When the time comes to head off to the hospital, few couples will have the mental prowess to pack a hospital bag. Typically, unless the baby has decided to enter the world a bit sooner than expected, parents pack the hospital bag a few weeks before the due date. The bag is kept in a conspicuous place and is filled with everything mom and baby will need for the hospital stay and the trip home. Most new mothers will attempt to pack everything under the sun from formula to diapers, forgetting that the hospital will supply these items in many cases. Packing the hospital suitcase should involve only the essentials for labor, delivery and the trip home.

         Admission forms
         Stopwatch or watch with second hand for contractions
         CD or mp3 player with calming music
         Cell phone, extra battery, charger (!), external battery
         Lip balm
         Lollipops for dry mouth
         Hair bands or barrettes
         Stress ball or balloon filled with sand
         Video camera
         Digital camera
         Flash camera
         Money for vending machines and cafeteria
         Nursing pads
         Full coverage panties – one size too large
         Feminine napkins
         Large maternity nightgown
         Water bottle
         Personal items for dad
         Baby outfit
         Receiving blankets
         Hat for baby –if applicable
         Baby book
         Stocked baby bag
         Car seat