Packing your hospital bags can be so overwhelming, between advice from books, checklists and advice from other Mum’s it can quickly become confusing to know what we actually need to take with us to the hospital. Iv done this four times now and to be honest I STILL feel like I don’t really know exactly how much of what I need to pack!
One thing I do know tho is that I am a complete over packer, hands up I admit I do go way over board but I personally like feeling like I am prepared for everything and anything and I feel better within myself knowing I have enough rather than not enough. Each of my children’s births have been so different and I over packed with each of them mainly because we lived an hour from the hospital and it wasn’t so easy for hubby to just ‘nip home’ for extras if we needed them. With Brooklyn I was in hospital for a week and had the perfect amount packed, with London I didn’t use half of what I brought because we where in and out within two days BUT at least I had it with me just incase! With Cortez I was so glad I did because he came 5 weeks early and we spent what felt like a life time in the hospital (it was only about a week and a half haha!) but I didn’t really have enough things with me to last us and hubby and Mum had to bring more supplies over for us!
This time around I am a little unsure of just how much I should pack. If she doesn’t decide to come early like her brothers I will give birth at the local birthing centre which is less than a five-minute drive away from home and I plan on just staying there for a day. So since anything could happen I am packing enough for 3 days incase she does come early and we end up at the hospital.
I don’t know about anyone else but i really enjoy taking the time to plan and organise the bags, I get such a kick out of it and it has to be one of my favourite things about preparing for a baby!
I made my own checklist (with some help from the lovely ladies who commented on a post that I put on my Facebook page) that you can download HERE if anyone else would like to use it and I also thought it would be nice to go over everything that I have packed instead of just sharing my list so you know why I have packed it and where I got some of the bits and pieces from too!
MY HOSPITAL BAG:
I spotted this Citta travel bag at the local pharmacy back home and thought it was perfect for when we where moving up to Auckland to keep a change of clothes and toiletries handy for the move and then i could also use it as my hospital bag after. It is such an awesome size and it is really really good quality too, its made out of a nice thick canvas and i think it is absolutely fantastic for the price!
- 2 nursing tops -I have packed 2 tops that are easy to breast feed in. They don’t necessarily have to be tops specifically for nursing either, just ones that are easy to flop the sisters out of!
- 2 nursing bras. I got a couple of THESE bras from Kmart and oh my goodness they are the most comfortable bras I have ever worn!
- 2-3 pairs of comfortable pants -nothing flash because well….how do I put this nicely? umm…there will be a lot of blood afterwards so the last thing you want is to ruin your good pants! You won’t want anything tight or restricting either..trust me!!!!! ‘fat pants’ = perfect!!!!
- Dressing gown/robe -hospitals are cold so it’s definitely nice to have a dressing gown to keep you nice and snuggly and they are just comfy to wear full stop!
- Jandals- something easy to just chuck on and walk around in and if your like me and hospital showers gross you out then these are perfect as you can wear them in there too and also for going home in!
- Slippers -I wasn’t going to bring slippers this time and just use jandals instead to save room but my mum sent me some so I may as well use them!!
- Socks -I HATE wearing socks so I’m only bringing one pair with me incase it is super cold!
- 2 pairs of pyjamas (or a nightie if you prefer)- I like to take two pairs incase we end up staying in the hospital/birthing centre for longer and for just incase (see number 3!)…
- COMFORTABLE going home outfit…and again see number 3…the last thing you want is to ruin your good clothes! For my going home outfit I just have a hoodie and matching sweat pants from good old Kmart! (I didn’t actually own any comfortable pants before hand so I had to buy some, otherwise I would have just packed old ones!)
- Granny undies!!!! And lots of them…again see number 3!! Some hospitals/birthing centres have disposable undies you can use but I haven’t been anywhere that does and have had to bring my own. It pays to pack them anyway!
- A jersey/hoodie incase it is cold and just for comfort.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste -travel size would be an ideal space saver but i had no luck finding such thing! I have my tooth-brush stored in a cute marble toothbrush container i found at Kmart for a few dollars!
- Travel size shampoo and conditioner -I love having a shower and washing my hair after giving birth, some people prefer not to wash their hair which is cool too but its nice to have the option anyway! I found THESE travel containers from Kmart that are perfect to use for the hospital bag!
- Dry shampoo – if you prefer not to wash your hair but just have a bit of a freshen up instead.
- Hand lotion -because you’ll be washing your hands a million times per day and I cannot stand that horrible feeling of having dry hands!!!!!
- Face and body wash -some hospitals/birthing centres have this but I like to bring my own..my mum sent me a face mask so I threw that in there too haha! I probably won’t use it there but hey you never know!
- Hair brush
- Lip balm -because you get crazy dry lips during labour!!!
- Hair ties and bobby pins to keep the hair out of your face during labour especially!!!
- Nipple cream (a few people mentioned they used this as lip balm too which I never even thought of doing but totally makes sense aaaand saves you taking a lip balm!!)
- Maternity pads -I’m pretty sure most hospitals/birthing centres have these there for you to use but I like to bring some of my own too just incase and for the journey home.
- Breast pads -I like to bring heaps of these because once that milk comes in……enough said!
- Makeup – personal preference of course! Iv never gone a day without wearing it and giving birth certainly doesn’t stop me! I like to feel a little more human afterwards so I’m all for it!!
- Hand sanitizer
- Shower cap -incase you don’t want to wash your hair
- Your maternity notes
- Phone charger
- Camera, memory card and spare (charged) battery (if your planning on taking your own photos otherwise you have your phone!)
- Headphones for during labour if music is your thing
- Spare change for parking and food if you end up at hospital
- Bag to store yours and baby’s dirty clothes (I didn’t even think of this when I had Brooklyn and I was kicking myself afterwards!!!)
- Towel -I’m bringing one for the car ride for just incase! You never know when/where your waters will break!! Some people prefer to bring their own to use when they shower too.
- Snacks and water for during/after labour
BABY’S HOSPITAL BAG:
Since I have 3 boys I wanted something super girly this time around so I set off on a mission to find a pretty pink bag that I could use as a hospital bag and a nappy bag. This was actually more difficult than I thought as I could only seem to find pink nappy bags that where backpacks! I had a nosey in the Colette Hayman store and on my way out I spotted this beautiful pink overnight bag and fell in love!!! It has so much room inside and it even has a pocket at the front large enough to fit a change mat.
I am shocking at packing outfits-for the nappy bag, preschool bags and when we go away too as I always forget things, e.g. packing 4 days worth of clothes and forgetting socks! I’m a little bit of an organisation freak too so I wanted something that I could store outfits in to keep each day separate in the bag so I know I have enough and haven’t forgotten anything and also to make everything easy to find. I struggled to find anything that I wanted so I reached out on Instagram to see if I could find someone to make exactly what I had in mind! This is when I found the super talented Shanaye who runs @soh.simple.creations on Instagram. I told Shanaye what I wanted and not long after I received these beautifully made linen bags in the mail that where EXACTLY what I had envisioned! Not only are these bags handy for organising the hospital bag but they will also be handy for at home too, in the nappy bag, organising suitcases, drawers or cupboards and so much more!!! I have 5 of these bags in total, 3 of them each hold a days worth of outfits including a night-gown, one holds two swaddles and the other one holds the spare clothes I am bringing.
- Going home outfit – probably the most fun thing about packing the hospital bags!!
- 1-2 gowns -Personal preference but I think gowns are amazing and my kids lived in theirs at bed time for the first few months, they just make nappy changes so much easier as you don’t have to muck around pulling buttons apart or pulling pants down and putting them back on again, you literally just lift the gown up and pull it back down again..super easy when your changing a little bottom every couple of hours in the night!
- 1-2 swaddles -I like to use my own swaddles and I’m bringing two juuuuuust in case of accidents! (and of corse I had to pack the beautiful swaddle and headband set from Crazy Beautiful..I mean how could I not!! Photos!!!!!!!!)
- 1-2 new born hats
- 1-2 pairs of mittens
- 2 all in ones
- 3 body suits
- 2 pairs of socks
- Cardigan incase it is cold
- Blanket -for going home (keeping baby snuggly and warm in the capsule and on the ride home)
- Extra outfit in case of accidents
- Toiletry bag -just to keep everything together and so that it is easily accessible. I got THIS cute pink quilted one from Kmart, it is such a pretty colour too!
- New born nappies -Some hospitals/birthing centres provide them but others don’t. Ours provides cloth nappies but I am bringing a few disposable for just incase and for the ride home.
- 1 packet of baby wipes
- Bum cream -Theres plenty of different ones to choose from but I’m bringing my all time favourite Sudocrem.
- Optional – body wash and lotion. I personally love to bath my babies at the hospital so they are all fresh and clean for going home. My mum sent me some eco store travel sized products so they were perfect to chuck in the hospital bag!
- Pacifier -again personal choice.
Extras that i am also bringing:
- Baby shusher -for no particular reason! I’m just bringing it for incase!
- Headband -totally unnecessary but guys… its my first little girl after 3 boys…IM SO FLIPPING EXCITED so of corse i had to bring a head band!!!
I had so much fun putting together this blog post! I really hope it helps another expecting Mama. Theres lots more things you may want to take e.g. your own pillow or blanket to help make you feel more at home, I personally am not fussed by these but others may want to, it’s about taking what YOU think you will need and what YOU WANT to take with you. And I just want to add -don’t ever feel silly for over packing!! You never know what could end up happening, you could end up in the hospital/birthing centre for a day or you could end up staying for weeks so you just pack what feels best for YOU!! Theres nothing wrong with taking lots if that helps you to feel prepared!
Good luck for those reading this who are expecting! I wish you all the best!
Much love Mama’s xx