Some experts recommend packing two hospital bags for delivery, one for items used before baby is delivered and one after. In my opinion this is an overkill – one bag should do the job as long as you are organized.
Whilst I have set out to provide as comprehensive a checklist as possible to help you pack, it does not mean that you have to include everything in your hospital bag.
Exercise your own judgment – you are not going on vacation.
I have included the checklist as a downloadable PDF so you can slip that into you designated bag and check off completed items over time.
I have spent a lot of time gathering the information needed and I trust you will find them useful. Note that items that are italicized are probably good to haves.
Items Prior To and During Labor
Some form of pictorial identification (Driver’s license or other ID), your insurance card, and any hospital paperwork you need
- Birth Plan
Think of birth plans as a way for you and your wife to think through the birthing process and put it down on paper and they are often created in consultation with your health care team.Childbirth.Org has an interesting online tool for generating a birth plan- Check it out here.
- Lip Balm
Lips apparently can become extremely dry.
- Dressing Gown
- Non-slip Socks
- Massage Oil
Massage apparently helps somewhat in relieving pain lowering anxiety during the initial stages of labor
Disposable underpants are supposed to be better than the mesh panties issued by hospitals. Check with your wife.
- Hair Band
Contact lenses may not be such a good idea.
- Snacks and Drinks
- Relaxation Aids
iPods, Books, Magazines, Familiar Pillows(or pillow case), photos, etc
- Personal Contact List
Work out an entire list of people you should call, text or e-mail after the baby is born.
- Camera and/or video camera
Before you get too excited about recording the entire event, please check with the hospital beforehand if you are allowed to videotape the birth. Remember batteries, chargers, and memory cards
- Some cash or loose change – Parking & Vending Machine
- Comfortable change of clothes
Items After Labor
- Fresh Nightgown – If your wife prefers to wear something that belongs to her
- Maternity Pads
- Comfortable Nursing Bras
- Nursing Pads
- Nipple Cream – If your wife intends to breastfeed
- Change of clothes – For going home!
- Arnica Tablets – Homeopathic remedy which may aid recovery
- Breast pump
- An extra empty bag – For any freebies from the hospital
- Infant Car Seat – Probably illegal to drive baby home without one. If there is one thing you can prepare ahead of time, it will be installing the car seat properly and at least learn the correct technique of buckling up correctly.
- Outfit for Going Home – Don’t forget socks and booties. Consider getting the all-in stretchy outfits.
A Hospital Bag for Delivery is Not a Vacation Suitcase
It is most certainly good to be prepared, but please do not over-pack. The following items should most certainly not appear.
- Lots of cash – Think theft!
- Jewelry or other valuables – Think theft again!
- Baby books – Not likely to need them
- Board games – Seriously?
- Nappies – the hospital should supply
In short, do not pack as if you are going on a long vacation
So here you have it, simple and sweet. A copy of the above checklist for a hospital bag for delivery can be found here