Hospital Bag Checklist

Preparing for the arrival of a baby is an exciting time for expectant parents. One essential aspect of part of this preparation is packing a comprehensive hospital bag. A well organised hospital bag ensures the expectant mother, birth partner and baby have all they need to make their hospital stay as comfortable as possible. In this article we’ll look at the must have hospital bag essentials for all three (or more, if you’re having multiples) parties.

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Hospital Bag Essentials for Mum

For the woman about to give birth, comfort and practicality are of the utmost importance. Here are some essentials to pack for the expectant mother.

  1. Comfortable clothing: Pack loose-fitting, breathable and comfortable clothing to wear during labour and after giving birth. Consider button-down nightgowns, nursing tops and cosy dressing gowns to make your hospital stay more relaxing.
  2. Toiletries: Personal hygiene after giving birth is crucial. Include items such as your toothbrush and toothpaste. Deodorant and face wipes are great for a quick hospital bed refresh too. When showering, it’s important to use gentle, fragrance-free soaps. Don’t forget to pack maternity pads or disposable underwear for postpartum bleeding. Lip balm also makes a great addition, especially if you will be using gas and air as pain relief as it makes your mouth and lips particularly dry.
  3. Snacks & hydration: Labour is incredibly energy-consuming. Bring plenty of snacks and drinks to keep you going. Sports drinks, particularly those that contain electrolytes, are great for maintaining hydration and keeping energy up.
  4. Entertainment: Sometimes labour can be LONG! I’d recommend taking some form of entertainment, whether it’s music, games or a tablet. This can be particularly useful after birth, too, if your hospital stay becomes extended.
  5. Comfort items: Bring along any personal items from home that provide comfort. Pillows, blankets or your favourite dressing gown are all great examples of how you can make your hospital stay feel more homely.
  6. Notes and birth plan: It’s essential to pack these, so your midwife knows exactly what you want from your birthing experience. That way they’ll be able to guide you through your birth as best possible.  [Read our article on writing your birth plan to download your free printable birth plan!]

Hospital Bag Essentials for the Birth Partner

The birth partner plays a vital role in providing comfort and support to the mother. Here are some essential items to include in the birthing bag for your birth partner.

  1. Change of clothes: Labour can be unpredictable, so it’s essential for the birth partner to have a change of clothing just in case.
  2. Toiletries: It’s important to keep up personal hygiene for all parties. Be sure to pack deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste for your birthing partner too.
  3. Snacks & hydration: Just like the mother, it’s important to keep the birth partner nourished too.
  4. Comfort items: Being a birthing partner comes with its own stresses. Having items with you that feel homely and comforting means the birthing partner will be able to support the expectant mother in a way that is more comfortable and controlled.
  5. Support items: Any resources or materials that may help the birth partner support the labouring woman, such as birthing affirmations or massage oils.
  6. Change: Money and change are often overlooked these days, but having coins available for parking (or vending machines) is essential.

Hospital Bag Essentials for the Baby

Welcoming a newborn baby into the world requires careful planning for their comfort and well-being. Here are some essential items to include for your baby:

  1. Clothing: Pack a mixture of newborn and 0-3 clothing for your baby. Include sleepsuits, vests and hats. Think of basic items that are quick and practical. As much as it’d be lovely to dress your new baby in fancy outfits, they’re not massively practical at this age and can often be more hassle than they’re worth.
  2. Blankets & swaddles: Gage the time of year when it comes to packing blankets and swaddles. Cellular blankets are recommended as they’re much safer for the baby.
  3. Nappies and wipes: Be prepared with an ample supply of size 0-1 nappies. When you think you’ve packed enough nappies, I’d probably pack a few more to be on the safe side. Don’t forget nappy creams or baby wipes either; these should be gentle and fragrance-free.
  4. Feeding supplies:  Whether you’re planning to breastfeed or bottle feed, I think it’s wise to cover both bases and pack the necessary supplies. Pack premixed formula bottles for ease as well as nursing bras, breast pads and nipple cream.
  5. Toiletries: Depending on the length of your stay, you may need to pack toiletries for your baby. Items such as a thermometer, hairbrush and nail clippers may be essential.

In conclusion, preparing a well-thought-out hospital bag is essential for a smooth and comfortable birthing experience.

By including these recommended essentials for the expectant mother, birth partner and baby, you can ensure that everyone's needs are met during this momentous occasion. Remember to plan ahead, pack with care and keep the focus on welcoming your new baby!


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