So, you’re expecting a baby - congratulations!
But what will you actually need while you’re in hospital after you’ve given birth? Some items are obvious (nappies for bub) while others may escape your mind (nappies for you…).
We’ve put together a comprehensive checklist for what to pack in your hospital bag so that you can feel prepared for anything, and focus on enjoying your new baby.
How to decide what to pack
There are a couple of things that can impact what you pack in your hospital bag:
- If you’re planning a vaginal or cesarean birth, the amount of time you will be in hospital might differ.
- If you’re going private, you’ll probably be in hospital for a few extra days.
- Sometimes (well, most times), giving birth won’t go to plan, so it can make you feel more comfortable to have your bag packed for a few extra days, just in case.
- What your hospital provides. Some hospitals provide swaddles and nappies, so you won’t need to pack your own. Give them a call to check a couple of weeks before your due date.
- Even if you plan to breastfeed, it can be handy to bring a couple of bottles in case you do end up deciding to express milk or give formula while in hospital.
What to pack for your baby
🍼 Nappies and wipes
🍼 Swaddles or zip-up sleep pouches
🍼 Cot blanket
🍼 Mittens (optional)
What to pack for you
❤️ Disposable underwear or maternity pads
❤️ Comfortable underwear - don’t forget, you’ll still have a belly for a while after giving birth, so go for a larger size with a soft waistband and that will fit a (huge) maternity pad. Mens underwear is usually great for this!
❤️ PJs, a comfy robe and loungewear. Hospitals are often cold so bring something warm!
❤️ Water bottle
❤️ Breast pump, parts and storage (if feeding is going relatively well, you may not need to use it!)
❤️ Milkdrop cushions (in case you do need to pump)
❤️ Breast pads
❤️ Maternity bra
❤️ An extra long phone charger cord (sometimes medical devices will take up all the plugs near your bed!)
❤️ Ice packs, for putting on your sore bits after birth
❤️ A book or magazines, because your baby will (hopefully) sleep a lot. You might want to catch up on your rest, but it’s also nice to have options, especially if you find it difficult to sleep in a hospital.
❤️ Anything extra that’ll make you feel like you in those few days after birth. Some people will want to do their makeup when they’re receiving visitors, some will want to use their own shampoo and conditioner. You’ve just gone through something huge, so anything that’ll bring you a little bit of extra comfort is important!
Extra packing tips for c-section
⭐️ Ensure underwear is high-waisted
⭐️ Small plastic bin-bags for used nappies can be useful to reduce how often you’re hopping up to the bin
⭐️ Support bands can offer extra comfort while healing
⭐️ Bring clothes that are easy to put on while seated, such as nightgowns
Items you can leave at home
🤍 Baby bath products - it’s common practice now for baby’s first bath to be delayed beyond the hospital stay.
🤍 Syringes for colostrum - although you may prefer to bring your own supplies, hospitals can supply these.
🤍 Bottles - as above, although we did list bottles most hospitals can and will supply bottles if required.
It’s natural to want to feel prepared in the lead up to your new arrival - we hope our cheat sheet helps.