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What to take to the hospital

Consider packing a bag to take to the hospital well before your due date. This way, you’ll avoid racing out the door without your toothbrush or deodorant when the time comes. When you are packing your hospital bag, pack as if you will be staying for a few days, just in case. Depending on your delivery and recovery, you could be in the hospital just a day or for several days. Pack items that are comfortable and loose-fitting, and open in front for breastfeeding and post-delivery exams.

Choose from a list below of commonly recommended items for expectant moms to bring to the hospital, and add your own special items in the comments below:

For baby

  • 2-3 newborn diapers
  • Going-home outfit (a good choice is a one-piece stretch suit)
  • Receiving blanket
  • Socks or booties
  • Cap or bonnet
  • Infant car seat. Remember, you can’t leave the hospital without it. Also, make sure it is properly installed. Many baby stores and police and fire departments offer instruction.

For mom

  • A going-home outfit. Forget about making a fashion statement. No matter how much you’d like to squeeze back into your regular blue jeans, it’s probably not going to happen. Bring something loose fitting and easy to put on. Remember to bring something loose fitting and easy to put on, plus some flat-soled shoes.
  • 2-3 nursing bras, breast pads, sanitary pads (buy the super absorbent for the first few days), and several pairs of roomy underwear.
  • A bathrobe, slippers (with nonskid bottoms), a couple pair of socks, and 2-3 nighties that are easy to open if you plan to breastfeed.
  • A toilet bag, containing toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, lotion, face creams, deodorant, and, for those who feel naked without it – makeup.
  • Mp3 player or a book for relaxation.
  • Your birth plan, if you have developed one.
  • A camera/video camera, for someone to document the main event.
  • List of phone numbers of friends and family members you’ll want to call.
  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses. Keep in mind that you can wear your eyeglasses during labor, but you must take out your contacts.

For partner

  • Insurance information.
  • Hospital pre-registration information.
  • Change of clothes and toiletries, if he or she is allowed to stay in the room.


  • Cord blood collection kit (if prearranged).

What to leave at home

  • Jewelry or other valuables
  • Cash, credit cards
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