Preparing for Your Baby’s Birth – Packing Hospital Bags and Last Minute To-Do’s

Congratulations! You’re in the final stretch. Your baby(ies) will be here soon! Now is the time to make sure you have your bags packed for the hospital and any final last minute to-dos taken care of.

Most hospitals will have a 24-hour observation period for a healthy singleton and a 48-hour observation period for healthy twins. However, this can vary and circumstances change, so please plan accordingly and pack on the conservative side.

A Bag for Baby to Include (double for twins):

  • 1 pacifier (don’t forget to sterilize)
  • Several onesies or komono style shirts
  • Swaddle blankets. Hospital ones are really rough and can rub baby’s chin raw. You can use them, but a lot of parents like having their own. Just make sure to tell the staff to bring your blankets back if baby goes to the nursery in one of yours
  • A going home outfit, if you want one
  • Pair socks
  • Several diapers – the hospital should provide these. Make sure to use them if they do!
  • Bottles (sterilized), bottle brush & formula if you want to use yours. For the sake of convenience, you can use formula that the hospital has. Sometimes mom or the surrogate can’t produce enough in the first few days to meet the baby’s requirement. The hospital staff may also determine that it is necessary to supplement the baby (usually low blood sugar). If you prefer not to use what the hospital has, make sure to bring your own.


A Bag for You to Include:

  • Camera, cell phones, ipads etc. and chargers
  • Your ID, passport, visa etc.
  • Any necessary documentation/paperwork you may need for the baby or yourselves. This may include: your birth plan, proof of health insurance, surrogacy agreement etc.
  • Hospital food is not always good and you need to have some options if you can’t get out.
  • Magazines, books, music, movies, sudoku – things to keep you occupied while you wait.
  • Note pad to write down questions for the doctor/nurses as you think of them.
  • All personal items for yourself for the hospital stay. Slippers, socks, extra clothes, gowns, maternity underwear, nursing bras, toiletries and any items that will help you relax.
  • Cash and change to have for parking or vending machines.


A “Push” Gift for Mom or the Surrogate

Optional, but always nice to give the new mom or surrogate something special.


Hospital Supplies

When you are at the hospital, your baby will have his or her own bassinet filled with supplies for you to use during your stay. These items are yours. You will be paying for them, so I would encourage you to bring any of the extra supplies home including:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Bulb syringe (nasal aspirator)
  • Hair brush
  • Halo sleep sack (our hospital gives these out)
  • Receiving blankets (normally pink/blue striped)
  • Burp cloths
  • Knit hats

You may need to ask the nurse for some of these items. If you get any weird looks, blame it on me and just say that your Newborn Care Specialist told you to ask. If you want extra of any of the items, ask. The hospital staff is usually pretty good about helping new and first-time parents, stock up.


Last Minute To-Dos:

In addition to packing for the hospital, now is also the time to go through and take care of any remaining to-dos before baby arrives.

  • Wash baby clothes, blankets, sheets, burp cloths, swaddles
  • Install car seat bases and car seat
  • Sterilize all bottle parts and pacifiers (because they are new)
  • Pack hospital bags for mom, dad and baby (comfortable clothes, slippers, robe, comfort items, snacks, chargers, batteries, camera etc)
  • Arrange for care for pets and older children while you will be at the hospital
  • Make freezer meals or arrange for a meal train
  • Install baby monitor, black out blinds etc.

We hope these lists were helpful. If there are other items you feel are must haves when packing for the hospital, please let us know!


The content contained in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or to replace the advice of any medical professional. It is based on our opinions and experience working with newborns and their families. Other’s opinions may vary. It does not represent the views of any affiliated organizations. The reader understands that term “Babynurse” is often a word used to describe a newborn caregiver. However, unless otherwise disclosed, we are not licensed nurses in any state. By reading and/or utilizing any information or suggestions contained in this blog, the reader acknowledges that we are not medical professionals and agrees to and waives any claim, known or unknown, past, present or future.

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