What to Pack in Hospital Bags
What should I pack for labour?
- Dressing gown.
- Backless slip-on slippers, or comfortable shoes that are easy to get on and off.
- Socks. Believe it or not, your feet can get cold during labour.
- Lip balm. Your lips can dry out quickly on a warm labour ward.
- Things to help you relax or pass the time, such as books, magazines, or a tablet computer.
- Hairbands or a clip. If you have long hair, you may want it tied up.
- A V-shaped pillow can give you extra support when breastfeeding your baby.
- Water spray or a hand-held fan, to cool you down while you're in labour.
What should I pack for after the birth?
- A going-home outfit. You'll need loose comfortable clothes to wear while you're in hospital and for the journey home. It will take a while for your tummy to go down, so you'll probably still need your maternity clothes when you get home.
- Nursing bras. Bring two or three.
- Breast pads.
- Maternity pads. Bring a couple of packs.
- Nightshirt or T-shirt. Front-opening shirts are useful in the early days of breastfeeding.
- Toiletries. Decant these into smaller bottles, or buy travel versions, to save on space in the postnatal ward. You may sweat more after birth, so take a deodorant.
- Towels, hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Old or cheap knickers, or disposable knickers. Don't bring your best ones as they will get messy. Big cotton knickers can be useful if you end up having a caesarean, as they won't rub your wound.
- Several pairs of maternity underpants.
- Gifts for older siblings. Some parents bring gifts for the new baby to "give" to big brothers and sisters.
What should I pack for my baby?
- One pair of socks or booties.
- Two or three sleepsuits and vests.
- Nappies. Your newborn will go through as many as 12 in a day.
- One outfit for the trip home (all-in-one stretchy outfits are easiest).
- Muslin squares, for mopping up any milk your baby brings up (possetting).
- Baby blanket. Although hospitals are very warm, your baby may need a blanket if it's chilly outside when you leave.
- Baby car seat. You can't drive your baby home without one! Have a rear-facing car seat properly installed ahead of time and know how to buckle your baby in correctly.