The countdown is about to reach zero, and the arrival of your new bub is imminent. How exciting! Your house, nursery, pantry, fridge and family are ready. You’re definitely ready.
But the time has also come to pack the essentials you’ll need to take into the delivery room.
Find out all the must-haves you need to pack for your time at the hospital.
When to start?
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to start packing when you reach 35 weeks of pregnancy, just in case your little one decides to show up early.
A good tip is to talk to somebody at the hospital in advance and get an understanding of what they provide, so you can pack accordingly.
Packing for mum
Mum’s bag will certainly be the heaviest of them all, and with good reason: you’ll be doing the toughest job!
Even if you’ve planned a natural birth, which will keep you in the hospital for about two days, you should pack as if you’d be staying up to four days just in case, as this is the standard time associated with a c-section.
- Documents: You’ll definitely need some form of ID and medicare card, as well as any private health insurance card required according to your birth plan.
- Personal care: Make sure you have all the essentials; a toothbrush, wet wipes, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, preferred soap and body wash, face wash, lip balm and moisturiser (the air in hospitals can get quite dry), wet wipes, a bath towel, hair dryer and maternity pads. Lastly, if you’re planning on having a newborn photoshoot you may want some makeup - keep this in mind when packing toiletries.
- Clothing: Think comfort. Comfort is your best friend after labour (and probably the entire year after that!). Bring at least four t-shirts or comfy tops (in case of stains), at least three comfy bottoms (yoga pants, trackies, loose fitting pants) in case of accidents, a nursing bra, warm anti-slip socks (in case you need to walk around the hospital during your contractions), thongs, and a jumper just in case the aircon is a bit too high. Keep in mind it’s a good idea to take your maternity clothes as they will likely still fit. Just prioritise comfort above all else.
- Miscellaneous: If you wear glasses or contacts, they’re something you don’t want to forget. Plus, if you have a favourite pillow, definitely take it. Don’t add a sore neck to an already intense couple of days if you can avoid it. A breastfeeding pillow can also be really helpful. Snacks are always a good idea, they’ll mean fewer trips to the vending machine!
- Entertainment: Let’s face it: you may not have any free time at all. But, you may be lucky enough to get a couple of minutes to yourself, so consider taking some form of entertainment, whether it’s a good book or the TV series you’ve been binge-watching.
Packing for dad
Starting with the basics, pack some essential clothing for an overnight or two-night stay. Be mindful of taking layers: air con in hospitals may be powering on full blast. In addition, taking board shorts or swimmers can be really useful if you’re required to aid your partner with showering or washing. When it comes to toiletries, bring the essentials plus your shaving items if you can’t stand a two-day beard. You may also want to bring your pillow and cash for vending machines.
Packing for bub
When packing the baby’s clothing, include garments from ranging from newborn sizes up to the 3-month size, just in case bub ends up being big! Plastic storage bags can be really handy to store memorabilia, such as the hospital name ID band. Also take nappies, wet wipes, blankets, at least four onesies, mittens, baby moisturiser, socks and singlets. Thinking about a newborn photoshoot? Pack all the props you’ll need or special outfits you want your baby to wear.
Best of luck!
There are so many things you have to take care of before your pregnancy is finally over and you’re holding your precious child in your arms. Packing your bags for your stay in the hospital is one of them, and while it may not be the biggest task, it’s important you don’t leave it to your last minute, forgetful self. Be prepared and you’ll feel much more relaxed when the time comes.