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A Hospital Bag Checklist: What to Pack for Labor and Delivery

A Hospital Bag Checklist: What to Pack for Labor and Delivery

As your due date approaches, it's great to have your hospital bag packed and ready to go at the front door. But there are so many lists out there about what to pack. We know - we’ve read them or written them (may we recommend the fabulous What [Not] to Pack in Your Hospital Bag and What to Bring to the Hospital When Having a Baby?).

Since life can be incredibly busy during this period, and you may not feel like reading a thousand hospital bag rundowns, here's a super-quick list of the things we were most glad to have brought to the hospital:

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Phone charger - Any packing-your-bag list will include a charger for your phone, but if you have (or can borrow) a portable phone charger, we highly recommend it. Outlets can be hard to reach, and you’ll want a charged phone for all those photos and videos you’re about to take.

Snacks - Hospitals get a bad rap, but they can have good food (not-so-humble brag: one of us got warm chocolate chip cookies multiple times a day). Whether or not the food’s great, it’s a good idea to have your favorite snacks so you can get some energy without having to send someone to the vending machines. 

Pillow - Your fave pillow with a super-soft pillowcase and your perfectly formed indentations. Anything to help you get some rest (and avoid crunchy hospital pillows).

Toiletries - Bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, a hairbrush, lip balm, and moisturizer. Some hospitals provide these things, but from personal experience, we know there’s nothing worse than not being able to comb your hair after that first shower because you used the hospital conditioner.

Nipple cream - Get the nipple cream, nipple butter, nipple ointment, or lanolin going right away. Even with second, third, or fourth babies, your nipples will likely be sore and cracked.

Medical documents - Don't forget your birth plan (we recommend two copies, although you often end up just telling the care team), ID, insurance card, and any other paperwork. 

Entertainment - While we had no time to read the Great American Novels we packed, we did love celebrity magazines (and one of us watched an entire season of Fleabag when she should have been sleeping).

A cute outfit for your baby to wear home - We’re not talking taffeta, but a cute little outfit is perfect (maybe a onesie and some leggings?), and you’ll remember and cherish it for the rest of your life. Since many hospitals have diapers (for you and baby), wipes, onesies, and swaddles/receiving blankets, we recommend calling to find out what’s provided - you might be able to pack really light (for the last time ever!). And don't forget an infant car seat for the trip home.

Breast pump - Your hospital may have a lactation consultant on staff who can show you how to nurse - and how to pump. While it’s helpful to practice on the hospital-grade pump they might use, we loved getting tutorials on the actual pumps we’d be using at home. 

Hair ties or clips - Yes, if you forget or lose your hair clip, your nurses can probably find you something, but it’s really nice to have the hair things you actually like when you’re laboring. 

Flip-flops or slippers - Hospital floors aren’t the best. They’re often pretty cold, and many hospitals require footwear of some sort if you want to take a walk.

And, finally, comfortable clothing - Think maternity pajamas, easy nursing tops - loose, baggy, ultra-soft. And don't forget comfy socks (because hospital socks aren’t the best either). 

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Our Labor & Delivery Essentials Bundle has some of our favorite clothes to bring to the hospital, conveniently bundled for a great discount. You’ll save over $75 and get nine pieces that’ll take you from the hospital to home, bringing supreme comfort to those first moments with your new bundle of joy. Here’s what’s in it:

We kinda packed your hospital bag for you, huh?! Of course, personalize based on your individual needs and preferences. But, mom to mom: you really don’t need that much. Just pack way ahead of time to get it off your mind (so you can focus on preparing for that little love’s arrival).

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