The first time I had to pack a hospital bag I had NO idea where to begin (thank goodness for Google). Now that we're onto baby #3, I think I have it figured out! Typically I'm not one to overpack for anything, but I'd say the list below includes all the essentials.
If you're planning on nursing, something with buttons is ideal. Mine are similar to these, however this sleep dress or this pj set would be great too.
Socks - my feet were really cold while I was in labour
Nursing bra and/or tank top
Slides and/or slippers
Diapers and/or Pads - adult diapers saved me postpartum!
Nursing Pads (reusable)
- Underwear - I bought a pack from Costco
- Toiletries - face wash, face cream, body wash, hand cream, lip balm, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, deodorant
- Nipple Cream - Dr. Newman cream is a life saver! Ask your OB or midwife for a prescription ahead of time.
Peri bottle - the hospital gave me one, so this wasn't necessary but I've heard many moms prefer this one.
Reusable water bottle/ tumbler - must have for me while labouring!
Charger (one with an extra long cord is a bonus)
- ID/ Health Card
- Going home outfit
Bring something comfortable, as well as something that won't bother your incision should you have a c-section. This time I bringing my Hot Shot Onesie, a long sleeve maternity tee (similar) and my Tasman Ugg Slippers.
EXTRAS FOR MAMA
- Cooler for Placenta
This isn't for everyone, but I like to have my placenta encapsulated. I used Graceful Birth Doula Services previously, and plan on doing the same this time around
- Cord Blood Kit
We chose CReaTe Cord Blood Bank
- Hypnobirthing affirmations and/ or iPhone playlist and headphones
I've truthfully never used this during labour, but I know many people who have and highly recommend it.
Install the base a few weeks before your due date
- Car Seat Canopy
- Newborn Hat - we were provided with one, but I like to bring my own (I linked the one I'm bringing this time around here). For the girls, I packed a hat for a girl (this one is cute too!), as well as something neutral, since we didn't know the gender. A pack like this would be a great option as well.
I like to bring some in a few different sizes (i.e. up to 7lbs, 0-3 mos). I really love the L'oved Baby sleepers, as well as Kyte Baby. I also recently purchased this one and I love how cozy it is.
The H&M wrap onesies are my favourite and come in different colours and sleeve lengths.
Diapers & Wipes
- Coconut Oil (or olive oil)
I use Coconut Oil as everyday “diaper cream” but it’s especially useful for babies first poop since it’s so sticky!
Pacifier (sanitized) and holder
I don't typically use these in the hospital, but I bring them just in case
- Going home outfit
This is what our little rainbow baby is wearing home, with a matching hat.
Name sign or anything you may want to use for a baby announcement
I like to cover the baby in a swaddle or blanket when leaving the hospital
- Change of clothes (t-shirt, sweats, sweatshirt, boxers etc.)
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- iPhone charger
*Disclaimer: my husband gives minimalistic packing a whole new meaning, so his necessities may be different than your partners LOL
I also like to leave notes for my husband, or whoever is to bring my bags to the hospital. This is just in case I'm not home when I go into labour. Along with these, I included notes for during/ after labour, which includes instructions for the placenta encapsulation and cord blood banking. My husband is fully aware of what to do, but there is so much going on once baby is born I want to ensure we don't forget anything. You can include a birth plan as well.
Lastly, if you have a child at home that requires any special instruction (i.e. school drop off/ pick up, meals etc), leave those instructions for whoever will be watching them while you're in the hospital.
I'm pretty sure I captured it all, but if you think of anything else please leave your suggestions in the comments below!