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Your baby is nearly here; the nursery is well on its way to becoming the perfect haven for your little one, and you’ve stocked up on nappies, wipes and cute little sleep outfits. You’ll have everything you need once you bring your little bundle of joy home, but what about while you are in the hospital?
You may not be planning to have your baby in the hospital, but it always pays to be prepared in the event you have to go in unexpectedly.
when should I have my bag packed?
You should probably start thinking about what to put in your bag around week 33 and have everything packed by week 35. Your little one might decide to make an early appearance so it’s always wise to be ready to go.
Personally, I wanted full control of this exciting task and didn’t want to risk leaving it too late so that someone else (namely my husband) was left haphazardly throwing things into a bag in a panic!
When you’ve packed your bag, it’s a good idea to leave it in the hallway so it can be grabbed quickly on the way out, or in the car you plan on travelling to the hospital in.
what to pack
If you are wondering what you should pack in your hospital bag, our handy checklist will help.
Your birth plan and maternity notes
Clothes - including an old nightdress you don’t mind getting messy, clean nightdress and pyjamas suitable for feeding, dressing gown, slippers that are easy to get on and off (leave the giant mickey mouse slippers at home) and comfortable clothes for going home in
Massage oil - use one that’s approved for use during pregnancy
Cheap or disposable knickers - don’t pack your best undies, stick to comfortable cotton ones
Toiletries and a towel - keep it to the basics, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial wipes, deodorant, mini shampoo and shower gel
Hairbands - if you have longer hair, you may wish to tie it back during labour
Book or magazine - pack items that might help you pass the time
Music - your favourite tunes or some calming music can help you relax
Snacks - it’s important to keep your energy up during labour, pack some energy boosting snacks and sports drinks
Ear plugs and eye mask - if you stay overnight, the ward can be a noisy place to try and sleep
for your birth partner
Mobile phone and charger - make sure you have it handy for taking pictures and letting friends and relatives know when your baby has arrived
Video camera - if you plan on filming the birth
Straws - bendy straws are handy when you can’t get up to take a sip of drink
Snacks and drinks - your birth partner will need to keep their energy up too!
A change of clothes
Cooling water spray or fan - great for cooling you down while you are in labour
Two or three sleepsuits and vests
Nappies - lots, newborns go through heaps!
Cotton wool pads - a bowl of lukewarm water and cotton wool are much gentler on your newborn than baby wipes
Muslin squares - great for feeding and mopping up anything that comes back up
Baby blanket - hospitals will provide some, but it can get cold so it’s always good to have an extra
Going home outfit - a nice outfit for those new baby pictures
Car seat - the hospital normally won’t let you leave without one. Make sure it has been fitted correctly well in advance of the birth and practice putting it in several times
Use a bag that has easy access and maybe a few pockets to keep those little items you might want at a moment’s notice. Yelling “get me my lip balm NOW!” to your other half while they rummage amongst socks and nappies is a stress that you just don’t need during labour.
It’s important to make sure you have the essentials covered, but this is your bag so pack some personal items that are going to make your hospital stay as comfortable as possible. Print out our list and tick things off as you go so nothing is forgotten.
All that is left now is to wait for your baby’s arrival!
join the conversation
Do you have any unusual items in your hospital bag? What did you find most useful to pack in your hospital bag? We’d love to hear what they are and why you packed them!