Every parent thinks they'll be totally prepared and ready to go to the hospital at a moment's notice during those final days and weeks of pregnancy, but the truth is that moms and dads are all too often caught completely off-guard by the sudden breaking of the water and the beginning of the birthing process.
This leaves them scrambling for everything they think they'll need for the hospital, which, of course, will almost always result in something important getting left behind. It doesn't have to be this way, though! You can prevent this mad dash through the house in search of all your essentials by packing a hospital bag beforehand.
Generally, a good rule of thumb is to begin packing a hospital bag after the start of the third trimester and before the 35-week mark. That way, even if the baby starts to come earlier than expected, everything will still be packed and ready for the hospital — no scrambling around the house required. But this raises an important question: What do you pack in your baby hospital bag to ensure a delivery that is as stress-free as possible?
To help you out during this exciting time, we've compiled a handy hospital bag checklist for baby and mom.
Mom Hospital Bag Checklist
- Luxury travel-sized spares. Instead of just throwing in your usual bargain store toiletries, pamper yourself and splurge on some luxury body wash, face creams, toothpaste, and such. Also, don't forget nipple cream, breast pads, hair ties, and moisturizing lip balm — you won't regret it.
- Your birthing plan. You don't want to forget this. Bring a few copies so everyone can be on the same page (literally).
- Comfortable clothes. This one is major. It could be as simple as a soft tank top with some loose-fitting sweatpants, a sports bra or nursing bra to go underneath, and a nice pair of cozy slippers or socks to go with it. There's no need to go all out here — Your comfort is what matters most. If you're planning on taking photos at the hospital, you can always pack a nicer (but still comfy) outfit just in case you want to feel more polished.
- Your own pillow and towel. This one speaks for itself. Yours will always be more comfortable than the hospital's! If you have a favorite blanket, be sure to bring that as well. You'll want all the comforts you can get those first two days.
Other Things That Are Nice To Have
- A camera. You might not feel like it at the moment, but you'll definitely want to capture those moments before, during, and after the birth of your new baby. The pixsee Smart Baby Camera can help make this easy by using AI to automatically capture and organize photos, starting from the date of birth.
- Props for baby's first photos. In addition to the camera, you might want to grab some special items to use as props for baby's first photos at the hospital. This might include a family heirloom, keepsake bodysuit, a hand-knitted hat by a family member, or a baby rattle that once belonged to relatives. It is by no means a necessity, but something to consider if you feel so inclined.
- Cash for parking. You'd be surprised how many forget this one!
- Healthy snacks and favorite foods. Keeping your energy up is important once baby arrives. You know what they say about hospital food! Bring something salty, something sweet, something savory, and something with protein too. A reusable water bottle wouldn’t hurt, either.
- Breast pump if you're nursing. If you're planning on nursing, there can be a lot of unknowns until you and your baby fall into a routine. One potential setback can happen if all of your milk comes in at once and your breasts get so full that baby can't latch on. While you can attempt to drain excess milk on your own, having a breast pump handy can be a lifesaver.
- A journal for capturing early emotions. Having a baby is an incredibly profound and emotional time in your life, one like no other. A great way to collect those early thoughts and feelings is by journaling them in the moment. You can also have friends and family write their first impressions as well.
The Bottom Line: Packing for a Stress-Free Labor
The arrival of a newborn is one of the most exciting and fun times in a parent's life, and packing a bag beforehand will help make that experience all the more enjoyable and all the less stressful. Hopefully, by following this hospital bag checklist for baby and mom, you'll have everything packed and ready to go at a moment's notice.
Of course, feel free to tweak the baby hospital bag checklist according to your specific and unique needs. For example, if you’re having a natural birth versus a planned caesarean section, you’ll want to pack accordingly for comfort items.
The time spent in the hospital goes by quickly, and you’ll soon be taking your new bundle of joy home. While this is an exciting time, it’s also common to feel a bit nervous about your first few days home with baby. A smart baby monitor can help give you peace of mind as it tracks baby’s sleep, room humidity and temperature, decodes your baby’s cries, and provides crystal clear night vision so you can check on baby without worrying about waking them.
pixsee, can also capture precious moments with your newborn as it snaps pictures and video both automatically and via the app. With pixsee, you never have to worry about missing a moment. It’s the hands-free and stress-free way to create a digital baby growth record that you can look back on and cherish for years to come.