So, you are now ready to welcome your little one home. Your excitement level is at its peak and you are making sure that you have everything ready and in place for your little bundle of joy. Unless you have a delivery date scheduled, the moment when your baby decides to make their entry into this world can send you into a frenzy. Hence you need to be well-prepared in advance to rush to the hospital the moment you go into labour. This means you need to make sure you have your maternity bag or hospital bag packed days ahead, to ensure you do not forget any of the essentials you will need during your stay in the hospital.
When should you start packing your bag?
Ideally, once you reach your 34th or 35th week, you should get this bag ready. Do not delay packing your bag beyond the 38th week.
How many bags should you pack?
There should be three bags packed – one for you, one for the baby and one for your partner.
What should you pack in your bags?
Here is the ultimate checklist for your hospital bag!
FOR THE NEW MOMMY:
Documents: make sure you have your hospital file, ID proof and insurance papers packed.
Dressing Gown: a comfortable dressing gown to cover up when going out to walk in the corridors
Night dresses: front opening night dresses to enable easy breastfeeding
Socks: if the weather is cold, or just to feel comfortable
Slippers: pack a pair of comfortable slippers that is easy to get in and out off
Lip balm: to help tackle chapped lips
Maternity pads: extra-large and heavy duty maternity pads will be required during the first couple of days
Underwear: big, comfortable and numerous pairs of underwear will be required. Stick to cotton underwear
Nursing bra: you might want to invest in a pair of good quality nursing bras
Nursing pads: especially for when you will be travelling back home
Towels: at least two big towels and couple of small face towels will be needed
Tissues: you will need to pack both wet tissues and dry tissues papers
Comb: don’t forget to pack a comb along with a bunch of hair ties and hair bands.
Spectacles/Contact lenses: pack an extra pair of glasses or contacts in your bag, so as not to forget them during the rush of going to the hospital
Toothbrush and toothpaste: you will need to pack your toiletries such as your toothbrush and toothpaste
Phone charger and ear buds: make sure you pack an extra charger in your bag beforehand and ear buds
Clothes: pack some clothes for when you will be going home. You might want to take some photos of the moment, so pack couple of clothes – something fancy and something comfortable
Flask: you may need to drink some warm liquids quite often, hence a flask will be very handy
Face masks: this article is being written while we are in the midst of a pandemic, hence face masks are extremely important. Don’t forget to pack some extra
Sanitizers: get a big bottle of sanitizer that can be kept next to your bedside in the hospital, for everyone to use
Bedsheets: even though the hospital will provide you with bedsheets, you may carry couple of bedsheets from home for your comfort
Small pillow: can be used either by you or your partner
Extra bag: carry an extra bag to fill it in with your dirty clothes
Water bottle: carry a bottle that can be filled with drinking water from the hospital
Facewash/soap: you will need to take shower in the hospital, hence carry your personal soap and face wash
Snacks/drinks: occasionally when labour is very long, you may want to eat something (check with your doctor if that’s allowed) or drink something. Carry some sugar-free candies or snacks, if allowed
Eye mask and ear plugs: these may be required by you to get some sleep without any disturbance
Face masks: It’s Covid season so keep them handy even if you are vaccinated especially for anyone coming to the hospital with you
FOR THE BABY:
Clothes: pack numerous front opening tee shirts and vests, along with couple of bodysuits
Socks: depending on the weather, pack few pairs of socks
Caps: again, depending on the weather, you may want to pack couple of caps for the baby
Hand mittens: to protect your baby’s little hands
Swaddling blankets: you will need at least four to five swaddling blankets to tuck your baby in
Baby Blankets: pack one or two slightly thicker baby blankets for your baby to lie on
Diapers: if you will be using diapers, then pack couple of packs of new born diapers
Cloth diapers: if you will be using cloth diapers, then pack couple of dozen diapers or more, if there is no opportunity to wash them
Wet wipes: couple of packs of wet wipes will be required
Bibs or burp cloth: they may be essential if you baby will be bottle fed
Baby toiletries: your maternity nurses may give your baby a bath on the second of third day, so pack baby soap or body wash, shampoo, and baby massage oil
Towels: at least one big and two small towels may be required
Diaper changing mat: pick up a bigger size mat that can be used for the next few months
Waterproof bed pad: a waterproof bed sheet/bed pad will be especially required, if your baby will be using cloth diapers
FOR YOUR PARTNER:
Clothes: pack extra pair of clothes so they can easily change in the hospital
Neck pillows: you partner may need to stay up quite often to check on the baby, a neck-pillow will be especially helpful
Blanket: for covering themselves or the bed
Shoes: pack a pair of comfortable shoes, since your partner may need to run around a lot
Charger: make sure they have an extra charger packed up as well
Toiletries: such as toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, deodorant
Entertainment: whether to read, listen to or watch
Check with your hospital first if they will be providing any of these items. Some hospitals may provide you with toiletries, pads, baby diapers etc. Based on this, you can exclude some items from this checklist. Once this bag is ready, keep it in a place where you can access it easily, like near the door, or maybe even inside your car. Now, relax back and get ready to have your baby.
Also, don’t forget to check out our post on everything you need to do and buy for the house before leaving for the hospital.