Its 2:56am and baby is on the way! You quickly grab your bag and are on your way. As you rush to the hospital, the last thing on your mind is the contents of your hospital bag. Though it might sound crazy, packing your bag at least a month in advance is a great way to make sure you have everything you need for the big day.
When Should You Pack Your Hospital Bag?
You should have your hospital bag ready to go between weeks 32 and 35 of your pregnancy, in case your baby comes a bit earlier than expected.
A good time to start the packing process is around the 28 week mark, or at the start of your 3rd trimester. A checklist can help, so we created this one to make sure you don’t forget any essentials for baby’s arrival!
What Should You Pack in Your Hospital Bag?
Here is a checklist of essential items to pack in your hospital bag so it is ready to go well before baby’s arrival.
1. Clothes to Wear During Delivery and After Giving Birth
Comfy pj’s, a cozy robe, and fuzzy slippers are a must. You’re not going to want to wear that stiff hospital gown the whole time, so make sure you have some comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and possibly throwing away after your stay at the hospital. Having cozy items like a robe and socks will make the cold hospital environment seem a little more comfortable. Plus, an open-front robe will make breastfeeding more convenient.
Some expecting mothers opt to get a maternity hospital gown. Maternity hospital gowns have many benefits during labor and delivery. They can help mom feel beautiful, because they are often more stylish than a regular hospital gown. They can also take the place of anopen-front robe for breastfeeding.
2. Camera, Phone, & Chargers
This is an extremely special moment that your are definitely going to want to document. If you’re planning to bring a camera, be sure to pack it in your bag, along with the necessary chargers, batteries, memory cards, etc. Also, make sure you have your phone and charger packed so you can send your family updates as you welcome your baby into the world!
After all that time in labor, you’re going to want to freshen up a bit before the visitors start rolling in and the camera comes out. Pack some face wipes, a toothbrush, hair brush, and any makeup you may want.
4. A Nursing Bra
A nursing bra, or a bra one size up from your pregnancy size for moms who plan on bottle feeding, is a necessity. You’re going to be nursing right away, so make sure you are prepared!
Baby may take its time coming into the world, so make sure you have some things to distract you while you wait. Whether it be your favorite magazine, a deck of cards, or your favorite series on Netflix, make sure you have something fun to pass the time.
6. Snacks & Treats
You probably won’t be able to eat before or during labor. However, the last thing you want after giving birth is to dine on hospital food. Pack some of your favorite snacks to munch on, or if you have time, bake your favorite cookies to indulge in post-baby. You’ll be glad you did!
7. Outfit for Baby To Wear Home
This is a no brainer: of course baby needs an adorable first-day-home outfit!
8. Something for Mom to Wear Home
You are going to want a fresh outfit to put on for the ride home. Something comfortable – and cute – would be the best option.
9. Insurance Card, ID & Birth Plan
You are probably thinking, Duh! But you would be surprised how often people forget these very essential items to take out of your daily bag and put in your hospital bag.
10. Your Cord Blood Collection Kit
If you are going to be collecting your baby’s cord blood, make sure you have your kit in your hospital bag. Like the other things in your bag, the hospital doesn’t provide your Americord Collection Kit. It is easy to accidentally leave it home during the hospital rush. Should you go into labor before receiving your kit, Americord will hand deliver your kit to you at the hospital.
What’s in the Cord Blood Collection kit:
The Americord Collection Kit supplies all you need for a proper cord blood or tissue collection at the time of your delivery. If you’re in a rush for a kit, easily access our emergency collection kit via the rush program. Kits are stored near most hospitals for same-day delivery, which is perfect for clients experiencing an early or unexpected delivery. It offers the same 3-in-1 kit, but on your time and for your needs.
Learn more about cord blood banking and sign up to download your free info kit today!