Your baby is just about baked and it’s time to pack your go-bag. But what the heck do you bring? Everyone is different. I am personally more of a minimalist. My go-bag included a change of clothes, a phone charger, shower supplies, and two outfits for the baby. Others like to come prepared with much more. So here are my best two-cents of what to include so you can be ready to jump in the car when it’s time.
*Disclaimer - my partner packed his own bag and was also in charge of the snacks
Loose fitting Pajamas and 2 nursing bras (pack an extra shirt or two in case baby spits up (or worse) all over you
An outfit to go home in
Baby’s first outfit - I like to bring a newborn and also a 0-3M size since you don’t know how big baby will actually be
Whatever you want for that post-delivery shower (Shampoo, Conditioner, Toothpaste, Hairbrush, etc.)
Snacks (bags of veggies and fruit, pretzels, or whatever can tide you over. The “suitcase” of snacks was far more important for my partner. We also took advantage of the hospital cafeteria. I needed my post-delivery coffee and turkey sandwich.
Phone Charger with a long cord
Nipple cream - the first few days of nursing can be pretty brutal
Face masks...because COVID
Installed car seat - they will not let you go home without this
Glasses and/or contacts if you need them
A robe and slippers
Flip Flops for the shower
Your own pillow
A nursing pillow (Boppy or My Brest Friend are the most popular)
Nursing pads in case your milk comes in early
Zippered sweatshirt in case you get cold that also provides easy access for nursing
Photo props/outfits if you plan on doing a newborn shoot in hospital (check with the hospital if they allow this in the era of COVID)
Comfy socks, preferably non-slip
Small fan (those hormones can give you serious hot flashes!)
A towel - the hospital ones are pretty thin and small
A book - I brought but was honestly too spaced out to even pick it up
Newborn pacifier for baby
AirPods or headphones if you want to listen to music or a podcast and the significant other is passed out
An extra towel in the car in case your water breaks or you’re leaking on the way to the hospital
Depends Silhouette - the hospital will give you disposable underwear but can be itchy for some. Do not be ashamed of the mom diaper. You will be glad you had it.
Soft, high-waisted cotton underwear with a waistband that sits above your incision
Dry Shampoo and face wipes to help you stay fresh without having to get up and down too much
Things You Can Expect from the Hospital
*This list is based off of my Jan 2021 delivery at "big WakeMed" in Raleigh
Witch hazel pads
Perineal bottle (basically a squirt bottle to help clean down there)
Non-slip socks that don’t stay on your feet
Big Wake also had birthing balls. I didn’t use one but could have asked for one.
In case you haven’t yet asked yourself the question (I know I sure didn’t) - how do you take care of yourself? So much of our preparation is for labor and to take care of the baby. Check out this article for tips on how to take care of yourself once baby’s here.
Keywords: packing list, hospital, hospital list, preparing for labor, preparing for birth, hospital stay, hospital go-bag