The time to meet your newest family member is getting nearer! This means that you’ll need to collect all the essential items you need ready for the labour and birth, and after your baby has arrived. Even if you’re planning a home birth, it’s still a good idea to have a bag packed in case you need to be taken to hospital during labour.
The best time to pack your bag for the hospital is around 34 weeks pregnant, just in case little one makes an early entrance. It’s best to pack two bags, one for the labour and another one for afterwards on the postnatal ward. Keep the second bag in the car until you’re admitted to the postnatal ward as labour rooms can be short on space. It’s also worthwhile packing a separate bag for your birth partner as they may be at the hospital with you for some time.
At Love to Dream, we’ve assembled this handy hospital bag checklist to help you prepare.
What do I need in my hospital bag?
- Green pregnancy notes and birth plan.
- Dressing gown – be sure to pick a dark colour to hide any stains.
- Slippers – useful for pacing the corridors in early labour.
- Socks – it’s very common for your feet to feel cold during labour, so warm socks will come in very handy.
- T-shirt/nightdress – something comfortable and cheap to wear in labour.
- Massage oil – so your partner can massage your back during labour.
- Birthing ball – you might want to take your own from home.
- Hair elastic – so you can tie your hair back in labour and prevent it from getting in the way.
- Lip balm – It’s very common to have dry lips during labour, so make sure you have some lip balm to hand.
- Mouthwash. – To help freshen your mouth when you need it.
- Snacks/drinks – Isotonic sports drinks, light snacks and glucose tablets will help keep you going.
- Handheld fan – This will help cool you down during labour.
- Water Spray – To spritz your face, again helping to keep you cool.
- Straws – These will help you drink more easily during labour.
- Music – You might want to put together a playlist of your favourite songs for labour, to make it that bit less arduous.
- Facecloth – To rest on your brow, thereby helping to cool you down.
- Magazines/books/iPad – Something to help pass the time!
- Pillows – V-shaped pillows can be great both during labour and on the postnatal ward.
- TENS Machine – If you’re planning on using one for pain relief.
What should my birth partner pack?
- Change of clothes – They may be there with you for a long time, so they’ll need clothes to change into.
- Toiletry bag – Basic toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrush, and deodorant.
- Comfy shoes – For pacing the corridors with you in early labour!
- Swimwear – In case they want to get into the birthing pool with you.
- Mobile and charger – To make those important phone calls.
- Camera or camera phone – To take photos or a short film straight after birth, capturing those precious early moments of your little one’s life.
- Snacks and Drinks – To keep them hydrated and prevent them having to leave the room!
What shall I pack for the postnatal ward?
- Pyjamas – Something comfortable and making it easy to breastfeed (if you intend on breastfeeding).
- Dressing gown – To preserve your modesty!
- Going home outfit – Comfortable clothes to travel home in.
- Nursing bras – two or three should be sufficient.
- Maternity pads – You’re going to need lots of these, so bring roughly two packs.
- Breast pads – One pack should be enough.
- Toiletries – Treat yourself to some nice travel size toiletries.
- Make up – In case you have visitors!
- Hairbrush and hair elastic.
- Towels – Bring a towel from home as they can be in short supply in hospital.
- Old, cheap or disposable knickers – Big cotton knickers are ideal, but don’t bring your best!
- Arnica cream – Helps to reduce the bruising down below.
- Eye mask and ear plugs – To help you sleep on the noisy postnatal ward.
- Mobile phone and charger – To ensure you can contact family and friends.
What should I pack for my baby?
- Birth outfit – A cheap outfit for after the birth.
- Vests – Three or four will be enough.
- Sleepsuits – Again, pack three or four to wear with the vests.
- Swaddle blanket – The Swaddle Up from Love to Dream would be ideal!
- Nappies – Your baby will go through roughly 12 each day, so bring plenty.
- Cotton wool – For cleaning at change time.
- Muslins/nibs – For mopping up any dribbles!
- Socks/Booties – Pack one or two pairs.
- Hat – Again, one or two will be enough.
- Going home outfit – A specially picked outfit for the big journey home!
- Jacket/snowsuit – Pick something suitable for the season so that your baby’s nice and comfortable.
- Car seat – Be sure to have the base fixed in the car and learn how to use it beforehand.
As every mum and dad knows, welcoming a new arrival can be daunting – especially when it comes to getting them to sleep! The Love to Dream range here at Uber Kids makes sleep simple for babies by reinventing traditional swaddling. Take a closer look today.