Packing early can help you to feel prepared and somewhat in control, but you don't need to take everything.
How has this come so quickly? I bet it feels like just yesterday you found out you were pregnant and now here we are a few months down the track and its time to pack your hospital bag already! If you are anything like me you have obsessed over this part, reading all the blogs and tips from mothers who have gone before you and now you have a pile that takes up your whole spare room, of items you should take... Just in case. I've put together a list of the items I found most valuable during my week long stay in hospital.
- 2 - 3 Soft Stretchy Jersey Swaddles - While the hospital will provide the standard thermal blankets for swaddling, I found it so much easier to learn how to swaddle with a stretchy one. They also work so well for birth announcements!
- Announcement Disc - The most exciting part of your journey will be meeting your little one, and of cause snapping that perfect first photo. Make it extra special with an announcement disc.
- Coming home outfit - While your little one will probably live in nappies and swaddles for the first few days (skin to skin is so much easier when you just have to unwrap a swaddle) you definitely want something special to bring them home in. We loved our Snuggly Jacks Knot Gown
- Diapers!!! - Bring at least a full pack if not 2. Newborns go to toilet a million times a day, or at least it feels like it! While most hospitals provide disposable diapers, its always handy to have some packed just incase.
- Socks, booties and mittens - Hospitals are so cold! Babies core temps naturally run colder than mum and dads, so packing some little socks to help keep their feet and hands warm will help them to settle easier.
- Phone Charger - This is possibly the most important thing. You will want to have heaps of photos of those first few days and making sure your partner have their phone charger with them will be absolutely necessary.
- Change of clothes - Babies are messy. Bring an extra set of clothes to change into incase something goes haywire.
- Swimmers - So they can jump into the shower or the pool with you during labor.
- Comfy Shoes - My hubby spent most nights pacing the hallways with our little girl. Always being the thoughtful one, he was trying to allow me time to sleep and would walk with her for hours.
Water… When in labor for an extended period of time and then again when you start breastfeeding.
- Birth Plan - Make sure you pack this to give to your midwife assisting in the birth. Also be prepared to change your mind during the labor!
- Nipple Cream - Lanolin is an absolute god send! Bring all the things you can for rescuing your nipples.
- Pads - Make sure you bring heavy flow pads.
- Loose fitting pants - My birth ended in an emergency C-section and I didnt have a nice big baggy pair of pants to wear on the following days! Comfy pants are a MUST!
- Phone, camera and charger - You want everything available to capture this experience.
- Drink Bottle - Water will become your savior. When in labor for an extended period of time and then again when you start breastfeeding. Make sure you have a straw bottle to make it easier to drink with your arms full.
- Snacks - Breastfeeding also makes you hungry! Hospital food is not always the best and it only comes at certain times of the day. You can never have too many snacks!
- Toiletries - Bring your own so that you can feel clean and fresh whenever you need to. (I even packed my own toilet paper, because you know you want the softest you can find after giving birth!)
Remember this is going to be one of the most exciting and daunting times of your life! Packing early can help you to feel prepared and somewhat in control, but you don't need to take everything. So many people will visit you over the next few days, and all of them will want to bring you something. If you do leave home without something, just ask your family and friends to pick it up for you. They will love the chance to help and another excuse to see your beautiful little bundle!