Congratulations on your pregnancy! As you prepare for the arrival of your little one, it’s important to start thinking about what you’ll need for your hospital stay. Packing your hospital bag can be overwhelming, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this ultimate hospital bag packing guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to bring to make your stay as comfortable as possible. From essential items like comfortable clothes and toiletries to non-essentials like snacks and entertainment, we’ll make sure you’re fully prepared. We’ll also provide some tips on what to pack for yourself and your newborn, so you can focus on the important task of giving birth. With our comprehensive guide, you’ll be able to pack your hospital bag with confidence and peace of mind. So, let’s get started!
Why preparing for your hospital stay is important
Preparing for your hospital stay is crucial, especially when you are expecting a baby. While it’s true that you can’t control everything that happens during labor and delivery, you can control what you bring with you to the hospital. Having everything you need will help you feel more relaxed and comfortable, and will make the overall experience more enjoyable.
In addition, packing your hospital bag ahead of time will give you one less thing to worry about when the time comes to go into labor. You won’t have to worry about rushing around at the last minute trying to gather everything you need. Instead, you can focus on what really matters – bringing your baby into the world.
When to start packing your hospital bag
It's recommended to get a few things ready at least 3 weeks before your due date. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to make sure you have everything you need. You can start packing earlier than this, it may help you to feel less anxious knowing that it's packed.
Essential items for mum's hospital bag
When it comes to packing your hospital bag, there are a few essential items that you won’t want to forget. These include:
Pack comfortable clothes that you can wear during labor and delivery, as well as after the baby is born.
The best recommendation I received when preparing my hospital bag is to pack 2 or 3 loose-fitting nightgowns or large t-shirts in dark colours in case of stains. The clothing you pack doesn't always have to be new, old clothing is good too just incase it needs to be thrown away if it gets ruined. I also recommend loose large high waisted knickers.
Birthing suites can be a warm place so packing clothing that is lightweight and breathable can make you more comfortable during your stay. Make sure the clothes you pack are easy to get on and off, as you’ll be changing frequently during your hospital stay. We also recommend a front opening nightie if you plan on breast feeding.
Pack all of the toiletries you’ll need for your stay, these could include:
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- deodorant, shampoo and conditioner
- body wash
- hairbrush or comb
- lip balm
- hair ties
- any medications you’re currently taking, as well as prenatal vitamins.
- Tens machine.
- fan or water spray
- sanitary or maternity pads
Nursing bras and breast pads
If you plan on breastfeeding your baby, pack a few nursing bras and breast pads. These will help you stay comfortable and dry during feedings.
Pack comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off, such as slippers or flip-flops. You’ll be doing a lot of walking during your hospital stay, and you’ll want to make sure your feet are comfortable.
Pack a comfortable going-home outfit that is loose-fitting and easy to get on and off. Remember, your body will still be recovering after delivery, so you’ll want to choose something that is comfortable and practical.
Essential items for baby's hospital bag
Just like mum, your baby will need a few essential items during your hospital stay. These include:
Pack several different outfits for your baby, including onesies, sleepers, and socks. Make sure the clothes you pack are appropriate for the weather and are easy to get on and off. We also recommend scratch mit's.
Nappies and wipes
Pack plenty of diapers and wipes for your baby. You’ll be changing diapers frequently during your hospital stay, so it’s better to pack more than you think you’ll need.
Swaddling blankets & blankets
Pack a few swaddling blankets to keep your baby warm and cozy. These blankets are also great for burping and cuddling. You may also want to consider a cosy knitted blanket if you are giving birth during the colder months.
Make sure you have a car seat installed in your car before you go to the hospital. You won’t be able to leave the hospital without one.
Optional items for mum's hospital bag
In addition to the essential items, there are a few optional items that you may want to consider packing. Labor and delivery can be a long process, and having something to keep you occupied can help pass the time. These include:
Pack a book, magazine, or tablet to keep you entertained during your hospital stay. Phone charger.
Pack some snacks that you can eat during labor and after delivery. Choose snacks that are high in protein and easy to digest, such as nuts, granola bars, or trail mix.
Pillows and blankets
Pack a few extra pillows and blankets to make yourself more comfortable during your hospital stay. Hospital beds can be uncomfortable, and having your own pillows and blankets can make a big difference.
Optional items for baby's hospital bag
There are also a few optional items that you may want to consider packing for your baby but not essential. These include:
If you plan on using pacifiers, pack a few in your baby’s hospital bag. They can be a great way to soothe your baby between feedings.
Pack a baby book to record your baby’s first moments, including their weight, length, and first visitors. Baby books are the perfect keepsake to treasure precious first moments.
Pack a few soft toys for your baby to play with during their hospital stay. Make sure the toys are age-appropriate and safe for your baby to play with.
Tips for packing your hospital bag efficiently
Packing your hospital bag can be overwhelming, but with a few tips, you can make the process easier and more efficient. Here are some tips to help you pack your hospital bag:
Make a list
Before you start packing, make a list of everything you need. This will help you stay organised and ensure that you don’t forget anything important.
Pack in stages
Don’t try to pack everything at once. Instead, pack in stages, starting with the essential items and working your way up to the optional items.
Use a separate bag for baby
Pack your baby’s items in a separate bag to make them easier to find when you need them. Using clear bags to see what's n them.
Remember, you’ll only be in the hospital for a few days, so don’t overpack. Stick to the essentials and leave the non-essential items at home.
What to do before leaving for the hospital
Before you leave for the hospital, there are a few things you’ll want to do to make sure you’re fully prepared. These include:
Double-check your bag
Double-check your hospital bag to make sure you have everything you need. Don’t forget to pack any last-minute items, such as your phone charger or a camera.
Make arrangements for your pets
If you have pets at home, make arrangements for them before you leave for the hospital. This could mean asking a friend or family member to take care of them, or hiring a pet sitter.
Set up your baby’s room
Before you leave for the hospital, set up your baby’s room so that it’s ready for their arrival. This will make the transition home easier for both you and your baby.
What to expect during your hospital stay
During your hospital stay, you can expect to be monitored closely by your doctor and nurses. They will check your vital signs regularly and monitor your baby’s heartbeat. You’ll also be given pain medication if needed and will be encouraged to rest as much as possible.
Once your baby is born, you’ll have the opportunity to bond with them and start breastfeeding. Your doctor and nurses will also provide you with information on how to care for your baby and what to expect in the first few days and weeks after delivery.
Preparing for your hospital stay can be overwhelming, but with our ultimate hospital bag packing guide, you’ll be fully prepared for anything that comes your way. Remember to pack the essentials for both you and your baby, and don’t forget to pack a few optional items to make your stay more comfortable. With our tips, you’ll be able to pack efficiently and with peace of mind. Good luck on your journey to motherhood!