Packing a hospital bag is one of the weirdest bags to pack, in my opinion anyway… You have no idea how long you are going for, how you are going to feel, what you are going to want or if you’re packing the “right things”. Pair this with trying to pack light and the struggle is real!
I have only realized lately that when I had Little Dude I didn’t have a hospital bag packed and ready to go – to those that know me and know how much I love being ultra prepared and organized this may come as a huge shock! Since he was two weeks overdue and then I ended up going to the hospital for a scheduled induction maybe I just felt like I had all the time in the world?! Whatever I was thinking (or wasn’t thinking for that matter) this time I am packing ahead of time to be prepared and have all the things I wish I had last time.
Since I have no intention to buy everything I already have at home twice I will be packing some of the travel size toiletries I already have on hand and clothes that I don’t necessarily need (until I need them and then will swap them for a clean set following the “what comes out must go back in the same day” rule). I am also planning to bring two bags this time. Why? Well, I am not a huge fan of people going through my things (other than the Mr or select people upon request) so I am keeping all of the documents, items for baby and feeding things in one bag while doing my best to fit everything for the Mr and I in the second bag.
Here it goes!
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- Hospital, medicare and health insurance (where necessary) cards
- Plastic zippered pouch or folder to hold hospital documents [I took 2 large ziplock freezer bags]
- Note pad and pen (s) to track feedings, diaper changes etc.
- Onesie(s) [I brought 4 and used two… this will ultimately depend on how long you are actually in the hospital. My recommendation would be to bring 3 in total, 2 newborn size and one bigger just in case your baby is a big one! Since I do not know the sex of the baby this time I am bringing 5 – 2 boy onesies, 2 girl onesies and 1 gender neutral onesie]
- Baby receiving blanket or swaddle blanket and a heavier blanket if the weather is cold [I have a beautiful gender neutral Lulujo one in my bag]
- Cap/Hat for in the hospital and a warmer one for the day you leave
- Diapers and wipes (some hospitals provide an initial supply of these) [You can ask about this at one of your appointments leading up to delivery as what is supplied is different province by province and sometimes even hospital by hospital]
- Pacifier [many hospitals will frown upon this especially if you plan to breast feed. I did not bring on to the hospital the first time around for that reason, but that was a mistake – I have one in my hospital bag this time!]
- Breastfeeding essentials for Mom (Nursing bra, nipple cream, nursing bra pads, nursing sleep bra, nursing top)
- Formula / bottles [hospitals will usually provide an initial supply, but bring a few ready made bottles if you’re planning to bottle feed just to be on the safe side. I also have a few bibs packed]
- Bathrobe [you will be up and down a lot through the night…nice to have to keep warm and cover up depending on your preferences…. this time around I bought a nicer one that I have been wearing while pregnant and look forward to having on while holding my new little bundle]
- Flip flops / slippers
- Warm socks
- Fresh pjs or a nightgown + Extra tank top
- Bra / Underwear [This is not a time to be sexy about the underwear… pack something big, comfortable and possibly a depends if your hospital doesn’t provide mesh underwear for the first day or two]
- Comfortable clothing [depending on how long you stay in the hospital you might want a change of clothes and possibly a pair of shoes to wear that are not flip flops. You can either pack this in your bag or have a separate bag at home for someone to bring to you since it is unlikely going to be used during your stay]
- Your own pillow
- Your cell phone + charger [with a long cord, this is the pack I recently purchased]
- Ear plugs
- Lip Balm [I have a few flavours from Eclair lips packed in my bag – having something fun to use and look forward to during a stay in the hospital is always so refreshing]
- Lotion [the air is often very dry in hospitals so this might be nice to have. Remember to bring something unscented; I brought Aveeno hand cream last time and will do the same this time around]
- Hand Sanitizer (travel size will be more than enough)
- Toiletries (tooth brush, tooth paste, face cream, brush, hair elastics & basic makeup kit including concealer, blush and mascara)
- Water bottle
FOR DAD / BIRTH PARTNER
- Change of clothes [something comfortable to possibly sleep in, but also presentable to go home in. Make sure you include underwear and socks.]
- Cell phone + charger [yes, bring two chargers so you are not competing for battery life]
- Tablet or device for entertainment
- Toiletries (tooth brush)
- Hat [The Mr LOVES hats, so he will definitely want one or possibly two]
- Water bottle
NICE TO HAVE ITEMS
- Change for vending machines
- Gift and / or quiet play activities for older kids that might be visiting [I am packing Little Dude’s airplane bag for his grandparents to have for his visits at the hospital just in case he is bored or less than entertained by a newborn]
- Infant car seat [The one we have is the Maxi Cosi Mico AP, bought based on safety rating and it was compatible with the stroller we chose – whichever you choose make sure you shop for a car seat that is compatible with your stroller! When the carseat connects to your stroller it is a huge advantage when going places, especially by yourself, with the baby.]
- “Going home outfit” [if in the cold weather this will likely consist of a onesie and a cute bunting of sorts for baby – and for Mom, don’t try to be a hero! There is no award for fitting into something a day after giving birth. Pack a comfortable maternity outfit that you can rock and be confident in postpartum.]
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