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Hospital bag

Hospital bag essentials: Packing for baby and you

Preparing to give birth is both exciting and terrifying in equal measures. There’s so much out of your control, like when will you go into labour, what kind of birth will you have, will it be a boy or girl (if you haven’t already found out the sex).

To help you get organised and plan ahead for every potential scenario, we’ve put together a hospital bag packing guide.

When should I pack my hospital bag?

You can never be too early when it comes to packing your bag – with the general rule being four to six weeks before your due date. Once your bag is good to go, be sure to keep it in a handy place so you can add any last-minute items and grab quickly as you make your way to hospital..

How many bags should I take?

When packing, it may be helpful to split your packing list into three categories:

  • A labour bag: Items for labour and birth
  • Post-birth bag: Items for after the birth for you
  • Baby’s bag: Essential items for baby’s first few days

You may wish to separate these into different bags or organise them into small, labelled bags
(large freezer bags can be useful) within a small suitcase or large weekend bag so you have less to carry.

  • Your birth plan and hospital notes
  • Something loose and comfortable to wear during labour
  • 3 changes of loose, comfortable clothes – including a going home outfit
  • 2 or 3 comfortable and supportive bras, including nursing bras if you’re planning to breastfeed
  • Breast pads
  • 2 packs of maternity pads or super-absorbent sanitary pads
  • Nipple cream
  • 5 or 6 dark colour pants (or disposable pants)
  • Toilet bag with a toothbrush, hairbrush, flannel, soap, lip balm, deodorant, and hair ties
  • Cosmetics and skin care products – remember some moisturiser as your skin may feel drier than usual
  • Towel
  • A fan or water spray to cool you down
  • Front-opening or loose-fitting nighties or tops if you’re going to breastfeed
  • Dressing gown and slippers or flip flops
  • Socks. Believe it or not, your feet can get cold during labour
  • Healthy snacks and drinks
  • Extra pillow or cushion from home
  • Any medicines that you’re taking
  • Things to help you pass the time and relax – books, magazines, music or podcasts
  • Long cable phone charger
  • Essential oils, massage lotion
  • TENS machine, if you’re using one

Hospital bag for baby

Before you know it, you’ll be holding your little bundle in your arms. The following list of essentials will come in useful for their arrival:

  • Bodysuits, vests and sleepsuits
  • An outfit for going home in
  • A hat, scratch mittens and socks or booties
  • Plenty of nappies and nappy sacks
  • Baby wipes
  • A shawl or blanket
  • Muslins or bibs
  • A dummy should you decide to use one
  • A car seat for the trip home
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