Congratulations Mamma! You're nearly there and this guide will help you get more organised... Download The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist now!
I love being organised and I really struggled with ‘What to pack in my Hospital Bag’ for my first and even my second child! I would lose sleep wondering if I had all the essential items…?
So being the organiser that I am, I developed a spreadsheet called ‘The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist and had it taped to my refrigerator months before I was even due. Every week I would tick another item off the list and add it to my Hospital Bag.
This process made me feel calmer about the birth and helped me to feel more in control as my due date approached.
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Getting Organised: Is it too early to pack my Hospital Bag?
There are so many unknown factors in pregnancy and if you’re like me I would feel anxious about nearly everything, so I thought having one less thing to stress over would be helpful and I’d like to share this with You!
It's never too early to gather together all the essentials you'll need during labour and birth, and for after your baby is born. Childbirth can be unpredictable and you may need to go in unexpectedly, so having your Hospital Bag packed early will make you feel calmer & more organised.
What are the must haves for labour?
When arriving at the hospital you’ll want to make sure you have all your medical details & paperwork in order. So it’s a good idea to get yourself a little folder with your Medicare card, details of your health insurance (if you have private insurance) and any hospital paperwork you need including a Birth Plan (if you have one) and maternity notes or antenatal card, if you were given one. I personally had a ‘Baby File’ where I stored all my medical records including any baby scan images and blood test results… I had a lot of bloodwork done as I suffered with anaemia practically all the way through!
Depending on what type of birth you’re planning, old nighties or large t-shirt to wear in labour will always be a good idea, just don’t buy anything tight to wear in hospital because you’ll just want to be comfortable. I had an elective c-section and so didn’t have to worry about labour clothes as you’ll be in a hospital gown for the first 24, if not 48 hours.
Snacks and drinks for during and after the birth. Most women are able to eat and drink during labour and it can help keep your energy levels up. The hospital will have food and drink available, but you may prefer to pack a few things that you know you like.
Other things to pack include dressing gowns, slippers, socks, I consider these to be essentials for Mamma as hospitals can get cold especially with air-con. Also, you may want to take a few home comforts such as your own pillows, massage oil & heat packs. But do check with your Hospital first as some vary in their policies about what you're allowed to bring with you when you have your baby.
To download the full Hospital Bag Checklist CLICK HERE.
What are the must haves for Your Baby?
Two or three sleepsuits and vests for your baby to wear while you're in hospital. Pack more if you know that you'll be staying in hospital for more than a couple of days especially if you’re planning a c-section.
Baby hats, socks and mittens. Baby blankets and lots of muslin cloths. Muslin cloths can be used for burping and swaddling so good to have lots of these as you won’t be able to wash them until you get home.
Other things you’ll need are disposable nappies or reusable nappies. Your newborn will go through as many as 12 nappies in a day. Some hospitals supply a pack of disposable nappies, but you'll probably need to bring extra ones if you're staying in hospital for more than a day or two.
Wipes or cotton wool. Your newborn's skin will be very delicate, so you can use cotton wool and water for nappy changes at first, rather than baby wipes. Some hospitals will provide you with a small bag of cotton wool balls, but you may need to bring more. If you do choose to use wipes, though, opt for ones that are free from alcohol and fragrance.
I personally brought along some Baby Bath, Baby Shampoo & Baby Lotion as you may have the opportunity to bath baby for the first time in hospital especially if you have a longer stay.
Lastly and most importantly, make sure you have a fully Installed infant car seat. You won't be able to leave the hospital by car without one!
To download the full Hospital Bag Checklist, CLICK HERE.
What should I pack for after the birth?
A going-home outfit. You'll need loose comfortable clothes to wear while you're in hospital and for the journey home. It will take a while for your tummy to go down, so you'll probably still need your maternity clothes when you get home.
Other essentials include nursing bras, breast pads, nipple cream and your own toiletries. It a good idea to buy travel size toiletries to save on space in the postnatal ward or your room. You may prefer to choose unscented versions, so your baby can get used to your natural scent. Include all your regular toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, soap or body wash, face wash, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Also pack your hairbrush and make-up if you think you may want to get ready for those early pics of you and your baby.
A notepad or your phone will do for you to track your baby’s feeding sessions, and for writing down questions for your midwife or doctor, and for jotting down memories of your baby’s first few days and so on.
To download the full Hospital Bag Checklist, CLICK HERE.
If you’ve any questions you’d like to ask me, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of luck new Mammas!
Elaine Ellis xxx.