Are you psyched for the birth of your baby? As the due date approaches, you might even hear the buzz of excitement at home, while trying to fight the tingles brought about by the nervousness of what the big day might entail. But one thing you should do before you greet your baby is to pack your hospital bag. Take note to bring the most important things that will make the delivery as easy and smooth as it can get.

The American Pregnancy Association carefully divided these things to pack according to who needs them the most – mom, baby, partner, and older kids.

What Mom Needs

These are the most important things that you should pack way ahead of time in the hospital bag if you don’t want to be left scrambling when the due date comes.

  • Health insurance card, pre-registration form, and birth plan, all organized in a file folder or envelope
  • Sports bra, perfect for water birth and as lactation suppressants if mom is not ready to breastfeed just yet
  • Nursing bra with breast pads
  • Nursing pillows
  • Robe and nightgown that is suitable for breastfeeding
  • Socks and slippers for easy and warm hospital walks, especially to visit baby in the nursery
  • Sanitary pads of mom’s favorite brand
  • Toiletries for mom’s comfort, especially after a harrowing delivery
  • Hair bands or clips for mom’s long hair to avoid unnecessary hassle during delivery
  • Magazines to pass the time
  • Eyeglasses or contacts
  • Personal pillows and wash cloths
  • Sugar-free candies, lollipops, or mints to keep mom’s mouth moist and fresh during labor
  • Baby book
  • Going-home outfit
  • Tube socks containing rice or tennis balls to help relieve mom’s painful contractions

What the Baby Needs

While you may think of splurging on the baby’s nursery, don’t forget to prepare these things in baby’s hospital bag:

  • Swaddle blankets
  • Newborn diapers
  • Mittens to keep baby’s longer nails from damaging their sensitive skin
  • Cute booties and socks
  • Hat to prevent the baby’s body heat from escaping through their heads
  • Infant car seat, which is required before the hospital will allow you to take the baby home
  • Wet wipes developed for baby’s sensitive skin
  • Going-home outfit

What the Partner Needs

As the partner, you have the biggest responsibility of supporting mom throughout the ordeal of labor and delivery, so you also need to pack these items:

  • Hospital stay outfit, or pajamas
  • Snacks, drinks and sandwiches for sustenance during what could possibly be a long labor
  • Bathing suit, in the case of a water birth or birthing pool
  • Toiletries
  • Stopwatch to monitor the contractions
  • Quarters for conveniently buying anything off the vending machines
  • Camera, extra batteries, and charges to capture the precious moment
  • Address book with the contacts of the people you want to inform about the impending birth
  • iPod to keep both mom and the partner relaxed throughout the labor
  • Massage oils to help comfort mom’s pains during labor

What the Older Kids Need

If you’re bringing along your new baby’s older brothers and sisters, who may just be as excited as you but who may easily grow bored during the wait, make sure to pack the following things:

  • Story books
  • Coloring books, markers, and crayons
  • Toys
  • Snacks
  • Gift for mom and the new baby, preferably something they picked out themselves to make them feel involved and less jealous of the new bundle of joy of the family

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