If you’re expecting a baby and you’re like me, you’ll have searched the internet for lists on what to pack in your hospital bag for yourself and for Baby. There are hundreds of lists out there, each one with something different that the previous one didn’t have. But is all of this actually necessary? What do you really need in your bag for Baby?
Well, I’ve gone through lots of these lists, I’ve listened to friends and other people across social media, and I’ve packed my hospital bag based on my “findings”. I hope this helps you out!
Baby will need something to wear once he/she makes their appearance. You’ll need one outfit per day that Baby will be in hospital (usually 3 days if you’re having a regular birth, or 5 days if you’re having a c-section).
To make things simple I created outfit “packs” using ziplock sandwich bags. I put a vest, babygro, scratch-mits, hat, bib and nappy into each one. The plan is that this will save me (or himself) rummaging through the bag looking for things. I have 4 of these little bags packed – one for each day I expect to be in hospital, and one as a spare. I also threw in some loose spares just in case (2 vests, 2 babygros, socks, and a couple of bibs).
Keep Things Clean:
We all know babies can make one hell of a mess. Thankfully, for those first couple of days it shouldn’t be overly messy, but you’ll still need plenty of nappies. I packed 8 for each day in hospital and a few spares. Remember, your partner can always bring in more if needs be, but a newborn baby goes through about 6-8 nappies a day.
I also packed a packet of water-wipes (I wouldn’t use anything else on a baby’s skin – just read the amount of ingredients/chemicals on any other packet and tell me I’m wrong!) as well as a pack of cotton pads, and a tub of Sudocrem in case of rash.
You’ll be shown how to bathe Baby before you leave the hospital so you’ll need to have a baby towel and sponge packed. There is absolutely no need for shampoos or lotions – Baby’s skin will be too sensitive. Water is all you’ll need to use.
I also threw in some muslin cloths – I’ve been told these are the holy grail to have nearby at all times. They can be used for everything – protecting you and your clothes when burping your baby, mopping up any of Baby’s “spills”, covering up when breastfeeding if you’re self-conscious and lots of other things.
One of the midwives gave me a heads-up that the baby blankets provided in the hospital have been through the mill so much that they’re quite coarse from being over-washed. She suggested we bring in our own fresh blankets for Baby so as not to irritate their skin with the hospital ones. I packed 2 cellular blankets on this recommendation (these are the ones with the holes in them – if the blanket goes over your baby’s head they allow them to breathe).
I know Baby won’t be able to hold or play with teddies for a while yet, and this bunny won’t be sitting in the crib with Baby (loose items in the crib are a big no-no when it comes to safety) but I still wanted to have his/her first toy in the hospital with us. So this little guy will be coming along in the bag.
Lastly, you’ll want something nice for Baby to wear for their trip home, but bear in mind that they’ll be most comfortable in something that isn’t fussy or frilly. I packed a cute vest and babygro, and a cosy travelsuit. You’ll also need a car-seat to get Baby home from the hospital, but this can be brought in by your partner on the day you’re leaving, don’t bring it with you on day one because there probably won’t be anywhere to store it.
Even as I’m writing this I feel like I might not have packed enough, but that’s what reading list after list will do to you. You’re better off packing light, and having someone bring you in more bits if you feel you need them.
What I packed in total:
- 6 vests
- 6 babygros
- 6 pairs of scratch mits
- 6 hats
- 6 bibs
- 2 pairs of socks
- 1 travelsuit
- 3 muslin cloths
- 2 cellular blankets
- 1 baby towel
- 1 sponge
- 1 pack of water wipes
- 1 pack of cotton pads
- 1 tub of Sudocrem
- 24 nappies
There’s a debate about whether baby clothes/towels/etc. should be washed before use. Personally, I think they should be. During the manufacturing process textiles can have chemicals sprayed on them to keep them looking fresh and crisp until they get to the store. You also don’t know where they have been stored or how they have been handled so there could be all kinds of germs on them too. I washed all Baby’s clothes and blankets in non-bio powder and softener.
Keep your bag neat so that it’s easy to see everything. Oh and talk your partner through the bag so they know where (and what!) everything is in case you need them to get something from it for you.
Did you find that you over or under packed for your baby?
Are there any essentials I’ve left out that you’d recommend?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Thanks for reading,