You want your first days with your baby to be comfortable – and a well-packed hospital bag can play a big role in making that happen. Below, we’ve listed the essential items you’ll want to pack in your hospital bag for labor and delivery, both for your baby and yourself.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby
1. A Soft Blanket
Newborns get cold easily. Make sure you can keep your baby snug with a soft, warm blanket. Baptist Health provides all our babies with a sleep sack and instructions on how to keep your infant warm, snuggled and safe to help decrease the risk of SIDS.
2. Socks, Booties and Mittens
Keep your baby’s feet warm with socks or booties. You’ll also want to place socks or mittens on your baby’s hands, both for warmth and to keep your baby from scratching their face with their fingernails.
3. A Going-Home Outfit
Pack an outfit for your baby to wear home, keeping in mind what the temperature and weather will be when you’re discharged from the hospital. For example, if you deliver your baby during the winter and it will likely be cold outside when you go home, pack warm clothing such as mittens, a hat, a sweater, a heavy jacket or even a snowsuit.
4. Car Seat
Have your car seat ready to go with your hospital bag. You should have someone bring the car seat up to your room the morning after the baby is born to ensure it is properly adjusted to your baby and is room temperature by the time you’re discharged. A car seat sitting in a car for long periods can make it too hot or too cold for your newborn.
Most car seats come with a base. Please have this properly installed prior to your admission to the hospital. The local fire departments and police stations have personnel that can inspect the placement to ensure that the installation has been done correctly. Our hospitals have members of our team that can check installation for you. However, this is something you may want to have ready before the day of discharge.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom
1. Photo ID, Insurance Card and Paperwork
As with any inpatient stay at a hospital, you’ll need your photo ID, insurance and any completed hospital paperwork ready when you arrive. Your partner should also bring their photo ID if you plan to sign a paternity acknowledgement.
It is a good idea to pre-register around 32 weeks. This ensures that in the event of an unexpected admission, you are already in our system. Pre-registration is available online and via our admissions departments by calling the hospital at which you are planning to deliver.
2. Birth Plan
Type up your birth plan and bring a few copies for your physician and nurses to reference throughout the delivery process.
3. Mobile Phone and Charger
Make sure both you and your partner grab your phones and chargers to make it easy to update friends and family on your baby’s arrival and document your delivery day and first moments with your baby.
4. A Comfortable Pillow and Blanket
Your hospital will provide you with these, but you may feel more comfortable with your own items. Don’t forget to bring your partner’s favorite pillow as well. They will also need good rest!
5. Snacks and Change for the Vending Machine
Bring a few snack items with you, just in case you get hungry between meals. Pack a refillable water bottle to make sure you stay hydrated as well. You can also order food from Baptist Health room service, or use the Baptist Health vending machines at any time.
6. A Change of Clothes
Bring lightweight, comfortable clothing to change into after labor, including a comfortable nursing bra, a sweater, socks, clean underwear, a nightgown, a robe and an outfit for your trip home. You’ll also want a pair of slippers for walking around the hospital, and a pair of shoes you can wear home. Keep in mind your feet will likely be swollen, and loose shoes or flip flops will probably be the most comfortable. Make sure you bring clothing that can easily open in the front if you plan to nurse.
While the hospital offers some toiletry items, you may be more comfortable if you have your own. These can include:
- Lip balm
- Sanitary pads
- Hair brush
- Hair dryer
- Eyeglasses or contacts and solution (if you wear them)
8. Notebook and Pen
Your doctors and nurses will give you a lot of information about caring for both yourself and your baby before leaving the hospital, and you may want to have a place to write it all down for later reference.
Baptist Health has WiFi available to all our guests. Feel free to bring a tablet or laptop to listen to your favorite music, watch a movie or journal all your special moments.
10. Other Items You’ll Enjoy
Bring items that will make you feel comfortable and at home during your hospital stay. This may include a device to play music, an essential oils diffuser, a plug-in with your favorite scent, photographs, door displays, flameless candles, a birthing ball, massage materials and more.
With the above items in your bag, you can make your time at the hospital as comfortable as possible. Make sure to pack your bag during the eighth month of your pregnancy, just in case your baby comes early.
At Baptist Health, we want to help you be as prepared as possible for the day you give birth. Learn more about delivering a baby at Baptist Health and what you can expect after you have your baby. If you would like to discuss your pregnancy or delivery with one of our experts, request an appointment with a Baptist Health OB/GYN.