Packing for Hospital: The ultimate guide and birth checklist
(image via @a.mothers.bond on instagram)
Expecting a new baby can be an exciting time, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. Packing for the hospital during labour can seem like a daunting task, especially for first-time mothers. There are so many things to consider and so many items to pack, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. However, with a little planning and organisation, you can make the process of packing for the hospital much easier and less stressful.
Here are a few simple steps to help bring calm to the chaos:
- Know what the hospital provides
Before you start packing, find out what the hospital will provide for you and your baby. Some hospitals provide basic supplies like nappies, wipes, and blankets whereas some do not. It is always a good idea to call your hospital or talk to your healthcare provider in advance to ask about their specific policies and procedures, as well as any additional items they recommend you bring. This will help you to be fully prepared and will give you a better understanding of what to expect during your stay at the hospital.
- Pack for yourself
When you are packing for yourself, think about what you would need for a short trip. Bring comfortable clothes to wear during your stay, such as a loose-fitting nightgown or pyjamas, a robe, slippers, and socks. You will also want to bring toiletries such as toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant and a hair brush.
Other personal items to consider packing include a lip balm, snacks and drinks for labour (such as water, sports drinks, and energy bars), and hard candies or lollipops to help keep your mouth moist. Don't forget an extra long phone charger or extension cord!
It is also a good idea to pack your pillow from home for added comfort during labor, as well as any medications you are currently taking. Be sure to discuss these medications with your healthcare provider before packing them.
Advice from a c-section mama: While c-sections are sometimes planned, they are sometimes also done in emergency situations. We recommend packing high waisted underwear and at least one pair of high waisted compression tights (2XU are wonderful). These will sit comfortably above the scar and give you a lot of support.
- Pack for your partner or support person (...or make them do it - you're doing enough mama!)
If you have a partner or support person who will be with you during your stay, make sure they pack some things for themselves. They will need comfortable clothes and toiletries as well. If they plan to stay overnight, they may want to bring a pillow and blanket.
- Pack for your baby
In addition to packing items for yourself, you will obviously also need to pack items for your baby. Pack several onesies, zip suits, and a going-home outfit. You will also need to bring blankets, socks, and a hat. Make sure you have diapers and wipes if your hospital doesn't provide them, and if you plan to breastfeed, bring a nursing pillow and burp cloths.
- Remember important documents
Don't forget to bring important documents with you, such as your insurance card/Medicare card and ID. You may also want to bring a copy of your birth plan if you have one. Make sure to have a bag or folder to keep all of these important documents in one place.
One of the keys to successful packing for the hospital is to start early and be organised. We recommed starting around the 35 week mark in pregnancies that are tracking normally. Make a list of everything you need (or download our free checklist here) check items off as you pack them.
Another tip for packing for the hospital is to pack in layers. This means packing items in a bag or suitcase that can easily be accessed and removed, rather than packing everything in one large bag that is difficult to dig through. A portable caddy (like the Bunnie Caddie) are an amazing way to keep everything organised. This will make it easier to find items when you need them and will help to keep you organised during this hectic time. Our hospital bag organisers are a huge help with this!
It is also a good idea to pack a few extra items that you may not think you will need, just in case. For example, you may want to pack a few extra outfits for both yourself and your baby, as well as a few extra nappies and wipes. This will give you some extra peace of mind and will ensure that you are prepared for any unexpected needs that may arise. You can always pack these items in a seperate bag and leave them in the car until needed.
Keep it simple and try not to overpack, and you will be ready for your new arrival.
Good luck mama!
(image via @misskyreeloves on instagram)
P A C K I N G L I S T
- Health insurance card, if you have one, Medicare card and ID
- Birth plan, if you have one
- Comfortable clothing for labour, such as a nightgown or robe
- A nursing bra or comfortable bra
- Underwear that you don't mind getting messy
- Socks or slippers
- Toiletries such as toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and deodorant
- Hairbrush and hair ties
- Nursing pads and nursing balm
- Maternity pads or disposable underwear
- Comfortable clothing for after delivery, such as loose-fitting pants and tops
- Snacks and drinks
- Your phone and charger
- A camera or video camera
- A pillow or cushion for comfort
For Partner/Support Person:
- Comfortable clothing for staying overnight, if they plan to do so
- Snacks and drinks
- A camera or video camera
- Phone and charger
- A going-home outfit
- A few onesies
- Swaddles and a blanket
- Hat and socks
- Nappies and wipes
- Baby toiletries, such as baby soap, lotion, and nappy cream
- A car seat for going home
- Additional outfits: special first outfit, birth announcement outfit and accessories such as an announcement disc