As you’ve likely spent the last few months carefully selecting baby gear, stocking up on baby essentials, and lovingly preparing the nursery, there’s one task that may have been hovering on your to-do list—the art of packing your hospital bag.
I remember procrastinating a lot on this task. Even pondering the very basics of bag choices. Should I bring a trusty trolley or opt for a soft, more versatile option? The struggle was real! You see, packing, whether for a big adventure like this or a simple holiday, has never been my cup of tea. It somehow triggers a dose of anxiety I can’t quite explain.
The dilemma was all too real when it came to packing my hospital bag. I constantly found myself asking, “What on earth should I bring?” I feared leaving out essentials but also didn’t want to become an over-packer extraordinaire.
And I knew the hospital wasn’t that far away in case I needed something but should we talk about husbands and finding things? Exactly, I thought so. I know, it’s not a myth. They seem to have a knack for not seeing things, let alone finding them when they’re not part of their daily routine. So yes, make sure you have all you need!
That’s why, I thought to write this blog post for those who are like me and need a bit of guidance. Keep in mind that this is based on my experience.
So let’s dive into what to pack in your hospital bag.
A few general considerations.
- Pack It Early: First things first, let’s talk timing. Pack that bag early, preferably around the 34/35-week mark. Why so soon, you ask? Well, it’s all about dodging the last-minute chaos or the nail-biting scenario of someone else attempting a hasty-packed job while you’re deep into labour land. Trust me, you want this in the bag (pun intended) well before the big day arrives. Plus, once is done, your mind is free – procrastination in this case keeps a tab of your brain always open which is not good!
- Keep a Checklist: It’s very helpful to have a checklist in your bag. This will help you to track what you packed already and what are those last-minute additions, like your trusty phone charger. You can find a downloadable checklist to guide you through the packing. Just click and grab it! From toiletries to baby items, make sure you tick them all!
- Your Hospital Notes: Your hospital notes and birth plan are your lifeline during this journey. After each prenatal appointment, place your notes in a safe place. They are, without a doubt, the most crucial item on your checklist and could easily slip your mind in the rush to the hospital.
- Comfort Is Key: Your hospital stay can range from a day to a few, so it’s crucial to pack comfortable clothing. On average, if you deliver vaginally you will stay in the hospital for 1-2 days. If you have a C-section, it’s likely you will stay for a bit longer, so keep that in mind when you pack your bag. Think loose-fitting pyjamas, cosy socks, and comfortable maternity bras. Also remember, when you leave the hospital, your body may still be tender after the miracle of childbirth. Opt for comfortable, loose-fitting clothing—nothing that cinches around your stomach, especially if you’ve had a C-section; that area will need extra tenderness.
For mum in labour and after
- 3 nighties/Pjs – preferably open front so you can breastfeed if that’s your choice
- flip-flops or shower shoes
- tank top/sports bra in case of water birth
- 2 large T-shirts or 2 sets of loose clothes
- soft non-slip socks a couple of pairs- you can use them as slippers too
- cotton undies, big, comfy the grandma style (not fancy, lacey…) /disposable knickers
- maternity pads 2 packs
- toiletries (shower gel, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, hairbrush, hairbands, deodorant, face cream, haemorrhoid cream)
- bath towel
- 2 Nursing bras or if you haven’t bought them yet sports bras
- breast pads a few just in case but your milk won’t come straight away
- nipple cream
- going home clothes (comfy maternity clothes and comfy flat shoes)
- phone charger
- hospital notes/birth plan
- wet wipes
- water bottle
Treat Yourself: Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to include a little treat for yourself. Whether it’s your favourite chocolates or your face cream, make sure it’s something that brings a smile to your face. After all, these little indulgences can go a long way in making you feel good during your hospital stay
- baby clothes: 3 body vests and 3 sleepsuits (more if you plan a C-section)
- consider a matching hat and swaddle for the must-have first photo!
- going home clothes
- a pack of nappies
- water based wipes
- vaseline/Sudocrem ( any nappy barrier cream)
- bottle/formula/dummy if you are not planning to breastfeed
- car seat
As a newborn photographer, I always think in pictures, so think about the baby outfits you pack in your bag. They will be in the very first photos!!
Download your Hospital bag checklist below.
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