I try to keep packing for the maternity ward simple. Who wants to lug everything but the kitchen sink around the hospital? Plus packing light makes it easier to find what you need quickly.
I’ll be delivering my second child at the same hospital, so it should be a lot easier this time around. I now realize what was not needed that I packed last time, and what I missed that I wish I would have packed.
Here’s my list of everything I’m going to consider taking to the hospital.
- Photo ID
- Insurance Card/Information
- Checkbook or Credit Card for Payment
- Hospital Registration Forms (if you haven’t completed and submitted in advance)
For Delivery - Mommy
I like to put these items in a small zip top bag for easy access, stashed in my duffle bag until needed.
- Tennis Ball - can be helpful for massage if you’re trying to delivery naturally
- Lip Balm
- Hair Band
- Mints, Snacks, and Bottle of Water for after Birth (they gave me ice chips at the hospital, but didn’t want me to eat or drink.)
Last time I packed all kinds of fun entertainment options, thinking I would have hours of waiting that I could relax and watch movies on a laptop with my husband, magazines to read, etc. Ha, ha...boy was I ever wrong! I must have been watching too many Baby Stories on TV, because I chose to give birth naturally and was in active labor the whole time without a break. There was a point where I would have considered an epidural, but it was the middle of the night and I told the staff early on not to call in the anesthesiologist. In the end, I’m glad it worked out the way it did, all the pain magically disappears as soon as the baby is pushed out.
For Delivery - Labor Coach
Pack in a small bag stored inside duffle bag, unless you have as much camera equipment as my hubby.
- Watch with second hand (if they don’t wear one everyday)
- Snacks and Bottle of Water
- Camera, Video Camera, Charger, and Memory Cards ready for right after the Birth (Note: Don’t leave these in the car like last time, there won’t be time to go out and get them later.)
For Mommy's Hospital Stay - In My Duffle Bag
- Shower Shoes (Cheap-o Old Navy Flip Flops - hospital floors can be icky!)
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant, comb, makeup, hair band, soap, shampoo / conditioner, and lotion) - some items may be provided, but I prefer my own
- Comfortable Pajamas, Robe, Slippers, and Socks
- iPhone & Charger - This eliminates much of the comfort items (family picture, music, entertainment, etc.) I brought last time when smart phones were non-existent!
- Nursing Bras & Pads
- Comfortable Going Home Outfit
- Healthy Snacks & Water (Not Fan of Hospital Food)
- Small Notepad and Pen (May just use iPhone, but it's nice to be able to jot down important information, memories, notes, etc.)
- Prenatal Vitamins, DHA Supplement
For Baby's Hospital Stay - In My Duffle Bag
- Boppy Nursing Pillow (Didn’t take to hospital for first baby, now I know.)
- Hospital Picture Outfit - Our hospital takes newborn portraits
- Going Home Outfit (I try to pick something comfy for going home.)
- Warm Hat & Blanket, if it’s cold outside for Going Home
- Car Seat Installed
*Make a List of Items to Grab Before You Head Out the Door and Put On Top of Hospital Bag
Some items like a nursing pillow, I’m not going to use everyday and they can be packed and waiting, but I only have one small makeup bag so that’s not going to be sitting in my hospital bag for a few weeks. These items are things I use daily that I’ll need to grab before heading out the door.
- makeup bag
- cell phone
- sandwich for Daddy (Labor Coach)
Getting Vehicle Ready
Put Towels and Garbage Bag in Car to put on the seat for the ride to the hospital. In case water breaks, you won’t have another thing to clean when getting home from the hospital.
Getting Ready at Home
Everyone’s list will be different, but as long as you have the necessities (place for baby to sleep, clean clothes, diapers, wipes) you can figure it out as you go. I like to be organized and prepared, so I try to have everything ready in advance, but delivering a baby can be unpredictable so you just have to do your best and be ready for anything.