Packing for the hospital can be a big chore. It’s a great idea to pack long before the baby is due, just in case you go into labor early. Mom and the baby aren’t the only ones at the hospital, so below are a few items you could pack to occupy the time for siblings, and of course Mom’s significant other. Some of the items below are just ideas to help you get started.
Things for Mom
- Health Insurance Card: This is important to have in the bag so you’re not struggling to find it when your critical time comes.
- Pre-registration forms from the hospital: It’s nice to have these filled out as much as possible, so you’re not worrying about it in your critical time.
- Nursing Bra: This is a great way to support swollen, tender breasts.
- Nursing Pillow: These can be used whether you are breast feeding or bottle feeding; either way they reduce the strain on your arms, neck, and back when feeding your baby.
- Toiletries: This could include things like hair ties, toothbrush, toothpaste, Kleenex, deodorant, soap, and sanitary pads. You won’t know how long you’ll be there until that time has come.
- Nightgown or Robe: It’s always nice to be comfortable in your own clothes, especially after giving birth to your baby.
- Socks: Pack extra socks. Hospitals are cold, and you don’t want to run out of socks if you’re going to be in the hospital for a few days.
- Pillow from home: It’s nice to have familiar things with you in such an unfamiliar environment.
- Hard Candy/Gum: Mom’s mouth can get dry at times, so having mint gum or hard candies such as Jolly Ranchers or lollipops around will help put moisture back in your mouth.
- Magazines: There may be downtime before and after the birth of the baby. This isn’t an essential item, but it could be a great way to keep your mind occupied.
Things for Baby
- Infant Car Seat and Head Support: The hospital will not let you leave without these two items, so it’s good to have them long before the baby is due.
- Outfit to go home: The hospital will provide clothing if you forget to bring some, but it’s nice to bring home your baby in his or her first outfit.
- Hat: Babies lose most of their internal heat through their head. Having a little knitted hat or beanie is perfect to keep the warmth in.
- Booties or Socks: The hospital will provide some if you don’t have any, but it’s okay to bring some with you in anticipation.
- Receiving Blanket: Newborns love to be wrapped up tightly in a warm blanket, especially right after birth.
- Diapers and Wipes: It’s not a bad idea to have either disposable or cloth newborn diapers with you. Your baby won’t wait for you to get home.
Things for Significant Other
- Change of Clothes: It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pack a few items, including pajamas, for the trip to the hospital. You won’t know how long you’ll be there until that critical time.
- Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and soap are great to bring along. You don’t want your wife to have to endure any foul odors.
- Snacks: Again, you won’t know how long you’ll be there until that time comes. Having plenty of snacks around can occupy you while you’re waiting.
- Quarters: It can be helpful to have plenty of vending machine money.
- Video and Still Cameras: Mom’s counting on you to document the moments. Make sure you bring extra batteries, film, tapes, and chargers.
- Baby Book: The doctors and nurses will be able to put your baby’s first footprints and handprints in this book to help get you started.
- CD Player and CDs: Soothing music will help Mom and you before and after the birth.
- Massage Oils: Labor classes recommend the use of massage oils because they can help alleviate back pain. Mom will love you for it, too.
Things for Siblings
- Crayons, Markers, Coloring Books, and Toys: You may end up spending more time at the hospital than you originally thought. These are great tools to help siblings pass the time before they get to see their new brother or sister.