Packing Your Hospital Bag- Mum and Baby Essentials

Getting ready for your baby’s arrival is just so exciting, it means you've made it to the final stretch and you're ready to meet your baby really soon. But it can be overwhelming too, you need to make sure you have all of the right things for a comfortable hospital stay for yourself as well as making sure the baby has everything they'll need as well. Sometimes, you might need to stay in the hospital longer than planned, especially if you have a C-section or any complications so, it’s best to be prepared. Here are some ideas to consider. 

Packing for Mum

Comfort is the most important thing to keep in mind. When you pack clothes, think about what will make you feel cozy. Loose-fitting pajamas are great because they are comfortable and easy to move in. Bring a robe to keep you warm and to cover up when you walk around. Slippers or comfy socks are also a must for walking around the hospital. When it's time to leave hospital you'll need some clothes to wear, go with things that are comfy and easy to get on and off. Something like a loungewear set or a maxi dress would work well, nothing that will feel constrictive or tight. For footwear, keep it really simple with things like crocs or sliders. 

Don’t forget your toiletries, you might be in hospital for a few days so will want to feel clean and fresh. Pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush and any other personal care items you use every day. Lip balm and lotion are helpful because hospital air can be very dry. Some mums wont care about how they look at all while they're in hospital but others will, there's no right or wrong! If putting a bit of makeup
on will help you to feel better then bring a few cosmetic essentials with you as well. 

Medication and Extras
If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure to bring them along with their cases and solution. Remember to bring any regular prescription medication you take, as well as things like maternity pads, breast pads, nipple cream and other personal hygiene items. If you've been diagnosed with GD don't forget your glucose monitor. Depending on whether your hospital uses paper notes still, if you have a folder containing these bring that with you as well, this should contain your birth plan and preferences. If you've managed to harvest and freeze any colostrum you'll need to bring this with you, speak to your midwife about how to transport this to keep it fresh- usually a cool bag and ice packs will do the trick.

It's always worth packing some snacks, depending on the type of delivery you have you might have to fast beforehand so bring some food you can eat after that you know you'll enjoy. Hospital grub isn't always the best so having some of your favourite treats on hand is no bad thing! Cereal bars, dried fruit, crisps, biscuits and plenty of drinks are all worth considering. 

Packing for Baby

Clothing can be tricky as you're never sure how big your baby will be, even if you've had growth scans. But most full term babies will fit in newborn size initially so bring some outfits in this size, and potentially a few bigger or smaller depending on your baby's predicted weight. Bring a couple of outfits, including one to take your baby home in and some spares for while you're in hospital as you dont know how long you'll end up staying.  Newborns need a hat to stay warm, even in the summer- if you dont want to use the hospital's one then bring a few cute ones of your own.

Nappies and Wipes
A small pack of nappies and a packet of baby wipes should be enough to get you through a hospital stay, be sure to use extra sensitive or water wipes if you plan on using them at first. The other alternative is cotton wool and water, but lots of baby wipes these days are suitable from birth and can be easier to use.

If you plan to use a specific type of formula then bring this with you. If you're not sure if you will breast feed or use formula, most likely the hospital will provide you with formula if breastfeeding doesnt work out. You can buy small, pre-made bottles that are all ready to go and don't need to be sterilised that you can bring in your hospital bag if you're set on formula feeding from the start. If you plan on expressing milk, bring a breast pump with you making sure all of the parts are sterilised and carefully packed. 

Things like blankets, dummies and milestone cards for pictures are some extras you might want to consider when you're putting your hospital bag together. 

Car Seat
Finally, don’t forget your car seat. It’s essential for your baby’s first ride home, and it should be installed in your car before you go to the hospital. Most hospitals will insist on seeing this before they let you leave with your baby. 

What's in your hospital bag ready for birth?