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Hospital bag essentials: What to pack for yourself and your baby

Emmy Samtani

Emmy Samtani

Emmy is the founder of Kiindred and mother to 3 little ones. Over the last 4 years, she has worked with some of the most credible experts in the parenting space and is a keen contributor on all things parenthood.
Created on Nov 16, 2018 · 4 mins read
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There is nothing more exciting than reaching the final stages of your pregnancy and that significant moment of packing your hospital bag! Life as you know it will soon be very different and you will be caught up in the newborn love bubble in no time.

Kiindred Mothercraft Expert, Chris Minogue suggests having your bag packed by the 36 week mark, to ensure that you are ready in case of an early arrival. This is also a great way to start mentally preparing for bringing a precious newborn home.

While each person will be different with their needs when it comes to the nitty gritty, there are definitely some essential items you need to pack. Nearly all of the below recommendations still made the cut when I recently had my 3rd little one, so definitely worth considering! I also stayed in both private and public hospitals and got to experience the best (and worst) or both worlds… there’s a whole other article that could be written on that!

During Labour

  • Clothes for labour – loose shirt, warm socks and something comfy for post birth
  • Thongs or Shoes that can get wet
  • Hair bands
  • Lip balm – I personally love Lanolips 101 ointment
  • Snacks – sugary lollies, jelly beans, protein bars
  • Fluids for hydration – water bottle or sport drinks
  • Spray Bottle for water – can be used during labour and post birth for washing perineum.
  • Mobile phone and charger – you are going to want to take plenty of pics!
  • Antenatal card + Medicare card
  • Birth plan (if you have one)

Add-ons based on your intended birth experience

  • Playlist of your favourite tracks (plus a portable speaker if your hospital doesn’t provide one)
  • Massage oil or Heat packs / Tens machine
  • Pillow (make sure it has an obvious cover on it, so that you don’t get it mixed up with the hospital’s pillows

Hospital Stay

  • Comfortable Underwear – 3-4 pairs per day to allow for leakage
  • Maternity Pads – 3 packets
  • Comfortable Nursing bras / Tops
  • Dressing gown or Cardigan – easy access for breastfeeding (it can get cold in the rooms)
  • Loose Pyjamas – easy access for feeding
  • Comfy casual set of clothes for visitors or leaving hospital
  • Toiletry bag with hook – for easy hanging on bathroom door
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, cleanser, moisturiser
  • Shower gel (get something to make you feel pampered but avoid anything too scented. You will have your baby close and they need to smell their mama)
  • Don’t forget shampoo and conditioner
  • Thongs for shower
  • Slippers
  • Hair dryer / Hair brush
  • Snacks – because depending on your hospital, that food can be nasty and not as nutritious as it should
  • Socks
  • Nursing pads – disposable are great for the hospital and you can get great reusable alternatives for once home
  • Nipple Cream – I have found Lansinoh to be the most effective
  • Plastic / Laundry bag for your dirty laundry

For Baby

Some hospitals will provide nappies, a singlet and blanket but it is best to check what is available beforehand.

  • Newborn nappies + wipes
  • Blanket (if not provided by the hospital)
  • 4x warm onesies / singlets (if not provided by the hospital)
  • Set of clothes to bring baby home in
  • Baby wrap – I have found the Boody Stretchy Wrap the best option for wrapping little Houdinis

Your Partner/Support Person

Whether or not your support person will be staying in the hospital with you, it is always a good idea to pack a small bag.

  • Swimmers/towel – if you are considering a water birth
  • A change of clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Coins for vending machine
  • Snacks

Things to consider:

Those first few days in the hospital with your newborn are precious and you will never get this time back! I strongly believe that this is a time to recover, bond with your baby and establish feeding (whether by breast or bottle). You are also going to want and NEED to sleep whenever you can.

Try not to feel pressured to have lots of visitors flocking to see your baby. There is going to be plenty of time in the coming weeks for them to stop by once you are home – and even better if they come bearing food! If you can be selfish at any point in your life, this is the time. Although it really is for the benefit of your baby as well. If you set these expectations up early with friends and family, there will be little room for disappointment.

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