What You Should Bring to the Hospital for Labor and Birth:
1. Bring 2 pairs of warm socks or slipper socks. Your feet will get cold without socks. And if you walk around during labor, you will need slippers or slip socks.
2. Bring a Few pairs of Granny Underwear. Seriously, the Pads you will be given to wear after the birth are enormous and you need big, comfy underwear wear that is not tight. You want that area as comfortable as possible and tight small undies are going to make you more uncomfortable. I promise- you need to go buy some big, not too tight undies just for your first week after the birth.
3. If you are bringing your own nightgown or pj's- may sure it is easy to open the top and nurse your baby. Even if you don't know if you are going to nurse- you may decide to try- so bring a nightgown you can nurse with without lifting the entire thing. And during labor and the first day after birth, you cannot have on pants because they will need to check you, so consider a nightgown for that time or just wear the hospital gown they give you.
You may have visitors to the hospital so make sure you bring something to wear that you are comfortable in.
I might recommend packing a long sleeve, comfy cardigan in case you get cold.
4. There are some other odds and ends you might want to bring such as:
headphones with soothing or relaxing music
Gum. You cannot eat once you check into the hospital until you deliver your baby, so eat before heading to the hospital and bring gum to chew.
Snacks- Granola Bars, Apples and small snacks are always great to have in your bag for your partner or after the birth if you are hungry when no one is around to grab you something.
Small Bag of Toiletries- what ever you need to get a shower and ready for the day after your baby is born (you may be in the hospital more than 1 night-depending on the delivery time and if you had to have a c-section).
Camera and/or Video Camera
Make sure you have a charged camera battery or extras, and plenty of storage space for pictures.
Small note pad and pen. You or your spouse may want to write down who gave you any gifts or flowers while in the hospital or note who your doctors and nurses were.
Contact List of People to call once your little bundle of joy arrives and a Cell Phone.
If you are leaving any small thank you notes or goodies for the nurses/doctors you can bring it with you and ready to go so you do not have to worry about it once you go into labor. Some people enjoy leaving thank you or goodies or small items for their nurses and doctors. It is completely up to you.
You have to have a approved car seat in your car and properly secured ( I would recommend installing it ahead of time and having a local fire station check it for proper installation) in order to take your baby home. When you and your baby are discharged the nurse will wheel you down to your car and will check for the car seat.