Easy Guide on packing your Hospital Bag
Imagine: You are into your ninth month and in the middle of the night one day, you wake up to relieve yourself and then suddenly your water breaks. It is your first pregnancy and there is nobody around except your partner. He calls up an ambulance and you rush to the hospital. But only after things settle down there do you realize that you have come to the hospital empty-handed; you didn’t get your bag!
You will realize the importance of a hospital bag when you would actually need it. Therefore, do not wait until the last minute, keep it ready in time well before your due dates. Also keep your partner or any one else in home aware about the bag and stuff inside the bag, so that they can help you out at the time of delivery.
If you aren’t sure what to pack, don’t worry. Go though the below list that’s something basic you must pack in the bag for yourself, your partner, and the off course for the newborn.
When To Pack A Hospital Bag?
The best time to start packing your “hospital bag” for delivery is around 34 weeks as you can expect the labor at any time from the 37th week. Or you may talk to your doctor, based on your ultrasound reports and LPM she may suggest your expected due date. Ideally you should keep your Hospital bag ready atleast 3-4 weeks prior to your due dates.
Also don’t forget to ask your hospital if they have any list, as most of the reputed hospitals do provide most of the things. You may want to also have a look into the maternity ward so that your can assess what you may need to help you comfortable there. The key is to Pack your bag in advance so that you do not miss anything. Also keep some one else also informed about it.
What To Carry For Yourself?
If you have a vaginal delivery, then you might need to stay for around three days in the hospital. However, if you undergo a C-section, then you might have to stay for a few more days.
Here are the things you must carry in your Hospital bag:
- Medical Documents: Neatly file all your hospital papers, your test reports, latest ultrasound, details of any allergies (if any) and your valid ID proof, insurance card and papers (if applying for insurance claims),hospital forms – keep them handy in separate files.
- Clothes change for you: Most of the good hospitals do provide a change in case you would want to wear your clothes, then Pack loose, comfortable maternity clothes to wear in the hospital. While going to the hospital, wear an old, loose-fitting dress. Do not buy new ones for this because the dress would get stained with blood and fluids during labor. Also, get dresses with front buttons to unbutton them easily for breastfeeding the baby after delivery.
- Footwear for yourself: Pack slip-ons as they are comfortable to wear during the hospital stay. Take a pair of socks too, to keep your feet warm.
- Lip balm: During labor, the warm condition inside the labor room can make your lips dry out. Post delivery, you may use the lip balm to moisten your lips.
- Massage oil: It is good to carry a massage lotion or oil, which your partner or a care giver may use to massage your back and legs during contraction pains. This do help comfort at times.
- Snacks and drinks: Keep sugar-free candies handy. This will help prevent your mouth from drying out. You may also keep some juice or drinks too, can keep you going during the labor.
- Birth ball: It is a great birth tool to support labor. Check with your hospital as they may or may not allow you to carry one. Incase they do carry it along with the pump so that your partner can inflate it and help your use it.
- Undergarments and sanitary pads/Adult Diapers: Pack extra pairs of undergarments and packs of sanitary pads or adult diapers, as you would need them in plenty during your stay in the hospital post delivery.
- Nursing aids: Carry nursing bras and pads that make breastfeeding comfortable for you. The nursing bras have an opening in the front of each breast, while the pads prevent the breastmilk from leaking. Maternity or breastfeeding pillows- they make you feel comfortable while relaxing between contractions and while breastfeeding baby.
- Accessories: These are items such as hair clips, hair bands, bath towel, and moisturizers that you need every day. Add eye masks and earplugs to the list as they help you sleep while waiting for your delivery. If you have glasses or lenses, then do leave a spare pair in the bag, as you might miss those at the last minute.
- Toiletries: Keep toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap in your bag. Place all these items in a box that is easily accessible.
- Some Books/Kindle/: If you like reading books, keep an interesting one in the bag. Reading the book can help you divert yourself from the pain.
- Gadgets: Keep your mobile and charger in the bag. You can also take your tablet and/or portable MP3 player.
The one person who will surely accompany you to the hospital is your partner. Therefore, he, too, needs to keep his bags ready.
What to Pack for Your Partner ?
While you get admitted for delivery, your partner also needs to carry the essentials items that he will require during his stay in the hospital. Here is the list of things that he may need:
14. Clothes: He may pack some casual wears, in which he is comfortable to stay in the hospital.
15. Footwear: As he will be making many rounds in the hospital, it is good to pack footwear that can be easily worn and removed.
16. Gadgets: The mobile phone and charger are a must-have as he will need to contact several people. Also, a camera recorder will be useful if you are interested in shooting the delivery in the birthing room, or take your newborn’s pictures.
17. Gent’s Accessories: He would need his shaving kit, deo etc. Also, ask him to pack a hand-held fan or water spray to keep you cool and refreshed while in labor.
18. Snacks and drinks: He wouldn’t get much time to take a break to eat something. Let him pack some snacks and drinks to keep himself from hunger and dehydration.
So, you have packed your bag and your partner has done his. But are you forgetting somebody?
What To Pack For Your New Born Baby?
The VVIP person of your family is arriving and he/she needs to be taken care of well. Here is the list of items you need to pack for your baby:
19. Full Sleeve Tees/Jhabla and/or bodysuits. – You would need atleast 5-6 body suits, and a few Tees for your new born, Prefer Full sleeves and front open suits as they are easier to make them wear on or off and keep the warm and cozy.
20. A stash of Diapers – Your baby will need them from the time they arrive. If you are planning to use Advance Cloth Diapers, try Superbottoms newborn size , they are perfect for newborns from 15 days upto around 5 months. The age range can vary from child to child depending on height and weight. Read more about these cloth diapers here. You may also want to watch this tutorial to learn how to put on a new born cloth diaper if you are new to cloth diapers. Trust me its super easy and convenient to wash them as well. Read here to know how can you wash the easily.
21 In case you are not looking for these advance cloth diapers for your new born, then you would have to buy dozen of langots/triangulars for your baby, also add more of swaddles, blankets and clothes, as with every pee or poo you would have to change the entire clothes and beddings.
22. Muslin cloth/Baby wipes- You would need baby wipes or muslin cloth to clean and dry baby’s bum after every pee and poo. These organic wipes will not only help you clean your baby when he/she poops but can also help clean spill some undigested milk while burb. Also for newborn you may use these wipes to sponge bath the newborn till their Umbilical cord fall off. Just ensure you keep the wipes for bum and mouth separate 😊
Note: Always wash everything which touches baby’s skin, even if its new as first of all its better for hygiene and secondly these gets softer with washes making it perfect for new born’s delicate skin.
23 Baby Swaddles and blanket – You would need atleast 3-4 swaddles and 2 blankets to keep your little one warm. Double them if you aren’t planning to use full time diapers
24. A Baby carrier- whether it’s a normal delivery or a c-section, post your delivery you may be in some pain or may have some discomfort walking due to stiches. And it may get difficult to carry the baby and hold yourself up, so I suggest you invest in a baby carrier early. A ring sling or a wrap could be a good option for the soft and delicate New born who need to be held up close. Also it is super easy to clean and maintain them all.
25 A diaper bag- A bag with convenient pockets to keep your baby’s essential. multiple pockets will ensure everything is well organised and could be found easily once in need, do read my previous post on how to pack diaper bag light and travel easy with an infant.
Finally do remember, that keeping your hospital bag ready well in advance would gives you a sense of relief that you have kept all the necessary things in place. Also, there would be one thing less to worry about while rushing to the hospital. Moreover, your partner can stay by your side when you need him the most rather than running around to gather things.
So, stay well prepared and good luck !!