Packing your Hospital Bag to have a baby is like packing for a holiday. Except you don’t know where you’re going, how long you’re staying, what you’ll be doing or who you’re going to meet!
My goal when packing my maternity bag was to remove the need to make any decisions during my labour and also to make everything easy/quick to access.
There are so many variable when it comes to planning birth and there’s no way to know exactly what will happen. Since you don’t know what your recovery will be like my approach is to cover all bases and prepare for a 3 day stay.
Baby’s First Outfit
Very soon after baby is born the midwives will look at you or your partner and ask “What is baby going to wear?” Both you and your partner will be so dazed and confused that this will feel like the final of Mastermind! Make it easier to answer by placing Baby’s First Outfit in a ziplock bag on the very top of your case. Babies experience a fairly sharp drop in temperature after birth so you’ll need at least two layers as well as a hat and gloves.
Baby won’t need a lot of clothes as they don’t tend to get terribly dirty in the first few days – throwing up and exploding nappies are still a few weeks away! Three changes should be plenty. They tend to be on the chillier side for a few days so make sure you have two layers and all your suits cover their hands and feet. Indi was born with TALONS, seriously her nails were crazy long and her first act on this side of the womb was to try and claw out her own eye, activity she kept up until we could clip her nails!
Baby Changing Kit
Very soon after baby is born they’ll need their nappy changed…and so begins your new part time job! I pack everything for care and feeding into a separate changing bag so that when the midwives offer to give you a hand they don’t have to root through your small to find a nappy. Newborns need between 8 and 12 fresh nappies a day so a 20 pack in Size 1 is enough for a 2 day stay. You’ll also need cotton wool and water wipes for these changes as well as hand sanitiser.
At some stage during your stay you might like to wash the baby (actually you’ll definitely want to wash the baby!) Bamboo face cloths are the gentlest and softest option for their new skin. You’ll also need a few muslin square for drying them and mopping up spilt milk.
Packing for mum
Three pairs of PJs with dark bottoms and a few extra tops should see you through. Slippers and a robe are handy too in case you’re kept in. Flip flops come in useful as well for the shared shower!
You don’t really ‘need’ anything to give birth but having done it twice now there are some things I think most mums will be glad to have with them. A cooling face spritz is NOT notions! A maternity ward is the hottest place on Earth, add to that the fact that you’re basically doing a workout for a few hours and you’ll be glad you packed this! Ditto the fan! Ditto the straw so you can drink without having to move at all.
Your own pamper kit
This stuff is all so that you can take 5 minutes to go to the bathroom and feel like you again! I don’t wear make up so I didn’t pack any but I’d highly a few bits if you do. To me it felt essential just to have a break from my husband, my new baby and the irritating capability of the midwives to process the physical and emotional rollercoaster I’d just been on. Even if it was just a few minutes in a badly lit loo!
Not pictured is a 5 pack of big, black, baggy granny pants in a size bigger than you wear to accommodate the ENORMOUS post maternity pads you’ll be wearing and to alloww for any stitches you might have.
You did it!!!!! Now you just need something cute to go home in! For yourself I’d recommend something loose and soft in case you have stitches anywhere, might be an idea to make sure it’s a dark colour too!