You packed a comfortable nightgown to wear after the birth, but did you bring the photo ID and health insurance card you need for check-in?
Our checklist can help you remember must-have items.
Comfort Items for Mom
- Hairbrush and clips or elastic bands
- Lollipops or hard candy
- Lip balm
- Magazines or books
- Music player loaded with your favorite songs
- Makeup, so you can freshen up for post-delivery photographs and visitors
- Socks or slippers
- Your favorite pillow
Essentials for Dad
- Change of clothes
- List of people to call, text or email with the happy news
- Baby book for footprints
- Cell phone and charger
- Digital or video camera, plus extra batteries and memory cards
- Toiletries, such as contact lens solution, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, shaving supplies, toothbrush, and toothpaste
- Health insurance card
- Eyeglasses or contacts
- Photo ID required for hospital admission (Both parents will need photo ID to obtain the birth certificate.)
For the Trip Home
- Car seat: Install this in advance so you won’t have to fiddle around with it when it’s time to go home. Want to have someone double-check your car seat installation? Visit www.preventinjury.org for more information.
- Diapers: The hospital may provide a small supply, but you might want to stash some extras in the car.
- Outfit for baby, including booties and a beanie
- Receiving blanket to keep baby cozy on the ride home
- Loose-fitting outfit for mom, nursing bra and pads, and maternity underwear. Choose an outfit that fit when you were six months pregnant.
What Not to Bring
- Jewelry and other valuables
- Credit cards or large amounts of cash
- Medications: Instead, bring a list of all medications you take daily, and the hospital will dispense a supply.
What If I’m Having a C-Section?
Unfortunately, your baby does not know you have a c-section scheduled! Pack a bag of basics so you won’t be caught off guard if you go into labor early.
Even if you do not go through labor, you will be staying in the hospital for at least three days. Pack at least two sets of pajamas; hospital gowns are plentiful, but you will likely feel more at ease in your own clothing. Choose a loose-fitting gown that buttons down the front, or billowy tops and pants that will not put pressure on your incision. Also, bring slippers and a robe to make post-surgery hallway walking more comfortable.
This article was reviewed by Sharon Johns, R.N., L.C.C.E., F.A.C.C.E., perinatal support services, St.Vincent Women’s Hospital.