Well, at 36 weeks the time has come for me to start packing our all important Hospital Bag! This is much more complex than last time as I am now packing for the whole family – Tailei will be staying at my Mom for a few nights and then at home with Phil for the remaining nights and Phil will be staying in hospital with me for the first night post baby’s birth, then back home for the remaining 3 nights.
One thing you must know before I share my very detailed list of what exactly is packed in my bag is that I tend to overpack ! I would much rather have a bag full of stuff that I don’t use than be wishing I had something I forgot to pack. My husband has very kindly booked a private room for us which means that we will have plenty of space for all of our paraphernalia.
Each hospital will differ in what they ask you to bring so bare this in mind if you are using my list while packing your own bag. I also have preferences when it comes to baby products and nappies so even though the hospital will provide these, I do not know exactly what will be provided and so I have chosen to pack a few of my own. Also, I will be having a Caesar and so my list is very specific to what we will need post Caesar – your list may vary greatly if you are having a natural birth.
And herewith… the very detailed list of what we have packed:
Pajama’s x3 – front opening for easy access. Keep them light as hospitals are kept very warm.
Gown – even though it is winter, your room will be kept warm so there is no need to pack your biggest and most cuddly gown – it’ll take up space and you most probably wont use it – a normal toweling gown should be sufficient
Slippers – these should be easy to slip on and off your feet as bending down after a Caesar can be tricky
Socks – because I have and hate to have incredibly cold feet
Nursing bra’s (x3) – check out this article on choosing your nursing bra. For hospital, I suggest you pack the most comfortable ones you can find as you will be wearing them night and day. Also make sure that they give you very easy access to your breasts, the last thing you want while you and baby are learning to nurse is to be struggling with your bra. I am packing 3 just incase, but I know that I will probably only wear them from the second or third day / once my milk comes in and I need to keep a breastpad in place.
Underwear – think loose, puffy, granny panties… the kind that you are happy to throw away if need be. You may even want to pack a few disposable pairs for your hospital stay and I would pack at least 2 pairs for every day. I have packed these as well as the mesh kind you will find at most pharmacies / baby stores.
Tracksuit & t-shirt – a comfy tracksuit is just a nice change from being in pj’s all day and night.
Going Home Clothes – I’m not one for spending an exorbitant amount on a going home outfit, especially when it is not something that is going to fit me for very long. For me, the perfect going home outfit is my fave pair of maternity jeans (those that fit at around 5 months pregnant), a comfy hoodie and a pair of trainers.
Shower gel – mildly scented as you want baby to smell you rather than your soap
Aqueous cream – unscented for the same reason
Anti-perspirent – unscented
Shampoo & Conditioner
Nail Clippers & emery board
Loofah, sponge or facecloth – one that you would be happy to throw away
Toothbrush, toothpaste & mouthwash
Face wash & moisturizer
Hair ties & Clips
Breastpads – don’t worry to pack an entire box as you will only really need these once your milk comes in
Maternity pads – I have packed just one pack as the hospital will provide the other
Normal Sanitary Pads – heavy bleeding will only last for the first day or two (sometimes longer) and normal sanitary pads are just so much more comfortable than maternity ones!
Mirror – handy for drying hair / applying make-up in bed
Nipple cream – pure lanolin is best
Nipple Puller / Nipple Assist – this is an incredibly helpful little tool if you have flat nipples
Vitamins & Meds – it is important that you keep taking these to help your body recover post op
Vests & Babygrows x 5 – one for each day plus two spare, normal cotton babygrows are perfect
Socks x 4
Receiving blankets x 4
Warm blankets x 2
Hats x 4
Going home outfit – for a winter baby this will have to be a warmer one than what she has been wearing in hospital
Nappies – as mentioned before, most hospitals will provide so only pack these if you have a preference
Bum cream – again this may be provided, so only pack if you are wanting to use a natural / specific product
Cotton rounds – for washing baby’s eyes, face and bumas well as cleaning her cord (I just cant use cold wet wipes on such a tiny bottom)
Hand sanitizer – because getting up to wash your hands a hundred just is not realistic. It’s also handy to have for visitors and toddler hands
Sterilizing solution – I like to have this on hand in a spray bottle for easy use
Cord care – most hospitals will provide surgical spirits, I however like to use a bit of cord care powder as well
Dummies – if you choose to use a dummy, try stick to a latex dummy for the early days as these feel most like a nipple
In each ziplock, I have packed 1x vest, 1 x pair of socks, 1 little beanie and 1 babygrow. This will lesson the amount of rummaging around the bag and make it easy for whoever is dressing baby.
ID Books – for birth registration
Black pen – for all the forms we will be filling in
Phone and charger – to share the news and a whole bunch of gorgeous snapshots with your loved ones
Camera (fully charged) – Cell phones have such great camera’s on these days that we will simply be using our phones – this will also make sharing photo’s with loved ones a whole lot easier
Plug adapters – for all of your chargers
Plastic Bags – for dirty laundry
Feeding Cushion – this is optional, but makes feeding so much more comfortable especially after a caesar – you may be happy to use a normal pillow while in hospital
Reading material – because new babies sleep A LOT
Breastpump – this is also completely optional and hospitals will have one that you can use if need be – when we had Tai I had to send Phil out to buy one for me so this time it will be packed in from the word go.
And last but not least – the Car Seat – Your car seat may look all comfy and cozy but in reality, your newborn baby will most like look completely lost inside. For this reason we have added a head and side support cushion to help make baby as comfortable as possible for her first and many more rides in the car.
For Tailei I have packed a toothbrush, change of clothes, pajamas, nappies and entertainment as she will be spending a fair amount of time at the hospital with us.
Phil will also need the general necessities for the night he is staying, but I know that for him the most important thing that I should pack is snacks and his Kindle.
One last thing to think about is what the rest of the family will be eating while my meals are all provided. I have set aside a little cash for take-aways for them as this is most likely going to be their staple diet for those few days until I am back home.
I love working with lists and I do hope that this makes packing your hospital bag a little less daunting!
Until next time… be blessed!