The arrival of your new son or daughter is a time of excitement and joy. It's often also a hectic time, so it can be difficult to remember to pack everything that you need at the hospital.
About a month before the baby's due date, you should make sure you have the following items. Pack as many beforehand as you can. Use the following checklist as a guide to get organized for the big event.
Items for Mom
The hospital will supply you with a gown, slippers, disposable underwear, and basic toiletries. While it’s nice to have your own clothes with you, labor and the first few days postpartum are a notoriously messy time, and you may not want to bring out your brand-new lingerie. Items you should bring:
Comfortable and loose fitting clothing to wear home
Items for Baby
Going home outfit for baby
Warm clothing to wear home and a heavy bunting or blanket (if the weather is cold)
Baby hat (especially for cold weather climates)
Baby car seat. (Call the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT for more information on the safety rating of a particular model.) A car seat is required by law and should be properly installed in your car before you go to the hospital.
Items for Labor Coach
Stopwatch or watch with a second hand for timing contractions
Phone list of contacts to announce your baby’s birth to friends and family; cell phone, phone card, calling card, or change for calls
Snacks and drinks for the coach, and, if allowed by the hospital, for you
Massage rollers, massage oils to relieve back pain due to labor
The object you've chosen to use to focus your attention during labor (the "focal point")
Items for Hospital Staff
Health plan insurance card
Hospital admissions papers (you may have to be pre-admitted)
Pregnancy medical file; over-the-counter and prescription medication information
Contact information of the doctor who will be caring for your baby, so the hospital can let the office know your baby has arrived
Other Important Items
Money for parking
Camera -- still, video, or both -- film, batteries, videotapes
Music (portable music player and favorite tapes or CDs)
Items that comfort or soothe you, such as such as crystals, prayer beads, lockets, and photographs
Melanie N. Smith, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.