Feeling confused about what to pack in your hospital bag? Here’s a helpful checklist of essentials to help you decide what to pack, and what to pull out
Your waters have broken; your caesarean date has arrived, and it’s all go, go, go. As you’re heading out the door, that hospital bag with all your essentials is ready to make itself useful.
If you’re struggling with what to pack, we’ve prepared the definitive guide for must-have’s, and leave-behinds to help make your hospital and birth experience comfortable.
There’s a tonne of apps around to help your plan for your pregnancy.
Plan and Pack Early
Don’t be reliant on your partner knowing what to pack and throw together at the last minute. Taking charge beforehand means you’ll avoid those eye-rolling “but I asked you to pack it” conversations and focus instead on gazing in awe at baby and each other. Once you’ve packed your bag leave it by the door, or in the car with a check list of ‘last minute’ things to add. Even if you’re having a home birth, it’s worth preparing this bag so that all your must-haves are in one place, or ready to grab if plans change and you do need to head to hospital.
That way the only thing you’ll need to second guess is baby’s name!
Prepare that Phone List
Make sure you have a list of phone numbers ready to go – starting at the top of the family tree with the grandparents.
Your partner has an important job and news to share while you are in post birth care, the last thing you want to do is scramble for contacts or leave important people out of the loop. Make sure the phone is charged too.
The Packing List
We’ve canvased experienced mums who know what’s actually needed, and not needed to pack in your baby hospital bag:-
- Birth plan
- Hospital / baby notes
- Medicare and insurance documentation or a Dropbox folder with it all uploaded
- Spare folder and notebook / pen to organise post birth baby information / discharge paperwork
- Parking and hospital room instructions to help relatives find you
- Phone – fully charged!
- Phone charger / powerbank
- Airpods or noise cancelling headphones
- Music or meditation apps
- Petrol in the car
- House keys (you’d be surprised by how many partners leave these in the door at home)
- Baby seat installed by an expert - baby must travel home in a fitted infant car seat so make sure this is installed before your hospital stay
- Milestone photo cards / baby journal so you never forget this day
- 3 soft baby sleepsuits / outfits with integrated scratch mittens / socks – make sure you pack a variation in size
- 3 singlets in varying size
- 3 Muslin wraps for baby and for breastfeeding
- Soft baby beanie / hat
- Newborn Nappies / Diapers and fasteners– disposable or cloth - for the trip home
- Water based nappy wipes (or muslin cloths your partner can take home to wash)
- Breathable baby or swaddle blanket
- Mild nappy rash / barrier cream (just in case)
- Birthing clothes – singlets, comfy bras and roomy t-shirts, t-shirt dress or pj’s and light robe. Birth can get a little messy, you may want to change mid-way, and light, soft material will keep you feeling calm.
- Nursing clothes – cosy hospital gown with nursing openings while you are getting the hang of things. Jennifer Love Hewitt rocked it on the Ghost Whisperer!
- Post birth clothes – comfy shirts or pyjamas, nursing tanks, breastfeeding bras and button shirts.
- Underwear – big, soft, dark coloured cotton ones that are kind on your body and easier to clean, or disposable underwear
- 2 packets of Large Maternity Pads
- Going home clothes – light cotton or track pants or lounge trousers comfy, roomy nursing top and running shoes
- Sleepwear (extra pyjamas)
- Comfy socks and Slippers
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Unscented deodorant
- 3- 4 nursing bras with no underwire and breast pads
- Nipple cream
- Lip Balm
- Hair Ties
- Toiletries Bag with your favourite lotion, skincare, body wash to rehydrate
- Shampoo and conditioner or dry shampoo
- Spare Paracetamol / Ibuprofen for after birth pain
- Glucose tablets or throat lozenges
- Spare plastic bags for your partner to take washing home
- Breast pump (it’s a great chance to have a supervised lesson)
- Apps for timing contractions, meditation and music
- Money and spare change
- Snack and drinks for you both
- Spare change of clothes
- Bathers if you are opting for water birth
- Toothbrush and toothpaste in case they’re staying overnight
- Dressy or skinny clothes or anything white – trust us, not needed!
- Tonnes of books or magazines (1 might do, but you’ll be resting, pushing, recovering or feeding for the rest of your stay)
- Netflix shows or entertainment – like we said, you’ll be busy!
- Tonnes of cute baby clothes – just the basic grow suits and singlets
- Formula and bottles
- Nursing pillow – save that for home
- Yoga balls, neck pillows, tennis balls and massage oil
- Aromatherapy oils and diffusers – chances are they’ll be left in the bag
- Coffee plunger
If you’ve forgotten anything, send visitors by home to bring it into you. And all you need to do now is make sure your partner remembers to grab that hospital bag as you head out the door!