The nursery is all complete, the car seat purchased, and almost all prenatal classes done and dusted. The only thing left to do is to pack your bag for this hospital. Read on for a comprehensive list of everything you could ever need during your stay.
Once packed, it’s a good idea to keep the bag either in your car or in an easily accessible place, such as by the front door. You might also want to pack a couple of separate bags to save lugging everything into hospital when you are in labor.
Hospital bag checklist for Mom
General (make sure these are at the top of the bag or in an easy to find part of the bag)
- Hospital pre-admission paper work;
- Insurance details;
- Photo ID;
- A couple of copies of your birth plan (if you have one);
- Medication you need to take regularly.
For during labor
- T-shirt for laboring in or a wrap around gown;
- Sports bra/ bathing suit top for water births;
- Slip on shoes (such as flip flops) that are easy to get on or off and can get wet;
- Hair ties/ clips/ hair band to keep your hair off your face;
- Massage oil/ lotion;
- Lip balm;
- Snacks to give you energy;
- Energy drinks;
- A sports water bottle that comes with a straw;
- Playlist downloaded on your phone of your favourite tunes. It might be a good idea to make several playlists you can select depending on your mood (e.g. meditative/ calming music, high energy music);
- Entertainment (e.g. ipad, magazines, books).
For after birth
- Ipad or Kindle plus headphones;
- Chargers/ portable chargers for phone etc;
- Your own pillow;
- Nursing tops;
- Dark colored underwear;
- Lounge pants;
- Sleep mask and ear plugs (especially if you are going to be in a shared room);
- Maternity pads (at least 2 packets);
- Perineum Heating & Cooling Strip;
- Clothes to go home in. Leggings and a loose fitting top are a good idea. Don’t expect to leave the hospital in your pre-pregnancy clothes;
- Bags to put dirty clothes in;
- Regular toiletries (hairbrush, shampoo/conditioner, dry shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shower gel, facewash, moisturiser, makeup, face wipes, contact lenses + contact lense solution, if you wear them). Side note: anything to make you feel pampered is a great idea!
- Hair dryer (if the hospital does not supply one);
- Small gifts for the nurses/ midwives.
- Nursing bras;
- Nursing pads;
- Nursing wrap so you can breastfeed discretely when visitors arrive;
- Nipple balm/ cream;
- Nipple shields;
- Breastfeeding hot and cold packs.
Hospital bag for c-sections
In addition to the above, if you know or suspect you might be having a c section, consider packing:
- C section underwear (anything that is high wasted and won’t irritate the c-section scar);
- Peppermint teabags or peppermints. These help to soothe the pain of trapped wind, which may occur post surgery;
- Belly binder (even if your hospital provides one, you may want your own for after you are discharged).
Hospital bag checklist for the baby and older siblings
- Extra nappies (newborn size). The baby will go through about 10 nappies per day. Check with the hospital as to how many they provide;
- Going home outfit, preferably in 2 sizes;
- Baby hat, booties plus extra baby blanket if it is going to be cold outside when you are going home;
- Muslin squares/ burp clothes;
- Blanket if it is going to be cold outside when you leave the hospital;
- A gift from the baby to siblings. Hopefully this will help with any sibling jealousy that may be brewing;
- Activities and snacks for siblings when they visit. A newborn baby can get pretty boring pretty quickly for young kids.
Formula feeding extras
- If you are intending to formula feed right from the start, check what the hospital supplies. Some hospitals actively discourage formula feeding and won’t provide any equipment unless the baby is having trouble breastfeeding. In this case you will need baby bottles (at least 4-5), your preferred brand of formula and a bottle sterilizer;
Hospital bag checklist for Dad
- Copy of the birth plan (if you have one);
- Phone and/ or camera plus chargers;
- Book or ipad plus headphones to keep him entertained during any downtime throughout the birth;
- List of people to text/ call/ email to announce the birth;
- His favourite snacks and drinks and/ or change for the vending machines;
- Pillow – he may be in for a long night;
- Swimmers plus flipflops so he can assist during a waterbirth or even just hop in the shower with you if you need support;
- Change of clothes (including something warm) plus a towel so that he can shower too;
- Toiletries such as a toothbrush, deodorant, razor etc; and
- Medication he needs to take regularly.
And don’t forget to have the car seat installed!
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.