What to pack in your hospital bag when you’re coming to have your baby
Hello my name is Helen Green, I’m a community midwife. I’m here today to talk to you about some things you might want to pack in your hospital bag ready for labour.
Most ladies start to prepare and pack this bag at about 36 weeks pregnant. We don’t need you to bring a whole suitcase full, you’re not staying in hospital for two weeks. Hopefully it’s only a short stay for a couple of days.
You will be needing a wash bag, and again a short stay would be fine. Very simple, basic things you would normally bring.
Some deodorant, Some shampoos, Some body washes and toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush and a bobble.
You might want some makeup wipes, and you might want some makeup. Lip balm of some sort is also very handy, as is a small face cloth, a flannel, that would be very useful if you need to mop your brow in labor.
Having some a small wash bag, is all that you really need, for the one day, possibly two days you might be staying in.
We’ll need some other things for you when you’re in labor. You will need something cool and loose to wear, whether you choose to wear your own clothes, whether you choose a loose cotton nighty, a large t-shirt. It’s entirely up to you and the hospital can provide loose cotton gowns if that would suit you better.
We would want you to bring in some bras, primarily for afterwards. Considering breastfeeding bras – you might want a breastfeeding bra such as the type that has a clip in – so that you’ll be able to breastfeed with a bit more ease, once you’ve had your baby.
You’re also going to need some other underwear. A lot of ladies choose to bring disposable pants of some kind. You will probably need about four or five pairs of disposable pants or some other underwear. Some pants that are comfortable and that fit you.
You might find it comfortable to have something like a spray to put some water in, to cool yourself down. Delivery suite can be a very warm, hot place to be spending time in. Again just using your cold flannel might suffice for yourself. It might also be advisable that your partner packs a cool t-shirt to change into if he’s going to be with you for a little bit of time, and you might also want a change of clothes or a toothbrush for afterwards.
We’re wanting you to bring some things in to prepare for your baby, an obvious one is some nappies, perhaps one small pack of first size nappies would suit you, and we would like you to just have some cotton wool for using to clean the babies bum with.
Whether you to use balls or pack cotton pads is entirely up to you. Baby will also need some clothes to wear and we advise to bring the little vests. You may want to bring two or three sizes of the short sleeved vests and then of the little baby grows, again two or three outfits or sizes.
You may want a special outfit for baby to go home in and blankets such as a cellular blanket or a bit more of a blanket for baby to go in. We would like you to have cardigans, to help keep baby warm, because when baby’s a newborn they’re often quite cold initially. And we want to keep them nice and cozy warm, to help keep the temperature and for that reason we ask you to bring a small woolen hat for when baby’s born.
If you don’t have a woolen hat the hospital can provide one.
We would also advise that you might want a little bib to have for your baby, for when feeding. If you’re going to choose to formula feed your baby, you would have to bring the formula in the ready-made packs. This is the packs that come with the teat, obviously we support you however you feed your baby and give you lots of breastfeeding support. But if you’re choosing, to bottle feed you need to bring a newborn starter pack with you.
You may want to bring some muslin wipes instead of a bib, that’s absolutely fine.
For breastfeeding, you’re probably going to want to have some breast pads. You can have the disposable ones, like these, or some reusable ones. And it may be that you want some small samples of nipple cream. Speak to your midwife for some advice.
Your sanitary towels are also very important, some not necessarily whichever make you get, but make sure the super grows open night time, at least one big pack, that you’re bringing in with you.
If you’re needing any more than this your family and friends can bring you things in, and we would advise you not to bring your car seat in until your baby is ready to go home.
We encourage you to start packing a bag ready for you and your baby as you approach 36 weeks of pregnancy regardless of where you have chosen to give birth.
Hopefully you will only be on ward (for at most) a couple of days following the birth of your baby. This means you should only need to bring enough clothes and personal items to keep you and baby comfortable for a short time.
Whatever you decide to bring is a personal choice, but we have some suggestions on what may be useful to pack:
Things to pack for you:
- Personal wash bag items such as deodorant, shampoo, bodywash, toothpaste and toothbrush, hairbrush and bobble, lip balm and a facecloth/flannel
- Something cool and loose to wear during labour such as a cotton nighty or a large t-shirt, including something to wear in the birthing pool (the hospital can provide a gown if you would prefer this)
- Dressing gown, slippers and nightwear
- Support bra to wear while breastfeeding
- Four or five pairs of disposable underwear and maternity pads
- Pair of socks
- Spray to help keep you cool during labour
- Snacks, magazines, newspapers, music and books (for your and your partner)
- Confortable clothing to go home in
Things your partner might need:
- Comfortable clothing and a change of clothes – it gets warm on the unit
- Suitable indoor footwear
- Meals and snacks
Things to pack for your baby:
- First size nappies for baby
- Cotton wool
- Baby clothes – two to three size of vests and baby grows, cardigan
- woollen hat
- Baby going home outfit
- Baby blanket
- Bib for baby when feeding or muslin wipes
- If choosing formula, bring some ready-made packs that come with the teat (Newborn starter pack)