Our Bags Are Packed and We Can’t Wait to Meet You!

Our Bags Are Packed and We Can’t Wait to Meet You!


The checklist for expectant parents can be intimidating, from figuring out parental leave and childcare to deciding to forego maternity pants. These months are a flurry of activity even without the new human. And embedded within all this chaos is one other task: packing the hospital bag or two.

This is not a trivial thing. Your labor and delivery partner doesn’t want to run back home and risk missing critical moments because you want to remove your contact lenses but forgot to pack your storage case or the cellphone charger is nowhere to be found. Get an early start on a list of essentials and “nice-to-haves,” then begin laying out those items about a month ahead of your anticipated delivery date. BabyFlix explains that early organization will pay off when the big moment comes.

Pesky but Important Details

You’ll be wholly intent on the imminent event, but some details cannot be overlooked. Have your identification and insurance information handy, plus any hospital admission paperwork you were asked to bring with you upon arrival. It never hurts to bring relevant medical records from your pregnancy, particularly if you have a medical condition or had a difficult pregnancy.

Include a list of any medications you’ve taken or are currently taking. Your labor and delivery coach will likely welcome some snacks. It also wouldn’t hurt to tuck some cash and a bank card into an envelope for easy access, in case your partner needs to run down to the gift shop or cafeteria or to pay for parking.

Care About Comfort

Comfortable and practical clothes are a must. Forgo that hospital gown — now is the time for you to be at your most comfortable — like you’ve slipped into a familiar T-shirt. You can find a comfortable gown that is suitable for labor and delivery, while still offering the functionality you need immediately when your baby arrives. In fact, consider purchasing and packing more than one as you’ll likely want (and need) a fresh one each day, or even a few times a day.

As part of your packing your hospital bag, Americord recommends other items include:

*Your birth plan. It also doesn’t hurt to have a post-birth one.

*Delivery gown, nursing PJs, robe, slippers, and your favorite socks.

*Comfortable undergarments, including nursing bras and pads.

*Hair supplies — ties, your favorite brush and comb, and dry shampoo.

*Favorite toiletries, such as skin moisturizer, lip balm, dry shampoo, and your own toothbrush and toothpaste.

*Your phone and charger. Your partner should also pack theirs so there’s a backup if needed.

*A tablet or laptop with digital copies of your medical info.

*Contact information for your pediatrician, as well as family and friends, in case someone can’t access them from your phone.

*Your going-home outfit. Loose and comfortable doesn’t need to be baggy and drab — consider a fashionable pair of leggings with a tunic as a new start to your post-pregnancy wardrobe.

*Finally, for the fun part: You’ll want to pack your baby’s going-home outfit. Include a cap, at least one blanket (more, depending on the weather), and socks. Most importantly, NHTSA notes that you should already have installed the car seat into your vehicle with an understanding of how it works.

Your Partner’s Comfort

Finally, your labor and delivery partner will want to pack their own bag — it just makes organization and access easier. In addition to snacks and any beverages allowed, they should include a way to time the contractions (whether it’s with a smartphone or a watch), some reading material, games or puzzles, massage oils and rollers (these are for mom!), and a few of their own toiletries for what could easily be an extended stay.

Relax and Enjoy!

Your labor and delivery trip represents the culmination of a lot of waiting and perhaps some worrying. Remember that if you have forgotten anything, chances are, the hospital will be able to provide you with an adequate substitute. In fact, you’ll likely receive a lot of freebies to bring home for you and your baby. Ensuring your comfort with a few soothing and cozy clothing items is good mental and physical preparation for your baby’s arrival and for your new family’s homecoming.