In the last month before your baby is due, one of your tasks should be to pack the hospital bag. As far as what you should bring, less is more.
Items Necessary For You
Keep in mind that you are not going on vacation. Most new mothers spend only 48 hours in the hospital and many of those hours are spent sleeping.
Also, think about your departure. You’ll have a brand new, delicate baby that you are not used to transporting. If people visit you and bring presents, you’ll also have those. You’ll have a car seat to wrestle with for the first time. Do you really want a bulky suitcase to deal with on top of all of that?
The fact is, you will only really need a few things. You have several weeks to figure this out, so go ahead and gather everything you want to bring and then start eliminating. Try to get it all to fit into something carefree and lightweight like a soft drawstring bag.
Let’s think about what you’ll actually need. For sure you need whatever medicines you regularly take, like decongestants or prescription drugs. You may also want to bring your favorite pain reliever just in case one isn’t supplied at the hospital.
You’ll need your photo ID and insurance card. Definitely bring your phone and charger so you can get some early photos of your baby and spread the good news to everyone.
Consider a nightgown and lightweight bathrobe. These will mostly be for modesty, rather than warmth. People will constantly be coming in and out of your room and a hospital gown will be too flimsy and revealing.
Bring a journal and pen, but only if you regularly write in one and want to record your memories of this big event. Otherwise, it will just be taking up room. Pack earbuds if you want to listen to your favorite music during labor.
When you go home, you can wear the same clothes you came in, assuming they are in decent shape. You’re not Kate Middleton and do not need to look glamorous for the paparazzi. All you really need is fresh underwear.
Include small sizes of whatever toiletries you use (don’t forget your toothbrush) and your hairbrush.
Pack lip balm and apply it generously, both before and after the baby arrives. Lips get incredibly dry in a hospital. Pads are optional. There should be a supply in the bathroom of your hospital room.
Often in birthing classes women are taught to focus on a special object when the labor pains hit. If you have such an object, make sure you remember to put it in the bag.
Items Necessary For Your Baby
All your baby will really need is an outfit for the drive home. Baby skin is incredibly sensitive so choose something really soft and easy to put on.
Most people know the sex of their baby these days, but if you don’t, bring something either sex could wear.
Most “newborn” clothes should fit your baby. Don’t bring something in a bigger size just because you think it’s cuter. You mostly want your baby to make it home in comfort.
If it’s cold or rainy outside, pack a blanket so you can wrap them up securely before you leave the hospital. Don’t forget that they have spent the past nine months at 98.6 degrees and anything cooler will feel chilly to them.
No need to pack dozens of newborn diapers. The hospital will be putting their own on your baby. You might just need one for the trip home.
Also, just a reminder that your baby can’t walk yet. They will not need socks and shoes and it probably won’t be worth the struggle to keep them on. Save that for later.
Comfort is what you should be most concerned with in packing your hospital bag, both yours and your baby’s.