You’re about to have a baby, everyone tells you to pack your bags so you’re ready; just in case. I remember being so excited to pack my bags for my first baby, it meant she was nearly here and the wait to meet her would soon be over. I think I packed and re-packed a few times before we actually went to hospital and then I didn’t use half of the things I took.
This time I know I’m having a c-section (as long as she doesn’t surprise us and come early) so that makes packing a little easier because I know what to expect and I know that there are certain things I definitely will need and some that I won’t.
I thought I would put together a really simple checklist for anyone else who’s getting ready to pack their bags; I’ve separated into three categories; mama, baby and partner. Let’s go:
- toothbrush & toothpaste
- face wipes
- shampoo, conditioner and body wash
- flannel or body pouf
- towel (dark in colour and as big as you can find)
- make up if you want to wear some when people come to visit
- hair brush, hair bands and grips
- hairdryer (most hospitals won’t have one and you will want a proper shower eventually)
- lip balm/vasaline
- bra (nursing friendly if you plan to breastfeed)
- huge comfy knickers that will still fit your baby bump and will avoid any discomfort you have to have a section
- socks; fluffy and normal depending on the time of year as it may be cold when you go home.
- leggings or maternity trousers (you will still have a bump when you go home)
- 3 x dress or tops to wear with leggings
- hoodie or comfy shirt to keep you warm and cosy
- nursing vest (if breastfeeding)
- nightdress/night shirt/maternity pjs (consider a button front if you want to breastfeed)
- slippers to keep your feet warm on the cold floors
- flip flops to wear to the bathroom or shower
- easy to put on shoes to go home
- nipple cream and breast pads if breastfeeding
- maternity pads
- phone charger
- camera and fully charged battery
- maternity notes
- snacks for before, during and after labour
- water bottle and squash
- book/magazines/ipad to keep yourself entertained whilst you wait for things to happen
- squirty bottle to spray warm water on your bits when you have your first wee
- 1 pack of newborn nappies
- cotton wool balls or pads
- 1 pack of water wipes
- 4 x short sleeve vests
- 4 x long sleeve vests
- 4 x full baby grow
- special coming home/photo outfit
- 2 x blanket
- 3 x muslin blankets
- hat & mittens (winter babies)
- car seat (to be brought into hospital and checked by nurses before you can be discharged)
- special teddy or gift
- tub of formula and bottles if not planning to breastfeed
So often overlooked but your partner could be with you at hospital for quite some time depending on how your labour goes and will likely want to freshen up at some point.
- toothbrush & share your toothpaste
- flannel to wash face/ quick bathroom wash down if needed
- razor (if they would like a shave before you take photos together with baby)
- change of underwear & socks
- change of shirt to allow for long hours, stress, hot hospital and baby sick.
- phone charger if different to yours
- book/ipad (there can be a lot of hanging around for partners and you might prefer to sleep than chat)
- food; you can share snacks but be aware most hospitals will not provide any meals or snacks for partners and the hospital shops and cafes might be closed depending on the time of your labour
- blanket and pillow (keep in the car); if your baby arrives late at night partners might be allowed to stay the night but they won’t have anywhere to sleep and will likely have to make do with the chair in the corner of the room.
That’s everything I would recommend you take, some of it you might think is unnecessary and that’s totally fine you only need to take what you think you will actually use whilst you’re there. Try not to overpack though, hospital wards are small and you will have limited space for your bags.
If you think there are things you might need, then leave a bag in the car that your partner can fetch for you if you need them and give yourselves a bit more space to move around your cubicle.
I hope you found this helpful, good luck with your packing and the safe arrival of your baby.