Feeling overwhelmed when it comes to packing a hospital bag for the big day? Googling “what should I pack in my hospital bag” can turn up hundreds of ideas for what you need and we can’t blame you if just looking at all the options stops you before you begin! We’re all about making your pregnancy, birth and post-partum life easier so we’ve put together some tips and a simple, easy to follow checklist that’ll tick all the boxes for you.
When is the best time to start packing?
This will vary from person to person but most women start packing once they beginning their maternity leave from work. When you finally have some time to yourself, you can take stock of everything you already have at home and everything that you want to still buy. Generally, that will fall somewhere around the 36 week mark. Don’t stress though if you can’t finalise your packing because you might still need those awesome leggings you’ve been wearing non-stop! Just make a list of everything you still need to pack in your bag once labour begins, pop it inside the bag and then rest easy knowing you’ve got this under control mama!
Keep. It. Simple. Stupid
Follow the KISS method and keep it as simple as possible! For a straight-forward vaginal birth in your local public hospital you can expect to stay anywhere from 6 hours to 2 nights post birth with a 3 night stay for a cesarean section. In a private hospital, you’ll be spending anywhere from 5 to 7 nights recovering, learning and bonding with your precious new bub (read: not having to cook or clean!!).
Hot tip: Pack 3 separate bags. One with all of the essentials that you’ll need during labour. One bag for baby with all their clothes, swaddles (if you’re yet to discover the Love To Dream swaddle range, they will become your best friend!) and nappies – this is a great time for your new nappy bag to go on its maiden voyage! You’ll also need one for the post birth hospital stay. That way, while you’re busy being your strong, rock star self during labour and you need your birth partner to grab something, they aren’t digging through mountains of clothes, nappies and other essentials to get it.
Don’t forget your support crew…
Make sure that anyone who will be with you during your labour also packs themselves a change of clothes, a toothbrush or mints – because no one wants coffee breath on them – and some loose change for the vending machine.
Sandwich bags are your best friend!
Packing more than you think you’ll need can seem like a good idea now but when you’re tired and trying to hunt through what feels like an unlimited supply of onesies, blankets and nappies for a teeny tiny singlet in the middle of the night, you’ll wish that you had reined it in a little! Don’t forget, your friends and family can always take clothes home to be washed for you and bring you fresh clothes if you’re starting to run low. If you’re particular about what you want to wear, pack a few extra outfits – not only for you but also your partner and new baby – in labelled sandwich bags. Keep it to one outfit per bag and you can be sure that you’ll get exactly what you need.
Check out this list to help get your packing juices flowing..
- Hospital paperwork
- A copy of your birth plan/preferences
- Lip Balm
- Disposable underwear
- A nightie or lose top that can be unbuttoned down the front
- Phone charger
- Drink bottle
- Hair ties and clips
- Essential oils
- Snacks such as nuts, honey, jelly beans etc
- Your own pillow
- Disposable underwear Aim for 2 pairs per day post birth.
- Comfortable black pants like the Jaya Slouch Pant, Liv Active Leggings or the Beating Heart Lounge pants that can double as pants during the day and PJ pants at night.. or just Lounge wear.
- Nursing tops
- Toothbrush + toothpaste
- Body wash/shampoo/conditioner
- Slippers and/or thongs – easy slip on is the name of the game.
- Support garments We stock a huge variety from SRC, Ripe, Belly Bandit, Solideamore..
- SRC Relief Femme-Eze Perineum Ice and Heat pack
- Nipple cream
- Maternity pads
- Breast pads
This is a great time to start utilizing your new nappy bag. If you haven’t found your dream bag yet, check out the range we stock in store
- Nappies – expect to use around 6 to 8 per day
- Going home outfit – you can find our gorgeous range of baby clothes here
- Blanketsand/or swaddles
- Bottles and formula if you have a preference
If the thought of beginning to pack still feels overwhelming, take a step back from the process, have a deep breath, sit down with a cuppa and leave it for another day. Preparing for your baby’s arrival should be fun and your nesting urge will feel so satisfied once you’ve ticked this task off the list!