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The last weeks of pregnancy are filled with a lot of excitement, anticipation and apprehensions. The wait is finally going to be over soon. Many of us struggle to pack a hospital bag and frankly speaking, if it is the first time for you, you might have no idea what to pack in the hospital bag. It is never a good idea to leave this important task till the last minute, as babies can arrive early and you are bound to forget one thing or another in a hurry. The best thing is to be prepared and pack a bag weeks before the due date.
What to Pack in the Hospital Bags
Here is a list to help you with packing the bag.
1. What to Pack in Hospital Bags for You
- The birth plan and all the necessary documents, including maternity notes
- Hair brush, tooth brush, tooth paste and towels
- Don’t forget a dressing gown, preferably in a dark color or a pattern on which stains are not easily visible. This would come really handy if you need to have a little walk during early stages of labor.
- Old and comfy T shirts or night shirts: there is no point of buying something new because they are bound to get stained and messy during labor and delivery.
- Comfortable shoes. Preferably bring slippers which are easy to take off and wear again.
- Socks. The hospital temperature can be tricky and you may need them.
- Lotion and massage oil: Having a massage during labor can be very relaxing and it is a good idea to pack your preferred massage oil or lotion.
- Snacks and drinks to keep you hydrated and nourished. Sports drinks especially the isotonic ones are good, so are glucose tablets.
- Birth ball. Many hospitals provide it as it can be really effective to speed up the things but it may not be ideal for your size. If you are taking your own, don’t forget to pack along the pump to inflate it.
- Books, magazines and tablet computers will help you to pass the time.
- Take your MP3 player along and fill it with relaxing music. Some hospitals do provide CD players and you can take your own CDs.
- Pillow. Pack a pillow along; the hospital pillows are not very comfortable.
- Lip balm. Your lips can be very dry and chap at this stressful time so it is better to be prepared and include it in the list of what to pack in hospital bags.
- Hair bands or clips. If you have long hair keep them along to keep yourself tidy.
- If you have a TENS machine and you intend to use it, pack it too.
- Going home dress. You will need clothes to go home in, pack a maternity outfit as you will not immediately lose all your weight.
- One or two front opening shirts so breast feeding is easy.
- Take along the handouts about breast feeding.
- Nursing bras and breast pads are essential and often forgotten, do pack a few of them.
- Shampoo, body wash and deodorants. It is better to put them in small travel sized bottles.
- Ear plugs and eye mask. Maternity ward can be noisy and bright, they will help you to have some rest.
- Maternity pads. Pack a couple of packs.
- Arnica cream. It helps to control bruising and burning sensation. Get the doctor’s permission before using it.
- A pen and a notebook. You’ll want to record baby’s feeding and bathroom routine.
- Eyeglasses, if you wear them. Even if you usually wear contact lenses, you may not want to deal with them while you’re in labor.
- Underwear. But it is optional, because the hospital provides netted panties. They work great and you can even ask for a few extra pairs to take home.
2. What to Pack in Hospital Bags for Your Partner
- Clothes and comfortable shoes
- Swimwear if you are planning for a birthing pool
- Snacks and drinks to keep their energies up and make them able to look after you
- Your partner’s wallet and identification papers
- Toothbrush, deodorant, pillow and blanket or sleeping bag
- A hand held fan and water spray bottle to keep calm and cool.
- Straws are preferable so you can drink easily.
- Mobile phone. Do not forget the charger.
- Digital camera and/or camera phone so the precious moments can be recorded.
3. What to Pack in Hospital Bags for Your Baby
- Baby blanket
- Two to three baby vests and sleep suits
- Nappies. Up to 12 nappies can be required by a baby per day, so do pack accordingly.
- Muslin cloth squares to wipe the babies face.
- Socks, boots and hat
- Going-home outfit for the baby
- Car seat. It is an essential item and some hospitals won’t let you leave if you don’t have one.
- Jacket or snow suit if the baby is due to arrive in winters
- Baby mittens
- Baby nail clippers
- Infant feeding bottle – this will help in case baby is having any problems in latching on.
What Not to Pack in the Hospital Bags:
- The baby doesn’t need many outfits during the hospital stay so there is no point in packing a lot of clothes with you. Just pack a couple of outfits, one for going home and another for the photographs in the hospital.
- Do not take the jewelry along, it can be difficult to take care of it during labor and there are chances for it to get misplaced or stolen.
- Do not take along jeans, it will be difficult for you to get into them.
To avoid last minute panic try to pack the maternity bag early and make a list before hand to know exactly what to pack in your hospital bag.