Around 36 weeks, you’ll want to start packing your hospital bag. Even if you’re planning an out of hospital birth, it’s always a good idea to have a bag ready to go in case of transfer. Most people over-pack their hospital bags, and it can be kind of chaotic going in and leaving the hospital when you’ve over-packed. We’ve put together this list of essentials for you, so that you don’t have to guess when it comes time to pack your birth bags.
- Documents: ID, insurance card, and birth plan.
- Comfy clothing: You aren’t required to wear a hospital gown, so feel free to bring whatever you’re comfortable birthing in. Sports bras and swim suit tops are a good option, if you don’t want to be completely naked. You may also want a robe or cardigan, slippers, and socks. You’ll also want something loose and comfortable for after you’ve showered and for when you go home. Make sure it’s easy to nurse in, if that’s your plan.
- Personal care items: any toiletries you’ll want to use need to be packed in your bag. Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, and body wash are items you’ll need, for sure.
- Breastfeeding pillow, nipple cream or coconut oil.
- Hair ties and lip balm.
- Mints or hard candies.
- Depends: they offer a little more coverage for that immediate postpartum bleeding, so you won’t have to worry about bleeding over the sides.
- You might want to bring your favorite towel, pillow, or blanket but all of these things are provided if you’d rather not.
For your partner:
- Change of clothes: you’ll probably want to bring two comfortable outfits, because chances are that you’ll either get pooped on or you’ll catch some spit up.
- Snacks: bring snacks you both like, and be sure that you pack something with protein. Almonds, beef jerky, protein bars, and fruit are good options. Coconut water, energy bites, trail mix, honey sticks, and dried fruit are some other great things to pack.
- Personal care items: toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, and hair care items.
- Technology: phone chargers, laptop, and camera.
- You might also consider packing a pillow, blanket, and towel for your partner.
- Going home outfit: you’ll want to pack a newborn and a three month sized outfit, because baby’s come in all different sizes and it’s impossible to know exactly how big your baby will be at birth.
- Car seat: you won’t be able to take your baby home without an installed car seat!
We recommend packing your bag, finalizing your birth plan and having your car seat installed by 37 weeks.
Is there something you wished you had packed, but didn’t? Let us know in the comments!