The Maternity Hospital Checklist: What to Pack for Mum, Dad, and Baby
Knowing what to pack for the maternity hospital doesn’t have to be stressful. There’s a lot of confusing information out there about what to bring and what not to bring. To help you out, we have rounded up the ultimate maternity hospital checklist.
If you’re overwhelmed and ready to pack a moving truck, you have come to the right place.
From what to wear to what you need for the baby, we’ll go over all the hospital essentials. We’ll also let you know which things you can leave at home. Let’s get your maternity hospital bag packed.
Essential Cards and IDs
No matter which way you give birth, there are a few things you’ll need to make sure you pack. These essentials are must-haves in your maternity bag.
Before you leave the house make sure you have your wallet. This may seem silly but you’ll be rushed and a little pre-occupied when you go to the hospital. Even pre-planned labour will leave you scatterbrained.
Double-check your identification card or driver’s licence is in your wallet. You’ll also want to bring your insurance card and your Medicare card. If you have a partner, they can also pack these things, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Things to Help You Relax
Although labour isn’t the most relaxing, you will have some downtime in most cases. Whether you’re waiting for surgery, waiting for the doctor, or waiting for baby, there is always some waiting involved.
Bring some things to help you relax. This can be music, some podcasts to listen to, magazines, or a good book. Even if you’re only thinking about the baby or the labour pain, it will help to give your mind a break.
A stress ball can also help. You can squeeze it in your bed or while you walk the halls. This can help take some pressure off. If you like doodling or writing to pass the time, you can include a notepad and pen too.
You can also save some articles and resources to review while you wait. You’ll likely have a long list of questions forming as you wait for baby.
Headbands or Clips
When you’re in labour, you don’t want your hair to get in the way. Pack a couple of headbands, hair ties, or clips to keep it off of your face. These are handy for after birth as well.
Maternity Hospital Snacks
Giving birth is hard work. When you combine that with any necessary pre-birth fasting advised by your doctor and/or nerves, it may be a while before you eat. Just in case your mealtime at the hospital is far off, bring some post-birth snacks.
These are great for your partner as well. Bring snacks that are easy to eat without a refrigerator. Nuts, trail mix, and bars are all great options. Apples and bananas also don’t need to go in the fridge.
Bring a little treat for yourself too. Your favourite chocolate will taste extra delicious that first night in the hospital.
At first, you’ll be wearing your hospital gown after birth. Depending on your labour, you can change that evening or the next morning if you’d like to. Don’t rush getting dressed if you aren’t up for it.
After labour, your favourite robe is a good thing to throw in your bag. You can wear it over your hospital gown or your pajamas. A pretty robe is a nice way to feel covered when visitors come as well.
When you’re ready to change, make sure your clothes are comfortable. You won’t want anything too form-fitting or tight. You’ll still be healing after birth.
Pack slippers and comfortable socks as well. The hospital is often cold. When you are going home, stretchy pants and a comfortable shirt is all you need.
Preparing Maternity Bag Toiletries
While you probably aren’t putting on a full face of makeup after you give birth, bring a few of your staple toiletries.
This includes things such as your toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, and facial cleanser. Just a nice face wash will feel incredible after birth.
An important inclusion to toiletries is maternity pads. The hospital may have provisions they can give you but it’s usually recommended you bring your own which are specifically designed for post-birth.
A chapstick or lip gloss, deodorant, and body spray are also nice to have. Remind your partner to bring their toiletries as well.
For Dad or Your Partner
While you and your baby are the stars of the show, your partner will also need a few key items. Aside from their toiletries, pack them some extra snacks. They can also use extra comfortable clothes.
If they are sleeping in the room with you, they may want to bring their own pillow. Have them pack a camera as well to capture photos of your sweet little addition.
What To Pack for Baby
Your baby is given almost everything they need in the hospital. There is really no need to pack nappies or a ton of clothes and blankets. The hospital will give you everything you need.
If you’re breastfeeding, they can also give you a pump if needed. You are always welcome to bring your own as well. In terms of bottles, you can bring your own or the hospital will give you them.
The hospital will even give your baby onesies, blankets, and hats. The newborn photo clothes and going home outfit are things you’ll want to pack, however.
For the ride home, you can also have your nappy bag packed. This can stay in the car or be brought in before you leave.
Most importantly, you’ll need to bring your car seat. This will be inspected before you leave the hospital to make sure your baby gets home safely.
Another important thing is to remember to bring some nappies and wipes. The hospital will give you them and even a few for the ride home, but as you’ll soon learn – you may go through your supplies quicker than you think and do not want to be caught without.
If you plan on nursing your baby, you may find it helpful to bring your nursing pillow or pregnancy pillow. You can also bring your cover if you’ll feel more comfortable. If needed, the hospital has pumps and bottles, but you are welcome to bring your own.
Nipple cream is also helpful to have on hand. You may experience dryness and pain in the first couple of weeks while nursing. A good cream will provide some much-needed relief.
If your supply comes in on the heavy side, bring some nursing pads. These will help keep your clothes dry. A nursing bra is also good to have in your bag.
Nursing bras provide easy access for both you and your baby. These also help give you support as your body adjusts.
Some hospitals provide newborn photography. You can also hire your own if you choose. If you’re having photos taken, you’ll want to pack something for your baby, you, and your partner to wear.
Keep it simple for everyone. A blanket and a head covering are often all you need. You can bring a sweet blanket or hat in whatever style you’d like.
If you and your partner are also in the photos, pack something for you both. Your photographer will often have baskets or signs to use in the photos as well. Keep it simple and sweet for these precious memories.
The Going Home Outfit
The going home outfit is a fun milestone as a new mum. Your little bundle of joy is finally out and ready to take on the world. You’ll want a comfortable outfit for the ride home.
Don’t forget a photo for the baby book and fans at home. Your baby is usually only days old when they leave the hospital. There’s no need for complicated or intricate outfits.
If the weather is warm, pick light clothing. A baby’s body temperature tends to run colder than adults in the winter. A hat and socks or footed pants can help them keep their body heat.
Bring a blanket as well. Use it to cover the baby while you get in and out of the car if it’s raining. Don’t put any heavy jackets on the baby. Too many layers will interfere with the safety of your car seat.
If your baby starts using a dummy in the hospital you can bring one or take on with you for the ride home. It can also be helpful for you to sit with a pillow while your partner drives. If you have a C-section, it can feel nice to hug it as you go over bumps.
Maternity Hospital Checklist
As an expecting mum, it can be overwhelming packing for the hospital. When it comes to the maternity hospital checklist, there’s no one-size-fits-all list. There are, however, a few things most mums would like to have and a few they’d never pack a second time around.
For more great parenting resources, nutrition information, and organic products, head to the shop now page here. You’ll be connected with tips, guides, great products for baby, and a village of resources.
This article is designed to provide general advice for parents and guardians, for specific health advice, please consult with your child’s healthcare practitioner.