WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR HOSPITAL BAG?
It seems that most mummy websites today have covered this topic, hey, even I did, two years ago. I believe that you can never receive too much advice as an expecting mother, the more info and advice the better I say. But, here is the trick… when old aunty Joan nags at you about breastfeeding or lectures you about not giving your baby a dummy or she says that back in her day, she gave birth to her children under the local park tree, so you don’t need pain relief during labour, you should do the following… Listen, nod and take mental notes on the things you think will work for you.
You will find that this listen/nod/notes trick will work for many situations you will face when it comes to your parenting and the world. Everyone will try and have a say and give you advice, so be sure to do the steps mentioned and walk away and work out if you want to take the advice or not. Trust me, the advice will come left right and centre when the baby arrives, this will be the best tactic to save you from spa zing out on someone like old aunt Joan, or hey, you might want to start hunting for that local park tree now?
So, what to pack for your hospital bag? see my detailed list below and if you have anything to add, be sure to mention it in the comments section below, I would love to hear of anything I missed out on.
BAG #1 An overnight bag:
This will be your bag you take in to the labour ward with you. You will have your larger bag or suitcase in the car until after the baby is born and you send someone down to get it once the baby is born.
Your overnight bag or labour bag has all thing things you and your partner need to get you through you most intense moment of your life, aka dealing with contractions. It will also have items for your fresh new baby.
- An over sized tshirt for you to birth in that will be loose enough to not suffocate you (you will know what I am talking about when you are hot and sweaty) and long enough to cover your private parts.
- Birthing equipment you heard about in your antenatal classes: Hot/cold packs, tens machine, squeeze balls, face washer, lavender scented oils/distraction photos etc.
- Lollies for the husband to keep his energy up, some soft drink and packed snacks for him. Get these well in advance so you don’t forget and just pack them in the bag after you are home from the shops. You don’t want that bastard to leave your side during labour nor complain he is ‘hungry’.
- A fresh pair of very, very loose track pants, a new tshirt and breast feeding singlet for when the baby is born, you are showered and ready to be sent to your room you need to walk (yes you walk sometimes) and look some what decent. You could pack a nighty or pj’s that button down for boob access and a dressing gown if you prefer. Don’t forget the massive undies!
- Fresh clothes and jocks for the husband and potentially swim wear for water births (we don’t want him making an excuse to go home and ‘change’ who does he think he is?
- Monster size sanitary pads (put x2 in this bag the rest in the over night bag)
- Cell Care box if you choose to keep the baby cord
- Baby’s first outfit including: a singlet, nappy (take a couple), onesie, hat, muslin wrap, blanket. (The hospital will usually use their blankets but I would take it just incase)
Tip: Wash your clothes, the baby’s clothes and linen in the same fabric softer so you all have the same scent. I bought my husband a birthing tshirt so he smelt like us too, obviously this isn’t a necessity.
Put the baby clothes in a plastic bag or zip lock bag with labels on it so husband can easily find what you need without tipping the bag upside down.
Side note: If you are having a cesarean, the only things you can take into surgery are your partner, your phone and a camera. No bag! Take all jewellery off before you get to the hospital as you will not be allowed to have these on in surgery.
BAG #2 Hospital Suitcase or Larger over night bag
This is the bag that has all you need for you and your baby for the next 1/2/3/4 nights. I found the best thing is to pack more and have it there just incase, than to have a new dad try and look for what you need at home or at the shops. No one cares or judges you on your bag size, there is always someone else that the midwives have come across that has had more than you!
- 6-8 pairs of huge undies, go up two sizes, make sure they are high waisted and that the elastic is soft. Best and Less had great ones when I was looking for them and they are cheap so you can burn them later on with your maternity clothes.
- 4 Breastfeeding singlet’s (Bonds have the best ones I have known.) You will wear these all day, all night-all the time and to look a little bit chic, if that is even possible, when you have visitors, just chuck on a loose top , a cardi or button up shirt over it.
- Breast Feeding bra’s in the next cup size up.
- Comfy, loose pants x3 pairs
- Socks (it gets cold at night)
- Button down shirt pi’s x2
- Breast pads (like about a million!) x2 packs
- Maternity Pads x2 packs
- Nipple cream (seriously! Yes!)
- Make Up bag with make up if you feel like being human or your skincare routine items
- Hair Care (try Dry Shampoo it is the best invention ever)
- Toothbrush and Paste
- iPad to stalk on instagram during your two hour feeding sessions
- Recovery Shorts or Spanx or Tubi Grip to start sucking the tum back in. This actually suffocated me and I could not wear any of these until I was at least 2 weeks post birth, but that’s just me (after a cesarean not for my natural birth)
- Pen and paper to note down baby feed and poo times or you might have an app for this.
- Going home outfit- something you will feel a little special in but still comfy.
- Thongs or flats
- 8 singlet’s, the ones that are sleeveless and clip at crotch (we say 8 because you might have a few poo accidents)
- 6-8 onesies suits aka the Bonds or Pure Baby zip suits. Don’t bother with the clip ones as you and your partner will be so sleep deprived you will be worshiping the zip Gods for creating such an easy changing method. I say 6-8 because my first baby wasn’t very messy and we came home with some clean ones but my second was very messy and I sent my husband out to pick me up some more! Messy as in poo messy!
- Don’t need mittens or socks now that the onesies have them in-build
- 1 beanie to keep them warm and especially on the hospital-car-home transition.
- 6 muslin wraps to wrap your baby for its sleeps.
- Bassinet blanket
- Nappies (newborn) buy a bulk box and take out one lot that are packed up and take that. When you get back home, you would usually go through 2/3 bulk boxes.
- Wipes, this is up to you if you want to use purchased wipes on your baby. The first pregnancy, I used cotton balls with water, which meant I had to have luke warm water on stand by and cotton balls and a bag to throw them in. The second I jumped straight into the unscented wipes and life was so much easier! Another alternative, which I will do for my third baby (did I say that?) is to buy dry wipes from Baby Bunting (about $5 a box) and then use nappy wipe cream (La Clinica) and wipe with that.
- A dummy, sterilize it with boiling water
- Baby routine book or download Midwife Caths apps (optional of course)
- Nail file to file baby nails (not clippers, please no clippers! I had a very bloody accident, which was not nice!)
- Baby cardigan for the drive home
- A present for the baby’s sibling/s and a gift for the baby from its new big bro or sis
- Any preferred baby wash
- Don’t forget to have the baby car seat ready and in before getting to the hospital
Tip: When you are at home for the first time with your baby, put him in the bassinet with the same wrap and blanket he had at the hospital so he feels secure and familiar.
I am sure there might be a couple of things missing off the list, but don’t forget to ask your friends for their tips too and your hospital, as every hospital is different.
Good Luck xo