A checklist of what pack in your hospital bag for mom and baby.

by BabyYumYum
A checklist of what pack in your hospital bag for mom and baby.
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If you’re reading this post, then you’re probably nearing the last few weeks of your pregnancy. Or you’re just a super organised mom-to-be! Either way, having the ultimate hospital bag checklist is a step in the right direction for every up-and-coming parent.

As such, here’s our comprehensive list of everything you need to pack in your hospital bag for mom and baby.

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What to pack in your hospital bag for mom

The majority of your baby hospital bag will be filled with mom’s necessities. So, let’s have a look at all the must-haves in your maternity bag.

1. A ‘birth room’ bag

Of course, you’ll need your hospital bag for your delivery, but you may need a ‘birth room’ bag, too. This will be a smaller bag that you take into the birthing room or theatre with a few of the essentials you’ll need to have on hand before you go back to your delivery room. 

Pack a vest, blanket and beanie for baby. Bring two maternity pads and underwear (get some of those disposable mesh panties to make your life a little easier), lip balm, hair bands or clips, and your cellphone. You can leave this bag with your birthing buddy.

2. Paperwork

This includes any hospital pre-admission forms you had to fill out, copies of your ID book (and your partner’s ID) for the birth registration, and your medical aid card.

3. Non-slip socks, slippers, pyjamas, and a dressing gown

Even if you have great intentions of getting dressed and putting on make-up every day, nobody is going to judge you for dressing for comfort. If you can, opt for pyjamas that button down the front to make breastfeeding — or pumping — easier.

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4. Flip flops

These aren’t necessary but may be nice to have if you prefer protecting your feet while using the hospital shower. You might also be thankful for them when you’re going home and can’t bear the thought of putting your potentially swollen feet into shoes.

5. Comfortable clothes to wear home

Pack something like maternity tracksuit pants (because, yes, you will still be in your pre-birth clothing when you leave the hospital – and likely for a couple of weeks afterwards) and a loose-fitting shirt or sweatshirt.

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6. Towel

Hospital towels can be small and scratchy, so bring along a big, fluffy towel from home. It will make you feel so much more comfortable.

7. Pillow

Comfort is going to be of utmost importance after birth, and despite their best efforts, hospital pillows aren’t always great. So consider packing your own pillows. You’ll appreciate the home comforts that much more.

8. Plastic bags

You’ll use these for putting soiled clothes in — either yours or your baby’s — when you pack up to leave the hospital.

9. Toiletries

Your regular face wash, moisturiser, toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel and hairbrush will all need to be brought along. Dry shampoo will save you time and energy while you’re recovering, and face wipes (although baby wipes work, too) will help you feel a little fresher even when you can’t get up.

10. Maternity pads

Bring at least one pack along to the hospital with you, but have another pack or two at home so you don’t have to head out to the shops in the first week or so of being home. If you are having a C-section, pack underwear that won’t irritate your surgery scar. 

Also, pack double the amount of underwear you think you’ll need — just in case. Three nursing bras, nipple cream, and enough breast pads for three days should do the trick.

11. Medication

This includes your prenatal vitamins, which your doctor might suggest you continue taking, and any chronic medication you require.

Note: Read this post on the medicines you should avoid during pregnancy unless your doctor says otherwise.

What to pack in your hospital bag for your baby

Having all the baby gear you’ll need on hand is also important. So, here’s a quick look at the things you’ll need to bring in your hospital bag for your newborn. 

1. Nursing pillow

This can help you breastfeed more comfortably — and it doubles up as a comfort cushion for you.

2. Clothes for baby

Your little one will need five sets of clothing, with each set consisting of a vest, a onesie, socks, a beanie, and a receiving blanket. This cannot be stressed enough: you will need burp cloths

These should all already have been pre-washed with baby-friendly detergent.

Your hospital bag checklist for when you have a baby

3. Nappies/diapers and wipes

A full pack — preferably two — of newborn-size nappies/diapers and have a healthy stock of these at home, too. While many hospitals will provide nappies, it’s best to come prepared. Also remember baby wipes and bum cream!

4. Dummies

If you plan to allow your little one to use a dummy or pacifier, have at least three newborn-size pacifiers with you. You’ll need to pre-boil/sterilise them before heading to the hospital. It’s also a good idea to pre-boil/sterilise a couple of bottles if you think you’ll be using them when you get home from the hospital.

5. Car seat

Install the car seat a few days before your due date to make sure you’ve got it in safely and, importantly, know how to use it — they can be trickier than they look!

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What to pack in your hospital bag for your birth partner

In case you and your baby aren’t the only ones taking part in the birthing process, here’s a list of what you should pack for your birthing partner.

1. Entertainment

Pack magazines, books, games, a pack of cards, music, an iPad, basically anything to fill the time. While you may have your hands full with your new baby, these could be a welcome distraction for you and your partner.

2. Tech

Your cellphone, camera, chargers, pretty much anything to help document this life-changing experience. An extra-long charger is super helpful for you as well, as you might be bedbound and find the normal cable too short to reach the bed. Lastly, remember an adapter to ensure you can charge your tech.

3. Notebook and a pen

Your partner can use this to track your baby’s feeding or sleeping cycles or to jot down notes or suggestions from your medical team.

4. Snacks and drinks

Yes, the hospital will provide food, but you may want something special like biltong/jerky or electrolyte-rich drinks. It’s often quite a wait between when you’re woken up in the morning and when they serve breakfast.

5. A change of clothes and toiletries

It’s most likely that your partner will spend a night or two at the hospital as well. Based on a UK study, the peak natural birth times occur between 1:00 am and 7:00 am, so your partner may need a change of clothes and some light toiletries.

FAQs about maternity bags for the hospital

Whether visiting a hospital or birthing centre, here are the top questions and answers you need to know to head into the delivery room without a worry.

When do I start packing my hospital bag?

Anything can happen, and it’s not uncommon for your little baby to come early. As such, it’s best to have your hospital bag ready around the start of the eight month mark, or 32nd to 35th week.

What is the best thing to wear when giving birth?

It’s best to wear loose, breathable clothing — like the hospital gown you’ll be given after arriving. After the birth, it’s best to stick to the same policy of loose clothing.  

How long do you stay at the hospital after giving birth?

In most cases, you’ll stay in the hospital or birthing centre for around two to three days. As such, ensure you have a hospital bag packed with enough changes of clothing to ensure your partner doesn’t have to make regular trips home for fresh clothes.

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