As the due date approaches, one of the most important things to do is pack the hospital bag. A hospital bag has all the essential items you, your partner and your baby would require in the hospital!
It is important to pack the hospital bag at least two weeks before the due date! In my case, I had to pack my bag after I got into labor. Bilal was early and was born in the 36th week. So as a precaution you can also pack the bag a month before the expected due date.
Make a checklist of these essentials and cross off the items in the list as you pack!
ESSENTIALS FOR MOM
ID, insurance card and hospital paperwork: The insurance documents and other related paperwork is important to complete the hospital formalities. So keep them handy in a file.
Birth plan (if you have one): The birth plan has the list of preferences regarding your medical options, hospital environment and care of your newborn after birth. You might have discussed your birth plan with your doctor, but having a copy available for your healthcare providers when you are in the active labor is always better.
A robe or nightgown: A soft nightgown or a robe in which you are comfortable sleeping is a good option. Buy the one which has some front opening as it will be easier to breastfeed.
Socks: To keep your feet warm.
Flip flops: A pair of flip flops or slippers that are comfortable and easy to slip in. To wear when you walk around the hospital ward.
Nursing bras: If you are planning to breastfeed, be prepared with the nursing bras.
Underwears: The hospital provides you with nice mesh undies but you can always use your own comfortable underwear. Choose the ones which are comfortable and large enough to hold the heavy-duty sanitary pads. Pack several pairs of them!
Toiletries: Like shampoo, conditioner, face wash, hairbrush, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, clips, hair ties, hairdryer are to be packed without fail.
Makeup: If you are a makeup person, pack a few important makeup items of your daily routine.
Clothes: A pair or two of comfortable clothes apart from nightgown to wear during the hospital stay. Also one home-coming outfit. Something loose and comfortable with the front opening will be better for breastfeeding.
Phone and charger. Don’t forget your phone and charger. You can stay in touch with loved ones and use it to take those first pictures!
Some optional things which you can pack if you want are:
Entertainment items: Pack some things like a book, magazines, tablet or a music player to help you pass the time.
Comfortable pillows: Your hospital will provide you with pillows, but if you have a favorite pillow at home, then you may want to bring it along as well.
Glasses and contact lenses (if you use them) : This is one such thing which seems obvious but can escape your attention while packing. So do not forget your glasses and contact lens solution and a lens case if you use contact lenses.
Snacks and drinks: Consider packing some of your favorite snacks for you and your husband or birthing partner. It is always better to have some comfort food during your hospital stay.
Essentials for the Birth Partner
You also need to pack things for your husband for his stay in the hospital. If someone other than the husband is coming to support you in the hospital, make sure that they pack these things.
Clothes: A pair of clothes to wear during the hospital stay and a homecoming outfit.
Toiletries: Like face wash, hairbrush, shampoo and conditioner, and other necessities should be packed.
Phone and charger: To stay connected with your loved ones or to receive guests and greetings!
Camera or a video camera: Don’t forget to pack the camera to snap pictures of your little one and to capture the beautiful moments. Make sure the memory card has plenty of space on it!
Entertainment: Something to pass time during the long labor hours like books, a tablet with movies or music can be packed.
Prayer rug ( For Muslims) : The hospital stay can be of two or three days and if you want to pray salah in the hospital room pack a prayer rug.
ESSENTIALS FOR THE BABY
Clothes: Your hospital will provide clothes for your little one but it’s better to have a few pairs of your own. Two pairs of bodysuits and two sleepers are a good option to have.
Socks and booties: Newborns can get cold easily so take some socks and booties along.
Caps and mittens: Newborn caps to cover their little head and mittens to keep them from scratching their face and also to keep hands warm.
Blankets: Receiving blankets and a fleece blanket are good to have on hand. The hospital will provide blankets, but a blanket of your own is always good It can also be used to keep your baby warm in the car seat on the way back home.
Going-home outfit: A going home outfit is so important and special. Pack the one in which you want to take your baby home. Consider the weather conditions: a bodysuit, booties, and hat could be fine during the warmer months, but in winter, pack mittens and a jacket or snowsuit, as well.
This obviously isn’t for the hospital bag! But the right car seat should be installed in your car around the same time you pack your hospital bag. So that it’s ready when it is time!