Hospital Checklist: What to Pack in Your Bag (2023)

ByJanroe CabilesOctober 3, 2023
mother and newborn baby in hospital
“When a woman gives birth, two are born: a baby from the womb of its mother, and a mother.”
For the mamas-to-be, to say that pregnancy is a roller coaster is an understatement. When you’re nearing the finish line, the rush of nerves and excitement is overwhelming. But it’s okay, mama! Being prepared always helps.
A big part of planning before your due date is getting your hospital bag ready! According to some mamas and OB-Gyne, you can pack your hospital bag for baby as early as your 28th week, but no later than your 37th! When the time comes to give birth, all you have to do is grab your bag and go.
Now we know we need to pack our bags for a worry-free delivery date, but do we need to pack? We’ve made a simple checklist for you on what to bring to the hospital so that there’s one less huge thing to worry about. Not only did we include all your new mama must-haves, but also items for your newborn and partner!
Read on to see what to pack in your hospital bag for you and baby. We’re with you, mama!
Mama's Bag
Leaving the house knowing you're bringing back your new baby with you is the most exhilarating feeling, but there's a lot to go through before coming home! Don't forget to pack for yourself first, because labor isn't a walk in the park. You'll have to make sure you have everything ready to check-in, items for comfort while you're confined, and of course, all safety necessities in the midst of the pandemic. See what to pack in your bag here:
• Valid IDs and birth plan
If giving birth was a flight, your IDs would be your passport and your birth plan your itinerary. The check-in process at the hospital will go smoothly, even if you're in a hurry or overwhelmed.
Just as your body changed over each trimester, giving birth will bring on another stage. Seamless nursing bras will give you support with just the right restriction, especially as the ladies grow to be swollen and sore while regulating their milk supply. They can also be worn to sleep, both for comfort and for keeping your nursing pads in place.
While your body is getting accustomed to having breastmilk, it will leak as you produce your first milk known as colostrum. It's handy to have nursing pads to catch the leak and absorb moisture to keep your irritation in your nipple area.
You've surely accumulated many pairs of handy maternity panties that fit your baby bump, but your need for them doesn't stop here! The comfy undies will still give you the support you need postpartum.
Aside from having maternity underwear, you can anticipate postpartum bleeding. Having maternity pads, disposable panties, or even adult diapers (like Assure Diapers Overnight Adult Protective Diapers) will catch any discharge.
Your abdominal muscles will be the weakest post-birth, so a postpartum belt or wrap will support your muscles as well as provide light compression to help your uterus shrink back faster (which will happen naturally even without a wrap). Normally, hospitals will provide you with one, but you can bring your own Mamaway Nano Bamboo Postnatal Recovery & Support Belly Band, favorite amongst mamas!
While you'll be in hospital gowns for the most part, bringing comfy clothes for your stay is important! Comfy sleepwear and going home clothes is a must.
It goes without saying that this is a unique time to be giving birth. Safety is top priority, so while you prepare to bring a new life into the world, take extra care to follow safety protocols in this pandemic!
It's best to bring your own toiletries for your stay! Having familiar scents will make the experience a little more comfortable.
• Slippers
For any case of confinement, bringing your own footwear is the better option. Aside from having the familiar of your own slippers (and for maximum comfort), it's also hygienic and lessens contact with foreign objects.
• Entertainment (books, writing materials, etc.)
Your bound to withstand the long wait while confined! Bring items to entertain you, like games or books, or maybe even writing materials to document your thoughts during this milestone!
Baby’s Bag
Now that we've taken care of your own needs, we're packing a hospital bag for baby! This covers all baby essentials you'll be needing for the exciting ride home. A lot of firsts will happen along the way, so better that your well-prepared newborn items aren't just ready at home, they're also there at the hospital! See what to pack in baby's bag here:
First cry of life! After washing your newborn baby, they will now be safely bundled into a swaddle to protect them against their natural startle reflex and keep them from any touching or scratching. The snugness also eliminates anxiety as it imitates the feeling of being held, which will help your baby learn to self-sooth.
Comfort is always at the top of mind for our babies. Essentials for newborns include onesies or rompers, mittens and booties, and bonnets or hats. Look for easy-to-wash onesies that comfortably fit. Newborns – despite their delicate skin – have rather sharp nails, so mittens and booties protect them from scratching themselves without cutting off circulation as socks and gloves would. Lastly, bonnets or hats are recommended because newborns have poor body heat retention, especially from the natural warmth being in a mother's womb.
With all the aforementioned items, a priority for baby fashion unique to our tropical weather is that they are all cool, breathable, and made of quality material.
Washcloths (a lot of them)
Ask any mother— you can't have too many washcloths. Especially right after birth, washcloths are primarily for soft wipes for mealtime or any scenario that needs a quick cleanup. Since their first bath is yet to happen, washcloths should be at the ready for your trip home.
For any first-time mother, bringing new life into this world also means entering a new chapter of life full of diapers! Whether you choose disposable diapers (convenient, single-use) or cloth diapers (eco-friendly, washable), make sure to opt for newborn sizing!
Partner’s Bag
The rule of thumb for packing your partner's bag is everything that doesn't fit in yours! It's important to first note what your hospitals protocols are: if caveats like swab test results are required, etc.
Of course, your newborn child can't carry their own diapers. Many first-time mothers may wonder why a diaper bag is essential versus using a big bag that can accommodate all their child's needs. It's perfectly fine to use your own bag, but there are quite a few reasons why diaper bags are more convenient. First and foremost, it's tailor-made for all the essentials you'll be bringing for baby. There is allocated storage to keep bottles safe and warm, compact space for diapers, pockets and pockets for washcloths, wipes— in other words, you name it, it's got it. And for accidental messes, that split-second of wondering, "Where did I put that ___ again?" can be the difference between a job well done or a disaster. See what to pack in your partner's bag here:
It's always safe to have extra bags for any other needs that can't fit your bags. The spare foldable canvas bag can be kept in any pocket for extra storage, and the wet bag can serve as the savior of things kept safe away from any spit-up, leakage, or surprise from baby.
Can't have too many!
While childbirth is an amazing milestone that many women dream of, it's also a stressful and daunting feat when you are waiting for it just moments before. Like your pambahay clothes and slippers, bringing your own pillow to the hospital can provide familiarity and comfort throughout this life-changing experience.
Labor isn't like what you see in the movies. It will take hours, and a lot of waiting (before or during the contractions) is involved. Have some healthy snacks prepared with you, or some sweets!
• Extra charger and power banks
It's best to have your charger cords, power banks, and extras for your stay at the hospital, both for entertainment or documentation and communication with your loved ones for the big news!
You're all set, mama! For convenience (and also lessening your worries), we've prepared a downloadable checklist for printing or saving on your phone!
By the way! It's highly advisable to prepare your hospital bags anywhere between the 28th to 34th week. Next up is preparing your newborn baby's needs once you bring them home.
Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother. We're here for you, Mama! At edamama, you get to Discover tips, stories, and all things motherhood, Explore opportunities for fun and learning, Connect with experts and fellow mamas, and Shop for your and your little bean’s essentials.