As your due date approaches, it’s normal to be conflicted with both excitement and anxiousness. After all, there’s a lot to prepare for the big day! Whether it’s your first or second baby, you can never be too ready for your trip to give birth. We’ve compiled a checklist to help you prepare for the baby’s arrival.
When To Pack
Doulas and birth coaches may recommend different times to prepare your hospital bag, but we recommend having it ready 10-14 days before your due date in case you go into labor early. Prepping your hospital bag will give you peace of mind and help relax you in the upcoming weeks before the baby arrives.
We also recommend giving a checklist to your partner in the event you go into unexpected child labor! This way, if your hospital bag isn’t packed, your partner or family members will know what to pack for you.
How To Prepare For The Unexpected
Your hospital bag should include items that will make you feel more comfortable should you have a long labor or unexpected delivery. Include your birth plan to help communicate your goals and expectations to new doctors or nurses, and pack additional clothing for more extended stays than planned.
Preparing for the unexpected is a crucial part of your hospital bag – just in case things don’t go exactly to plan.
We’ve put together a list of ten of the most important things for you to include in your hospital bag. Feel free to include additional resources that will add to your overall comfort during labor and post-labor.
Don’t forget to pack your hospital paperwork! Your doctor can instruct what exact paperwork you’ll need; However, this will include your photo identification, health insurance, and birthing paperwork in most places. Make sure everything is filled out to minimize the work you have to do during the labor process.
Let’s face it: Hospital pillows just aren’t that comfortable. When you’re in the middle of your labor, you’ll wish you had your comfortable pillow from home. Trust us on this one! This small addition to your hospital bag will make a massive difference in your comfort level and help you rest between contractions.
Long labor can undoubtedly get boring – packing entertainment can help pass the time as you wait for the arrival of your new bundle of joy. Consider packing books, magazines, and an iPad to access reading materials and games.
When it comes to comfortable clothing, you’ll want to be generous during the packing process. Pack a nightgown for after delivery, plenty of nursing bras, and a comfortable outfit to wear home. Pack an additional pair of clothes in the event that your hospital stay is longer than originally intended.
Diapers and Wipes
There’s one thing your baby will need immediately: Diapers and wipes. Pack a fair share of newborn diapers and wipes to make your sweet new addition comfortable.
Onesie for Baby
Depending on the hospital’s regulations you’re birthing at, there will likely be specific rules about what your baby can leave the hospital wearing. Consult with your doctor about what type of clothing to bring your newborn. We recommend onesies that fasten in the front for easy dressing.
You’ll want to feel a bit of normalcy after hard labor! Bring face wash, moisturizer, a toothbrush, and toothpaste. Whatever toiletries will help you feel good after child birth is good to bring in your hospital bag.
If your family knows you’re in labour, it’s likely that they will be calling to check up on you and the baby. You’ll also probably want photos of your beautiful new babe! Labour can be long and hard – and often trying on your phone battery. Make sure to pack a charger so your phone doesn’t run out of juice midway.
Have hard copies of your birth plan available for doctors and nurses in case last-minute questions come up. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page during labor and delivery. After all, you’ve probably spent significant time planning your birth, and now it’s time to share that information!
There are few things more exciting (and rewarding) than childbirth. Being prepared for such a monumental moment in your life will offer you peace of mind and a sense of calmness, which is why we recommend having a well-stocked hospital bag two weeks in advance of your due date.
After you’re done packing your bag, you’ll be ready to welcome your new addition to the world!