When the time is nearing, and the arrival of your baby is imminent, it is a good idea to get your hospital bag ready in advance.
If it is your first time, it can be pretty daunting knowing what to pack in your hospital bag, you’ll need to take more than you think, especially if you are having multiples.
To take away a little of that stress you can follow my handy hospital bag checklist.
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How to pack your hospital bag
Aim to pack a large weekend-style bag which has sectioned areas. This way you can try and keep your things separate from your baby’s things, plus, in theory this should make it easier for your partner to find things when you demand them. Your birth partner will be at your beck and call, mopping your sweaty brow and providing you with snacks and drinks – well that’s the plan anyway! So remember to pack some things for them to eat too.
What to pack in your hospital bag
● It is recommended that you have your hospital bag packed and ready to go before 37 weeks of pregnancy – earlier if you are expecting twins. Remember the vast majority of twins and multiples are born much earlier. And 37 weeks is considered full term when you’re pregnant with twins.
● Pack what you’ll need later in your stay first so that these items are at the bottom of your bag.
● Bring a change of clothes to go home in, just make sure you’re comfy, that’s the main thing. Loungewear for the win! And don’t expect to be getting into any pre-maternity clothes straight away.
● A few pairs of old knickers that you are happy to get rid of afterwards. Yes it really is that gross.
● A couple of pairs of socks
● If you are planning a waterbirth you may want to pack a vest top or bikini top
● A water bottle with a straw
● Snacks such as cereal bars (for you during labour)
● Maternity pads – trust me you will need more than you think! Told you it was gross.
● Phone charger (and maybe even a power bank so you don’t run out of battery?)
● Maternity notes and birth plan – although things don’t always allow you to follow your plan, especially with twins and multiples, but it is good to have a loose plan in place
● Any medication that you usually take
What to pack for your baby/babies
If you can separate the areas of your weekend bag, then it is really useful to try and keep your baby’s things separate from yours, just so they are easier to find after the birth. Especially if it’s your husband or partner who is rifling through it all and telling you they can’t find things!
The essentials for your baby are:
● A pack of newborn nappies
● Water wipes (although the hospital will provide warm water and cotton wool for nappy changes)
● A couple of bodysuits or poppered vests
● Two sleepsuits
● Scratch mitts (although babies are pretty good at taking these off)
● A cellular blanket (the hospital will usually supply one)
One thing I remember doing was taking two lots of baby clothes in different sizes as obviously we had no clue how big the twins would be. It’s much better to have something bigger than squeeze them into a tiny size. And I also put these into different labelled carrier bags (because I’m OCD like that) just to make it even more simple for my husband and I.
This list should help you to cover the basics of what you will need in your hospital bag. Some people are in and out the same day but most of us spend at least one night in hospital after giving birth, longer if you have had a c-section or need extra care.
If you need to stay in for longer than you planned, your family will always be on-hand to drop in extra things for you. If you plan to bottle feed then you may have to bring in your own bottles and formula. The hospitals used to supply you, but do check with your midwife in advance. When you come to leave the hospital you have to have infant car seats, so make sure you have yours set up and ready to bring into the hospital.
Parenthood is an exciting but daunting journey which you will learn along the way. Remember most of us are winging it!
Did you enjoy this post? Why not have a look at some others whilst you’re here. Read about how my cravings were so bad I wanted a McDonald’s on Christmas Day. Or how giving birth to my twins was way easier than my singleton. If you’re having twins and want some tips, read 5 Practical Tips For Looking After Twins.
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