Hospital Bag Checklist

by Christine

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So you’ve probably gone through the crazy house cleaning phase and washing all those tiny little clothes ready for your newborn’s arrival. Now it’s time to pack your hospital bag.

I remember packing my hospital bag so early in hope my babies would arrive sooner and I would be so organised and ready to go when the time came. Unfortunately for me all three of my girls came late. 

When my first born finally arrived and I grabbed my hospital bags, one for me and one for the baby, I thought I definitely had everything I would need. Well… turns out I didn’t.

After having three kids I can now say I learnt what to pack and what I didn’t really need and what I needed more of. Here’s a handy hospital bag checklist for all you new mums.

What to pack for your baby

  • Nappy bag. Use this bag to pack baby’s things to save buying another hospital bag.
  • Nappies. Lots of nappies. Newborn babies use around 10 nappies a day! I packed as many as I could fit in my nappy bag and the rest in my own hospital bag.
  • Baby wipes. One packet is plenty.
  • Scented nappy bags for changes in the hospital
  • Change mat. You will most probably change the baby in your room on your bed or in the bassinet) I found changing my baby on the bed was so much easier, so then I could wrap them all back up nicely.
  • Clothes. Pack your hospital bag with baby singlets and onesies for 3-5 days with spares (My first vomited a few times in one night and I went through all her clothes really quickly). Include a nice going home outfit for photos. A name plaque/card if you are doing milestone photos is a nice touch.
  • Wraps/blankets. So you don’t leave the hospital in the hospital blanket like I did the first (OK, and  second) time around.

What to pack for you

  • Your outfits. I was in labour for a long time with my first and had a posterior labour so had to do a lot of moving and walking around (for hours) so I ended up giving birth in a sarong and a singlet.
  • Music. Lots of women find it calming and helpful during labour. I had a whole playlist for labour ready but then decided I didn’t want it at the time I wanted silence. My husband was not allowed to talk.
  • Massage oil. My husband massaged all my pressure points for labour pains during the delivery as well as my lower back where all my labour pain was which really helped. 
  • Heat packs. The hospital will give you some but I found they were too small. The next two times I brought along my own, bigger ones in my hospital bag to cover  my lower back better.
  • Hair ties
  • Snacks. I can not emphasise this enough! After labour I was starving and with nurse change overs, missing meal times, all I wanted to do was eat and then sleep.
  • Reusable water bottle. You will get over drinking out of the tiny hospital plastic cups though they are good for ice cubes while you’re in labour.

What to pack for after the birth

  • Maternity Pads. Pack a lot in your hospital bag. They also have the adult undies now which are going to be better to just rip off and less likely to leak. I wish I had taken them.
  • Breast Pads. Remember to remove them before your feeding bras/tops go in the washing machine as they make quite a mess.
  • Nipple cream. This was a saviour for me every time – nothing else worked
  • Black comfy pants. I cannot stress this enough. I only brought one black pair with me the first time round and lived to regret it. Yoga/lounge or track pants are great just make sure they are dark and loose. Even in the hospital in summer it gets cold in the hospital air conditioning.
  • Nursing singlets. I could just walk around in them and they were super easy.
  • Dressing gown. Even in the warmer months it’s always so cold in the hospital as their air conditioning always on full blast. I ended up in a nursing singlet and a pretty cotton dressing gown around the hospital. I would change it up with a nice cardigan when I had visitors or wanted to get dressed.
  • Slippers or thongs
  • Toiletries. A nice, natural, not overly fragrant body wash as your baby will be on you looking for your smell. Pack dry shampoo so you don’t have to wash and blow dry your hair.
  • Tinted moisturiser to even out your skin for photos.
  • Lip balm
  • Belly oils or moisturisers if you’ve been using any for stretch marks: keep using these for at least a few weeks after labour. I did not know this and didn’t have any stretch marks until I stopped using my oils straight after bub arrived.  
  • Phone charger
  • Prenatal vitamins. It’s a good idea to keep up the prenatal vitamins you’ve been taking.
  • Plastic bag for dirty laundry

I hope that this hospital bag checklist has helped you prepare for your stay, so that you can enjoy all these new special moments with your beautiful little baby.

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