OCD as I am, I had my bag packed super early so that I didn’t have to worry about it. I’d recommend having your bag packed around the time you’re 34 weeks. The biggest thing I learned with this one is, less is more. The less crap you bring, the less crap you have to dig through when you’re trying to find something. So, here are the essentials:
Paperwork. Place all of these things in a large envelope, then store all the after-baby paperwork in the same envelope (yes, there will be paperwork. Having a baby is a lot like buying a car…)
- Wallet with ID and insurance card
- Hospital registration papers (even if you filled these out electronically, it doesn’t hurt to have a copy just in case…)
- Birth plan
Toiletries. Buy as many of these things as possible in travel sizes so you can already have your bag packed and ready to go. Being in labor isn’t conducive to remembering your Listerine.
- Eyeglass, contacts, contact solution, contact case
- Shampoo & conditioner
- Brush, comb, hair rubberbands
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash
- Face wash
- Body wash
- Body lotion and facial moisturizer
- Nail clippers (nails grow long and strong during pregnancy and that’s great–until the first time you scratch the shit out of your baby and your heart breaks–cut those things!)
- Nursing pads
Clothing for You
- 2 comfortable outfits to wear during your stay (pajamas or sweats)
- Nursing bras/tanks
- Underwear (you probably don’t want to wear your Sunday best)
- iPad fully loaded with books and movies (don’t forget the charger!)
- Cell phone and charger
- Nursing cover
- White noise machine (to drown out all those annoying hospital sounds while you and Baby try to sleep. Get a travel size–they’re handy to have for baby anyway!)
For Baby. You don’t need to bring much for Baby, since the hospital will provide you with what you need. The only essential is the car seat, but the other things come in handy. Also, if there’s an older sibling, don’t forget to pack a gift for him/her–maybe a Big Brother t-shirt?
- Going Home Outfit
- Swaddling blankets
- Receiving blankets
- Diapers if you’re using cloth—if you’re using disposable, the hospital will furnish them
- Car seat (already installed)
- Baby book for footprints
- Nail file for those sharp little daggers–don’t even try using clippers right now.
For Your Partner. Since when is this your job? You’re growing a human. He can pack his own bag.
- 2 changes of clothes
- iPad with movies & books and a charger
- Phone and charger
What not to bring.
- Medications (the hospital will provide any medication you routinely take, right down to your prenatal vitamin)
- Breast pump
- Unless you want a particular kind, you don’t need to bring diapers, wipes or baby lotion
This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage of commission.