Just like when I was researching what to pack in my own hospital bag I came across so many pages suggesting to pack the most extensive list of things in your hospital bag and baby’s bag. I really kept my own packing to essential must haves. All of my baby essentials fit nicely in my baby bag. A similar bag to the one I use is listed below. As the site my original bag is from no longer sells the bag I have I have linked a similar one on Amazon. Without further ado, here is what I suggest as well as a list of things I believe are non-essential items to take with you to the hospital.
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Screen shot me! Add an album in your photo app called ‘Essentials’ so you can easily find this list when it comes time to pack your baby bag! Click here to see what essentials I suggest you pack in your hospital bag too.
I probably over packed on this one but I took two Muslin cloths, a jersey wrap (for Islas announcement picture), and two love to dream swaddles. I ended up mainly using the jersey wrap as it was the easiest to use and the softest. I sometimes used a muslin cloth but did not end up getting out the love to dream swaddles until we got home! Besides, most of the time Isla was just in a nappy because we did loads of skin-to-skin contact. The hospital also provide that famous rainbow coloured blanket as well.
2-3 singlets would be enough. When Isla was wrapped she was wearing just a nappy and a singlet. The hospital is always kept at a nice warm temperature as well. In terms of sizing. If you don’t want to pack much then take sizes ‘000’ (0-3 months). They may be a bit too big but they definitely won’t be too small. We had a big baby at 8.9 pounds (4.08 kilograms) and she was wearing 0000 (newborn) clothing for weeks. But I know every baby is different so it’s up to you what size you bring but we ended up only using newborn clothes.
First outfit for photos
If this is something you want to do in the hospital (some people wait until they get home) then don’t forget to pack that cute first outfit you’ve been dying to put baby in!
My husband Peter bought this cute pink outfit and beanie for Isla (not knowing how tedious tiny buttons are) and we used this for her first outfit!
If you choose to announce your baby’s birth in the hospital you’ll need to pack the announcement card or template if you want to include these in photos! these are super cute but many people just take a photo of baby and include all the details in a caption/message to family and friends.
Nappies and wipes
Our hospital provided a few nappies and wipes but once I was settled into my room and Isla was out of the NICU we used our own. 1 pack of wipes and a bunch of nappies will do. I think I packed 10ish. If you aren’t sure ask your midwife what she suggests!
Bottles and formula (if not breastfeeding)
I breastfeed so I really can’t offer any advice here. I thought I would include it though for mother’s that plan to bottle feed. I would also ask my midwife what to bring if this is your plan.
Take 2-3 onsies! Whether your baby is born in winter or summer they will most likely be comfortable in onsies if you choose to dress them in the hospital. They like to be toasty warm when fresh out of the womb. Like I mentioned the hospital is kept at a nice temperature and you might choose to do lots of skin-to-skin anyway. I would suggest packing two 0000’s and one 000’s.
It’s important you have something to take your baby from the hospital to the car in. Many hospitals have a protocol you must follow to leave with your baby. This is for safety reasons. It’s also just easier if you use a pram or capsule to take your baby out as you’ll have bags and paperwork to carry as well.
Car seat installed
Ensure your car seat is correctly installed weeks before you are due to give birth! I’d suggest doing it ASAP but at least by 36 weeks. You don’t want to have to rush around buying and installing a car seat when you are heavily pregnant and could give birth at any second! You can get professionals to install your car seat like we did. We bought our car seat from Baby Bunting and also had them install it. It’s one less thing to worry about!
Non-essentials you don’t need to pack
Mittens, booties and socks
100% not essential. If you want to keep bubba nice and warm and snug use onesies with built in mittens and feet!
Bows and cute outfits with buttons or two pieces
Your stay in the hospital is short and you are recovering from giving birth as well as learning to be a mumma. You won’t have time to think about dressing your baby in fancy clothes and putting bows or hats on their heads. Plus they just came from a womb that was warm, cosy and comfortable the last thing they want is to be dressed up like a doll. You might take 1 bow or beanie for that first picture but I can guarantee it’ll probably be taken off two seconds later! Two pieces are also just not that practical, keep it simple with one pieces. At the end of the day it’s personal and you do you!
I personally don’t really know why anyone gives a newborn a dummy. I am open for anyone to explain why they would. I packed two dummies and never needed to touch them nor did I ever hear any of the midwives suggest or talk of a dummy. I am not against dummies I just don’t think you will need to pack or use one in the hospital.
Nappy rash cream
Unless you have a complicated birth where you will be required to stay in hospital for a long time you will not need to pack nappy rash cream. Your baby is highly unlikely to develop a nappy rash in the few days you are in hospital and if he/she does the hospital (should) have some available (ours did).
Of course this is all very personal to me and what you think may be essential could be different to what I believe is essential to pack. If you aren’t sure what your hospital provides or recommends you take ask your midwife!
Until next time,