Other preparations

Labor bag and suitcase

When you go to the hospital, take items that will make you comfortable during your labor and hospital stay. You'll feel more prepared if you pack your labor bag, suitcase and baby clothes ahead of time.

It's a good idea to have two separate bags, one for labor and one for after your baby is born.

Make a list of what you want to pack in the beginning of your third trimester. That way someone else can pack for you if you unexpectedly have to go to the hospital.

Older children

  • You will feel more ready to go into labor if you know who will care for your older child or children. If this person can't be available at any hour, ask several friends or family members to make sure you have 24-hour care.
  • Younger children need reassurance that they will be taken care of.¬†They may not understand all the details. Keep things simple and appropriate for your child's age.
    • If your child is a toddler or preschooler, explain ahead of time that you'll be leaving to have your baby and ___________________________ will be taking care of her. Just give the name of the main person.
    • If it ends up that someone else will care for your child, explain the first person couldn't come and now ______________________ will be caring for her.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, seventh edition, ob-ah-90026
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/02/2015