A hospital bag is a bag of essentials that you take with you to the hospital when you go into labour and it’s time to deliver your baby.
Your bag should contain the necessities you’ll need before and after birth, as well as any items that will make your stay more comfortable.
You never know how long you’ll be at the hospital, whether it be a long labour or if there’s a complication of some kind.
The last thing you need is to have to send your hubby out for little things, when he should be by your side. So before you head off to the hospital, here’s a checklist of hospital bag essentials you should pack.
When do I need to pack my hospital bag?
When you enter your 3rd trimester, you should start planning what to pack in the hospital bag. Although the full length of pregnancy is 40 weeks, you are considered to be at “term” when you reach 37 weeks, so make sure your bag is packed by then! You could go into labour at any moment, and it’s best to be prepared than to be scrambling around at the last minute.
Checklist of hospital bag essentials
There are certain necessities that every woman will need in her hospital bag, but don’t hesitate to customise this checklist according to what you think you need for your hospital stay.
- Any hospital documents related to your pregnancy (i.e. birth plan)
- Your identity card and any insurance documents
- Toiletries for the hospital stay: toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel, shampoo, toilet paper (if you’re particular), and a box of tissues
- A CD of music you want played in the delivery room
- Snacks, juice, sweets that you can have during labour
- Sanitary pads for post-delivery bleeding
- Nursing bra for breastfeeding
- Breast pads (disposables are most convenient)
- A pillow for more comfort
- Underwear and night gown for hospital sleepover
- Stationery for filling out forms and documentation
- Phone and other electronic devices if you’re an Internet addict
- Light makeup if you’re concerned about looking good in photos (no judgment here!)
- An outfit for going home
Items for baby
Most of the items your new baby will be needing will be provided by the hospital including clothes for the first few days. You may pack an outfit for your baby to be brought home in and a few diapers of course.
What about Dad?
Your spouse should also pack some hospital bag essentials of his own to take to the hospital. Although he’s not the one giving birth, he can expect to be there for a while too. Births can take as long as 40 hours or more, so he needs to bring items to sustain himself for a long stretch.
Items he should pack include:
- Snacks like granola bars that he can eat without having to go to the cafeteria
- A bottle of water that he can refill at the water cooler
- An iPad or a portable console for entertainment in case he has to wait in a lobby
- A light jacket because it can get cold in the hospital
- Toiletries and a change of clothes if he wants to stay overnight with mum and baby
- A camera to capture your Kodak moments with your newborn
We hope our list of hospital bag essentials will be helpful to you when the time comes to pack your own hospital bag. Good luck with the delivery, mum-to-be!