What to Pack in the Hospital bag? – Mommy, Babies and Let’s not Forget Daddy’s Checklist

So…. Time to Think About it

Are you getting in your second trimester? Are you getting butterflies when thinking about delivery? So many things to consider. The average length of a singleton pregnancy is 38 weeks but it drops to 35 for twins. Since more than 60% of twin pregnancies are delivered early, you will have to get ready a few weeks sooner. I remember that my husband started bugging me regarding my hospital bag when I was about 25 weeks pregnant. I finished it in my 32nd week. Which is a good thing since I was hospitalized at the end of my 32nd week.

By then, I was such a blimp, I had no ankles, it went from my calf straight to my foot. My feet were so swollen, I couldn’t wear regular shoes. It’s a good thing I wear size 10 shoes, since I couldn’t find any shoes that would fit, I went to a department store and treated myself to a pair of very sexy men sandals with Velcro. The sooner you start, the more energy you’ll have. The question that comes up often is: What to pack in the Hospital bag? Here’s a guideline and you can add your personal “must have”.

Mommy’s Checklist

Your list will of course vary depending on the season, your location and the hospital facilities. It will also depend on how long you will stay. If you are having a natural birth, you could stay at the hospital for about 2 days but if you are having a c-section, you might stay 3 to 4 days. For instance, in my case, I was there 1 week because of preeclampsia and 3 weeks because I had preemies and 1 of them had minor health issues and was in an incubator.

My Must Have List

  • Clothing
    • 2 nightgowns or nursing gowns
    • Slippers or anti skid socks
    • Bras or nursing bras
    • Robe for walking outside of your room
    • Underwear
    • Socks
    • Going-home clothes
  • Toiletries (bring travel size whenever possible because you won’t have much space to store them)
    • Hairbrush
    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Deodorant
    • Soap
    • Contact lens solution and case
    • Hand and body lotion
    • Toothbrush
    • Dental paste
    • Maternity pads or sanitary pads for heavy periods
    • Breast pads
  • Entertainment:
    • Cellphone
    • Cellphone charger
    • Earphones
  • Others:
    • Screening for vending machines
    • non-perishable snacks
    • Medicare or health insurance card
    • Elastics if you have long hair
    • Sugar free mints because some women feel nauseous during birth
    • Hard candies to alleviate dry mouth

My Nice to Have List

  • A fan (if you deliver in the summer, it will be handy)
  • Lip balm
  • Hairdryer
  • Light reading like magazines
  • Tablet
  • Relaxing music or mediation app (there are even hypnosis apps specifically made for pregnant women and delivery)
  • Relaxation tools such as back massager or stress relief squeeze ball
  • Earplugs

Babies’ Checklist

If this is your first pregnancy, you might overthink the whole process. Newborns don’t need that much at the beginning. I would also you check with your hospital to see what might be provided for your babies. In my case, the hospital supplied baby bottles (the first few days, they took about 5ml every 2 hours, wohoo!). They had newborn diapers for the first day or so but they told me that I must supply my own. You should also check the rules regarding clothing. Some hospitals have rules concerning clothing newborns. Also, if your babies are put on monitors, the medical team must have quick access to install the equipment.

The good news is that newborns don’t require that much, which is a great thing since you have to bring everything is double.

Their Must Have List

  • Clothing:
    • Pajamas, I would suggest at least 3 per baby and in different size
    • Socks or booties
    • Mittens
    • Hats, many hospitals will provide 1 hand-knitted hat per baby
    • Going home clothes appropriate for the season. Note newborns are very sensitive to cold
  • Other:
    • Receiving blankets
    • Newborn diapers
    • Wipes for sensitive skin
    • Pacifier although most hospitals can provide, parents may prefer to have their own
    • Infant car seat with head support because you will not be allowed to leave the hospital before they have been tested.

Daddy’s Checklist

When you think of hospital bag, we think of the mommy and babies but not necessarily daddy. Most likely, he will be sleeping at the hospital for a night or two, he will need to pack a few things. Nowadays, hospitals are making an effort to accommodate the dads so he can be present to share the experience and also to help us transit into parenthood. Again in my case, my husband had the extreme pleasure to spending 20 nights on some sort of cot with a thin mattress. After a few days, even the janitor pitied him and brought him a second mattress.

His Must Have List

  • Clothing
    • Pajama
    • Change of clothes
  • Toiletries
    • Toothbrush
    • Dental paste
    • Deodorant
    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
  • Entertainment
    • Cellphone
    • Cellphone charger
    • Earphones
  • Others:
    • Prescription medication

His Nice to Have List

  • Camera, charger and memory card (if you are not using your cellphone)
  • Snacks
  • Tablet

Final Thoughts

If you want my advice, instead of packing a 30 in with everything inside, pack different bags for different people. I found that it is easier to find what you are looking for. In my case, I divided the babies’ bag into 2 separate bags. That way, I didn’t have to unpack the diapers to find a pj. Generally, hospital rooms are not equipped with closets and space to unpack so you will most likely leave your things in your bag and open it as needed. That’s why it’s better to open smaller bags rather than I large one. When your bags are all completed, I suggest you keep them either in your car or safely at home near your front door. You don’t want to be caught leaving for the hospital in the heat of the moment and forgetting something.

Please feel free to comment below and suggest your “must have”, it will be my pleasure to hear from you!

I invite you to leave comments with your must have items.

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