For better or worse, I’m an over-thinker.
When it came to delivering my first baby, I wrote up a hospital to-pack list that’s as thorough as (or quite possibly more than) any out there. I wasn’t kidding around. Since labor and delivery was a huge unknown to me, having everything in place made me feel a little more in control of what could potentially be an out-of-control situation.
I still can’t believe I’ll be having a baby in about a month. In an effort to ready myself (and face reality), today I pulled up my hospital packing list. I still think it’s pretty good reference, and I plan on packing the same items for this delivery.
Here’s my method: the list is beefed up with added tips and bits of information for your hospital stay:
Most delivery rooms don’t have electrical outlets so you’ll have to have everything charged in advance: phone, camera, laptop, iPad, etc. I separated my items by stuff I’d want right at my side during labor, and everything else in a larger bag that my husband brought in from the car once we had switched to our overnight room.
Immediate stuff (small bag):
- toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, glasses, etc. Anything for freshening up when needed.)
- headband/bobby pins/elastics
- chapstick or lip balm
- magazines or DVD you won’t find annoying (I found books to hard to focus on during labor)
- writing material for jotting down first moments/memories
- music, and form of listening to it
- ankle socks (so you’re neither barefoot nor wearing bulky slippers)
- 2 pillows from home with patterned pillowcases (bring white and they’re likely to get mixed with hospital pillows)
- baby book and nice pen (for doctor and nurse signatures, plus footprints)
- handheld fan (never used it, but is sounds nice)
- heating pad (not electric; I filled a sock with rice—if having an epidural you probably won’t be able to use it)
- camera, charged and ready to go
Other optional items (small bag): Put your partner in charge of readying these items, at the very least.
- change for vending machines
- snacks for those going to hospital with you
- charged camera batteries
- cell phone chargers
- laptop/iPad chargers
- cables/materials for downloading photos
- change of clothes for partner (You never know how long you’ll labor. And don’t forget to include underwear!)
Stuff for later (large bag):
- 2 comfortable nightgowns (you won’t want to wear pants, and button-down or henley nightgowns make it easy to nurse/pump)
- light robe
- flip flops for shower
- daily face wipes
- travel kit (shampoo, conditioner, soap, contact solution, some makeup, etc.)
- 3 pairs dark underwear
- cozy, casual nursing bra
- witch hazel pads (hospital should supply them, but just in case)
- 1 roll soft toilet paper from home
- going-home clothes for you
- going-home clothes for baby (bring a hat and his/her smallest outfit, pants are best for getting baby in the carseat)
- warm blanket or BundleMe
Stuff to take home from the hospital: Don’t feel guilty; you’ll be happy you took what you did when the hospital bill arrives! In my opinion, you more than pay for it. I even packed up stuff I hadn’t yet used so the nurses would re-fill my supply. The last thing you want to do after having a baby is head to the store because of low supplies.
- baby’s first hats (they might be the only ones that fit for a while)
- baby’s first shirt (I have mine framed in a shadow box)
- witch hazel pads
- Dermoplast spray
- thick maxi pads (they don’t sell ones like these at Rite-Aid!)
- disposable undies (you won’t find these elsewhere, either, and they come in handy even if they’re kind of terrible)
And don’t forget:
- carseat, installed
- put together a contact list of everyone you’ll want to send the news to right away. (Blind copy the contacts, add your good news and a photo or two, and send away!)
So … what would you add to the list? It’s hard to imagine I’m forgetting anything with one this long!