As you reach the nine month mark in your pregnancy, you're probably busy tying up loose ends, finishing up the nursery, and trying to catch up on lost sleep before your life turns upside down (in the best way possible, of course.) But before you relax, it may be a great time to think about packing your hospital bag. Obviously, you won't need it right away, but deciding when to pack your hospital bag shouldn't be the last task on your list. Getting it out of the way before your due date will save you unnecessary stress as you enter the final weeks before meeting your little one.
According to Parents, you should start to think about packing your hospital bag at around 34 weeks. At this point, you're close to full term and the end is in sight, so having your bag packed and ready will ensure that you're as prepared as possible should your baby decide to come early.
Even if you're having a scheduled induction or C-section, it's still a good idea to pack ahead of time, because as we all know, sometimes babies have a mind of their own.
There are the standard hospital bag items that you aren't likely to forget, like a change of clothes for you (and your partner,) a set of clothes for baby, your phone and charger, and your must-have toiletries. However, there are a few items that aren't always the "typical" essentials for new moms, that you may end up wanting just as much as your favorite pair of sweatpants.
1. Calming Music
One of the most empowering and calming tools in my hospital bag was my Pandora playlist of calming music. In the middle of the worst contractions, the music gave me something to focus on and breathe through. You can bring your phone, create a special CD, or go old school and pack your entire boom-box for the occasion — because people totally still have boom-boxes, right?
2. Comfort Food
I'll tell you a secret: right after giving birth to a human, you're going to be hungry. Like more hungry than you've ever been in your life. Even if your medical team advises you not to eat during labor, you can still pack some treats for after it's all over. It's likely to be much better than the hospital food.
3. Entertainment For The Slow Hours
Most expecting moms think of everything to bring with them for the painful moments of labor, but forget that sometimes the early hours of labor greatly outweigh the painful ones. You may have long periods of waiting for contractions to strengthen, and in that case, some reading material, your favorite crosswords, or a card game to play with your partner will help pass the time until things get going.