The Ultimate Checklist: What to Pack in Your NICU Bag

The Ultimate Checklist: What to Pack in Your NICU Bag, Blue baby clothes, baby outfit, baby items on bed

Moms and dads, let’s be honest- time moves SLOWLY in the hospital. Especially in the NICU.

On one hand, that’s great- you have the opportunity to soak up and savor every precious moment with your baby, document those hard-earned milestones, and learn from the care team.

But the truth is, it can get a little boring sitting beside that isolette while your little one gets that much-needed sleep, and there are only so many reruns of The Wonder Years you can watch on the hospital TV!!

To help keep you comfortable and content during those long hours in the NICU, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of EVERYTHING you need in your NICU bag:

For Comfort:

  • Chapstick to keep your lips hydrated in the dry hospital air
  • Unscented lotion for your hands because you’ll be washing them a LOT
  • Cozy blanket or quilt to keep you warm in your baby’s room
  • A favorite sweater or hoodie for those chilly walks to the cafeteria or coffee machine
  • Comfortable shoes or even slippers for when you’re bonding bedside
  • Hair ties or headbands to keep your hair out of your way when you’re helping with bath time or diaper changes
  • Breast pump or pumping supplies
  • A robe or button-down shirt to keep you covered and comfy during skin-to-skin contact
  • Healthy snacks to keep you energized and feeling good
  • A reusable water bottle to keep you hydrated

For Fun:

  • Books and magazines
  • A phone or tablet with episodes of your favorite podcasts, tv shows, or movies already downloaded
  • An uplifting playlist of songs to listen to
  • If you’re crafty embroidery, cross-stitch, or needlepoint can be a great boredom buster
  • Adult coloring books can be fun AND calming
  • Bring photos, NICU prints, or Milestone cards to personalize your baby’s space
  • Your favorite picture books can be a wonderful way to bond with your baby and let them hear your voice - here are some of my favorite read aloud books for the NICU
  • A special lovey or blanket to put in your little one’s isolette (pro tip- take LOTS of pictures! That special stuffie will be a great reminder of how much your kiddo has grown!)
  • Cute outfits for baby- even if your little sweetie can’t wear them yet, that day will be here before you know it, and you’ll want something cute on hand for all those pictures
  • journal to track baby’s progress, record questions, and celebrate every accomplishment
  •  My First Year calendar to jot the highlights of every amazing day

A thoughtfully-packed NICU bag will ensure that you’re comfortable and entertained throughout your NICU journey.

 Got anything to add to the list? We’d love to hear it!