Pregnancy can go incredibly slowly and incredibly fast all at the same time. Once you hit that 3rd trimester (28 weeks) the countdown is seriously on.
Soon enough you’ll be in the car and on the way to the hospital to finally meet your little one.
Here in the Little Lion House family, we have two little lion cubs, so we know a thing or two about what you are going through.
Whether you are in the nesting phase of pregnancy and are busy cleaning everything in site, putting up nursery wall decals, washing and folding all the new baby clothes or you simply want to be ready and stress free for when your sweet little bub decides to make their entrance, we think having your hospital bag ready to go is a great idea.
Therefore we have put together the ultimate hospital bag checklist for mum and baby (and your husband or birthing partner too!) to help you relax and enjoy your birth experience as much as possible.
Many hospitals and birthing centres do already have a range of items, so it is best to check with them as well or your obstetrician as to what you need to pack.
Some of the items mentioned below are nice to haves, at the end of the day as long as mum and bub are healthy, that’s all you really need.
Hospital bag checklist for the birthing suite
- Birth plan (make sure you have a few copies including a digital copy, just in case)
- Medicare and/or private health insurance details
- Speaker and/or headphones to listen to music or hypnobirthing affirmations to help keep you calm
- Swiss balls can be great to help ease labour pains
- Aromatherapy oils and a diffuser (peppermint, clary sage and lavender are some of our favourites for labour)
- Phone, camera and chargers
- TENS machine
- Casual, comfortable clothes (a loose fitting dark coloured nightgown or t-shirt dress is perfect for labour)
- Lip balm
- Hair ties
- High energy food and drinks
Extra tip: Some women express pre-birth and take in frozen syringes of colostrum. If you do this, make sure they are in snaplock bags with your name and date of when it was expressed, then place it in an esky and give it straight to the midwives as soon as you arrive at the hospital.
Hospital bag checklist for your stay
- Maternity bras and/or singlets (places like Bonds do some great maternity singlets)
- Nursing friendly tops and clothing to make your first days breastfeeding a little easier
- Maternity leggings and/or loose fitting pants
- Dressing gown and slippers/ugg boots
- Thongs/jandals - your feet can swell during birth so it’s good to have an easy footwear option
- Maternity underwear (we recommend black!)
- Maternity sanitary pads
- Body wash & face wash
- Shampoo & conditioner
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hairbrush and hair ties
- Toilet paper (yes the hospital will of course have toilet paper, however treat yourself and take in some super soft 3-ply toilet paper - you’ll appreciate it after birth, trust us!)
- Towel - likewise a super soft towel from home can help make the post birth experience a little more luxe
- Face masks and hand sanitiser
- Nipple cream and breast pads if you’re breastfeeding
- Book, laptop or some kind of entertainment for those downtimes you may have (make the most of it before you head home with an hourly alarm-clock in your arms)
- Earplugs and eye mask (these are helpful when you’re in a busy 24/7 hospital)
- Laundry bag - between you and bub, you’ll accumulate a lot of dirty washing, so having one bag for it all will make it easier to deal with once you are home
- Face masks and hand sanitiser (with this new COVID-19 norm we live in, this is to be expected, however don’t stress if you forget these, if you are required to wear a face mask the hospital will provide some)
Hospital bag checklist for the baby
- Baby clothes
- Generally Newborn 0000 size is what most people need although do have a plan if your little one comes premature (typically there is a hospital gift shop with baby clothes in)
- Zipper onesies are super easy and fuss free plus they usually have built in socks and mittens so you don’t have to pack these separately
- Beanie, socks, mittens
- Baby blanket (this comes in handy especially for when you’re leaving the hospital)
- Nappies and baby wipes
- Most hospitals supply these, and some only supply cloth nappies, therefore it’s always good to take some of the nappies you plan to use with you, just in case
- Sterilised bottles and formula if you aren’t planning to breastfeed
Hospital bag checklist for your birthing partner
It is important your birthing partner is organised with everything they need too so they don’t have to leave you mid-labour. Trust us, that doesn’t go down well when you’re 8 centimeters dilated!
- Comfortable shoes and clothes
- Phone, laptop/book/entertainment, charger
- Change of clothes
- Food/snacks - don’t think for a moment you’ll be taking Mama’s snacks, especially during labour!
- Face masks and hand sanitiser
Typically most women stay in hospital between 1-5 days. Once you’re discharged, you’ll be able to take your sweet little cherub home and settle them into their beautiful nursery.