When we found out that I was pregnant with our first child, I started putting together a baby registry cehcklist right after I turned 3 months pregnant. Over the next several months, I started getting inputs from multiple sources such as from moms I know, Pinterest and forums etc for a comprehensive list of things I needed to buy for the child. Later I realized, no matter how many times you tweak the list and make it efficient, each baby is different. Even with our babies, one loved the bouncer and one hated it. So, some toys/items might not be used by your baby at all. For hospital bag checklist, however, we don’t have to worry about not using something. For sure every mom/baby use the majority of the same items as they go through the same things in the hospital.
I realized my hospital bag checklist was way too long the first time and I didn’t even use a lot of items I brought to the hospital. Can you believe I carried a 50 pounds suitcase as hospital bag for my first delivery? I didn’t use even 10% of the items I carried. Hospital carired and provided most of the basic things and I was way too exhausted (who knew you’ll feel like you’re hit by a car after delivery) to even open my big luggage.
The second time around, I reviewed my first pregnancy hospital bag checklist and cut unnecessary/not-used items from the list. As you can imagine, the revised checklist contains only basic, important things we have to carry and nothing else. I call it a minimalist hospital bag checklist. 🙂
I used almost all the items I carried to the hospital during the stay. My bag was also much lighter than the first time. I only needed a small backpack (+boppy pillow) during the second time (however, I needed a bigger bag when we left the hospital to carry the freebies from the hospital after delivery).
Although you can find some hospital bag lists in the internet that are practical, a lot of them have some unbelievable long list of recommendations. For example, I have no idea why they recommend us to carry diapers to the hospital. Unless you are particular about a specific brand or cloth diapering from day 1, there is no need to carry diapers in your hospital bag. For both of my babies, the hospital provided Pamper Snugglers until we left home. I even brought additional diapers from the hospital when we were released to go home.
Personally, Food is the primary issue when it comes to the hospital stay. You’ll be deprived of good food and it’s better you carry some snacks for munching during the stay. Also ask your family to bring lots of fruits. I remember not having any fruits (other than the ones that come with the meal) after my first delivery.
I only carried going home outfit for the baby. Until she was ready to go home, my baby wore only hospital onesies and blankets (for swaddling). So, the baby practically doesn’t need anything other than going home outfit that you need to keep in the hospital bag.
For the Mommy:
- Make sure to take your prenatal vitamins every day
- Makeup and toiletries such as toothbrush and toothpaste are a must. Even if you forget, do you know hospital does provide toiletries?
- Electronics: Don’t forget to take all the necessary electronics and chargers
- Clothes: Get your favorite pajamas for the stay and going home outfit
- Folder for the paperwork: During the stay, you’ll receive multiple important documents. I’d suggest you carry a folder to keep the documents, as soon as you receive them, in the folder
- Nursing cover and Boppy pillow: Nursing cover is optional. Boppy pillow is a must
- Thank you gift for the caregivers: I can write a big essay on this topic. I did so much research on “thank you gift” when I was pregnant. Thank you gifts are completely optional and you don’t have to give anything to the caregivers, nor do they expect anything from you. However, if you do want to give them, make sure you have them ready in the hospital bag.
Other Family Members:
Mostly clothes and toiletries are the essential items for the family members who stay with mommy and baby at the hospital.
For convenience, I created a checklist printable that you can print and keep it handy. Click the below image and save it on your computer. Click print this minimalist hospital bag checklist. Hope you find it useful.