I had every intention of getting this “what to pack in your hospital bag” post up before Maia arrived but life got busy and I just didn’t get around to it. Just as well though because now I can tell you not only what to pack, but also what not to pack, things that I forgot and items that I used the most. So all in all, a lot more informative – yay!
I’m quite a minimal packer, I don’t like lugging around more than I need to so my lists may seem quite short compared to others, I’m not sure, but this is what worked for us. Also bear in mind that this is for a 3 night hospital stay and that I had a c-section so a few things may vary but not too much I don’t think. I’m going to cover both what to pack into your bag, mom as well as baby’s bag, plus some extra goodies that worked well for us.
Let’s get cracking with what to pack in your hospital bag for baby:
- Blankets: I packed one fleece, one muslin and one swaddle blanket and it was absolutely perfect for us. The one night it was slightly more chilly and so we just used a fleece and a swaddle instead of just a single blanket. These take up a ton of room in your bag so keeping them to a minimum definitely helps to save space. I highly recommend investing in the Granny Goose knitted cotton blanket – it is such incredible quality and will serve you for many many years.
- Baby wipes
- Facecloths: I packed two, one to use when Maia had her first bath (you put it over their chest so that they don’t feel as cold) and another to use when breastfeeding because, well, it can be messy especially if baby spits up. I didn’t pack a burp cloth because we don’t burp Maia over our shoulder, but rather sit her up and so the facecloth works well for that too. I have these one’s from Mr Price Home and they are great.
- Dummy: I wasn’t sure if I would need it in hospital but I’m glad I packed it because it really helped to get Maia’s sucking reflex going after we battled a bit the first day. We use the NUK Genius one.
- Clothing: Like I said, I pack light so I had 4 long sleeve babygro’s, two little hats and two pairs of socks. A tip for the babygro’s; the zip up ones make life so much easier, and if you can find ones that have little gloves at the end of the arms that really helps to not only keep their hands warm, but also stops them from scratching themselves. Cotton On make great ones.
- Nappies: Newborn nappies generally come in smaller packs and so I just plonked the whole thing into my bag. My personal preference is the Huggies nappies in size 0. I find that they are the smallest out of the different brands (but not small enough for prem babies I don’t think) and so they have the best fit. They also have the cut out for the umbilical cord which is great.
- Toiletries: There isn’t too much that you need in terms of toiletries to be honest. Baby wash and lotion for the first bath (if you are choosing to bath your baby in hospital), nail clippers to cut those talons (both Aria and Maia came out with such long nails and although some people bite their newborn’s nails off, I prefer nail clippers), surgical spirits and cotton wool roll to clean the umbilical cord and some bum cream.
- Towel: Hooded ones are the best so that you can keep their little head as warm as possible.
- Breast pump: I didn’t think I would need mine while I was in hospital… fast forward to 2am on the second night and I was calling Dan to tell him that if I didn’t have my pump in the next 30min, my boobs might explode. My sister ended up picking it up from him and brought it through for me; I cannot tell you the relief that it brought. So learn from my mistake, take your pump with because you just can’t predict how heavy your initial milk flow will be. Make sure to also pack milk storage bags and something to sterilize your pump with. Most hospitals do have pumps that you can use, I just preferred to use my own. I suppose this should really fall under what to pack in mom’s hospital bag, but it’s all the same really.
Next, what to pack in your hospital bag, mom:
- Nursing bras: I packed 3 of these and it was enough. I absolutely love my Bravado ones, you can have a look at this post to see why.
- Breast pads: I’m just going to give it to you straight, when your milk comes in (round about day 3, but sometimes day 2), your boobs are most probably going to leak. So to avoid a wet patch situation, make sure to pop some breast pads into your bag. I’ve been using the Medela ones and so far, so good!
- High waisted panties: If you’re having a c-section like I did, you don’t want anything to press down onto the incision, so high waisted panties are your best bet. I like the cotton ones from good ol’ Woolies. I would suggest that you buy one pack that fit you snugly while pregnant (these will be great for your hospital stay) and then a pack one size down which will be perfect once your uterus has shrunk a bit when you get home.
- Maternity pads: Because giving birth is so glam! With Aria I used the Carriwell ones, this time around I used the new Lil-lets maternity pads and I definitely prefer them. They are a bit thinner so more comfortable to wear, while still being super absorbent.
- Toiletries: The items in your toiletry bag are obviously your personal preference, but just for interests sake, here is what I had in mine: Mama Mio Gorgeous Glow face wash, Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream (great for day and night), Neutrogena Hydro Boost eye cream, Essence Insta Perfect foundation, Avon Flawless Soft Focus finishing pearls, CHANEL Le Volume mascara, Blistex DCT lip balm, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, Medela Purelan nipple cream, hairbrush, hair elastics and clips and the Aveeno body wash (specifically because it is fragrance free)
- Electronics: Believe it or not, you may get a little bit bored while you’re in hospital, and they don’t usually have a great choice of TV channels. I put the Netflix app onto my iPad and downloaded some episodes of series that I enjoyed. It really helped to pass the time while Maia was sleeping and there weren’t any visitors. Don’t forget to pack earphones and any chargers you may need.
- Breastfeeding pillow: This will make breast or bottle feeding in hospital so much easier. And if you have a c-section it’s great as it takes any pressure off your lower abdomen and incision. I honestly can’t remember what brand we have (it’s the same one from when Aria was little) but this one from Snuggletime looks great!
- Breastfeeding friendly pajamas: A good button down sleep shirt works brilliantly (I love the Woolies ones) but if you would prefer something different, make sure to check out Mama Moo as they will be launching their breastfeeding friendly nighties this Saturday!
- Going home outfit:Don’t forget to make sure this will be comfortable over your incision, it’s best to opt for a dress here if it isn’t too chilly.
- Bath towel:Most hospitals will provide you with a towel but if you’re like me, it’s nice to have a few home comforts.
- Snacks: This is especially important if you are going to be breastfeeding. I highly recommend the Mrs Milk lactation bars, not only are they filling but they will help to increase your milk supply. Fruit rolls, biscuits and nuts are good options too.
Last but not least, if this isn’t your first child and your other kiddies will be visiting you in hospital, consider doing a gift exchange between them and the baby. It sounds a little bit silly but Aria was thrilled when her baby sister “gave her” a new My Little Pony figurine. And she was just as excited to wrap up her gift to her sister a few days before and then give it to her. We asked her what she would like to get her sister and was adamant on a Lily ‘n Jack snuggle bunny like she has.
Was there anything that I forgot to put on the list? Anything that you would add? Let me know in the comments section!