The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom and Baby
Every mom to be, gets anxious a few weeks before she is expecting her new bundle of joy. There are so many things to do and finish up before the baby arrives. The most important task for a mother to be is preparing her hospital bag for her trip to have her baby. Some of the items a mother to be will need are a maternity hospital bag, items for a pregnancy hospital bag, items for a hospital bag for delivery and a checklist for a baby hospital bag. Moms to only need one bag for themselves, and one for the baby, however, there are still items that a mother to be will need that fit these different categories.
There is admission to the hospital where she will need certain items, the actual labor, the delivery, and the post-delivery. Mom is going to want a nice nightgown and bathrobe after she gives birth, so she can walk and sit with her newborn in a rocking chair in the birthing room with her significant other. Some women choose to have their babies at home and they will need a different set of items, so this is basically for moms to be that are going to the hospital and need the ultimate hospital bag for their exciting trip.
By your third trimester, you start preparing to pack for the hospital. Most moms are wondering what they should start to pack? It’s normal for all moms to be to overpack, to make sure you have everything you need in the hospital.
Having a baby is one of the biggest life-changing events you will ever experience. This is why many moms overpack for their stay at the hospital and bring a huge maternity hospital bag for baby and themselves. It’s not necessary to get all stressed out about packing for the arrival of your new baby.
Before you go to the hospital, a nurse will send some paperwork and ask what you will be comfortable with. They ask questions about music playing, family members, some hospitals allow water births, etc. It’s not necessary to become overly stressed out because all birthing centers in hospitals where you deliver, offer many necessities that you will use during labor and after birth. The only thing moms need to do is to pack some items they find important and personal, so they feel organized after the birth of their child.
If this is your second time giving birth, you probably will look back and laugh at how much you packed the first time you gave birth.
When Should Moms Pack their Maternity Bag?
A rule of thumb is to start packing your pregnancy bag around 36 to 37 weeks along. Some women are at high risk because of age or health conditions. In this case, you might want to pack your pregnancy bag at the start of your third trimester. Some pack earlier than the beginning of their third trimester if they have given birth before the beginning of the third trimester.
Remember to give yourself enough time and pack at least a month in advance. Start your maternity checklist and look at the items you need. As you choose your items and pack them, start crossing off the items on the list. Every expectant mother do things differently, so there is no right or wrong answer on where to start and when. Don’t wait until a few days before your due date, but pack your bag when you feel ready and keep it someplace close so you can grab your maternity bag and the checklist.
Ask the Hospital What They Provide
Before you start packing your hospital bag, call the hospital and ask them what is available to you and your child when you get to the hospital. Every hospital does things differently, so naturally, they will use different brands. At least you know that the hospital will provide all the basic necessities that you and your baby will use during your visit and experience giving birth.
It doesn’t hurt to take a tour of the birthing rooms and find out if you stay in the same room all of your stay. Some hospitals use a birthing room just for birth and then you are moved into another room. Sometimes, you end up with another mom in your room depending on hospital policy. This can be difficult if you both have your babies at different times because you won’t get much rest if another woman had a baby 15 hours after you had yours.
It also depends on how crowded the maternity ward is. Some hospitals offer an extra day at a reasonable rate for mom and baby to rest, in case you have a brood of kids at home. Ask about that policy.
During the tour, also ask what type of necessities they provide for you and your child, so you don’t overpack.
Hospitals have things like diapers, wipes, swaddlers blankets, rags for baby burps, small hats, shirts, formula, and bottles if mom chooses not to nurse. Some hospitals give out pacifiers, but you might have to ask for one. Most moms bring their own blankets and swaddlers, diapers and wipes because this is what they have on their checklist.
Provisions for Moms
Hospitals give moms the gowns, the postpartum mesh underwear, cool washcloths and pads for after the birth of their baby. Some women have trouble going to the bathroom and it’s hard having your first bowel movement after birth, so hospitals have tucks on supply and a spray called dermoplast for pain relief. They give out peri bottles with a beta solution for relief, towels, stool softeners, meals. Some hospitals have a special meal for mom and her significant other to eat.
They offer services like breastfeeding support, which includes a lactation expert, lanolin for nipple relief, breast pads for leaking, hot/cold therapy, and a hospital brand breast pump. Some hospitals provide birthing balls, but not all of them.
Moms can now see that their maternity bags for the hospital will not be so full after they check and visit the hospital before birth. The hospital does give mom many items for their comfort and they should understand that these items are on the hospital bill. This is why you will want to bring along your own items.
Most hospitals provide Pampers diapers, but some babies get a rash so you might want to bring in your favorite brand of diapers in case you have had problems with Pampers before. In addition, you might want to look at the ingredients on some of the items they are giving you for pain, in case this doesn’t agree with you. Many mothers are more into using all-natural products for themselves and their babies.
The recommended amount of bags is two, a small one and a larger one for the things you need during your stay and labor. One should be used for your overnight specialties and items for baby. You can find a two-piece luggage set that is the correct size for a hospital bag. Remember to keep things for the baby in a separate bag.
Some moms are induced, so you might end up staying overnight before labor starts. Always remember to have both bags ready for you right away. Don’t forget to bring some reading materials or a computer or a tablet.
You are going to need your driver’s license and insurance cards. You need these to register at the hospital and for identification. You should always pre-register at the hospital in advance. This is one thing you won’t have to do when you arrive.
Make sure you have a birthing plan ready so you know what you want ahead of time. Make up the plan and make a few copies that you can give your labor and delivery nurse when you arrive at the hospital. Talk to your doctor about your plans before you to make sure everyone understands you. Don’t forget your phone charger because you are going to want to make calls after you give birth.
In addition, your significant other is going to be the one running and getting the kids or things you missed. You will need your phone. You can try and find a 6-foot phone charger cable in case the outlet is farther away than you planned. They are easy to find at any gas station or grocery store.
You will need shower shoes, a few pairs of socks, some hair ties for long hair, chapstick, and if you choose, a birthing ball if the hospital doesn’t have one. Don’t forget a camera, a stress ball or tennis ball so your significant other can roll this on your back for pain discomfort, and also think about purchasing a birthing gown of your own. Some women want to feel nice when they deliver.
Make sure you don’t forget your toiletries for your hospital bag. Bring a toothbrush and toothpaste, facial cleanser, some moisturizer, lotion for your body, deodorant and shampoo and conditioner. You can always find the small travel size items at places like Walmart, Walgreens, or Target. Don’t forget to bring your reading glasses or contacts if you are prescribed glasses or contacts.
Post Delivery Items
The hospital will give you all of the supplies you need and you probably will only be in the hospital a day or more. You can bring along some extra maxi pads if you think you will need them. Some people like their own products instead of the hospital products, so if you like more natural supplies, by all means, bring in your own post-delivery items and pack them in your maternity bag. You also might want to bring along your own nightgowns and pajamas, including a bathrobe. It depends on how many people you are expecting to come and visit.
Some couples choose to go to the hospital by themselves and keep the visitors at bay until they arrive back home. This gives mom more rest time and bonding time for parents with their new child. Moms should also pack a few pairs of underwear and a couple of nursing bras as well.
You can also choose to bring along your own towels if you feel the hospital towels are not big enough for a shower. You can always purchase a few inexpensive towels that you can leave behind. Mothers expecting, don’t have to do this, because the hospital usually has nice warm blankets and towels that are nice for new mothers.
Some mothers just feel more comfortable with their own supplies from home. Also, remember to bring your prenatal vitamins along with you because you still need the extra energy after delivering a baby. The hospital also has them for you as well, but if you can only take a certain brand then bring your own.
Don’t forget to bring along some clothes to wear when you go home. You probably will have lost some weight so bring along something comfortable that is flattering and makes you feel good about yourself. You might want to purchase a few gifts for any siblings at home too. If you get a chance to walk around the hospital, the gift stores in hospitals are very reasonable and have nice gifts for kids of all ages.
A Hospital Bag for Baby
This is very important to make sure you have everything you need. Make sure you have some diapers and wipes packed. Bring along some baby shampoo for their first bath and some baby lotion and soap. An outfit for your child to wear on the way home, and anything else that you and your partner find that you feel is important.
Bring along a baby book that has room for their foot and handprints. After the nurse conducts their Apgar score, they have their prints taken and you can require the hand and footprints to be put into your baby book for your own memories. Children love to look at all of the pictures you take of them when they are little. They cherish those memories just as much as their parents do.
The law requires in all 50 states that you need a car seat that fits correctly into your car. In addition, both parents have to know how to install the car seat and buckle the infant up properly or you can’t leave with your child. There are many car seats out now that are non-toxic for you to check out.
What about Dad?
Dad needs a hospital bag as well for his overnight stay with you. Make sure he packs some toiletries, slippers, socks, pajamas, a change of clothes and his own phone charger. Everyone should be prepared and ready to go during the last four weeks of their pregnancy. The hospital will provide most of the items you need as parents. If this is your first child and you want to spend a fortune and buy all your own products, by all means, do so. This is going to be one of the greatest moments of your life, so make sure you are both comfortable parents with your hospital bags packed and enjoy the birth of your child!