As the exciting day when you finally get to meet baby is fast approaching, you will undoubtedly want to get your hospital bag ready so you can grab it and go whenever you need it. You’ll need to make sure you have enough for both you and baby so that if your time in hospital is a little longer than expected, you won’t be caught short. When would be good to have this prepared? What should you make sure to put in it?
When to prepare?
Babies work very much to their own schedule, so even with a due date in mind, baby might come early… or baby might take their own sweet time and keep you waiting that bit longer! It’s generally recommended that you should have your hospital bag ready to go at least three weeks before your due date.
What should you think about taking for yourself?
For mummy, the focus of what to take usually revolves around comfort, hygiene, food and personal entertainment. But most importantly, make sure to take your hospital notes and birth plan.
In terms of comfort, you need to be thinking about things like a few changes of clothes, plenty of maternity underwear and maybe extra pillows. Some also like to take slippers and a dressing gown. It’s true that the hospital has their own gowns and bedding but at times, new mums like to supplement the hospital kit with some of their own.
In terms of hygiene, you’ll need to make sure you have all the toiletries that you might need for keeping yourself nice and clean, including some towels and flannels, and even some hair ties to keep your hair out of your way. Additionally, you’ll want to take breast pads as well as super absorbent sanitary or maternity pads. Also in this category, an essential part you won’t want to forget is any medication you will need to be taking during your hospital stay.
When thinking of what food to take, bear in mind that labour is probably the most physically demanding experiences your body will ever go through. You’ll want something fairly healthy, but also high energy and requiring minimal digestion. Some mums have recommended to us energy tablets (such as Lucozade) as their absolute go to for getting them through labour. You can supplement this with some of your own drinks that you might like to enjoy too. Of course, the hospitals do provide food and drink but it’s always good to take some of your own to have it on hand exactly when you need it.
Finally, personal entertainment is what will provide welcome distraction during the quieter phases of labour, and also when you’re awake but baby is sleeping after labour. Make sure to take any electronic devices you rely on along with all their chargers, plus alternative reading material such as books and magazines. When taking devices bear in mind that not all hospitals have free Wi-Fi or good connections, so think of downloading music and anything you plan to watch before you go.
What do you need to pack for baby?
The first and most obvious two things for babies are lots of clothes (including bibs) and LOADS of nappies! If this is your first baby you may just find yourself amazed at the speed that you newborn can need to change their outfits (and their nappies!). However, this should also come with a word of caution: babies cannot regulate their body temperature very well so make sure you are taking natural, breathable materials and not overloading them with too many fleecy materials which could make them overheat and become seriously ill. If your baby needs extra warmth, then be sure to pack a shawl or blanket to swaddle them with.
You’ll also need to think about how baby will get home when the hospital allows this. So make sure you have a car seat to take them in – even if you don’t have a car, and plan to get a taxi, you will need to have one or else the taxi will refuse travel. As this first trip will be when baby makes their grand entrance to their new home, lots of mums like to plan one of their favourite newborn outfits to be worn so that baby can look super cute in lots of the photos that will likely be taken.
It’s clear you’ll need a big bag to fit all of this in! In fact, you can find even more tips for what to take from the official NHS website, the link can be found here. Your midwife will be able to give you some more specific pointers too. But if you wanted a short list of ten things to make sure you have, we’ve made it nice and simple for you:
Ten Things to Take in Your Hospital Bag for Baby Delivery:
- Nappies – several days’ worth.
- Clothes, blankets, and bibs for baby – assume they will need several changes per day, but these can be simple baby grows/body suits/sleep suits. Just make sure you have one particularly nice outfit for going home in.
- Car seat for baby to go home in.
- Your hospital notes and birth plan.
- Lots of comfortable underwear for yourself (some like to take a few disposables).
- Plenty of pads – breast pads and sanitary/maternity pads.
- A few changes of loose, comfortable clothes.
- An amenity kit – everything to keep your teeth, hair and body clean, and medicines to keep you healthy.
- Snacks and drinks.
- Any entertainment you’ll need – all your devices, chargers and reading material.
OK, we may have sneaked a few more than ten into that list, but we’re sure you’ll find those tips helpful. There are some places you can find online where they sell ready-made hospital bags which some prefer for their convenience. Others like to personalise and pack themselves. Either way, this is one of the most exciting things to prepare before your baby makes its entrance!
From the team at Little Blooms, we would like you send our best wishes for your delivery!