You’ve hit the third trimester and you’re counting down the days until your baby joins the family. Having read all the books, painted the walls of the nursery, set up a crib, and struggled over how to install your infant car seat, you’re almost there! (Don’t worry, mama—you’ve got this.) As your due date approaches, one of the most important things to get done is to pack your hospital bag and put it by the door or in your car’s trunk for when it’s go-time! There are a lot of items that are great to have prepped (things you might not remember once labor starts), so get the items on your hospital bag checklist gathered and packed by 37 or 38 weeks at the latest!
As tempting as it is to pack multiple outfits and lovies for your coming newborn, don’t forget that you need to take care of yourself too! Your hospital bag is, first and foremost, a kit to make your transition into motherhood more comfortable. The Freshly Picked Weekender is the perfect bag to make sure you can fit everything you’re going to need. It’s made with durable, wipeable vegan leather and 19 spacious pockets, and it has multiple carry options so you’re comfortable and hands-free when needed. We also have the Seoul Weekender for moms who prefer the structured, sporty neoprene look!
Now let’s get down to business: the checklist for mom.
1. Necessary documents: ID, insurance info, hospital forms, birth plan, etc.
2. 1-2 comfy outfits to lounge in at the hospital after birth, and one to go home in. We recommend loose-fitting, flowy house dresses, especially ones that unbutton at the top for easy breastfeeding. A robe is also a great option for staying warm!
3. 1-2 nursing bras if you’re planning to breastfeed. Nurses will check up on you multiple times to make sure you’re comfortable feeding your baby, so if you’re not 100% comfortable freeing the nipple right away, nursing bras will make things way easier.
4. Nursing pads. If your breasts start to leak, place them inside your nursing bra and they’ll absorb it right up between feedings!
5. A few sets of comfortable maternity underwear (especially if you don’t want to wear the mesh briefs the hospital provides). You’ll need plenty of coverage to use maxi pads after birth, and you’ll probably want to just toss these panties out anyway when all is said and done.
6. Cozy socks or slippers for walking around the hospital. Rubber grip on the soles is a plus!
7. Comfortable, flat shoes for going home in.
8. Toiletry bag. You’ll want a pouch with hygiene essentials to boost your comfort and confidence as a new mom. Don’t forget a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hairbrush and hair ties, face wash, and travel size shampoo + conditioner. It’s especially nice to have hand lotion and chapstick right at your bedside during the labor process. Include some makeup if you want to spruce yourself up for photos!
9. Towel. Sometimes things can get messy and towels will never not come in handy.
10. Headphones. They’re a must-have in case you want to tune out and listen to a birth playlist, or just watch TV shows/movies on your phone during labor. These are great items to make sure your partner has too, in case your labor goes longer than you expect.
11. Phone charger! Don’t forget this or you’ll be SO sad. In fact, we recommend buying a separate charger from your normal one. Keep it in your hospital bag at all times until you’re at the hospital so there’s no chance you’ll forget it. An extra-long cord is also a great idea!
12. Non-perishable snacks. Gum is also good to have on hand for you and your partner.
13. Pillow and blanket. Sometimes these items from home offer added comfort during a potentially stressful time!
14. Journal. If you have a few peaceful moments before or after your baby’s birth, it’s a perfect time to document the birth story. Bringing a journal to the hospital helps you to record all of those fresh memories and feelings when everything is especially poignant!
We didn’t forget about your baby, I promise! Let’s make sure you have everything you need when your bundle of joy gets introduced to the world.
1. Coming home outfit. We love knotted gowns because not only are they cute, but they make for easy diaper changes while your baby is still tiny and delicate. A lot of times, knotted gowns or newborn onesies also come with cozy matching hats to keep your baby’s head warm.
2. Swaddle. There are just about a million kinds of swaddles out there, and a lot of them work fine if you’re looking for the cute photo aesthetic. If you want something adorable and functional, we recommend the Freshly Picked Swaddle. The easy-to-use velcro snuggle band inside the swaddle fabric keeps baby asleep and will have you thanking your lucky stars!
3. Diapers and wipes. The hospital will provide you with some but it doesn’t hurt to have extra!
4. Newborn mittens. If the coming home outfit doesn’t already have the fold-down fabric attached to the sleeves, mittens are great for keeping baby’s hands warm and preventing scratching.
5. Pacifier. No matter how new your baby is, a pacifier will help to calm and soothe them. Pacifiers also help your baby practice for breastfeeding or taking a bottle.
6. Newborn bottle, if needed. Not everyone’s breastfeeding journey is easy or immediately feasible, so having a bottle for formula at the hospital is good to have on hand.
7. Infant car seat! Obviously this can’t fit in your hospital bag, but don’t forget to put it in the car so you can transport your baby home!
You’re about to go through a life-changing moment, mama. It can be daunting at first, so making sure that your hospital bag has both your essentials and some extra comforts from home will help make labor and delivery a smooth, memorable experience. We’re so proud of you!