I wrote a highly viewed post about what to take to the hospital and have for the recovery period that no one ever talks about here. It is called 11 Secrets to Have in Your Labor Bag (That you probably haven’t heard of) – For Women ONLY. So I’ll just mention those 11 things as one bullet point on the following list… just make sure to check out the 11-item list because there are lots of important things to take with you -or make sure the hospital will provided you with. You can download the Labor Bag Checklist for free below.
- 11 Secrets to Have in Your labor bag items-
please see the link for important recovery and comfort items not mentioned on this list.
- hair ties
- facial wipes
- nursing bra
- nursing pads
- essential oils & diffuser or humidifier- This is if you are going into labor in a very dry place… i.e. winter in Utah. I was really wishing I had taken something like a humidifier or diffuser when I had my son in December because hospitals are extremely dry and the dry cold weather made it even worse… scratchy throat, chapped lips, sinus issues etc. Thus, I’ll be packing this diffuser for our next baby (due in December as well). I’ll also be taking a combo of essential oils which really help with my nausea (peppermint, lemon, and lavender) because I get really nauseous before I have my baby. UPDATE on second labor- I loved having my diffuser there! It made the room smell really nice (especially nice for company), helped combat nausea, and put moisture in the air.
- Tums (if you battle acid reflux)
- Preggie pops or suckers to suck on if you are planning on getting an epidural and would like something to suck on (if they allow you to).
- Honey sticks (great for energy but not filling-marathon runners eat honey during races)
- Pregnancy pillow (if you think you’ll be there for awhile). I wished I had had mine because I was in the hospital for 6 days. Plus, you can sit on it on the ride home. Some readers have suggested a hemorrhoid pillow like this for the ride home from the hospital and the days afterwards. One reader said you can ask the hospital for a donut pillow or call ahead to see if they provide them.
- Cell phone
- Phone charger
- baby book- if you want to get the baby’s feet stamped in the book.
- comfortable clothes and shoes. I love having non-slip slippers for walking around the hospital because my feet swell from the IV fluids and my other shoes won’t fit.
- stay-over hygiene stuff: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, brush etc.
- Insurance cards
- Paperwork needed
- swaddle blanket, You aren’t supposed to take the hospital blankets home (I love these Aden and Anais swaddle blankets)
- car seat (make sure it is not expired)
- If you are giving labor in winter or fall this car seat cover is a must have (in my opinion). We LOVED it for our son and now we love it for our daughter.
- Hat for baby
- baby gloves to prevent them from scratching themselves all over and/or nail clippers.
- Two baby ‘going home’ outfits in case of a blowout or leak right before you leave.
- Nose Frieda snot sucker… my son was always congested and this was a total life saver even when he was a little newborn.
- A few diapers for the ride home if needed (usually the hospital provides these).
- Wipes (usually the hospital provides these)
- Binkies- try a variety of kinds. My son would only take to these. But I have friends whose babies took to other brands like NUK and Avent.
- Another item I discovered recently is the Owlet Baby Monitor. It is a smart sock that monitors the baby’s oxygen just like a hospital monitors oxygen through our skin. It alerts you if the baby’s oxygen levels drop and has very plausibly saved two of my friend’s babies! It’s simply amazing! You can read an honest and unbiased review on it here. Or here. Click here to buy or to learn more about Owlet.
- phone charger
- camera charger or batteries
- a couple of outfits
- hygiene items
- sleepover hygiene stuff: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, brush etc.
If you have other children that will be going to grandma and grandpas or the sitters it is good to have them packed before-hand as well. Of course this list will vary based on your child here are a few things I’ll be packing for our 2 year old.
- favorite stuffed animal
- car seat
- sippy cups
- favorite DVDs
Need a list of items to have at home? Here is a baby checklist which also contains substitutions for less needed items.
Make sure to check out that post of 11 Secrets to Have in Your Labor Bag before getting packed and see if you hospital will provide the items mentioned.
A few people in the comments have said I way over packed. But I had everything on this list (besides the birthing ball) PLUS all of my kids’ dad’s overnight and my overnight stuff, and the babies outfits and things in one large suitcase. It really didn’t look ridiculous to come in with one suitcase and a birthing ball at all. We also had the car seat that he brought in later. UPDATE– during my daughters birth almost all of these items came in super handy. I was glad to have packed them.
Did I miss anything? If so, leave a comment below!
Are you more of a minimalist? If yes, this post is for you.
If you haven’t yet, you’ll want to check out this post about 11 secrets to have in your labor bag here.