Five things to include in your hospital bag
If you’re planning a hospital birth, few moments are as chaotic as the one when your baby is ready to make their debut. In addition to feeling countless emotions, you’ll also be in a state of frenzy trying to make sure you’ve taken care of loose ends (care for your pets or other children, etc.).
In the midst of all that chaos, the odds that you remember to pack everything you need for your hospital stay are pretty slim. In fact, chances are you’ll end up either leaving important items behind or overpacking and carrying way too much with you.
That’s why it’s important to have a pre-packed hospital bag that you can quickly grab on your way out.
But, what should you include in your hospital bag? We’re glad you asked...
- Your own toiletries.
While some hospitals provide you with the essentials, it’s nice to be able to feel some semblance of normalcy by bringing the items you prefer. Pack a small travel bag with your toothbrush and toothpaste; travel size shampoo, conditioner and body wash; and deodorant. We also recommend packing adult diapers and/or absorbency pads to help make you more comfortable after birth. Finally, we often hear from moms who wish they’d packed lip balm for their stay, so throw in a tube of chapstick or two, as well.
- A robe, comfy clothes and slippers.
Let’s be honest: no one likes hospital gowns. Make your stay more enjoyable by packing a plush robe, slippers and other comfy clothing staples. This will not only help you feel more relaxed during the after-birth hours, but it’ll also help the hospital feel a little more like home (which is especially important for parents who might experience an extended stay).
- A wear-home outfit for baby.
You know that onesie your mother-in-law gave you two months ago that you’ve been obsessing over? Don’t forget to throw it in your hospital bag so that your baby can show it off on their ride home from the hospital (and in all of the pictures that are sure to be snapped that day). If it’s going to be cold, be sure to also pack a blanket for your little one.
- A car seat.
The hospital won’t discharge you and your baby unless you’ve got a car seat installed and ready to go, so be sure to include this with your go-bag. Take time before the birth to ensure both you and your partner know how to install and operate the car seat, and don’t forget to check that it’s properly adjusted once the big day comes.
- Electronics (and chargers!)
No two hospitals are the same when it comes to in-room entertainment, so err on the safe side and bring some electronics to keep you occupied during your stay. You’ll also want to pack your hospital bag with extra-long chargers for each device in case the room’s outlets are placed in inconvenient locations.
If you’re bringing a phone or tablet, we also recommend selecting a few of our online parenting courses to take during your stay. That way, when it’s time to head home, you’ll be an expert on everything from sleeping positions to baby-proofing. Plus, because all of our courses can be started and stopped at any time, you won’t have to worry about visitors or doctors interrupting your learning!
Want to learn more about how our research-based courses can help prepare you for your kiddo? Click here to sign-up for a free trial and receive access to over 80 classes today.