I know packing for your labour and hospital ward bag can be a bit overwhelming especially if it’s your first time. It can be hard to know what you really need and don’t need. As this was my 4th baby, I’ve learned with each one what is necessary and what really isn’t. I’ve also learned some great tips with each one. Even this time I learned a great way of packing baby clothes in sandwich bags to make it easier for each outfit change. That’s one tip I wish I’d know for my other 3 births.
So this is a post with what I’ve personally found useful, you can always add more or less of what you want, but hopefully this is a handy guide on where to start at least.
Nightdresses (1 for labour, a spare change if waters break all over it and another to change into when labour is over)
TENS machine (if desired)
Baby’s first outfit with a nappy in a food bag
Newborn baby wipes/cotton pads (in case of poop/meconium straight after birth they tend to do that)
Underwear (big knickers)
Flip flops for the shower (hygiene reasons)
Some stuff for birthing partner (in labour bag)
Tshirt, underwear, socks, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, snacks.
Last minute grabs
Maternity Pillow for comfort
Bouncy/birthing ball if you think it will help make labour more comfortable for you
Underwear (again big old granny knickers!)
Loose comfortable bra or nursing bra
Nipple shields (if nursing)
Multi-Mam compress pads & balm (if nursing)
Newborn baby wipes/cotton pads
Nightdress/pj bottoms/loose tops or vests if nursing
Small bin bag or reusable bag for dirty clothes.
Baby outfits in sandwich bags
Socks, bibs, mittens, hats, in another sandwich bag
Newborn baby wipes
Going home clothes for you (comfy tracksuit bottoms, top, hoodies, runners)
Coat/cardigan for bringing baby home
-Toiletries (in hospital bag)
Sports water bottle
Shampoo & Conditioner
Body moisturiser (try get unscented so baby can still get your natural scent)
Toothpaste, mouthwash & brush
I’ve left out quantities because it all depends on how long you will be in the hospital. As a general guideline for each day/24 hrs in the hospital, I’d say (as a bare minimum) 2 baby outfits, 6 pads, 4-6 nappies, 3 pairs breast pads (will need more as milk comes in) 3 pairs of underwear. Have more of everything at home ready to bring in by someone if needs be.
I only brought 1 nightdress in my labour ward bag this time but ended up needing more. My waters broke all over the first one, I was soaked, then I needed another one after the birth to change into because it was a bloody mess let’s be honest haha. Luckily I had sent OH to Pennys while waiting in the labour ward, and he came back with 2 spare nightdresses.
I also don’t tend to bring a lot of cotton wool/pads as I prefer using baby wipes, they are just handier and less messy. If you do the big square cotton pads are the easiest to use for baby’s poos!
One thing I didn’t’ end up using at all was the baby’s mittens as I read an article that said babies love their hands as it comforted them in the womb, so I felt bad then if I put mittens on him and they still haven’t been used 10 days later.
I never bring a dressing gown as it does be so warm in the hospital so a light hoodie does me.
The sports water bottle, in case you’re wondering, is to bring with you when you go to the toilet as sometimes when you have stitches it can sting going pee so if you aim the water down there as going pee it can help. The witch hazel can also help and be dabbed on put some n your pad. You can even prepare some pads before birth to have at home in your freezer with witch hazel, it’s so soothing!
You might not feel like washing your hair at all while in hospital, so dry shampoo is handy if you want to freshen up a bit. You can bring hair straighteners and hair dryers too of course, I just personally never bother.
I find the proper pairs of knickers for after birth a lot more comfortable than the disposable one, they feel plasticky and gross. Pennys do packs of full briefs for practically the same price so I go with them.
Of course you can always try fit all this in one bag but it’s easier to manage and find things when they are in two separate bags I’ve found.
Lastly, good luck and let me know in the comments if you have any tips for packing for hospital, I’d love to hear them! Yaz xo