Packing Your Hospital Bag
When I had Regan in 2015, hubby and I were on our babymoon in Auckland. One night, Easter Sunday, just the two of us, and my waters broke. I was 31 weeks and Regan was here 12 hours later.
To be fair, I was a rather organized person, so I’d already finished everything at work ready to hand over, and I’d done all the baby shopping I wanted to do, but the idea of packing a hospital bag didn’t even cross my mind yet. We had 1 change of clothes and a toilet bag and that was it. So I rang Mum and got her to bring a few things up for us from Hamilton to get us through until Richard could pop home.
When I had Hadley I was more prepared as we knew there was a chance of another prem baby, so by 30 weeks the bags were packed and there were meals in the freezer.
I’m now 30 weeks along with this pregnancy and have recently finished getting my hospital bags ready, so thought I would share what I’ve included. It’s an interesting one because there are SO MANY things on the market these days that are nice to haves but not essentials. It’s also hard because I have no idea when I’m going to go into labour, so I’ve had to be prepared for a mix of prem and newborn clothing (I highly doubt I’ll need 0 – 3 months but definitely worth it for other Mums!).
So here we go – this is what I’ve done.
Bag for Mum
- High waisted black undies (I’ve got a 5 pack from Kmart for $11)
- Comfy pants
- Breastfeeding singlets
- Breastfeeding bras
- A going home outfit for me (I’m going to throw in 2 dresses when I go into labour – I’m still wearing them!)
- Reusable breast pads in case my milk comes in while I’m there
- Hair ties
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Body Wash (something without too much of a smell ideally so babe can recognise your natural odour)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Lip balm
- Moisturiser (I don’t use any other skincare so this is all I’m taking – hospitals can be dehydrating!)
- Face cloth
- Essential Oils – my bestie is a kinesiologist and has sent me an oil for me for when I have a newborn, so I’m taking it just in case!
- Reusable sanitary pads and a mini wet bag for dirty ones
- Water bottle with a sipper top or straw
- Snacks – I’ve packed 2 packs of lactation cookies and some lollies – super healthy!
- Cellphone charger with a long cord – it can be a stretch from the wall to the hospital bed
- Reusable bag to take gifts and things home
- Pen & Notepad – for notes, baby name lists, memories etc
- Wheat Pack in case I want it in labour
It’s also worth considering throwing in a pair of undies and t-shirt for your partner, and some snacks for them too!
Bag for Baby
Clothing - I’ve made up 3 prem packs and 3 newborn packs. These are all in individual zip lock bags so someone can pull out the whole bag for bub. In each bag there is a bodysuit, pants, woollen singlet, all in one, Lamington socks, hat, knitted jumper. Basically a full outfit with some extras.
Nappies – our hospital provides newborn disposables and I’ve packed 3 newborn reusable nappies in case I’m game enough to give it a go while I’m there!
Blankets/Wraps – 1 stretchy cotton swaddle/wrap, a merino blanket and 1 other blanket for both in the bassinette and also for skin to skin time.
Wet Bags - 3 x large wet bags – to put dirty laundry in so people can take it home and wash it for us!
Cloth wipes – Again our hospital provides wet wipes but cloth wipes can be softer and nicer on the skin. Plus great for spills and things too.
Notes to remember:
- I have planned on the fact that we could be in hospital a few days – baby is currently breech, I may end up with another c-section, so I just want to be prepared. I’m also hopeful that we will go to the birth centre before we come home too.
- If bub is born super early, it will be in NICU to begin with and in NICU they don’t need clothing until they move out of an incubator. So while I have Tiny Prem clothes at home, I’m not packing them because chances are, if they fit Tiny Prem, they’ll be in an incubator.
- I’m lucky that we live around the corner from the hospital, and my Mum also lives across the road, so I don’t feel the pressure to take absolutely everything. If I forget something, hubby or Mum can easily grab it from home and bring it with them.
- I don’t have anything specific I want for labour and birth (e.g. music) – I’m quite a go with the flow kind of person. If you have things that are important to you, don’t forget to pack them.
- There is every chance that if you need or want something from your bag, you won’t be the one getting it, so either take your partner or support person through your bag before you go into labour so they know what’s in there, or label things well.
- If there are items you need for labour, maybe keep them in their own bag or separate from the post-birth items to avoid confusion.
This is not an extensive list. There are so many other things you could take, and if they’re important for you, take them! But also remember shops don’t shut when you have a baby (unless we’re in lockdown – sorry lockdown 2020 Mamas!), so if you need or want something once bub is here, you can get it then.
I hope this helps and gives you somewhere to start with your planning!