Most pregnant women pack a hospital bag between weeks 33 and 36 but what should your hospital bag checklist look like?
We have compiled a hospital bag checklist for labour, which includes lots of amazing suggestions from our community of parents.
We’ve split out the recommendations to include a list of essential items to pack, and some clever labour bag extras for the items that are not essential but could come in very handy.
Essentials for your hospital bag checklist
- Jim Jams (Pyjamas!) and some footwear, ideally slippers
Hospital floors can be cold so don’t forget to bring some nice comfy warm slippers. You also need to think about breastfeeding (if you are going to try) and to do that you will need a two-piece pyjama set (ideally x2 as babies are messy little critters!).
- Granny knickers! (underwear and lots of it)
Pack as many loose baggy comfortable nickers as you can and keep the colours dark so you don’t have to worry so much about leaks. You also need to remember a dirty washing bag. Socks are optional (not so essential if you are bringing lovely fluffy slippers!)
- Bras (maternity)
Have at least x2 maternity bras even if you are not planning on breastfeeding. Your breasts may swell and you may suffer from some mastitis.
- Pads (for your Foo Foo)
Remember not to use tampons after birth (due to the possible risk of infection). You will lose some blood after birth so pack enough pads for one week.
- Pads (for your Boobs!)
You may produce a little colostrum before your milk comes in so be prepared. Be mindful of sizing and we love these ultra-thin pads.
- Toilet Bag
Remember to pack your Shampoos, toothpaste, hairbrush, beauty regime creams, shaver but do go easy on deodorant for the first few days so your beautiful baby can get used to mum’s smell. You can buy those travel-sized toiletries from most supermarkets now and these are ideal.
Do check what nappies (if any at all) your hospital provides before you pack your bag. We recommend you decide upon what nappy brand you want to use and pack a couple of packs of disposables. Remember, newborn babies will get though nappies quickly so you can never have too many. Aim for seven a day for one week! I always went to Aldi just for my for Nappies and Wipes (very good quality and extremely cheap!).
A lot of mums assume (incorrectly) that the hospital will provide clothes for their newborn. Yes, the Hospital will pop a hat on your baby when it is born but don’t expect that hat to be nice, or in some cases very clean! If you are giving birth in the winter pack a few newborn hats, grow suits, socks, mittens, vests, a fleece and some muslins for you to wrap baby in. This is a great job for a partner to be in charge.
Don’t forget the day you take baby home if the weather outside is cold – prepare a leaving hospital outfit for baby.
- Lotions, potions and creams
Think WIPES and cotton wool. A newborn baby will be just fine with warm water and cotton wool for cleaning but you will need wet wipes for their nappy changes. Bring lots of wipes (head to Aldi!)
- Towels and flannels
Newborn babies like to push out milk when winded. This often ends up all down your back so remember towels to place on your shoulder to catch this sick and flannels. Also, remember your towel and flannel for your post-birth showers.
- Feeding equipment
The hospital will have all the equipment needed to help you bottle feed your baby but you might wish to bring in your own.
Hospital bag bonus tips
- Lovely soft Tissues
Think mum taking a poo. Think hospital toilet paper…
Trust us when we tell you to pack some straws that can bend (ideally not plastic). When you are giving birth and can’t lean up to take a drink these will save your life!
- Lip Gloss and moisturisers
Hospital air conditioning is dry and after a few days you will be so grateful you have lip balm to hand.
- Entertainment for you
You can pack magazines and books but in today’s digital world it is likely much more important for you to pack your phone charger and a good extension in case the power supplier isn’t right next to your bed.
- Disposable underwear
This sounds a bit bizarre but you lose a lot of blood in the days post birth so you might want to purchase underwear you can happily throw away. If you do, DON’T skimp on quality. Buy the best you can afford for comfort.