While things are calm, it may be a good time to start packing for the hospital to make your stay more comfortable.
- Comfortable clothes and a going-home outfit
Plan on packing about 3 outfits with comfortable, loose items that can be easily layered. Consider packing tops with openings or buttons in the front if you plan on breastfeeding. You’ll likely still look about 5 or 6 months pregnant post-delivery, so bring a roomy going-home outfit and a pair of flat, comfortable shoes.
Bring a pair of your most comfortable pyjama. Even better – two! It’s best to have a set of warm pyjama to help keep you comfortable.
- Robe or nightgown
Hospitals provide gowns and socks, but you may prefer to wear your own. A cute robe or nightgown keeps you covered and provides easy access when it comes time to breastfeed. It should have loose sleeves, so the nurses can easily check on your recovery. They also make robes that have matching blankets for the baby for your very first matching outfits.
- Socks and slippers
Bring a pair of comfortable slippers that can be easily laundered. Socks or slippers with traction are helpful for walking the hospital floors.
- Nursing items
These may include breast pads, nipple cream, and a nursing pillow. You may want to bring a nursing cover for when you have visitors.
- Pads and extra maternity underwear
The hospital will provide sanitary pads and mesh underwear for bleeding after delivery, but you may want to pack heavy-duty sanitary pads and cotton underwear that you don’t mind getting ruined. Make sure you have some at home, too.
If you’re having a C-section, consider high-waisted, C-section friendly underwear. Most normal underwear has a waistband that hits right where the incision is, so look for ones that are made specifically for C-section recovery.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, body wash, facial cleanser, moisturizer, and lip balm are necessities to make labour and your stay more comfortable.
You may want to bring your own shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, and a hairbrush. Don’t forget hair ties or a stretchy headband to help keep your hair out of your face during delivery. Pack your hair care products in small travel containers to keep your bag light.
Be sure to pack your glasses and extra contacts, lens cleaner, and contact solution and case.
Bring flip-flops for the hospital shower.
- Items to help you feel your best
These may include facial/body massage oils or lotions, back massager, stress-relieving squeeze ball and makeup. These items can help you stay relaxed and feeling like yourself.
- Soft pillows
Hospitals provide as many pillows as you want, but they may be uncomfortable. Pillows from home may help you relax and rest comfortably. Use coloured pillowcases, so they don’t get mixed up with the hospital pillows.
For Your Partner
- Comfortable clothes and going out/home outfit
Just like mom-to-be, you should plan to bring a couple of outfits for your stay at the hospital. Unlike mom, who will be spending a good amount of time resting, you might actually be going out in public, so you should keep that in mind when packing.
Each hospital is going to have a different setup for you. When you take your hospital tour before baby’s arrival, make sure you get a clear idea of the arrangements. This way, you’ll know if you should bring a few things from home to make yourself more comfortable (pillow, blanket, etc.). If you’re spending the night on a cot or just grabbing in a few winks on a rocker, a comfortable pillow will make all the difference.
Many hospitals do not provide food for partners, and even if they do, it’s always a good idea to bring along easy healthy snacks. You never know if hunger will strike in the middle of the night when the hospital canteen is closed.
- Water bottle
You and mom will need to keep hydrated, but often the hospital staff will have some limits on her fluid intake. Bring a refillable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated or bring other beverages to spice it up.
- Medications for you or your partner
Don't forget any needed medications for you or mom.
- Push present
A more recent trend, the push present is a gift that the partner gives mom right after the baby is born. Push presents can include jewellery, art, a gift certificate, or just anything your partner would appreciate.
For Your Baby
- Going-home outfit
The hospital will provide diapers but be sure to pack an outfit for your baby to wear home. You may want to pack a few different sized outfits since their size is still up in the air.
- Baby blanket
Be sure to pack a few warm, soft blankets for your baby. You may want one for swaddling your baby.
- Baby care items
These include baby wipes, socks, mittens and a hat.
- Baby book
Cherish first moments by getting your baby’s footprints in your baby book. You may also want to record some of your baby’s birth details.
- Phone and charger
Make sure you and your partner both have your phones and chargers when you head to the hospital. It’s also a good idea to bring charger cords that are at least 6 ft. long, so it can reach the plug behind the hospital bed. Consider clearing memory space on your phone before it’s time for the hospital, so you have plenty of room for new baby photos!
- Music and headphones
Create a few relaxing playlists before it’s time for the hospital. You may also want to put together an upbeat playlist to help get you through labour.
Your favourite shows or books may help you—and your partner—pass the time during a long labour.
- Snacks and drinks
After hours of labour, you’ll likely be pretty hungry. Biscuits, dried fruit, and bottled or flavoured water.
Picture ID, insurance information and hospital forms
- Books or magazines
- Cash and change
Bring cash and change for miscellaneous expenses
- An extra bag
You’ll likely be coming home with more stuff than you brought. Bring an extra bag for gifts and items from the hospital.
What NOT to Bring
- Jewellery and other valuable items
- Any clothing items that you don't want to ruin
- Any toys that may pose a danger to your baby
Leave behind any toys with small parts.
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