Hey my lovelies. Let’s be realistic here. Today I bring you the REALISTIC hospital bag checklist- the things you’ll actually need for labour and delivery.
Now to be fair, the fact that your going to have a baby is AS REAL as it can get. But most mums in their third trimester start faffing around panicking what they will actually need to take with them to the hospital in their hospital bag. Especially if their first time mums to be.
I’m here to take that stress of your shoulders and give you a checklist of hospital items YOU’LL ACTUALLY NEED.
Were all about packing light here!
So, like always, I’d like to start with congratulations! Being blessed with pregnancy is no less than a miracle.
And now that your coming towards the end of your pregnancy, it’s best to be prepared so you have all the things you need with you in time to meet your little bundle of joy.
Once your bag is packed – don’t do what I did and forget to even take it with you on the day. Ha!
I forgot my hospital bag at home. It was only when we got to the hospital and the nurse said “wheres you bag? Your baby is about to arrive” You can imagine mine and my husbands face at that moment. It dropped!
Luckily we didn’t live too far from the hospital itself. If you do live far. By far, I mean more than an hour! Please please remember to take your hospital bag with you.
Do what I did second time round. Once I knew my labour pains had started, I grabbed my hospital bag and set off. As I packed light, it would have been easy to carry home if I wasn’t ready to have the baby yet.
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When to pack your hospital bag
The best time to pack your hospital bag is in the third trimester. No need to pre-pack at 5 months. Unless you fear you’ll have an early arrival. Not usually the case unless warned by your doctors.
Have your bag prepared at 36 weeks. After 36 weeks your baby is fully formed inside. He/she can come anytime from thereon. You can start preparing to get items at 30 weeks onwards, that way by 36 weeks you can pop them all in your hospital bag all ready for set off.
I packed my hospital bag at 36 weeks. I’m a last minute type of girl and also because I knew I wouldn’t be having an early baby.
It’s best to get your shopping done pre-hand though, as you don’t want to be waddling around stressing over what type of baby sleepsuit you need in your last few weeks.
The internet is full of fluff! A lot of “FLUFF”
I’m a basic kinda girl. I didn’t want to pack the “extra stuff” in my hospital bag.
Reading some of the articles mentioning what I needed to pack – music to ease my labour, or scented candles was just not my kind off thing. It may be for some ofcourse, but you have to remember – we’re not moving into the hospital, right?
Sometimes the extra fluffy stuff, may make the birth experience seem more exciting and less terrifying. However you don’t have to rely on a materialistic item to sooth the experience. Your mind is a positive gadget itself! Use positive mindset thinking instead.
Some of the articles i read when I was due my first born, oh my!… Pillows, Bendy straws, cooling fans, eye masks, games to pass time (like really?). I thought to myself? Do I really need to take all these to the hospital with me? Like are these articles for real or have they just decided to include your whole pantry? Na ah!
Aim is – get the job done and be home with your little bundle of joy safely! WITHOUT packing excessive things.
What to pack – the essentials ACTUALLY REQUIRED!
What Mum should pack
2 nighties – One to wear during labour and one to wear after. The nighty/t shirt you will wear during labour should be one that your not afraid to lose.
For those mums who have had a baby know.. it can get messy! So you don’t want to be wearing your favourite pj’s only to have to throw them away shortly after.
Hospitals do provide gowns you can dress into. That way once you’ve had your baby you can change into a clean pair of your own clothing.
For my first birth I wore the hospital gown (like the one pictured below) As it was my first child, labour could go either way! Normal or C-section. Hence hospitals tend to get you ready before the show has even started.
During my second birth I wore my own t shirt during labour. As my first was born vaginal, the nurses were more chilled.
Bare in mind – it’s totally fine if you wish to stay in your own clothes. The nurses can tell when things aren’t progressing as smoothly as they should and will prompt you to change into one of their gowns if required just to be on the safe side.
A going-home outfit. You’ll need loose comfortable clothes to wear 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.
Maternity Pads – Buy the maternity pads instead of usual sanitary. Maternity pads tend to be thicker allowing less leaks. Hospitals will occasionally provide you with pads. Especially if you require help being changed. However best to pack some in case there not readily available.
Undergarments – A few underwear’s (buy a larger size than normal as you could be a little swollen after) and nursing bra x2.
Socks – feet can get cold during labour.
Slippers – can be any your comfortable in. I took bed time slippers. They are required when walking around the hospital before and after labour.
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Toiletries – Travel size are the best. The main ones I used and needed:
– Hair ties
– Tooth brush
– Tooth paste
– Deodorant (best to avoid as you want your baby to smell your natural scents – however good for when you have guests visiting you in the hospital and want to smell a little pleasant)
– Soap or body wash
– Light makeup (moisturize, powder and blush)
Phone and Phone charger – for those first moment selfies. Make sure your partners phone is charged up too.
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Snacks – During labour it is best NOT to eat, however you will need to stay hydrated. To be honest a women doesn’t even feel like eating anything anyway. However once that baby is out, my word! YOU WILL BE HUNGRY.
Some examples of snacks you can take are: fruit, unsalted nuts, crisps, cereal bars, dates (prophetic food) are all good options.
If you feel peckish during labour – have something light. NOT a full blown 3 course meal! (I’d be surprised as to where you’d get the time for that).
I took dates. Had a few to keep me energized along with plenty of water. It did the trick! Labour can last anything between 3-24 or even longer hours, so just be prepared and have your partner run to the hospital shops if you run out.
What to pack for baby
Depending on what your measurements are coming out at on your growth appointments, you will be able to determine the weight of your baby pre-hand.
According to my growth appointments during pregnancy my baby was always on the middle centile. Hence the baby’s weight would be determined between 5-6ibs according to my height. Well guess what. That’s what I had! BOTH TIMES!
According to what weight your nurses predict, shop for baby clothes that size and 1 size above. For me it was sizes, Tiny baby and Newborn
Related – What to expect after birth
Sleepsuits (babygrows) – a few – baby’s can throw up quiet a bit so best to pack a few. Around 5 should do the trick.
Baby nappies – size zero -1. You will have to take your own as hospitals don’t provide anymore.
Baby wipes – x2 packs
Baby milk – if you wish to breastfeed, that’s best! However if your not sure, you can pack a box of formula milk. I purchased the Aptamil starter pack. It had 6 teats and bottles inside along with the milk too.
Baby bottle – if your not breastfeeding. I packed the Avent mini versions
Coat to bring baby home in.
Hat and mittens to keep warm – Mittens especially so they don’t scratch their faces. Babies have very sharp nails.
Baby car seat – leave in car – by law a car seat is required to take baby home in. You are not allowed to be discharged without one so best to buy one before hand.
I purchased the Maxi Cosi – love it! So sturdy and easily can be transformed into a stroller.
Organise all your clothes and baby clothes at home also. You could have to stay more then expected.
With my first born I had to stay 5 days in hospital due to getting an infection. I had a spare bag at home packed. That had more of my clothes and more of baby’s clothes inside. It made it easy for my husband to bring that bag on day 3 when it was required. Organisation is key! Otherwise if that bag wasn’t packed, poor husband wouldn’t have a clue what to bring and in which draws I kept the things in.
Things get much easier once your home with your little bundle of joy. A new journey you embark!
Did you pack anything not listed? Let me know in the comments below!