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My Very-Prepared Hospital Packing List

By alismith |

Going-home outfits: one preemie, one up to 10 lbs. / Photo by Ali Smith via Ali Loves Curtis

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
  • slippers
  • socks
  • 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
  • diapers
  • 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!

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About alismith



Ali Smith is a blogger and writer who contributed to More of her work can be found on her personal blog, Ali Loves Curtis.

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0 thoughts on “My Very-Prepared Hospital Packing List

  1. Nadia says:

    I spent a lot of time packing my hospital bag! I ended up with a list of absolute necessities, and I posted it on my website. I am so glad that I made a list, otherwise I would probably forget everything!

  2. Hollie says:

    This seems like a weird one but I was SOOOOOO glad I had it in my bag: a few of the baby washcloths you have stashed away for the new arrival. I was induced and given magnesium sulfate, which makes your temp go waaay up and you are all hot and sweaty. My husband would rinse them in cool water and I could wipe my face with them or drape them over my neck. They were a life saver.

  3. Tammy M. says:

    I am stealing this! We brought too much dumb stuff when my daughter was born. I’m NOT doing that again!!!! Thanks for sharing your list.

  4. Kylie says:

    One thing most people might not realise to bring/do is if you have pets – take a blanket you dont care about to wrap the baby it. Then have your partner or friend bring it into your home so your pets know the baby’s scent before you bring them home.

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