It’s almost time to meet your baby! Make sure you have all your hospital essentials ready with our handy guide on what to pack.
When to start
Many parents-to-be deliberate over when to start packing their hospital bag. Babies hardly ever arrive on your official due date and unless you’re booked in for an elective C-section, you cannot be sure when he or she will make her appearance.
It may seem early, but to be on the safe side, many women have their hospital bag ready around a month before their due date – just in case your little one cannot wait to enter the world.
What to pack
Here we have concentrated on the essentials. If you have a more detailed birth plan you could include extra items such as those on our extras list below.
- Your birth plan and maternity notes – keep these in your bag the month before you’re due. Take them out and return them as needed for any medical visits before the birth.
- Nightwear that works for breastfeeding. You may also want to pack some comfy slippers and a light dressing gown. Keep in mind you may have to stay in for a few days, so pack a few nighties or pairs of PJs.
- Don’t forget some comfortable going home clothes and don’t expect a return to your pre-pregnancy size straight after the birth!
- Nursing bra and several pair of comfortable knickers and socks
- Maternity pads and breast pads
- Overnight wash bag with toothbrush, hairbrush, shower gel, deodorant, shampoo and face cloth
- Bag for dirty laundry
- You may wish to bring along a refillable water bottle. Water or facial spray and a extra sponge for labour
For your birth partner
- Spare birthing plan and hospital notes
- A refillable water bottle and snacks
- Paper and a pen
- E-book or magazines
For your baby
- Baby clothes for 0-3 months. Opt for several vests, simply baby grows, hats and sock or booties. You may also need cardigans or a coat for going home depending on the season.
- Baby blankets
- Muslin cloths
- Nappies and wipes
- Baby toiletries and cotton wool – your little one may have their first bath in hospital
- A camera or video recorder
- Playlist and speakers for labour
- Ear plugs or an eye mask – to help you sleep – should your baby permit you to!
- Pillow/s for you and your birth partner for extra comfort
- Aromatherapy oil or spray for relaxation during labour
- Extra book or magazines
How many diapers and wipes?
This is not an exact science, but newborn babies need up to 12 changes daily - so we recommend packing ample nappies and baby wipes, considering you may be in for a few days.
Disposable baby care can take its toll on the planet, but opting for brands that are good for newborns – allergy certified with gentle formulas – and good for the planet – with more sustainable ingredients – like Pura’s baby wipes and diapers, will ensure that you can care for your new arrival and planet at the same time.
Other essentials for your to-do list
- You have your newborn’s car seat ready
- That the car is full of petrol
- You have your hospital notes with spare copies