As you enter your third trimester, preparations to welcome your newborn into your lives set off in full gear. While you may be pre-occupied with fun things to do such as shopping baby clothes, setting up the nursery, and buying baby gear and toys, you must also take out time to pack a hospital bag before you hit the 36th week of your pregnancy, as the baby can arrive anytime after this point. It is always advisable to be well-prepared ahead of time because having to worry about packing a hospital bag or instructing someone to do it for you when you are already in labour is the last thing you’d want. We bring this hospital bag checklist for mom and baby to make sure you carry everything you’d need during and after childbirth.
Packing two different bags for labour and after-birth necessities is a good call, as it keeps things organised and easily accessible. That’s why we’ve broken up this hospital bag checklist for mom and baby into two parts.
If you have a vaginal birth, your hospital stay could be around two days. In case of c-sections, you are likely to be discharged on the third or fourth day of the surgery. You need to factor in both these possibilities when packing your hospital bag. Here is a list of things you must carry:
• All your pre-natal health records and documents, and an ID proof for hospital admission.
• A loose dressing gown to wear during labour. Most hospitals and nursing homes have their own gowns for patients but you may not be asked to change into one until you are almost ready to head into the labour room. Carry a spare too, as things can get a wee bit messy during labour.
• Pack a couple of extra gowns or loose t-shirts for your post-delivery stay.
• A pair of flip-flops.
• Socks, in case you are asked to walk around the corridors or to the labour room barefoot.
• Hair bands and clips to keep your hair neatly tied back.
• Your preferred oil or lotion in case you need a back massage during labour.
• A couple of comfortable pillows or cushions you have been using during your third trimester.
• Nursing bras, if you are planning on using them. If not, pack a set of well-fitted bras that won’t hamper the process of breastfeeding.
• Sugary drinks to maintain your glucose levels during labour.
• Your phone and charger.
• Earplugs, if you’d like to hear some light music to keep you going in the initial stages of labour.
• An outfit to come back home in.
• Toiletries such as shower gel/soap bar, toothbrush, toothpaste, towels, and hairbrush.
For your baby, you need to pack the following essentials:
• Three or four sets of comfortable baby clothes such as vests and sleepsuits.
• A baby blanket or swaddling blanket to keep your newborn cosy.
• A pack of nappies to last you through the entire hospital stay. You’ll need a lot of them, as you newborn will soil at least 10-12 diapers in a day.
• Soft muslin cloth to clean spit ups and throw ups.
• Caps, booties, and mittens.
• Wet wipes and washcloths.
These essentials should see you through your hospital stay. Even if you don’t want to pack the bags way ahead of time, it is a good idea to stack all the items according to this hospital bag checklist for mom and baby in a closet and have empty bags placed next to them, so that you can quickly put everything in and be on your way when the time comes.