I can recommend to start packing your hospital bag earlier than later (at least six weeks before your due date) and to make a hospital bag checklist. You could go into labour at any time before your duedate and you may need some time to find everything you need to pack. It may also be easier for you to run around town and shop during the seventh month of your pregnancy than two weeks before the due date. You also may need some time to think about what you could take with you, what could help you to relax and promote your well-being (books, music, light snacks etc.).
Many hospitals provide a list of items they want you to pack. This can vary a lot and often depends on how long you are expected to stay at the hosiptal. So if your hospital does not provide a list of items to pack, try to find out the avarage time you need to stay and also ask what items you do not need to take with you.
The hospital we had selected provided us with a list of items we should bring with us. The staff at the hospital informed us that the avarage lenght of stay at the hospital were three days. They recommend to have at least one change per day for the baby and there was no need to bring nappies. In order to avoid bringing to much luggage with you to the delivery room, the hospital recommended packing two separate bags, one for the delivery room and another one for the stay at the maternity ward.
Bag 1 – For the delivery room
- Necessary documents (check with the hospital),
- two short, loose-fitting night shirts,
- a dressing gown,
- one large, absorbent towel,
- miscellaneous items that will promote your well-being: I created 3 playlists depending on the mood I will be in, one audiobook, some TV episodes, biscuits, energy drinks, squeeze baby food (yes, for me), orange juice, snickers. Also good to pack some food for your labour partner who will get hungry. Also, don’t forget to pack a camera to take pictures, your cell phone (and charger).
- a long-sleeved body suit,
- a sleeping suit and bonnet,
- a blanket,
- (no umbilical-cord badges and no nappies)
Bag 2 – For the maternity ward
- A few pairs of large cotton or disposable panties,
- loose-fitting night shirts or pyjama’s or even better, open shirts,
- breastfeeding bras (which allow you to completely expose the breasts),
- absorbent towels and flannels,
- cotton t-shirt or preferably “one-sies” or “bodies”,
- a few sleeping suits,
- a few pair of socks,
- a pair of cotton mittens, (optional)
- some bibs,
- sheets to decorate the cot (“tetra” or “molleton” are recommended),
- toiletries for baby: a gentel soap, a hairbrush,
- absorbent towels and washcloths,
- a bath thermometer,
- outdoor clothing for going home day.
As you can see from the list from the hospital, you definitley need a large luggage to fit everything in it. One thing you should also think about is how you are bringing your baby back home. If you are going by car, you should make sure to install the baby car seat before you go to the hospital.
- Babycenter – Childbirth: Wat to pack for the hospital or birth center
- The Bump – Checklist: Packing a Hospital Bag
- Bounty – What should I pack in my hosiptal bag?
- fitPregnancy – 10 Essential Items for Your Hospital Bag
- Parents.com – The Ultimate Hospital Packing List
Have fun and good luck with the packing!