So your due date is getting closer and closer, and you suddenly realise that sh*t is getting real. You’re about to have a baby and have no idea where to start with your hospital bag. Up until now, you’ve only had to worry about yourself when going away with your friends for a girls trip or for a romantic weekend away with your partner – the latter probably being the reason why you’ve ended up reading this!
If you haven’t got a bloody clue where to begin then don’t panic, I’ve got you covered. Having had two babies myself and also being a newborn photographer working with new mums who have already been through this, I’ve ben able to put together a good checklist to make sure you boss the hell out of being a new mum from the very start!
When should I pack my hospital bag?
Incase you didn’t know this already, babies are very unpredictable and the sooner you realise this the better it will be for everyone. That being said, babies very rarely make an appearance on their due date. Its never too early to pack your hospital bag, but I would recommend that it is packed and ready around 3-4 weeks before your due date.
Some people either keep the hospital bag in their car, or at the front door or somewhere quickly accessible incase someone needs to grab it for you.
Some peoples birth stories can be like a drive thru experience at the local McDonalds. You turn up, have your baby and before you know it you are back home the very same day with your baby. Most birth stories however mean that you can usually expect an over night stay and sometimes this could be a little longer so its best to be prepared and make sure you have EVERYTHING you need.
- Birth Plan & Hospital Notes
- Pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers – Id recommend a nighty instead of top and bottoms incase you have a C-Section. If breast-feeding make sure your nighty is either loose enough or has buttons for easy access to your boobs
- Toiletries and a towel
- Lip balm – brush – bobbles
- A drink / Juice carton and maybe a cereal bar or snacks for after labour incase your energy levels feel low.
- Nipple Cream and Breast Pads if you will be breastfeeding along with a comfy nursing bra.
- Granny knickers and maternity pads. The bigger the knickers the better because those maternity pads are so huge they resemble a brick. You can even get disposable maternity knickers if that’s easier.
- Coming home clothes – choose something comfy incase you are feeling uncomfortable when leaving the hospital.
- Any medication
- Cash for the sweet trolley / vending machine
Surprisingly your new baby doesn’t actually need that much. Don’t worry too much about packing a nice outfit for baby – as I promise even a newborn outfit will look massive on your newborn. To make things easier for yourself I would just opt for the essentials.
- Nappies & Nappy bags
- Nappy cream
- Wet wipes
- Vests & Baby grows – Newborn size
- Scratch mitts and little booties
- Sterilised Dummies
- Cotton hat for inside the hospital (they can sometimes be draughty)
- Soft Blanket
- Car Seat that has been fitted / checked to your car safely
The Non-Essential Essentials
Hospitals can be a really boring place to be, especially if your labour is progressing slowly and you are just sat there twiddling your thumbs while you anxiously wait to meet your new baby. Making sure you have something to do can help pass the time a little and can sometimes be a good distraction too.
- iPad / Kindle
- Charger for the above and a spare phone charger with a LONG lead
- Book or Magazine
- Small fan – these are like gold dust in the hospital
How to pack
You don’t actually need that much, but when you’ve laid it all out on the bed ready to pack into your hospital back it will soon look like you’re getting ready for a 2 week all inclusive holiday. It’s important to remember not to overpack, as bedside space at the hospital is limited and you also need to be able to carry it all home with the extra addition of your newborn baby. The easiest way to pack your bag is by splitting it down in to stages of when you are most likely going to need each item.
I recommend using a small wheely case for everything you need as this will make it much easier moving your things to different wards and also when coming home. Make sure to leave your magazines / iPad and charger on the top so its easy to get when needed.
It’s also a good idea to use the bag you’ve bought as a changing / nappy bag to put the wet wipes, nappies and other baby essentials in as this will make your life much easier when trying to find things when you need them.
Now that you have a list of your essentials for your hospital bag, it’s time to sit back and make the most of relaxing before baby arrives and you forget what sleep even is!
Now would be the perfect time to book your newborn photography session if you haven’t already had a chance. I can only do 8 newborn sessions per month, and my sessions usually get booked from the 20 week scan – so if you snooze you lose.
Pop over to my newborn page HERE for more information, and have a little peek on what you can expect!
Sending you good vibes for your birth, and hopefully I’ll get to meet you and your new tiny human soon.