There is a lot to worry about when a baby is due. Unless you pack everything ahead of time, there’s a high chance that something will be forgotten, if not by you, then by your flustered partner.
No matter how well-prepared you are, we understand at JuJuBe that mistakes happen. You’re about to deliver a baby - blankets and baby bottles are probably the last thing on your mind! To help you stay prepared when those labor pains start kicking in, we suggest packing your baby bag well in advance so you’re not left scrambling for things as you head to the hospital.
As a general rule of thumb, you want to pack things not only for your baby, but also for you and your partner as well. Keep in mind that you will be at the hospital for at least a day or two. Bring things that will make this time a little easier for you both. Whether it’s your favorite sweater or blanket, these types of items will keep you comfortable during this stressful period. However, on the same token, not everything is essential. If you forget an item or two, don’t sweat it. What’s more important is focusing on what matters most: delivering and meeting your new baby!
To stay prepared for your baby’s arrival, pack these items in our diaper bag checklist for the hospital well before your due date. That way, when baby starts calling, all you have to do is grab your bag and go.
What to Pack in a Diaper Bag For the Hospital
First things first, before you can pack your bag, you have to make sure you have the right bag. Everyone is different when it comes to picking out a diaper bag, which is why you should do thorough research to find what you like best before making your purchase. Once you and your partner have decided on the right baby diaper bag for you and your needs, it’s time to start stuffing!
Now comes the hard part: Knowing what to pack in a diaper bag before the baby has even arrived. While you may want to bring a few personal items, it’s important to note that the hospital will provide you with most of the essentials. Things you can expect from the hospital may include:
- Receiving blankets
- A nose syringe
- Baby soap and lotion
- A bottle if you’re bottle feeding
- Sample formula
Below are a few items that you will want to pack yourself for your baby.
Easy Access Outfits
Pack a couple nightgowns or bodysuits for them to sleep in. Hospitals can be chilly, so you want to make sure your baby stays warm and cozy. Gowns that snap or tie at the bottom or body suits with zippers up the front are extremely convenient. Both allow for easy access for diaper changes or clothing swaps if need be.
A Photo Outfit
Many hospitals send a photographer around to snap a few pics of your newborn, so if you have something special in mind, don’t forget to pack that as well!
A Going Home Outfit
Some couples also like to include a special outfit for the baby to wear home or for when visitors come to meet the new family addition. Keep in mind that a baby’s size can vary slightly, so it’s highly advised to pack an extra outfit in case the original doesn’t fit.
Other items you won’t want to forget are little booties, socks, and mittens. These will help keep your little one warm in cold hospitals or while traveling home. Mittens can also prevent your little one from scratching their face or eyes with their tiny nails.
A Special Security Blanket
Make sure to pack your own special baby blanket. Yes, you might get some receiving blankets from the hospital, but it’s always nice to have one that you’ve picked out yourself. Security blankets provide comfort to a newborn - not only because they’re warm, but also because they smell like mom. Letting your little one snuggle up in their very own blanket will keep them cozy and give them a sense of security from the very beginning.
Don’t Forget the Car Seat
Be sure to install your car seat around the same time you are deciding what to pack in your diaper bag for the hospital. If you already have it set up in your car, there’s no way for you to accidentally forget it when the time comes.
Beyond these essentials, you might want to pack a small bottle of baby lotion if you have a scent you love, and a baby brush in case your little one develops cradle cap during your stay.
Packing a Hospital Bag for Mom
The bag you pack for yourself for your hospital stay will definitely be more well-stocked than the baby’s diaper bag. It’s highly suggested to keep your bag separate from your baby’s, so there’s no confusion when you’re looking for something in a time crunch.
A few essentials for mom may include:
Don’t forget the essentials like hospital paperwork, your insurance card, and your state ID. Keep these items at the top of your bag for easy check in at the hospital.
Printed Birth Plan
If you have created a birth plan, print it out and have it near for easy reference. Make sure you and your partner both have a copy in case of emergencies.
A Robe or Comfy Clothes
You might find yourself pacing the halls as you battle contractions, and you won’t want to do that in a gaping hospital gown. Pack yourself your favorite comfy robe that you can have on hand at all times.
Extra Pair of Socks
Hospitals will often provide a pair of socks with grip, but if you have your own favorite pair, throw them in your bag as well.
Slippers and Flip Flops
You’ll want to throw in a pair of each before heading to the hospital. Slippers will keep your feet clean and warm during your stay, while flip-flops can be worn in the shower.
Make sure you pack some comfy pajamas or a nightgown to sleep in, in case you have to stay at the hospital an extra night or want something else to change in from the hospital gown. Make sure whatever you pack works for both pre and post birth and is comfortable enough for all-day wear.
Pack any toiletries you think you might need during your stay, including:
- Your toothbrush and toothpaste
- A hair brush
- Travel size shampoo and conditioner, or dry shampoo
- A hair clip or scrunchie
Some moms are happy to be totally natural during their hospital stay, while others are uncomfortable having visitors see them without a bit of makeup or gloss. Whatever your preference, we wanted to include this on our packing list so you can make the decision you need.
Pack clothes, contacts, glasses or any other items that you use on a daily basis. Since you have no idea how long you’ll have to stay in the hospital, it’s always advised to err on the side of caution and throw in an extra outfit. With your clothes, you’ll also want to make sure you pack the bras you need. Bringing bras that fit you well will help you stay comfortable. It’s also advised to pack a nursing bra and breast pads if you are nursing.
Heavy-Duty Pads and Extra Underwear
Hospitals may provide maternity pads and even provide disposable underwear, however, you don’t want to depend on them in case they don’t. Pack enough for your stay.
Cell Phone and Charger
You’ll of course want to keep your phone charged up and ready to go. Whether you use it for baby photos or to call your friends and family, you’re going to want your phone to be charged and ready for when the newborn arrives!
Packing a Hospital Bag for Your Partner
Keep in mind that the person who will be standing by your side during the birthing process will also need to bring a few essentials. While bringing an extra change of clothing and a toothbrush is expected, you may also want to pack some entertainment and a few snacks for those hours of waiting. Below are our top suggestions:
Books, Magazines or Cars
Keeping easy entertainment on hand always comes in handy for those moments you both need a bit of a distraction. Stock up on all your favorite books, magazines, cards, or whatever other games you prefer for those hours of waiting.
Drinks and Snacks
The last thing you want to do is to depend on the cafeteria food in the hospital when you start to get hungry. Pack plenty of snacks and drinks that you can have on hand for both mom and partner.
Small Pillow and a Light Blanket
While mama might be taken care of with a bed, blanket, and pillows, that’s not the case for your partner. You’ll greatly appreciate packing an extra set and maybe even a sweater when trying to get some shut eye in a cold hospital room!
Make sure to pack your own phone, charger, and any other electronics you may need during their hospital stay.
If you or your partner take any medications on a daily basis, make sure the right dosages make it in your hospital bag. Although you’ll be in the hospital, it’s not like you can just get your medication right then and there. Not only will it come at a hefty price, but it’s also not guaranteed!
Some couples like to record videos in addition to taking pictures. If that’s your style, make sure you pack a video camera, charger, and an extra SD card.
Finally, remember to double and triple check everyone’s bags a week or two before your expected due date. You might pick up something new that you want to pack in your baby’s diaper bag at the last minute, or you might have forgotten to pack something you didn’t think of the first time around. It’s always a good idea to check your bags, compare them with your lists, and make sure you didn’t miss anything. Once you’re all packed, the only thing left to do is to wait!
For more tips on how to pack a diaper bag, check out our website or talk to one of our experts at JuJuBe today!