1.11.09

What to Take to the Hospital (For Baby's Birth)

I compiled this list some time ago for a friend and it was then requested by a few other friends. I've added some things, deleted others in the past 5 years, but I think it's a pretty definitive list.

Unfortunately, you have very little control over how long your labour will last, how painful it will be, or what possible complications you might encounter, but you have a little control over how comfortable you are during that time. This list will help you stay comfortable and should provide everything you need.

I welcome comments, though; if there's something you think should be included or something you feel isn't neccessary, let me know by commenting below!

The What to Take to Hospital List

For YOU
  • 2 crappy nightgowns (go to Walmart and pick up the $5 ones); they will get messy so you're just going to throw them out after.

  • 3 or more pairs cheap ass granny panties - you will dump these in the garbage as you are packing to leave.

  • 1 ultra comfortable easy to use nursing bra and one more supportive bra for your "going home" outfit.

  • 1-2 pair pajamas or pretty nightgowns - for after baby is born so you can look pretty.

  • 1-2 nice outfits - don't just bring a "going home" outfit. The sooner you get into your real clothes and out of your pajamas, the sooner you'll feel recovered - trust me!

  • Fuzzy socks - be prepared to throw these out too. But you may not have to. Your feet can get cold while in labour so they're really nice to have.

  • A book, or several magazines. Baby will sleep a fair amount after birth and before birth you might be waiting around for a bit. Bring both so that if you have a short attention span you can read the mags.

  • A pair of hard-soled slippers - for wearing around the hospital

  • A pair of flipflops or water shoes - for in the shower

  • Toiletries - most hospitals specify unscented.

  • Hard candies or cough drops for dry mouth/throat.

  • A large water bottle - You can refill in the hospital but it's hard to get a pitcher of water.

  • Depending on what the ward has (many have small fridges in your room or a patient- use fridge in another room) and how often you expect visitors, you might like to keep a small soft-sided cooler with some drinks, fruit, etc.

  • Your own pillow - trust me!

  • Any comfort items you might want - favourite blankie, stuffed animal, whatever.

  • Thin pads with wings. The hospital gives you the long pads, but they're long and narrow. Wear a long pad, then put your own wing pad on top and wrap around. Trust me, bulky but more comfortable overall!

  • Witch hazel - really great for bathing a sore bum/episiotomy.

  • Moisturizer - hospital is dry!

  • Nursing pads. The hospital never has these. For the first few days in hospital it's probably best to use the reusable cotton kind. You won't be leaking much and these can be gentler on sore nipples than the disposable kind. If you buy the disposable ones I reccommend Johnsons, they are soft, good absorbency and have a sticky pad to stick to your bra.


  • FOR BABY
  • 3-4 onesies/diaper shirts in the smallest size you have.

  • 1 hat

  • 1 pair scratch mittens (often the hospital will give you the hat and mittens but the mittens are too big. You can also use infant socks if you don't have the mittens)

  • 3-4 baby nightgowns/sleepers.

  • 1 going home outfit

  • 1 warm blanket (for when you leave)

  • Your own baby wash - the hospital usually gives you regular bar soap - way too rough on poor baby! You can also request that the nurse use your baby wash for the "first bath."

  • You may also want to bring your own cloths and towels - the hospital cloths are usually okay for the babies, but the towels are often kind of rough.

  • Wipes if you want. You can just use the cloths and water. That's more gentle on baby's bum, but if you're really sore and not up to walking across the room to wet a cloth everytime you change baby's bum, the wipes might be better.

  • There's usually a good supply of newborn diapers in your room. And when you leave, tuck any open packs in your suitcase - they don't reuse the opened diapers so you might as well take them home.


  • OTHER ESSENTIALS
  • CD player and cds if you're so inclined. Or MP3 player.

  • Camera

  • Phone list and calling card

  • Ditty bag or plastic bags for your dirty laundry.

  • Paper and pen/pencil - to write lists of things for your partner to pick up, reminders to yourself, nurse's names in case you want to send thank-you cards or bouquet, first impressions of baby.

  • Small amount cash - to activate your phone and/or tv and/or purchase a snack from the cafetaria or gift shop.


  • That's about it. Some things you may find you don't use at all, other things you may find you're sending someone home to pick up more of. But if you have everything on this list you should be pretty well set. I definitely reccommend a few comfort items or treats.

    Finally, my husband and I usually try to pick up some kind of treat for the nurses. With our oldest two we bought them all lunch, with our youngest it was flowers and a couple of boxes of chocolates for the nursing station. Do this on the day your child is born, not when you leave. A little bribery can go a long way.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Have something to add? Let us know: