The Essential guide of what to pack in your Hospital Bag, so you are as prepared as you can be, for the birth of your baby.
You have set-up the nursery, the car seat is waiting to be filled. Now you have the dreaded task of packing the hospital bag. What on earth will you need? Packing a hospital bag for new parents can be a daunting task. But it doesn't need to be with my essential list. You will walk into that hospital with a suitcase filled with everything you need.
My Story: When I went into labour with my second daughter, I didn't even have a bag packed. I was running around the house at midnight frantically throwing things into a suitcase. I googled a hospital bag checklist to make sure, in my panic, I didn't forget anything important. The hospital was an hours drive away, I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed.
1. Mum's Bag Essential
Your bag is probably the most important. If you are very short on time, and things have happened unexpectedly. Remember the hospital will have all the essentials for baby - such as nappies, singlets and blankets.
Here are a list of essentials you will need:
If you plan on breast feeding buy pyjamas that have button down access. This will make breast feeding easier. You can purchase breast feeding night-ware from most clothing stores such as Kmart/Target, and online stores such as Bae The Label, Peter Alexander and many more. Here are a few links:
Dressing Gown/ Robe
Hospitals can be cold, so be sure to pack a snuggly dressing gown. Having your favourite dressing gown can often make you feel more at home. When your in a foreign environment and stress levels are high, having a small piece of home may help calm you.
How nice are a new pair of slippers. The last thing you want is to be walking the hospital floors bare foot. Pack a fluffy pair of slippers and thongs for your stay.
5 pairs of comfy/large underwear.
Comfort is key after having a baby. I can tell you, you do not want tight, restrictive underwear after having a baby. The high waisted underwear is the best choice postpartum. If you have a cesarean, a higher waste will help sit above your scar line, and not be irritating while sitting and laying in bed.
2 pairs of comfortable loose t-shirts (pick easy access t'shirts if breast feeding)
You can find stretchy singlets that are great for breast feeding. Or tops with zips/buttons in most clothing stores.
There's a reason they call child birth "labour". It's the hardest labour you might ever find yourself in. So stay hydrated and bring a water bottle.
If you are breast feeding you are going to be parched. So make sure you keep up those fluids. Every labour ward has a kitchenette, find it to keep your water bottles filled, and make yourself cups of tea/snacks.
Crop top/nursing bras
Buy a comfy wire free crop top for labour and a second for your hospital stay. The crop top my become dirty during labour, so be sure to pack a second.
I don't know about you, but I don't stay anywhere without my own pillow. Plus hospital pillows are crunchy and big. Hospital linen is not made for comfort, I'm sure they make it as uncomfortable as possible so you don't overstay your welcome!
DO NOT forget this one. Purchase an extra long cabled charger, so you can have it plugged in and it won't get stuck on the hospital bed railings. And may reach across the room.
Ok now you are sorted, lets move on to babies bag!
2. Babies Bag
You don't need all the fancy outfits, and headbands for your hospital stay. Save those for home when friends and family come to visit. This time is all about snuggling and getting to know each other. Keep it simple and pack the essentials:
"this time is all about snuggling and getting to know each other".
5 x Newborn Sized (0000) Onesies
The best onesies for newborns are those with zips and closed in feet to keep toes warm. Babies love to be cozy. 9 months of being all snug in your belly has accustomed them to being warm at all times. Onesies with buttons can be arduous to do up multiple times a night for nappy changes.
Tip: Purebaby have the softest onesies. I used them for both my girls as neborns and in my hospital bag.
5 x Newborn Singlets
I found the best singlets to be the button crotch variety. As they didn't slowly creep up under a onesie leaving their torso cold.
Tip: Target, Kmart and Bonds all sell button singlets
1 pair of booties/socks
It may be wise to pack a pair of booties or socks for extra warmth.
Babies lose a lot of warmth from their head, and often don't have much hair to keep them warm. Pack a beanie to keep them comfortable and warm during their stay.
2 x Swaddle's or Love To Dream Swaddles
You will have perfected the swaddle by the time you leave hospital. Some babies love to have their arms all tucked in, mimicking the safe feeling of being in the womb. All babies have a startle reflex, causing their arms to throw around when startled, or in their sleep. This can wake them up. Having them nicely swaddled ensures they are warm and safe.
Tip: Love to dream swaddles allow for arms-up swaddling. Perfect for ninja babies that always manage to un-wrap themselves.
1 x Warm knit or flannel blanket
A second banket to put on over a swaddle and have in the bassinet will keep them cozy.
You might not have decided whether your baby will need a dummy or not. But I recommend having one ready to use should you need it. Babies like sucking on dummies because it reminds them of being in the womb. Sucking is one of the 5 womb sensations, capable of triggering a babies innate calming reflex.
Tip: Try a few different teets. You may find your baby likes a certain style of dummy. Mine loved the latex, soft round style dummy.
It didn't happen if you didn't take a photo right?! There are so many cute announcement plaques and signs.
3. Toiletry Bag
This ones a simple list. Feel free to add extra things that you like to take with you, such as makeup and personal items. I recommend not taking any valuable items into hospital with you.
Hair Brush/Hair Ties
Lanolin Nipple Balm (seconds as lip balm if you forget that)
Packet of Maternity Pads or Adult Diapers
Breast Shields (optional)
4 - Extra's
A few bits and pieces you will also need.
Snack Bag: Pack lots of snacks for labour and after birth. I was so hungry after my labours. It was great to have access to muesli bars and fruit boxes I had packed. Your ward should have a little kitchenette available to patients. Ask the nurse where it is, so you can make yourself a cup of tea/coffee when you feel like it.
Music Speaker: If you want calming or motivational music while in labour, pack your speaker to get the vibe right.
Change of clothes for Dad/Partner: Dad/Partners often get forgotten during the labour. Pack a change of clothes and essential toiletries just incase they are needed.
Ear Plugs: Hospitals are noisy places. If you are having a very long labour, you may want a rest. After baby has arrived, it can also be hard to sleep with all the banging, crashing and bells around the ward. Pack some ear plugs for some much needed rest. Tip: The nurses station often has a few if you forget to pack some.
Hooray, You are all set!! Don't forget to download and print the guide to use at home.
If you managed to get this far with everything ticked off, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You are all READY. All you need now is for that baby to make its long awaited arrival.
I hope this helped calm your nerves about what to pack. Now all you need to do is book in those newborn photo's. You can contact me by following this link: https://www.thedarlingfolk.com/contact
I wish you all the best during your birth. Remember, nothing goes to plan with babies, roll with it, you are in safe hands.
I can't wait to hear your birth story and meet your darling baby.