Packing a hospital bag

Posted by Debby Henry on

Hi momma! It’s been a long nine months preparing anxiously and waiting for the arrival of your precious little one. You’re approaching the last days of your pregnancy and the time has come to pack up a bag and get ready for the hospital.

It can sometimes be a little tricky trying to gather items together especially if you’re already overwhelmed with the pressure of being pregnant hence it’s best to start early( just in case baby decides to show up earlier than expected too).

Hospital bag

Most likely, your hospital would provide a list of regular items required for mom and baby but in reality, a lot of things packed don’t exactly get used.

You see, I packed down a huge bag at 37 weeks (Hi, I’m Deb! I love to plan to perfection, no last minute rush) of all the things I felt were important. The ‘what I packed vs what I used’ was laughable.

Let’s start with Pillows - necessity! You wanna grab one for yourself and another for your spouse or support person. A nursing pillow comes in useful too for support when breastfeeding. Birth plan? Err it depends. As usual, I had typed out my perfect birth plan and saved the document instructing my spouse to print it out whenever I was in active labour and ready for the hospital (I didn’t wanna start looking for a paper in labour) but we forgot and it didn’t seem to matter at all on arrival at the labour assessment unit when the real pain hit. Wouldn’t hurt to bring it along after all it’s just a sheet of paper but I wouldn’t say it’s a necessity you can’t do without.

A lingerie robe with light undergarment would be necessary if you’re the type who doesn’t like to be in hospital clothing. Best for when you’re labouring and passing time at the hospital pacing through the ward.

Now everyone knows you bleed like crazy after giving birth and if the thought of wearing a mattress sized hospital pad sticking out your clothes turns you off, you might wanna consider getting... wait for it... an adult diaper! Yes no shame here. An adult diaper is like the best thing ever. No need dealing with laundry, just use and dispose as often as you want.

Clothes - Again this depends. Depends on how long you’re staying at the hospital and how convenient it is for you to wear clothes really. If you’ve had an epidural, until it wears off you’re most likely not gonna get up to change into any of your clothes. Let’s combine that with a c-section, I’m sure you wouldn’t even give a care about lying there in hospital robes after undergoing major surgery. Save the best outfit for going home anyway. You wanna get a gown or big Tee for going home since the pregnancy belly is still gonna look very much pregnant.

Flip flop slippers - preferably disposable after use at the hospital, no need bringing germs into the house with a newborn. If you’d like to be massaged during labour, invest in massage oils. Your hospital should have a birth ball which will be useful in labour. If they don’t provide one, you can take yours along. Other things required - glasses (if prescribed), snacks and drinks (most hospitals would provide anyway), health insurance card, your phone charger, hair pins, nursing bra(s), breast pads, breast pump (Yes breastfeeding starts right away), music or a book for relaxation, eye mask/ear plugs, socks(you could need one), basic toiletries and some make up for going home (if you could be bothered enough). Now what I packed but didn’t use? More Clothes, underwear( remember the God sent adult diapers?), hand lotion, huge towels ( needed a way smaller one eventually, save your space), hot water bottle, Pajamas, pads, adult blankets (hospital provided), toast and peanut butter( my go to craving in pregnancy ended immediately, I craved peppery food after birth)

Now for the lovely newborn, you’re gonna need

  • Swaddles
  • Baby Blankets
  • Mittens
  • Sleepsuits
  • Bibs
  • Hats
  • Going home outfits
  • Baby diapers and wipes
  • For winter babies - A jacket
  • A car seat - This is mandatory by law. You wouldn’t be able to take your baby out of the hospital without it so it’s best to get a car seat ready before your little one arrives and learn how to get it set up and fixed in the car. A nurse should inspect the car seat before your baby leaves so they can show you a thing or two too.

Your partner or support person is gonna need a change of clothes, a camera, snacks and drinks, a pillow and blanket, phone/phone charger, a credit card or change for parking.


It’s okay if you forget something, your spouse or support person can always go home and pick them up. If you have older kids at home, arrange for them to be taken care of.

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