My pregnancy app politely told me it was week 35 and time to pack my hospital bag, yay! But what on earth do I need to pack in there?
Well i’m here to help, this is the list; (scroll to the bottom for the printable list)
First of all, I recommend packing into a carry on luggage type bag with wheels, you will thank me when you leave!
- Newborn baby grows
- Size 0 Nappies, the huggies new baby were my fave, even have a little cut-out for the umbilical cord
- Hats & socks. A friend of mines baby was born preemie and she out socks over the baby grow to hold it in place, worked so well.
- Receiving blankets – I recommend stretchy, they just mould to your baby so nicely and the muslin ones they tend to wriggle out of. the stretchier the easier to swaddle, bring a warm one too if its winter.
- Burp cloths. Babies spit up all the time, you will pretty much hang one of these over your shoulder for the first time in hospital and that is your look for the next few years. enjoy
- Aqueous Cream – When they are just born, you dont want to strip them of their vernix and natural oils too much. I don’t even recommend bathing for at LEAST the first day. you will use Aqueous on hair and body as a ‘wash’, then rinse and then re-apply as a cream.
- Bum cream (please check your ingredients! if it says mineral oil, dont buy! So bad for babies and people) If you get something nice and oily, it helps to take off those first meconium poos easily.
- Surgical Spirits to clean umbilical cord and graze and wound powder from weleda if you can get, brilliant stuff!
- Wet wipes or bum wipes
- Copies of you and your husbands ID’s (they do the registration of birth in the hospital, remember to get your babies birth certificate before you go home so you don’t have to come back)
- Your blood banking box/kit if you got one
- Pyjamas (front closing so your baby gets easy access, also you cant move around too much so ease of use is key here)
- Socks or slippers or socks (hospitals are cold and you dont want to walk on those floors sans protection. Also, nice to wear socks to the delivery room to keep your toes from freezing)
- iPad/phone (if you’re one of the lucky ones and your baby just sleeps and lets you have free time… don’t count on that too much, but just in case) I just ended up using my phone only. Most importantly, to take pics and videos of the birth.
- some healthy snacks or money for the vending machine or coffee shop (i wouldn’t shlep your entire wallet)
- any medications you take (i took my thyroid meds)
- Nipple cream (i just used coconut oil, its natural and i didnt get any cracked nipples!)
- Going home outfit (nothing tight, trust me, unless you are Sarah Stage, leggings and something flowy will do)
- Disposable or cheap panties (not G String, you’re not going to get lucky in hospital anyway so just go granny)
- Maternity bra’s
- a towel (you will be showering i’m sure)
- belly binder (this also helps a bit with the pain if you have a c-section)
- Toiletries & makeup – there will be a gazillion people taking photos of you and your baby, these photos will be shared for the rest of your life. ill leave it there.
- cleansing wipes
- Lip ice – i dont know what it is with hospitals, or the drugs they give you, but your lips get dry!
- Hair elastics/hair clips – hair is annoying when you are trying to concentrate on getting your baby to latch.
- Maternity pads – whether you have natural or c-section, you still bleed.. a LOT! You will be using these for up to 6 weeks!
- Breast pads – can buy washable or disposable, My fave were the medela disposable ones
- Herbal laxative or prune juice – You need to get your system moving before the hospital lets you go home
- Birth plan – if you have one? I just had something basic that said; i don’t want the baby to ever leave mine or the hubs’ sight, I want to bank cord blood to store stem cells, I want the hubs to cut the cord, I want to do skin to skin immediately after birth and during recovery and that was pretty much it.
Here’s the printable PDF version of this long list: AATK Hospital Bag Checklist
I Just want to give you a few hospital tips if I may:
Don’t be a hero, yes you need to get up and walk around, but you are not going to get a medal for doing it as they wheel you out of recovery. Give yourself a day and do it when you are ready.
Don’t let the nurses try and make you give your baby formula. Remember this; your babies stomach at birth is the size of a tiny marble, your colostrum is so nutrient rich, he/she only needs a very tiny bit. Just make sure you nurse often enough and on demand. Formula is LAST resort. Your boobs also need the stimulation to produce more milk, that’s how it works, no stimulation = no milk, so giving formula, will hurt your milk supply.
Don’t judge your husband if he doesn’t seem like he is as besotted as you, for men it is very different, trust me, when those first smiles and the responsiveness start, he will melt, until then, to him your baby is a sleeping, eating pooing machine that is sucking the life out of his wife’s breasts.
Limit visitors to visiting hours, if you are struggling with milk, baby is screaming and you have no idea what you are doing, the worst thing is having to entertain visitors during all this. I remember actually getting up with my baby and going into the bathroom and breastfeeding my child on the side of the bath just to get some privacy, it was all just too much and too many people all at once.
Skin to skin as much as you can, it helps your milk, helps you bond and helps your baby feel mom or dads heartbeat and scent.
Drink Jungle Juice. Get your mom, a friend or your husband if he is capable to make some for you and drink, drink, drink. Just make it in a big 2 litre bottles (that’s half a gallon)
1 Litre water
1 litre apple juice (half of that with rooibos/red bush tea if you dont like it so sweet)
1 sachet blackcurrant rehydrate
60mls Schlehen berry elixir (enjoy asking for that at the pharmacy… hehehe)
10 drops rescue remedy