Getting ready to meet baby? Still aren’t 100% sure what to pack in your hospital bag for a natural birth? Fret not, for we’re going to take a good look at everything you need in your hospital bag for mom, dad, and baby.
Packed & Ready By 36 Weeks
In an ideal world, you’ll have your bags (it’s a good idea to have two, one for during labor, one for afterward) packed and ready to go when you’re 36 weeks pregnant. Why? You won’t have to rush to get ready if you go into labor before your due date.
But if you’re sitting here thinking “Well, I’m at (or even past) 36 weeks pregnant and I don’t have it sorted”, there’s nothing to stress about. You more than likely have everything you need at home, it’s just a case of popping it into a duffel bag or suitcase, or two.
Here’s everything you’ll need to make your natural birthing experience as easy as possible.
Natural Birth Hospital Bag
Mom, you and baby are the most important part of all this. But you won’t be able to look after baby if you don’t have the things you’ll need and the things that make you feel ready and confident. So, let’s start with you.
- Your birth plan: It’s worth having a few copies of this. One will be used for your chart, one might be taped to your room’s door, and one will be for your midwife or nurse. If you want to get super organized, highlight the bits that matter most.
- Insurance documents: Depending on your situation, the specific documents will differ. You’ll have all this sorted by now, just remember to pop it in the back.
- Birthing Ball: This will help keep you comfy by distributing your weight evenly and taking the pressure off your perineum and thighs.
- Rebozo: You’ll thank us later. This helps relax your ligaments and abdominal muscles, allows you to breathe effectively during labor, and helps the baby shift into the optimal position.
- Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, chapstick, face wipes, and anything else that will help you to feel clean and comfy while at the hospital.
- Pillows: If you’re not picky about pillows, don’t bother with the extra bulk. But, if you, make sure to put a colored pillowcase on your home pillow so it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital ones.
- Hairbrush and Clips or Scrunchies and Headbands: You’ll get sweaty at some point. Clips or headbands can help make you more comfortable when this inevitably happens.
- Massage Oil: This isn’t a necessity for some people, but other moms swear by it.
- Aromatherapy Supplies: If you like essential oil diffusers or sprays, don’t forget them. They’ll give you a taste of home.
- Glasses: Because you probably won’t want to fiddle around with contacts when those contractions keep coming.
- Music: Sometimes the hospital will provide this for you, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Snacks: Bring both savory and sweet foods, as you never know what you might fancy when the time comes.
- Drinks: Water, juice, and an electrolyte drink are perfect.
- Clothes: It’s worth packing a nursing bra if you’re breastfeeding, and comfy clothes to go home in, postpartum leggings, slipper socks, slip-on shoes, and maybe a robe.
- Phone Charging Cord: Nine times out of ten, hospital beds are ridiculously far from outlets, so you’ll want as long of a charging cord as you can find. Or, hubby can always plug your phone in and deliver it back to you when it’s ready.
- Nipple Cream: For moms-to-be who are wanting to breastfeed, you’ll need a good nipple cream.
- Adult Diapers: The hospital will give you maxi pads, but many moms have found it more comfortable and convenient to wear adult diapers.
Yup, this list might be shorter than you were expecting. But many soon-to-be parents overestimate things their newborn baby needs at the hospital. You should be more than fine with the following:
- Car Seat: Install this in the safest place for an infant car seat, (middle rear) three weeks before your due date. That way, it won’t be a rush when baby enters the world. (You can’t leave the hospital without this, inspected and passed.)
- Clothes: Add two different-sized outfits in your bag for baby. Depending on the weather, you’ll need hats, too.
- Doctor’s Contact Info: The hospital staff will ask for this at various points so it makes life easier to pack a hard copy.
- Bottles: If you’re bottle-feeding from the get-go, pack two (at least). If you’re using formula, too, make sure you bring a sample of your chosen brand.
- Diapers: Your hospital will have these for you, and you should ask for them and other things they can provide you with. But bring some just in case.
- Receiving blanket: They’re the perfect size for swaddling.
Aside from the obvious toothbrush, dad will need some stuff too.
- Swim Trunks: To help with mom’s contractions in the shower.
- Video Camera: Not a necessity, but to capture the experience, don’t forget the camera.
- Book/iPad/Headphones: If there’s some downtime, you’ll need some entertainment.
- Sleeping bag and pillow: Make sure it’s lightweight and easy to carry. Hospital sheets can be scratchy.
- Drinks & Snacks: Your favorite healthy snacks, juices, and water.
- Clothes: Comfortable and easy to put on. You don’t want to be faffing around with jeans and a belt after your baby has arrived.
When your bags are all packed, you’ll be ready to face labor and meet your gorgeous baby.