I always advise that it is best to pack your and the baby’s items that will be needed into a bag a few weeks before your due date. I would recommend having it ready as early as 32 weeks, as it is so much nicer to be prepared in an emergency situation rather than relying on a partner or family member to get everything needed and bring to the hospital at a later stage. Only you really know what you want to have in it.
What to pack in your hospital bag
Below I have compiled one list for the baby and one list for items you will/may need. Some of the things on the Mummy list may not even get used, but it’s best to have them in your bag just in case. You can always pass them on to a friend if you don’t end up using them.
- 1 pack of nappies
- 1 pack of wet wipes
- Cotton wool pads
- Nappy sacks
- 3 vests
- 3 baby-grows
- 1 pair of scratch mitts
- 2 bibs• 2 muslin squares
- Newborn-size hat
- Bottles and formula if you are not breastfeeding.
Although you may only plan on staying in hospital for a few hours after the birth and then getting back home as soon as possible (all being well, of course), even that will be enough time for your newborn to wee or poo on more than one vest/baby-grow, so packing a few is essential. Usually a newborn size will be the correct one for most babies that are born, but be prepared that if your baby weighs over 9lb (4kg) at birth then she may not fit into it! I had this problem with my first son, and had to get my mum to take a detour on the way to the hospital to buy some bigger baby-grows to put him in. It’s advisable to pack at least one vest and baby-grow in a 0–3-month size.
- Birthing nightshirt
- Cotton dressing gown. Go for a thin one as hospitals are kept at warm temperatures!
- 2 clean nightshirts for use after birth, with buttons or front opening if you plan on breastfeeding.
- 2 pairs of knickers
- 1 pack of large disposable knickers. These are fab to use in the first few days after birth when you are bleeding heavily, as they can just be thrown away if stained with blood. They are also great if you end up having a C-section as they can just be cut off, which saves you painfully bending down.
- 1 pack of maternity sanitary towels
- 1 pack of breast pads, although you shouldn’t actually need these until your full milk supply comes in around day three after birth. It depends how long you end up having to stay in hospital.
- 2 breastfeeding bras if you plan on breastfeeding. • Slippers
- Dettol wipes/hand sanitiser. This is usually provided, but it’s always nice to have your own!
- Your birth plan
- Your maternity notes
- Camera, phone and chargers
- A notebook and pen
- Wash bag containing toothbrush, toothpaste, shower soap, deodorant and anything else you like.
- Small change for hospital car park or pay phone
- Day clothes to go home in when you are discharged