Getting your labour bag ready can be a particularly tricky task. You’re packing for several eventualities, as we all know labour and birth can go many ways. You also need to pick out clothes and essentials for your new baby – who you haven’t actually met yet. As if preparing for life with a newborn wasn’t difficult enough, when you throw this task into the mix it can quickly become overwhelming. We thought it would be useful to put together a useful checklist for any mums-to-be, to help you decide what to pack in your hospital bag.
When Should I Pack My Hospital Bag?
It’s important that you give yourself plenty of time to get all the essentials for your labour bag together to ensure that nothing is forgotten on the big day. You should aim to have your maternity bag packed four to six weeks before your due date.
Your Hospital Bag Checklist
If you’re worried about the long list of things you still need to purchase, it’s often helpful to break down your packing list into different categories. Make a list of purchases for labour a birth, a list of purchases for after the birth and a list of items for the baby.
What Should I Pack for Labour and Birth?
- Your birth plan and any maternity notes.
- Dressing Gown: This is particularly useful if you end up pacing the hospital corridors when you are in early labour. Hospitals are often warm, so a lightweight dressing gown may be a better option.
- Slip-on slippers or flip-flops, that are easy to get on and off.
- Old T-shirt or nightdress: This may get a bit messy, so don’t buy anything special to wear for your hospital stay.
- Lip Balm: Your lips can dry out quickly when you are on a warm labour ward.
- Hairbands or clips: If you have long hair, you may want to tie it up during labour.
- Music: Take headphones to listen to music. This will help you to relax and will also help pass the time. You can also bring books or magazines also.
What Should I Pack for After the Birth?
- A going-home outfit: Make sure to bring loose comfortable clothes that will be easy to put on. It will take a little while for your tummy to go down, so you will probably still need your maternity clothes.
- Nursing Bras
- Maternity pads
What Should I Pack for My Baby?
- Sleepsuits and vests
- A baby blanket: While hospitals are often very warm, your baby may need a blanket if it is cold when you leave the hospital to go home.
- Nappies: Newborn babies can go through as many as 12 nappies in a day, so it’s important to bring a good supply.
- Muslin cloths
- An outfit for the journey home: All-in-one outfits are the easiest to get on.
- Baby car seat: This is super important to remember as some hospitals won’t let you leave by car without one.