Here at Daily Essential we like to share our knowledge that we’ve learnt as parents along the way and with a total of 5 births in the team you could say that we have had our fair share of experiences in packing the baby’s bag for the hospital. Today we are sharing our hospital bag check list full of advice on what to pack for both mum and baby.
You may be wondering when’s the right time to pack your hospital bag. It’s never too early however many expecting mums have their bags packed around 34-36 weeks. You also don’t want to leave it until the last minute incase you go into labour early as the last thing you’ll be wanting to do is be running around to get everything together that you need to take with you to the hospital in between contractions. It’s a good idea to have it ready in the car or make sure your birthing partner knows where it is and have a list of the last bits and bobs you need adding before leaving.
You don’t know how long your labour will last or how long you will need to be kept in after giving birth so you don’t really know how long you’ll be there for. Most new mums stay in the hospital for at least one night, if you had a smooth labour with no complications you may even be able to go home on the same day, however if you have a c-section you’ll have to stay for several days. If you are worried about having to stay longer and not having enough clothes you could always pack a second bag to leave in the car or at home with extras of everything and you partner or family member can bring it along to the hospital when needed.
Hospital bag essentials
It’s a good idea to pack two bags – one for labour and one for after birth. Or if you prefer a separate one for mum and one for baby, it’s completely up to you. Here are some suggestions on what you will need to pack in your hospital bag for both mum and baby.
✓ Change for the car park
✓ Maternity notes and birth plan
✓ iPod and headphones
✓ Socks – You don’t want to be walking around bare foot
✓ Lightweight dressing gown or slippers – preferably a dark colour to hide any stains
✓ An old nightie or long t-shirt – giving birth is messy, you don’t want to be wearing your best clothes
✓ An old nightie or t-shirt – giving birth is messy, so be prepared to throw it away afterwards
✓ Tens machine – if you will be using one
✓ A book or magazines especially if you are being induced to help pass the time
✓ Lip balm – your lips can dry out during birth
✓ Hairbands or grips – if you’ve got long hair you may want to tie your hair back during labour
✓ Snacks and drinks – Hospitals can be expensive, pack enough snacks for you and your birthing partner
After giving birth
✓ Camera – You will want to snap away all those precious moments
✓ Breast pads – you will need these whether you plan to breastfeed or not
✓ Nursing bras – if you choose to breastfeed
✓ Nipple cream – Lanholin is fantastic
✓ Maternity pads – These are bigger and more absorbent than ordinary sanitary towels, you may need a few packs as you will need to change them every couple of hours
✓ Comfy underwear – Don’t worry about having pretty underwear
✓ A couple of nighties or t-shirts – with easy access if you wish to breastfeed
✓ Shower accessories and a dark towel – An unperfumed shower gel is a good idea as you will be sensitive after giving birth
✓ Toiletry bag – Keep to the basics such as toothbrush and paste, face wipes, moisturiser, dry shampoo and deodorant. Travel sized bottles are great for hospitals
✓ Going home clothes – Keep them comfy and loose fitting. Remember you may not fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes just yet.
✓ Plastic bag to put dirty clothes in
✓ Nappies and nappy cream – You will be changing your baby’s nappy between 8-10 times a day ensure you have enough for a couple of days and newborn sized
✓ Cotton wool – It’s not recommended to use baby wipes for newborns until they are around two to four weeks old.
✓ Baby vests – Around 5
✓ Sleep suits – Pack at least 4 to 5 and in a range of sizes. Also have a few more available at home just in case.
✓ Cardigan – Pack 2-3 to keep them warm especially during the winter
✓ Scratch mittens – To prevent your little one from scratching themselves
✓ Socks – Socks tend to stay on baby’s feet much better than booties
✓ Baby hat – for the ride home
✓ A going home outfit – Choose something special
✓ Baby blanket – keep baby snug on the way home
✓ Baby car seat – You won’t be able to leave the hospital with your baby without one
NON ESSENTIAL ITEMS
These are items which you could easily go without but you may wish considering packing them to help make the hospital experience much more pleasant.
✓ Hair brush and basic make up – You may want to look nice for visitors and photos
✓ Hot water bottle – May help with backache during contractions
✓ Flannel and spray bottle – have your birthing partner spray your face during labour
✓ Pillow/blanket – for comfort taking in your own pillow or blanket may help calm your nerves
✓ Chocolate and card for your midwife – It’s always nice to show your appreciation
✓ If this isn’t your first baby it’s always nice to give the big brother or sister a present from the baby.
✓ Phone and charger
✓ Write any important numbers down on paper incase your mobile goes flat
✓ Eye mask if you have trouble sleeping with the light on
✓ Hand held fan
✓ Newborn baby book
✓ Spare change for parking and vending machine
✓ Baby grooming kit
Everyone is different, what one expecting mother may pack, another may leave out. So don’t worry if you overheard one lady at the antenatal class mention she was packing her baby’s record book. If you don’t have room for it – leave it at home!
We hope you find this checklist helpful, don’t forget to bookmark it for when the time comes to pack your bags.