As you approach your due date, it’s important to make sure everything is ready for when you go into labor. A crucial part of this preparation is making sure you have everything packed in your hospital bag. Packing can be overwhelming with all the items you may need during and after labor, so here’s a comprehensive hospital bag packing checklist to help make it easier.
Packing Essentials for Mom-to-Be
First, let’s talk about the items that are essential for mom’s comfort and convenience during labor and delivery.
Along with the items listed below, you may want to bring a camera or video camera. it would be beneficial to include your phone charger(s as well!
Hospitals typically have basic toiletries, but you may also consider packing the following items:
- Comfortable clothing such as leggings/joggers (choose items with an adjustable waistband or drawstrings so that you can wear them before and after labor), pajamas, loose-fitting shirts, nightgowns
- Underwear or disposable mesh panties
- Nursing bras or maternity bras (if breastfeeding)
- Breast pads
- Nipple cream
- Non-slip slippers/socks
- Hair ties/clips/headbands
- Lip balm
- Reusable water bottle
- Wash cloth and your favorite towel
- Book or magazine
If you prefer to bring your own toiletries, don’t forget a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush or comb, shampoo & conditioner, facial cleanser, deodorant, lotion or body oil.
And lastly, don’t forget your identification, insurance information, hospital pre-registration forms, and a copy of your birth plan if you have one!
About Your Birth Plan
Bring along any notes related to what type of birth experience you are expecting should any questions arise during labor, such as pain management techniques or who will be in the room with you during delivery. Having these details written down in advance can help ease any anxiety about going into labor without knowing how things will turn out.
Items for Labor & Delivery Room Comfort
It’s also important to remember some items that will help create an environment conducive for labor and delivery. For example, don’t forget a few protein-filled snacks such as nuts and cheese cubes, a banana & peanut butter, or greek yogurt, which will give you energy during labor.
If you think music might help relax you during contractions then consider bringing a Bluetooth speaker as well as any music playlists that might help keep you calm and relaxed throughout the process. It could also be helpful to bring along a birthing ball if they are allowed in your facility.
Finally, if there are any other comforts from home that may make the experience more pleasant such as essential oils, aromatherapy candles, or your favorite blanket or pillow, feel free to bring those as well!
More high-protein snack ideas for Mom:
- Trail Mix
- Hummus and veggies
- Lunch meat or a sandwich
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Protein bars
- Roasted chickpeas
- Apple slices and almond butter
- String cheese
- Cottage Cheese
- Smoked salmon and your favorite cheese (don’t worry, salmon is considered a low mercury seafood)
Simple recipe for a DIY trail mix:
- 2-3 tbsp whole almonds
- 2-3 tbsp whole walnuts
- 2-3 tbsp whole pecans
- 2-3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2-3 tbsp dried fruit (choose 2 – can be dried pineapple, apricots, cranberries, raisins, etc.)
- 2-3 tbsp dark chocolate chips
This basic trail mix is full of protein and fiber to keep you satisfied, as well as just enough sweetness to make it feel like a treat. Pack a few small bags or one large one to keep on hand for an easy grab-and-go snack.
Easy roasted chickpeas recipe:
- 1-2 cans chickpeas (depending on how much you want to make)
- Olive oil, or oil of choice
- Seasoning of choice
Craving something crunchy and salty? Roasted chickpeas are the answer! Not only are they incredibly easy to make, but they’re full of protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and iron – all essential vitamins and minerals that will help to keep you nourished during delivery.
Here’s how to make them:
Rinse your can of chickpeas and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss the chickpeas with a tablespoon of oil and your favorite seasonings. You can use curry powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, rosemary… the list goes on! Choose your favorites.
Next, spread on a sheet pan and roast at 425 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until crunchy. Let cool and enjoy!
Essential Items for Baby’s Care
Of course one of the most important parts of packing your hospital bag is having what you need for baby’s care once they arrive!
You’ll want to pack the following:
- Diapers (at least 3)
- Diaper rash cream
- Wipes (2 packs)
- Onesies (3)
- Sleepers/gowns (2-3)
- Hats (2-3)
- Blankets (2-3)
- Burp cloths (5)
- Socks (2-3)
- Going home outfit
- If it’s cold outside, don’t forget baby’s jacket and gloves
If bottle feeding is something that interests you then don’t forget bottles (4) plus formula/breast milk storage bags and a bottle brush and sterilizer.
Don’t forget pacifiers! These are often overlooked but can come in handy when trying to soothe baby after birth.
Finally, be sure to have a car seat already installed in the car or at least packed in the trunk.
Even though there are a lot of things to think about as you prepare for labor and delivery, packing your hospital bag doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. With this comprehensive checklist of what to pack in your hospital bag for mom and baby, you’ll be ready when the big day comes! Taking care of this part now gives one less thing to worry about later. Good luck on your pregnancy journey!