
  • A comfortable pillow and a nursing pillow.
  • Sanitary napkins.
  • Something comfortable to go home in. Yoga pants and a loose fitting shirt are excellent choices. Leave the low-rise, pre-pregnancy jeans at home -- it will take a while for your uterus to shrink back to normal.

Your Baby's List for the Hospital Bag

Your baby's list for the hospital bag will be much shorter than yours. The hospital will provide you with most items you need, but some moms want to have their own things.

  • Formula if you're planning on formula feeding. Some hospitals do not provide formula samples for new moms anymore.
  • A special outfit, including socks and a hat to come home from the hospital in.
  • Receiving blankets.
  • Diapers, if you're committed to using a specific brand.
  • Pacifiers.
  • A properly-installed car seat.

This list for the hospital bag isn't all-inclusive, but it's a good start. Ask your family and friends if there's anything in particular that they wanted during their time in the hospital and don't be afraid to ask your visitors to bring anything that you've forgotten! They'll love to have an excuse to visit your new arrival!

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