Q: What do I need to take to the hospital for my delivery?
A: I usually recommend that my patients pack a bag around 34 to 35 weeks, just in case their little bundle comes a bit earlier than expected. And keep it light! Most people pack as if they are going off to summer camp for a month, but there isn't really that much to bring. Here's a list to help you get started and to keep you organized. Have your partner back his or her own bag also.
Hospital Bag Packing List
- Insurance card, driver's license, picture ID
- Toiletries - your own toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, face soap, face lotion, and lip balm (lip balm is a life-saver during labor)
- Hair ties – if you have long hair
- Pillow - some women like to have their own pillows, but be forewarned that labor is messy
- Socks, Slippers, or Flip-flops – socks to wear during labor and then slippers or flip-flops to wear afterwards
- Robe - or your own pajamas/sleepwear, if you want to wear your own stuff after delivery (otherwise, you will be in a hospital gown during labor)
- Going Home outfit - select a comfy maternity outfit because your baby bump won't disappear for a few weeks
- Going Home baby outfit - a two-piece outfit is better than a "onesie," one-piece outfits will be uncomfortable since your baby will have his umbilical stump for a couple of weeks
- Food and drinks - check with your doctor about the hospital policy; some allow eating and drinking during labor but some don't
- iPod or music player - if it's allowed in the hospital
- Camera or video camera - to capture important moments and memories
- Pictures of your older kids - to decorate the room when the other kids visit
- A list of relatives and friends to be notified once the baby is born
- Cord blood (stem cell) kit - if you are banking your child's cord blood
- Anything else that will make you feel comfortable in labor
Also, have a bottle or two of Advil or Motrin at home, as well as large maxi pads. You will likely need these two things and it’s easier to have them on hand after you go home from the hospital or birthing center. Plus, make sure to install a baby seat in your car properly before labor. The hospital will only release the baby home in a vehicle that has an infant car seat installed correctly.