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New Mothers’ Hospital Bag Checklist

Pregnant mother is preparing hospital bag clothes

With a bit of planning you can make sure everything you need is in the bag! This blog will help mothers-to-be by providing a hospital bag checklist. Ideally, you should get a ‘baby bag’ for hospital all packed three to four weeks from your due date. Sometimes your little passenger(s) may decide to arrive early! Therefore, it is great if you can prepare your hospital bag list in advance as much as you can. It can be useful to have two bags all set; one for labour and one for your hospital stay afterwards.

If you're having a home birth, incidentally, put all those things you think you'll need in one easily accessible place. Tell everyone where they are, so you can reach them easily when the moment comes.

What To Pack In A Hospital Bag

The final stages of getting ready for a baby’s arrival can feel stressful and worrying. It is easy, thanks to ‘baby brain’, to forget things. The important thing is to relax. Don’t worry if your baby arrives unexpectedly and arrives at the hospital without essentials. This sometimes happens and essentials like a nappy and hat for your little one plus disposable underwear and maternity pads for mum can be supplied by the midwife. Everything else can be brought later by your ‘welcoming party’.

That said, labour can be much more comfortable with a bit of pre-planning. Our baby checklist or labour list of items will help you pack a maternity bag with confidence. The good news is that you can take as many bags as you need to the hospital. You should pack whatever you need to make the process as comfortable as possible.

Four Types of Hospital Bag Essentials

There is a skill to finding what you need during the roller-coaster that is labour, birth and postpartum hospital stay. Things are easier if you divide your hospital bag essentials into four groups.

  • For mum in labour
  • For mum postpartum
  • For the baby
  • For partners

Pack everything you are taking into four clearly marked bags. It is important to show your partner where things are. Many a perfectly organised maternity bag has been turned upside down by a well-meaning person in a panic.

Items For Mom-To-Be’s Hospital Bag

The first item to pack is your birth notes and any birth plan documentation you have. Having these to hand might be important when speaking to the medical professionals helping you through the big moment. The following items of clothing are great too;

  • Two labour dresses; one for during labour and one for the postpartum period. It’s tempting to pack an old favourite t-shirt or night dress, but specifically designed labour dresses or gowns are the most comfortable option.
  • A cardigan; your temperature will fluctuate during labour and you will feel shivery sometimes. Pack something you can snuggle into during those moments.
  • Socks; see above. Nobody likes cold feet while becoming a mother.
  • Flip-flops; waterproof footwear to wear in the shower or birthing pool are essential to prevent slipping.
  • Non-slip Slippers; getting around a hospital in the postpartum period needs care too.
  • If you’re having a waterbirth, remember to pack a sports bra to wear in the pool and a much loved fluffy dressing gown to wear afterwards.

Other items for your baby's hospital bag include an old favourite pillow to keep you comfortable and feel at home and music playlists to help you pass the time. Hot water, massage oils or aromatherapy oils (If you’re not allergic to them) can aid in keeping you calm and relaxed.

  • Headphones for music or other audio entertainment
  • A phone charger so you don’t lose communication
  • A small fan and water ‘spritzer’ to help keep you cool.
  • Laxatives (please take what you normally use. Alternatively, the hospital can provide Lactulose).
  • Food for labour: Keep your energy up with cereal bars, fruits (bananas, watermelon, mango, grapes), isotonic drinks, coconut water, juice, smoothies, glucose tablets or honey.

Items for the post-partum period include maternity pads and pants to protect from leaks or any bleeding, nursing bras, breast pads and nipple cream. If you’re not having a caesarean birth you might also need;

  • A peri-bottle and peri-sprays to help keep yourself clean
  • Cooling compress for your perineum (aids swelling after birth).

Finally do remember a comfortable outfit for going home, a laundry bag for dirty clothes you’ve worn during the birth and a bag of toiletries. Make sure the latter has all-natural ingredients with zero fragrance. Newborn babies can be sensitive.

Your Baby Checklist

The following baby list of hospital bag essentials is recommended as a minimum to welcome your precious one into the world.

  • Two baby vest tops.
  • Two sleepsuits, ideally with mitten cuffs. If not, please pack separate mittens.
  • Two or three hats of different sizes
  • A minimum of ten newborn nappies and newborn wet wipes.
  • Two large soft muslin cloths and one small one.
  • A swaddling blanket and a cotton cellular baby blanket.

Think about how you’re going to transport your baby home too. Will you need a car seat or sling for your precious new arrival to travel home in?

Finally, your birthing partner will need to be prepared to be by your side for quite a while during labour. This might mean comfortable clothes such as a tracksuit and a T-shirt. It is quite warm in hospitals so there’s no real need for layers. There might be a lot of standing and walking around, so comfortable shoes are a must too. Your partner is key to communicating with the outside world, so a phone charger for them is a must-have too.

Finally, pack food and drink for your partner. If they have sandwiches and snacks, they won’t be tempted to eat all yours!

Packing a baby bag for the hospital is the moment that becoming a mother begins to feel real. It can be a very special way to prepare for your new family and shouldn’t feel daunting. The good news is You can browse newborn clothes here and the team at Twinkleboo is here to help.

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