Knowing what to pack in your hospital bag for your baby can be difficult for any expectant mother, especially if it is your first pregnancy. Your midwife is a pretty good point of contact for finding out the essentials as they will know what your specific hospital has in place for you and what you may need to bring yourself. In some cases, you can also book tours of your hospital, depending on the hospital and the circumstance, to figure out what your hospital has and what you may need to bring.
First things first; you should aim to have your hospital bag ready at least two weeks before your due date in case you go into labour early, however you can pack your bag whenever you like before this point and a general rule is; the earlier, the better.
Choosing your Bag
In terms of the bag itself, you don’t need to worry about purchasing a specific bag to take to the hospital with you, just use one you already have that will do the job. Some women like to have two dedicated bags: one for during labour and one for after birth and leaving the hospital. This is entirely personal preference and all you need to ensure is that the bag is big enough. Make sure to leave your packed bag in a place which is easily accessible as you leave for the hospital (usually the front door is the best place). Ensure you inform your birth partner where the bag is and what is in it.
Essentials for Labour
It is a good idea to work in chronological order and start with the things which are arguably most important and immediately required, the essentials for the actual labour. You might want to ensure these are also the most accessible items in your bag which is why two bags is sometimes preferred.
– Maternity notes and birth plan
– Clothes for labour; something comfy and loose will be your best friend
– Books, magazines and music for the early stages of labour as you could be waiting around a while
– Spray bottle with water and a fan to keep you cool
– Phone and charger
– Any medication
– A wash bag complete with toothbrush and toiletries
– A TENS machine if you want one and your hospital doesn’t have one
Feel free to add other things you might want during labour; make yourself a checklist prior to packing the bag to ensure you have everything.
Essentials for After Birth
Once the main part of your hospital trip is over, you will require another load of essentials to keep you happy and comfortable post-birth.
– Maternity pads
– Comfy knickers
– Pyjamas and dressing gown or comfy clothes
– Outfit to wear home, this should be maternity sized for comfort
– Something to entertain you (iPad or Tablet)
– Breast feeding essentials if you need them
You will also need a range of essentials for your new baby. Again, these can go in a separate bag if you wish.
– Bodysuit or vest
– Sleep suits
– Hat, mittens, socks and booties
– Cotton Pads
– Blankets and Muslin Squares
Although this won’t need to go in your bag, you will need:
– Car seat which is correctly fitted