The last few weeks of pregnancy seem like the longest. By the time you reach 36 weeks you are so tired of being pregnant that you cannot wait for labor to start. You should have your hospital bag packed and waiting by the door for those moments when you think, “is this it?” First time mothers-to-be may be wondering what to bring to the hospital for delivery.

You will want to bring a camera and film to take photos for the family. You will also want to have a few things on hand to freshen up such as a hair brush and some toiletries. A bathrobe and slippers are another good option because the hospital gowns are not very comfortable and open down the back. If your partner will be with you for the delivery you may want to include a few things for them such as a book, magazine, portable dvd player, snacks or a comfy pillow for back support while sitting in  the hospital chairs.

Here is a checklist of items that are must-haves and a few additional items that will make the experience more enjoyable by allowing the mother to be as comfortable as possible for the duration of  labor and delivery.

Hospital Checklist:

  •  Infant car seat
  • Identification
  • Copy of your insurance card
  • A good book
  • Toiletries
  • A bath robe/pajamas
  • Slippers or sandals
  • Money for snacks and incidentals
  • A camera for taking pictures
  • Your baby book
  • Outfits for the baby
  • Comfy clothes for the new mom

The last item on this list is comfy clothes for mom while recovering and for the trip home. New moms may be thinking that once the baby is born you can return to wearing your pre-pregnancy clothes, while this is true eventually, you will not be able to fit into your skinny jeans for several weeks so you will want to bring some comfortable, loose-fitting clothes.

When it comes time to go to the hospital many first-time parents get frustrated and forget things. It helps to make plans in advance and prepare for it as much as possible.  Here are a couple of things you can do in advance that will save time when you arrive and make the transition go as smoothly as possible.

Pre-Registering with the Hospital or Birth Center

Many soon-to-be parents choose to pre-register with the hospital or birth center where they plan to deliver. This is a good idea since it saves time and the need to bring a lot of paperwork. If you are pre-registered you will get seen much quicker when delivery time comes. A bonus to pre-registering is that the hospital includes a tour of the maternity ward and sample packets to take home.

Breast Pump / Car Seat

It is mandatory that you bring an approved child restraint device (car seat) to take the baby home in. If you do not have one, the hospital may have one you can rent. The same goes for breast pumps if you are planning to breastfeed. The hospital grade pumps are electric and work very well at expressing milk. You may also be able to get one from your local WIC clinic as well.

The birth of a baby is an exciting time for new parents. There is so much to do and so many things to plan for. By the time you are ready to deliver most of the planning and preparing will have already been done. These suggestions will help you be prepared and feel more confident when the moment arrives to make that trip to the hospital.