What to Pack for a Hospital or Birth Center Delivery

Even though we are planning on a home birth (more about organizing and preparing for that in the next blog), I am still going to pack a suitcase in the event that we need to transfer to the hospital. When I initially thought about it, I thought that I’d probably just throw a few things in the suitcase and call it good. Boy, was I being naive.

Upon researching it further, there are quiiiiiite a few items that one should pack when having a hospital or birth center delivery. A lot of things that, after talking to some of my mom friends, I didn’t realize I’d really want to have with me.

Birth Plan, Maternity Notes:

These would be things that are really important to you during labor, delivery, and after the birth as well as some of your expectations around pain management. Two examples of what you might include can be found herehere and here. A written birth plan is especially important if the things that you expect are not typical of hospital protocol like delayed cord clamping, keeping the placenta, or not having your baby bathed.
Personally, I haven’t made an official birth plan because my midwife, doula, and husband are all on the same page about what kind of experience we’d like it to be and they will all three be with me for support and as advocates in the event that we have to transfer to the hospital.

Clothing for Mom:
clothing to pack for hospital delivery

The overall jist of the clothing seems pretty straight forward… something loose and comfy to wear while at the hospital and a coming home outfit.
Robe – I’m not sure how many moms said that this single item was a life saver. Robes made it easier for many of them to be covered loosely, yet still easily breastfeed the baby.
Comfy PJs
Maxi Skirt/Dress – I’ll be packing one of these. There are the most comfortable item of clothing I own, I lounge around in them at home all the time.
Lots of Comfy Underwear – It’s been suggested to either just use the mesh ones provided for you at the hospital or to bring your own over-sized granny panties which are much more tolerable if you have to have a c-section.
Socks, Slippers – Many moms have complained about their feet getting cold (and swelling up) so these helped to keep their tootsies warm. Personally, I hate socks and slippers so I won’t be packing any.
Flip Flops – Great for the shower and nice and easy to walk out of the hospital in especially if your feel are a little swollen.
Nursing Bra or Tank – A bunch of moms said they wish they would’ve brought these with them to the hospital to be able to be a little more covered up yet still nurse their baby.
Going Home Outfit – If you’re expecting to take a ton of pictures on the way out, might be a good idea to bring something you won’t loathe being seen in when you look at the pictures later.

For Comfort:

Pillows – Several moms have said that they wished they would’ve brought their own pillows (especially body pillows) because the pillows at the hospital weren’t very good.
Massage Oil – If you want your partner or doula to massage your hips or back during labor, massage or coconut oil could make that experience a whoooole lot better.
Essential Oils for Aromatherapy – Lavender is a great essential oil that will promote relaxation and help relieve pain. Frankincense also helps with relaxation and can also be used to help heal perineal tearing.
Birth Ball (if not provided) – This is great to sit and rock on and will help ease contractions.
birth ball for labor
Water Spray Bottle & Handheld Fan – Many moms get really hot during labor. Your partner could use these to help keep you cool.
Eye Masks, Ear Plugs – Hospitals can be bright, loud places with people constantly walking through the well lit hallways. Getting enough sleep during labor is essential, so having these items handy might enable you to get a little more shut-eye.
Rice Bags to Heat or Cool – They can be put in the freezer or microwave and can really help out with muscle aches or to cool you down when you’re overheating.

For Baby:

Clothes for Baby – Bring several different outfits and in a couple different sizes since you won’t be totally sure how big your baby will be. Some babies go through a lot of clothing changes, so it’s good to bring a couple different sleepers, onesies, and pairs of socks.
Baby Clothes to Pack for Hospital Deliery

Receiving Blankets – The hospital will provide these for you unless you want to use a different kind. Personally, I prefer the muslin baby blankets, they are breathable (if baby’s face gets covered) and super comfy.
Lots of Diapers (as many as 12 x day), Wipes – Most hospitals provide basic disposable diapers, you will only need to bring your own if you prefer to use a different kind.
Manicure Tools – Most babies come out with those crazy sharp nails. Might want to bring something to cut them with so they don’t scratch their cute little faces.
Boppy Nursing Pillow – One mom said she wished she would’ve brought this along to help her nurse. She said that as a new mom learning how to breastfeed, she had a hard time trying to use the flat hospital pillows for support.

Snacks:
Food to Pack for Hospital Delivery

Some hospitals won’t feed you during labor, but you still need to keep up your energy, and a good way to do that is by eating, so be prepared to bring your own favorite snacks that are somewhat mild on the stomach (since there may be vomiting) but packed with enough nutrients to keep you going.
Coconut water – This stuff is packed with electrolytes and potassium which will really aid in keeping you hydrated and having energy through labor.
Rice Cakes
Peanut Butter
Fruit & Nut bars
Nuts
Jerky
Fruit – dried, fresh, fruit strips
Honey
Lollipops – A great way to combat dry mouth!
Mints or Breath Strips – If there’s any vommiting you may want to “freshen up” instead of having to go to the bathroom to brush your teeth.
Take-out Menus – We all know hospital food isn’t the best. It’s a good idea to get a few of these from the nurses station since some of these places will deliver. Your partner needs to eat, too!

Personal Items:
Personal Items to Pack for Hospital Delivery

Plastic Bags for Soiled Clothes
Toiletries: Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Lotion, Deodorant, Body Spray – Bring your favorites, whatever smells you love that make you feel good when they’re on your body. It can make a world of difference.
Toothbrush and Paste, Flossers 
Chapstick – This is a BIG one for me. I can’t go anywhere without chapstick, so having this handy at all times is an absolute must.
Hairties, Bobbypins, Comb & Brush – The last thing you want is your hair being in the way hanging down in your sweaty face. Don’t forget something to tie it back with!
Q-Tips 
Vitamins – You’ll still want to be taking your multi-vitamins during your hospital stay. Also, other supplements that I’ve been suggested are Arnica (for muscle aches to aid in pain relief) and Magnesium (which will help rebuild muscle for recovery).
Contacts/Glasses, Cases, Wipes – When I do sports I generally wear contacts, but I’m not sure what I’d feel like wearing in this case, so I think I’d bring both.

Optional Xtras:

Toilet Paper – Some people want to bring their own soft TP from home because that hospital stuff is paper thin and not exactly comfortable.
Large Towel – For me, I’d prefer to have my own oversized soft towel for after the shower/bath instead of having to piece several of the smaller, scratchy hospital towels all over my body that has a preeeetty decent sized surface area.
Wash Cloths – As my nurse friend pointed out to me, it’s a good idea to bring a few of your own because faces aren’t the only thing other patients wash with the hospital wash cloths.

Electronics:

Phone & Charger
Camera & Charger 
Tablet & Charger – During the slow parts of labor you might want to play games or watch some episodes of your favorite Netflix shows and usually the hospitals only provide basic cable.
Extension Cord – Sometimes the plug-ins are far away and you’ll want that access from the comfort of your hospital bed!

Folder or Large Envelope:
paperwork envelope
This is a great place to keep your insurance documents and any paperwork that the hospital will send home with you without having it all end up crumpled up in the bottom of a bag somewhere.

Cash and Change:

You never know what kind of random cravings you might have for some vending machine items or if you want to purchase something you (gasp!) forgot at the gift shop.

Xtras For Your Partner:

Several Changes of Clothes – It’s better to have more than you need. If your partner runs out, you will not be happy if they have to leave you to go home and get more clothes to wear, because you never know how long you might have to stay at the hospital.
Swimwear – You might want your partner to join you in the pool or shower, and while the hospital will let you do it in your birthday suit, your partner won’t be able to!
Snacks – Usually hospital meals aren’t also provided for your partner. You both need to eat during and after labor and to keep up your energy.

For after the Birth:

Nursing Pads, Soothing Gel Pads, Nipple Balm – Even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding, your will be leaking. While breast feeding you will probably encounter sore nipples and the gel pads and balm can help relieve some of that discomfort.
Large Overnight Maxi Pads – While the hospital provides you with some, you will probably want to bring your own. Several of my mom friends swear by the soothing Padsicles (of the frozen variety) that are pads filled with Witch-hazel and Aloe Vera to help soothe and heal those lady parts! Even while at the hospital, using them unfrozen can help alleviate some of the discomfort.
witch-hazel-aloe-vera-padsicles
Extra Bag or Two –  You’ll more than likely come home with more than your brought, especially if visitors drop by with gifts. Bring an extra bag or two to help transport this extra stuff home.
Breast Pump, Milk Bags, Permanent Marker (most hospitals will provide these) – If there are any complications and your baby needs to go to the NICU or is unable to stay with you, you will want to pump some of that vital immunity building colostrum for your baby. A good friend of mine was unable to even hold her baby for the first 20 hours after birth so she pumped instead of having them feed her baby formula.
Soap & Microwave Sterilizer Bag –  She also noted that trying to get the soap out of the dispenser in the bathroom to wash the pump parts was a huge pain. She said, had she of known, she would’ve brought her own soap and her sterilizer bag.

Car Seat and Base Installed
Car seat installed

Familiarize yourselves with how your car seat operates and is installed. It’s a good idea to have this all ready to go and installed leading up to the birth before you even go into labor.

You probably won’t use everything that’s on this list, but it’s better to have it if you need it, than to wish you had. Don’t worry about trying to lug it all in when you check in, just leave it in the car and send your partner out after it after you get all settled in.

A bunch of my mom friends even went the super minimalist route and only took a few items to the hospital and just used mostly what they provided for them. Whatever your preference is, here’s a decent checklist to at least get you started!

Click Here for the Downloadable Checklist to Print

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Organizing for Baby

First of all: Congratulations! Yay, we loooooove babies!

pregnancy baby registry

Second: Holy crap, are you ready?!

So many things to do and plan before the new baby arrives!
Below are just a few of the things we can help you
get organized and execute before your mini-me arrives!

Food!

You’re probably not going to have much time to sleep, let alone cook!
We can help you prepare and freeze your favorite healthy Freezer Meals that will require just heating and serving!

freezer meals for new moms


Birth Announcements!

Making the photo appointment, getting the photos taken, creating the birth announcement, making the list of the recipients and stamping/addressing all of those envelopes is pretty time consuming, we can take care of all that for you!

Via twohappylambs.com
Via twohappylambs.com


Gift List & Thank You Cards!

A good system to keep track of who gave you what is important when sending out thank yous to all of those people who are helping your new baby’s transition into the world. Since most of your free time after the baby comes will be spent dozing off or tending to the other family members, let us keep track and get out all of those thank yous for you!

Via misswyolene.com
Via misswyolene.com


Taming the Paperwork!

Organizing a filing system for baby’s papers, records, and info along with each member of the family to keep it all straight can help out a lot when it’s time for check-ups, back to school, and field trips!

organized paper work


Memory Organization!

You’ll need a good system for those sonogram pics, that adorable tiny newborn hat from the hospital, all of those thank you cards, and the million other scrapbook items you’ll want to plug into a scrapbook whenever you finally start getting some sleep again.

Graphic-Making-9


Kitchen!

Now you’re gonna need to make room for bottles, a drying rack, breast pump parts, formula, baby food and all those wee little baby supplies. We can help you pick out the best storage solutions that are out of site, but easily accessible.

baby items for kitchen


Baby On-the-Go!

We can help you pick out the best (and best looking!) diaper bag for your specific needs. We can help you set up an unload/load station by the door and create a check-list of on-the-go items so you never leave the house without the essentials to make your away-from-home time go as smoothly as possible.

Via hauteclothedbuns.com
Via hauteclothedbuns.com


Baby Furniture!

It’s important that you choose quality furniture that will last, yet that is efficient for the way you will use it based on your habits and expected routine. We can help you choose lifestyle specific furniture that fits in with your existing decor.

nursery


Diaper System!

Whether you’re going to use cloth or disposable, it’s important to plan ahead and have your diaper station and changing table all ready to go and stocked with supplies you’ll need for that sweet baby bottom!

baby changing table


Baby Logging!

We can help you create the best logging system that tracks eating habits ,sleep patterns, and poops to keep you on track with the little one and to know what to expect.

baby sleeping


Baby Related Storage!

These little guys grow like weeds so it’s vital to have a storage system that can keep up. You’ll have tons of baby clothing, hand-me-downs, grow into clothes, and maternity clothes that will need some serious organizing and storage solutions so you can easily find, replace, and swap out as baby grows.

kids clothing storage


Baby Proofing!

As soon as baby is mobile, watch out! We can help you install the best baby-proofing materials.

baby proofing


Sitter/DayCare Guide and Information!

The time will come when you get to take a much needed break from your little one, but let us help you make sure that Nanny or Ms. Sweet Nursery Lady has all that specific and detailed info about your kiddo to make their time go much more smoothly and happily.

babysitter


Toy Storage and Swapping!

As baby grows and changes through the various developmental stages, so should the toys! To stay at the top of your babies developmental progress, it’s vital that baby has the right kinds of stimulation and interaction through play! We can help you store toys based on age relevance that will be an easy, breezy swap out when the time comes!

organized toy storage

CONTACT US with any questions about Organizing for Baby or to schedule a Consultation!

Little Boys and Their Toys

Little boys.  It was all about ’em today as we peeked into some brothers’ closets.  The first little guy was a big fan of cars, trucks and tractors!  Little boys and their toys - messy closet 1

We started by clearing the stuffed animals out that were not played with anymore.  Having those two shelves open gave us lots of room to play with.  The top one was designated for larger puzzles that he would need to have help getting out, while we made room for the wooden board puzzles on a lower shelf that he could access.   Books were straightened and Christmas books were pulled out and stored together for the holidays.  We then had space for some of the larger toys from his room on the shelves.  We had to give some attention to the trucks on the floor that were driving mom nuts!  Little Boys and Their Toys - lots of trucks on the floor

The trucks found a new garage space under the bed and train tracks in baskets made a more contained presence in the closet.   We then took everything off of the top shelf.

Little Boys and Their Toys - messy closet top shelf

And when we were done….Little Boys and Their Toys - organized closet from top to bottom

Of course his beautiful shelves, too!

Little boys and their toys - organized closet 1

Then it was on to closet number two. Big brother.

Little Boys and Their Toys - messy closet 2

Everything came off that main shelf and we put bins and books back after we pulled Christmas books out!  The search is still on for the perfect storage for this shelf that has so much potential and has not maximized it’s space.  It’s a bit tricky to find something narrow enough for the shelf space and not permanent.  The top clothes hanging rod is too high to be used now but when he gets taller it will be great!

Little Boys and Their Toys - messy shelf    Until then, we moved some of the stackable bins to this shelf along with some of his toys from his room.

Little Boys and Their Toys - organized shelf

Little Boys and Their Toys - organized closet 2

So after we were done there was an entire top shelf open  and that is always a great thing to see!!  And last but not least the shelf in the corner all straightened up!Little Boys and Their Toys - organized corner shelf

Project by Nicole in Kansas City

Little Boys and Their Toys - Organized Closet Before and After