When you’re packing your bag before your baby’s birth, what should you include? Here’s B’s guide to the best packed bag.
Make sure you’ve got all you need!
When should I pack it?
You should have a bag packed and ready to go at 36 weeks – earlier if you are expecting twins or have any significant medical problems associated with pregnancy, such as diabetes. Keep your hospital notes in the bag and remember to pop them back in when you get back from a check-up. Then you’re ready to go anytime! Make sure you always have petrol in the car, too, or a cab company number handy. Also, have a selection of cold drinks and snacks in the fridge ready to pop in at the last minute.
What if I’m not having hospital birth?
If you have planned a home birth, it’s still worth making up a bag just in case problems arise and you need to be taken into hospital. It will also mean you have all you need for your home birth in one place.
- Your birth plan.
- The car seat for the journey home
- A Nightdress or T-shirt to wear during the birth. Take an old one you don’t care much about, as it may get stained. A front-opening one is good for breastfeeding after the birth.
- Dressing gown or robe. This is useful when you’re in labour and after the birth when you want to have a walk about. Take a lightweight one, as hospitals tend to be warm.
- Slippers and socks, as your feet can get cold and perhaps a jumper, cardigan or wrap.
- Hair ties to keep long hair or a fringe out of your face.
- A Comfy Pillow. It’s lovely to have a pillow from home that will be familiar. You might use a support pillow you used during pregnancy, which is also useful for breastfeeding
- A TENS machine, if you plan on using one.
- Toiletries. Though some hospitals supply them, it’s nice to have your usual lotions. Travel size ones are great for this. Remember toothbrush and paste, moisturiser, lip salve, hair bands or ties, a flannel or face wipes, soap or shower gel.
- A water spritzer or small fan for times when you get hot.
- Your phone, extra charger, change for pay phones and snack machines, a camera, plus your list of people to call.
- Things to pass the time such as books, magazines, music player, tablet computer.
- Snacks and drinks for you while you are in labour. Isotonic sports drinks are good, or take some glucose tablets to keep you going.
- Hand cleansing gel and hand wipes
- For your baby: vest and sleepsuit, cardigan, shawl, cotton hat, a few nappies and small size baby toiletries – bath, shampoo, lotion and nappy cream.
- For you: clothes for going home in (don’t forget you won’t lose your baby bump immediately, so take maternity clothes), nursing bras, maternity size sanitary pads, breast pads.
Nice to Have
- Music. Take your MP3 player or a CD player and some CDs. Some hospitals provide their own CD players, but check first.
- Things to help you relax or pass the time, such as books, magazines, or a tablet computer.
- A Birthing Ball. Check if the hospital has them.
- Massage oil or lotion, aromatherapy products, room scent.
- To keep you going: drinks, snacks, energy bars, nuts
If you need to stay longer…
Sometime you’ll need to stay in more than one night, so have some extra items put by just in case. It’s best to pack them in a distinctive bag, so you can tell your partner where to find it. There’s nothing worse than sending him home for some extra knickers only to be presented with your best Victoria’s Secret G-Strings!
You’ll need extra nightwear, especially with front opening tops for breast feeding, more toiletries and extra items for your baby such as clothes and nappies. For you, you could probably do with more sanitary and breast pads, some disposable knickers or large pants.