Your due date is fast approaching, and you're starting to feel a little nervy about how D-Day would go.
To make you feel less anxious about the delivery and labour and more well-prepared to meet your new baby, this baby hospital bag checklist would come in handy to give you ideas of what and when to pack the essentials for yourself, your partner and baby.
The key is to make your hospital stay as comfortable, personal and positive as possible.
When to Pack Your Baby Hospital Bag
For a low-risk, normal pregnancy, it is ideal to have your baby hospital bag ready by 36-37 weeks.
If the pregnancy is high-risk or mum is facing pregnancy complications and there is a chance of going into labor early, start packing by 34 weeks.
Of course, if you like a headstart on things, by all means start earlier — when to pack a baby hospital bag is entirely up to you (and when you are starting your maternity leave)!
It is a good idea not to procrastinate and leave the packing to after 38 weeks. You would want to have that hospital bag ready and all prepped to go when signs of labor begin and baby is ready to relinquish her tenancy in your womb.
What to Pack in Your Baby Hospital Bag
• Photo ID of mum and dad
• Hospital pre-registration or pre-admission forms
• Birth plan (if you have one)
• Insurance card and information (for mums in the US)
• Marriage certificate (for mums in Singapore)
Essential hospital bag items for mum
• Spectacles (if you wear them)
• Cell phone and charger (if you'll like to announce baby's arrival real-time to your family and friends, do set up the group chats and phone lists in advance so all you have to do when the time is ripe is press the send button)
• 1-2 pairs of warm, nonskid socks and padded slippers (for walking the halls to stimulate labor and after to help with the healing)
• Lip balm (if your lips have a tendency to get dry)
• Energy snacks like granola bars and nuts (lactation cookies if you have them to give you a jumpstart to building your milk supply)
• Empty water bottle or thermal flask (so your partner can fill it up at water dispensers for you to patch your thirst during and after labor)
• Rubber hot water bottle for postpartum cramping or abdominal bloating (I had a bad case of the latter)
• 2 nursing/maternity bras and nursing breast pads (whether or not you plan to nurse, you will appreciate the support and leak protection)
• Nipple cream (for mums planning to breastfeed. The Lansinoh Breastfeeding Salve was my lifesaver when baby fussed throughout The Second Night and could only be soothed with latching)
• 2-3 maternity panties (that you wouldn't mind soiling with postpartum bleeding. Hospitals do typically provide disposable ones but those might not rank high in terms of comfort)
• 1-2 packs of postpartum sanitary pads (thick, absorbent ones with wings would be preferable. Again, hospitals do provide this but I found them too scratchy so I stuck to my own brand)
• Toiletries and personal items: hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, contact lens case and solution (travel-sized would make your bag less bulky)
• Comfortable going-home clothes (that fit you at 6 months since the mum tum will take time to shrink)
• Comfortable shoes (or just wear the ones you came in)
Optional hospital bag items for mum
• Portable music speakers or earplugs to listen to music on your phone (relaxing is key for a positive birth experience -- I brought my home companion Amazon Echo which turned out to be a brilliant idea for playing yoga or relaxing music on repeat)
• Breastfeeding pillow and breast pump (some hospitals have lactation experts who will drop by to help you with nursing, so you can consult them for best breastfeeding positions and how to use your pump effectively)
• Aromatherapy essentials (to create an environment where you can labor and birth in your own space and time, setting up a diffuser in the delivery suite emitting your favourite scents is a great idea. My favourites are Young Living Everyday Oils which put me right at ease)
Essential hospital bag items for your partner
If it's your first child, chances are that labor is going to take quite a long time! Be prepared for an overnight stay.
Packing these essentials for your partner will ensure his comfort by your bedside.
• Cell phone and charger
• A change of comfortable clothes and a neck rest
• Toiletries: toothbrush, deodorant, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, shaver, hair wax, contact lens case and solution
• Snacks (I packed cup noodles for my husband. Turned out to be a smart move because baby made her arrival close to midnight and there were limited food options nearby. If you're interested, you can read her birth story here)
• Entertainment (something to read, listen to or watch)
• Camera with fully charged batteries, charger and extra memory card(s)
• Any daily prescription medication
• A big foldable bag (chances are you will be loaded with diapers and wipes to bring home from the hospital. If you are welcoming visitors, most likely there will be gifts and hampers to bring home)
Essential hospital bag items for baby
• Approved infant car seat (non-negotiable in the United States, some hospitals won't let you leave until they see baby strapped safely in the car seat for the ride home)
• A going-home outfit (if your baby's size is above average, you can consider bringing clothes in both newborn (NB) and 0-3 months sizes to check which fit better)
• A warm blanket (to keep baby warm and snug for the ride home)
• Seasonally appropriate outerwear like a snowsuit or hat (depending on the season your baby is born in, seeing as newborns can be extra sensitive to the cold)
Place the hospital bag near the front door of your house or in the car so it is easy grab-and-go. You are ready for baby's arrival!
Other pro tips: Familiarise yourself with the shortest route to the hospital. And also make sure your car is pumped with petrol for any emergency rides to the hospital!
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.