My Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist
BY VALERIE ROBINSON
Congratulations on entering your third trimester! Now is a good time as any to put that hospital bag together and have it on stand-by in a very convenient location for when go-time strikes. I recommend having your hospital bag ready by the time you hit 35 weeks, assuming you’re perfectly healthy and don’t anticipate any surprises with the duration of your pregnancy. If you’re already having discussions with your OB about scheduling an induction or any other interventions that means you won’t be going past 37 weeks, I would recommend having your bag ready by about 32 weeks to be safe.
We just moved to a new house that has a laundry room between the foyer and the garage. We go through the garage frequently, so I’ll be keeping our bags there. Find a spot like that in your home that’s easily accessible for you to grab and go. I know people that keep their hospital bag in their car, which is extra convenient! I just don’t do that because I’m so big on including snacks, and I don’t want them to be all warm and yucky between now and then.
I want to highlight that you don’t need to overthink or overpack your hospital bag. Think about the things that the hospital definitely won’t provide you during your stay and branch out from there. This will minimize your feeling overwhelmed by all this stuff in your room that you ended up not needing. It may be tempting to include things like pillows and blankets from home, but I caution against this because, let’s face it, hospitals can be kind of gross, and do you really want to put your pillow on the couch that other people have slept on? The hospital will provide wipes, diapers, and a couple of blankets for your newborn. I can’t emphasize this enough: Leave your diaper and baby wipe stash at home! Save them for later – you’re going to need them! The diapers and wipes you’re receiving from the hospital are part of what you’re paying for, so make the most of it. Typically, they opt for Pampers brand.
They’ll also provide some recovery items for mom (Dermoplast, spray bottle, cheap disposable underwear, and diapers with some ice in them), but these items aren’t ideal. I highly suggest getting the FridaMom Labor and Delivery Recovery kit. Their disposable underwear is very comfortable yet durable, and they have perfected the ice pack maxi pad. You can order extras, which I also recommend, separately.
All of those little tidbits being said, I put together a foolproof ultimate hospital bag checklist, not just for mom-to-be, but for dad (or support person), baby, and included an additional page for anything else you need to keep track of! I wanted to put this together because I know how overwhelming some of the lists online can be, making you feel like you have to pack A TON of stuff to be prepared. And most of these hardly ever include something separate for dad. I still remember getting back from the hospital and my husband going over all the things he’d wished he had during his stay. This checklist is a downloadable PDF, so you can print it out and write on it. I hope you find it helpful and that it serves you well. Good luck with your very special delivery; you’re going to do great!
Find the downloadable checklist below to jumpstart curating your delivery bag!