As the big day approaches you try to be ready as much as possible. One of the things on your list to do is to pack your hospital bag. Even if this is your first baby and you have no past experience to reference, packing your hospital bag is not hard so donâ€™t let this be something that stresses you out.
What actually makes it into your bag depends on what type of labor you are aiming to have. For some, laboring at the hospital and doing a â€œtypicalâ€ hospital labor is the plan. For others the goal is to labor at home and spend as little time as possible in the hospital. The list below is intended to be a comprehensive list so some items may not pertain to everyone.
- Nightgown or large t-shirt
- Nursing bra
- Eye glasses
- Pillow â€“ Personally I would rather not worry about having hospital contaminates on my pillow, but some people really feel like they need their own pillow.
- Warm socks with tread â€“ Hospital floors can be slippery so tread on your socks helps. Some hospitals provide socks with tread.
- Ponytail holders
- Lip balm â€“ Your lips can get dry with all that breathing.
- Mints â€“ The last thing you want is for your husband/partner to have bad breath. Your tolerance for such things is at a minimum during labor.
- Lollipops/hard candy
- Personal toiletries
- Lotion or massage oil â€“ Big one for those who have back labor. You canâ€™t rub the back enough for that and a little lotion keeps from rubbing the skin raw.
- Room spray â€“ If youâ€™re sensitive to smell, it might be a good idea.
- Gatorade â€“ Itâ€™s a necessity to stay hydrated during this process, especially since it can last for hours. You want to have as much energy as possible.
- Snacks â€“ Again with the energy.
- Music â€“ Bring music with different moods. You never know what will fit your fancy at that time. It might surprise you. You can just bring your laptop and use what music you have on that, or plug in your mp3 player.
- Change of clothes for mom & coach
- Swim trunks for coach â€“ If you are going to be in the shower or tub, your partner/coach will want swim trunks because they may just have to get in to help.
- Clothes for baby to wear home â€“ You may want to bring two outfits; one thatâ€™s small and one thatâ€™s a little bigger. That way youâ€™re covered depending on how big your baby is.
- Hat for baby â€“ Donâ€™t worry if you donâ€™t have one. Usually the hospital puts a hat on the baby, but it may be fun to bring one if you have it.
- Blanket for baby – The hospital provides blankets during the hospital stay, but they are not ones you bring home, so you will need to have at least one.
- Cell phone
- Cell phone charger
- List of people to call/email â€“ Itâ€™s a good idea to have this put together before hand. You donâ€™t want to end up missing anyone and things can get a little crazy at the hospital.
- Copies of your birth plan â€“ Bring one as a reminder for your partner/coach and one for the hospital staff.
- Health Insurance Card
- Baby Book for footprints
- Ziplock bag for Placenta â€“ Many people chose to save their placenta. There are quite a few different things that can be done with it. Some put the placenta in the ground and plant a tree over it. Others have the placenta capsulated and consume it over time. More and more options on how to use or preserve the placenta keep coming out.
Depending on what your plan is, some like to have professional pictures taken while they are still in the hospital. Many hospitals have a photographer set up, and pictures are part of your hospital stay. You just choose whether you want to purchase them or not. If you do plan on purchasing pictures, you will want to make sure to bring nice clothes, jewelry and makeup.
Donâ€™t forget to have the car seat installed before going into labor. You wonâ€™t be able to leave the hospital until it is in the car correctly. Refer to manufacturerâ€™s instructions on how to properly install the car seat. Some car dealerships or other organizations offer courses or check to make sure you have it correctly installed.
Overall, donâ€™t stress out if you donâ€™t have everything in perfect order. Chances are your husband/partner, someone in your family or a friend can bring you what youâ€™ve missed in your bag. Also, the hospital may have items like shampoo and toothbrushes if you forget them. The important thing is to enjoy your new baby and get plenty of rest so you can recover.