Packing a hospital bag is exciting, probably because it signifies that the long, tiresome, frustrating and slightly uncomfortable pregnancy is drawing to an end and that you’ll soon have an adorable squirming mini-me in your arms. You are done prepping the nursery, reading about labor and buying baby clothes and you are set for that delivery room. Use this complete hospital bag checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything!
WHEN DO I NEED TO START PACKING MY HOSPITAL BAG?
You can never do it too early. Don’t, however, wait until it’s too late. Your doctor or obstetrician should guide your timing; they can tell you whether you are expected to start labor early. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, say, you are expecting multiples or have a history of beginning labor early, it is recommendable to start packing at about the eighth month. Whatever you do, don’t wait past the thirty-eighth week; otherwise, the baby may come when you don’t quite expect it.
THE HOSPITAL BAG CHECKLIST:
If you plan on delivering naturally, you may need to show up at the hospital one or two days before the actual delivery date. C-section moms usually check in three to four days before giving birth. You, therefore, need to take into account what exactly you will need for those days you will be staying there. You could ask the nurses the things they provide so that you don’t buy them.
That said, here’s a checklist you could use to pack your hospital bag:
- Identification (an ID or any other government identification document)
- Insurance information or a birth plan, if you have one (you really should have one unless you are prepared to pay a hefty amount after delivery.)
- Hospital forms that you have already filled at home
- Glasses, if you wear them. You don’t want the first sight of your baby to be all blurry.
- A pair or two of socks to walk around in before and after labor
- A cellphone and its charger
- A headband to hold your hair during birth.
- Something nice to eat that can’t be found in the hospital’s vending machines. Carry some change too, just in case.
- Maternity bras and nursing pads
- Toiletries and personal effects such as some toothpaste and a toothbrush, wipes, shampoo, and deodorant. Once again, consult with the hospital staff before packing to see what they offer.
- Some loose and light clothes.
Here are some items that are not entirely necessary but will sure make things much better in your stay there:
- An iPod or earbuds to listen to some music. You can jam to your favorite playlist as you deliver.
- Maternity underwear
- A comfortable pillow and a breastfeeding pillow.
Feel free to pack anything that you feel will make your stay at the hospital more comfortable. If you forget anything, that’s okay; you can always call on your partner, family or friends to bring it to you.