Updated June 26, 2020
There are plenty of lists of what to pack for when it's GO TIME. I've looked at a fair few myself! That said, what I've packed has certainly changed through the years and births. With my first son 9 years ago I packed just about everything. A huge rolling suitcase full of things we mostly didn't use. With my second son we packed a lot of labor comforts (ipod/dock/custom labor mix) but had relaxed so much we didn't even have a pretty receiving blanket for photos when the photographer came! By my third I still brought labor things (including birth affirmations, snacks and Sheila Kitzinger's Birth Rediscovered, which I laughed and read out-loud while at 8cm, much to my nurse's bemusement!) but I had probably found a good middle ground between packing the baby's whole nursery and not having anything but a hospital onesie and sheet for my little guy. And...you could use Baptist's new blog post on the subject, but mine has cuter pictures and a printable, so there :D So without further ado, here is a list of good things to have (and a nifty printable checklist if you need the physical satisfaction of checking things off!).
Chux (for the car seat)
Witch Hazel Wipes/spray/foam
Labor gown (I made my own!), or skirt, Pjs, Robe
Blanket/Pillow (try to choose a colorful pillowcase so it doesn't get confused with the hospital pancake pillows)
Going home outfit (COMFY please!)
Flip flops for hallway walking
Bras (nursing/comfy). A pumping bra isn't a bad idea in case you'd like to try pumping to stimulate contractions. If you don't have one, your nurse may be awesome enough to create one for you out of mesh undies :D See photos below ;)
Undies (the bigger the better for holding in those mondo pads! Unless you like the hospital undies, which is fine too. I loved them and took them home for washing and re-wearing, ha!)
Nursing pads/Lanolin (I didn't need these in the hospital but some moms do!)
Gum/snacks for labor
Musical device (iphone dock? Echo so you can yell at Alexa when you don't fancy the song? Whatevs!)
Toiletries (for you and your partner):
Makeup if you want it!
Essential oils/herbal remedies such as AfterEase
For your partner:
Change of clothes
Ipad/device for video chat. Since visitors are so limited you may want to have options to virtually bring in other family or professional birth support!
Snacks/Change for vending machines (be aware that during Covid-19 precautions your visitor may not be able to come and go during the stay - so should contact the hospital and discuss this so as to be prepared food-wise! This goes for mom too if there are any special dietary considerations.)
Your birth photographer's when to call cheat sheet ;) ***
chargers for all ze electronics
IDs and Insurance
Carseat! (This doesn't have to be brought up to the room until you are nearly ready to leave)
Baby book (if you want footprints in it)
Cute receiving blanket/outfit for photos
Going home outfit
Diapers/wipes (if you have a preference on brand/or want cloth - otherwise the hospital has you covered).
Some of the awesome responses from my crowd sourcing fb post:
***ps: in the rush to grab your meticulously packed bags, don't forget to give your birth photographer an update call! Haven't booked yet? You can find compelling reasons to do so here, investment information here or contact me here with any questions or to schedule your free in person consultation! (Assuming more than one visitor is permitted - or if things change to allow a doula in addition to the one visitor. If this is something you care about, here is a list of calls you can make to make this known.)
(And for fun you can check out this article on what women around the world pack!)
*A few of these photos are from Conway and Springhill Baptist ;)