Following our hospital class, we were told by 35 weeks to have our hospital bags packed. To me, that seemed so early! Packed BY 35 weeks, wow. I still was doing so much, working, and so forth that the task seemed so overwhelming.
I decided, that at week 35 I would give myself a week and a bit to organize what would be needed to be packed in the hospital bag, and I think it was one of the better decisions I have made. From what everyone speaks as an overwhelming task, became uncomplicated and simple.
I found it best to pack 3 small bags, one for labour, one for the baby and one for my husband and I. I started to go through the millions of lists people and the hospital give and found it best to make up my own list. I personally found that some people’s lists were (no offence) ridiculous. I kept on telling myself, the hospital is not on a deserted island, and family and friends will be able to bring any items I did not think of, but that I did not need to pack everything and the kitchen sink!
So, I made a list for all three bags and slowly put aside items for each of these bags. When it came to packing the bag – it was simple, grab it from the pile I had made and place it in the bag!
I personally felt uneasy about leaving my toiletries till that last minute that I am in labour to pack, but also found it irritating that when coming home I would have two of everything because I would need still a lot of what needed to be packed – toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo etc. So the one piece of advice that was given to me that I would like to share is – buy or use (if you have any put aside) travel size items – travel size toothpaste, travel size shampoo and conditioners. That way when leaving the hospital you can throw away the little bit of product possibly left, and come home to your already stored items – making it one less thing to think of to unpack!
I wasn’t sure what state I (or my stomach) would be in post delivery. I was hoping for a natural birth but we all know that this can change at the last minute and therefore I wanted clothes that were comfortable. I found it best to go out and buy cheap (yes, $4 looks t-shirts) from Kmart and packed them into my hospital bag. That way, I could also not wear a bra if my breasts felt tender (what had been told to me to be extremely common when starting to breastfeed).
I hope these little tips help you as much as they did for me and made my packing experience actually an enjoyable, exciting and non-stressful one.
- an old t-shirt or nightie for labouring (I personally bought this cheap – a few dollars from best and less. I had no intention to keep it after labour – so a big comfy big t-shirt from there seemed perfect for its purpose)
- change of clothes – new underwear, track pants, loose t-shirt and maternity bra post delivery if I am able to have a shower in the birthing suite post the delivery. I was told the midwives encourage and assist you with a shower following delivery so this seemed sensible to pack into my labour bag.
- TENS MACHINE – I had been recommended by my hospital and numerous friends on the benefits of using a tens machine so that was a given into my bag.
- Phone chargers!! Silly I know but if my husband and I were at the hospital for hours we wanted our phones to be able to contact family following the birth. and of course to take some pictures J
- Bathers (both for myself and my partner) incase my labour experience involved me in the bath for some time
- Maternity pads (I chose to pack 2 with the remaining in our other bag)
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shaver, hairbrush, a nipple cream etc) and my makeup bag
- Snacks! I chose to pack nibble sized snacks such as little crackers, so that if feeling weak I could eat small amounts without feeling sick (an experience I had heard to be all to common during labour). I also packed a Gatorade for energy.
- Babies first outfit – kept this simple – a singlet, a baby grow (mine had the coverings for the feet and hands) so no need for mittens or socks, a beanie and a wrap/blanket. (the rest of the babies clothes were packed in the babies hospital bag)
- My wallet – ensuring I had what was listed as en essential, Medicare and private health care card (If applicable) and my blood group card.
HOSPITAL BAG FOR MUM & DAD:
|5 x underwear
1 x track pants
1 x leggings
5 x loose tops
2 x pyjamas (as much as I was living in nighties for the end of my pregnancy I thought it may be impracticable to be dressed in this if breastfeeding so a loose pants and top seemed more fitting
1 x light jumper
1 x socks
1 x box nipple pads
2 x packs maternity pads
1 x maternity bra (I figured I would be wearing one when going to hospital bring this to a total of 2)
1 x maternity singlet ( I wasn’t sure if I would find these too restrictive if having tender breasts so I opted for one and if I needed more I could have family bring me some more)
|5 x underwear
1 x track pants
1 x jeans
1 x shorts (summer baby)
5 x t-shirts
1 x socks
1 x light cardigan
HOSPITAL BAG FOR BABY:
- 5 x singlets (I personally found it better to have the singlets that clip under the bottom as they seem more secure and less likely to ride up underneath the babies clothes
- 5 x long sleeve onesies (most had in-built feet and hands) thus I only packed minimal socks
- 2 x short sleeve, short leg onesies
- 2 pairs of socks
- 1 x beanie (to go home in)
- swaddles/blankets – I packed a range from muslin (being a summer baby) to slightly thicker cotton wraps – I chose to pack a few extra more than clothes as it seemed logical if the baby was to burp up it was likely to mess the swaddle before its clothes
- 1 thicker blanket (for going home) if a bit colder
- a packet of fragrance free wipes (this was recommended by the hospital)
- I chose not to pack nappies as my hospital provides 36 nappies. I decided if I needed more I would ask a family member or friend to bring some when visiting.