Not all your “headaches” during pregnancy are related to your baby or the unpleasant symptoms… The hospital bag counts, too!
But don’t worry: here you have CaptainMums’ ultimate hospital bag checklist so the big moment doesn’t catch you unaware!
It is recommended that you have your hospital bag ready, packed and waiting in your car by the time you are 36 weeks pregnant; and 35 weeks pregnant if you are extra foresighted – a very useful quality for a mummy! For your maternity hospital bag, you will need stuff for the baby, stuff for you, and also some stuff for the person who will be there for both of you – typically daddy or granny. Also, remember that this is not a substitute of the other big checklist you will have to make: the one with all the baby essentials you will need!
Here’s a detailed checklist of what to pack in hospital bag.
Hospital bag checklist: For the birth
Here’s all you need to have ready for the moment you bring your baby into the world. Keep in mind that most hospitals will provide many of the stuff (like the clothes for birth), but it’s better to bring your own. You will be in the hospital for a while and you will go through a lot in there, so you will want to be as comfortable as possible and to feel like “yourself” as much as you can.
- Paperwork: Having a baby is a beautiful thing, but it’s not free of bureaucracy! You’ll need your ID, your insurance and all the paperwork required by your hospital (including the birth plan).
- Hygiene products: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, a loofa, moisturizer, lip balm (very important!), a brush… Anything you usually need to be your clean, relaxed self!
- Something for your hair, like a headband or a hair tie. Bring more than one just in case (they always get lost, don’t they!) and avoid clips or bobby pins, since they could poke you.
- A comfortable nightgown or robe to wear during labour. Keep in mind that you will need to move around, so it’s better to bring something loose.
- Two or three comfortable bras or maternity bras (with nursing pads) if you’re going to breastfeed.
- Underwear! Including oldies you don’t mind to sacrifice for the cause.
- Two or three pair of comfy, warm, old socks: you will be walking around before labour!
- Non-sugar candy or gum, to keep your mouth wet and salivating.
- An extra robe or comfortable sweater in case you get cold.
- A water spray or sponge and cold water so you can freshen your forehead and face while in labour.
- Something to relax: your pillow, your “blankie”, music, a good and relaxing read, lotions and relaxing oils… Whatever you want or need!
Hospital bag checklist: For mummy
Yes, it is your baby’s day: he’s being welcomed into the outside world! However, even if you’ve been around for a while, this is a huge day for you too: you’re going to be making a really huge effort, so try to have an easier path ahead of you with the perfect maternity hospital bag. Many of these things you may have already used for labour, but they will be useful afterwards as well. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Two or three changes of clothes: bring nice and comfortable pyjamas or nightgowns that make you feel good.
- Underwear, including clean, comfortable maternity panties and nursing bras.
- Sanitary pads: the hospital is likely to provide them, but bring your own just in case.
- Make-up: You’re going to get a lot of visits, so bring anything you need to make yourself feel good.
- Your phone and charger – you will want to call all your loved ones to make the big announcement!
- Food! You will probably be hungry after making this huge effort, and we all know hospital food is not the best! Bring something (preferably not too unhealthy) you think you’ll be in the mood for afterwards.
- A good book about babies: you’ve probably done all your homework before birth, but some more reading can’t hurt. Besides, theory isn’t practise, and you will find that you have a lot of doubts and questions. Don’t worry, it’s completely normal!
- Pen and notebook: You will be in a privileged place to have all these doubts and questions, since you will be surrounded by nurses and midwifes. Write down all you need to know and remember!
- A camera, if you and your partner want to have a memory of this beautiful day. However, this is not a must: it’s your decision!
- A change of street clothes to go back home: And remember, being comfortable is still your main goal.
- Something for your partner: whoever accompanies you through the birth, usually the father of the baby, will need some stuff too: A change of clothes, a phone, his own toiletries and something to read or relax. Make sure he also has some coins to get stuff from the vending machines.
Hospital bag checklist: For the baby
And last but not least, this is all your baby may need during his or her very first days:
- Two or three changes of clothes: You probably won’t know what to choose among all the cute things you’ve collected during pregnancy! Keep in mind that newborns need to be always wrapped up, so select clothes with long sleeves, socks and a hat even if it’s summer.
- Onesies: You’re going to need a lot of those!
- Nappies: The hospital will probably provide them, but bring some of your own just in case.
- A blanket to wrap him after he’s born
- Toiletries: sponge, soap, baby lotion, baby wipes, talcum powder…
- A travel system for the car: this is a must! Find out how to put your baby in it beforehand.
- A change of clothes to go back home.
What not to include in your hospital bag
There are a few things you should not bring to the hospital, like the following:
- Too much cash, jewels or valuable objects: you’re going to be absorbed by your baby and won’t be paying attention to any of those, so better not to bring them with you.
- Too many nappies: it’s good to bring a few just in case, but don’t overdue it, since the hospital will also have some.
- A milk extractor: If you need one, the hospital will have it.
And this is all you will need to put in your hospital bag – quite a lot of things! Remember that you can always print this checklist and cross out all the items you have ready. May the force be with you!