There are plenty of checklists and articles that can help you determine what essentials you should pack for your hospital stay, but odds are you won’t be hanging out in your birthing room alone. Packing a family hospital bag that helps keep your partner and the rest of the clan happy and organized can go a long way in making you more comfortable.
WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR PARTNER
- Labor support supplies
Planning ahead is a great way to be sure that your partner has all the right tools on hand to support you. If a massage is on your wish list, pack up your preferred oils. Would you like a handheld misting fan or water spray bottle to help you cool off during labor? Put it in the family bag so that your partner knows where to go when it's time.
- Change of clothes
Your husband might not have a chance to shower or he just may not want to leave your side. Either way, he’ll definitely need a decent clean shirt so that he can look presentable in all those pics that will be posted and shared on social media.
- Empty duffel bag
You’re going to need somewhere to stash all the gifts, samples and supplies that will be coming your way. Put your partner in charge of making sure it all goes to the right place by having a dedicated swag bag on hand. This will make it faster and easier to pack everything up when it’s time to head home.
- Push present
Of course your partner wants to show you tons of love and support, so don't feel bad about asking him for any “presents” (hint, hint) that he might want to have on hand at the hospital. This little nudge will serve as a handy shopping reminder. Just remember, you can pack the present—but no peeking!
SOMETHING FOR THE SIBS
- Art supplies
Let them get creative with paper, crayons, colored pencils and mini canvases. Siblings can write a letter to baby, make a festive welcome home poster or whip up little works of art to decorate the nursery. A few thoughtful supplies is all you need to make it happen.
- Reading material
Surprise the brothers or sisters with a brand-new graphic novel, an activity book or the latest issue of a fun magazine for kids. You’ll keep them engaged without having to worry about digital devices getting lost or broken.
Stash a few of their favorite munchies in the bag to avoid multiple trips to the vending machine or cafeteria. The last thing you want is to have your hubs and kids out making a snack run when baby arrives—it could happen!
FOR THE NEW BABY
You can’t overlook the newest member of your family. Most essential items baby needs will likely be provided by your hospital or birthing center, but you should ask specific questions to be sure. And while the most important thing that your baby will need is you, here are a few items you might want to consider packing for your little one’s trip home.
- A warm outfit
- Receiving blanket
- Booties or socks
- A coat or snowsuit (if there’s a chance of cold weather)