It seems like just yesterday when you saw those two purple lines on the home pregnancy kit that made you reach the seventh heaven. After nine months of nausea, vomiting, numerous blood tests and check-ups and a myriad of emotions, you are waiting rather nervously for your little bundle of joy to arrive. As the final days of your pregnancy pass by in anticipation, the most common advice you will get is that you need to rest well. There is, however, an important task that needs to be done before you begin experiencing labour pains. What is so important you ask? It is the task of packing your hospital bag for delivery. Making a hospital bag checklist is the best way to begin this task.
The Ideal Time To Pack Your Hospital Bag
While the doctor has given you a due date based on your sonography findings, there is no sure way to predict the exact due date. Your little angel might take their own sweet time before making a much-awaited appearance, or they might surprise you with unannounced labour pains much before the date of delivery.
In any case, it is always a better idea to be armed; in this case, armed with a packed hospital bag. Ensure that you make a hospital bag list for delivery so that you don’t miss out on packing any essentials. There is no specific time or date when you should begin packing your hospital bag. However, you are more likely to be more active in the earlier part of the third trimester; which is why it is advisable to start packing the bag during that time. Also, the earlier you begin, the more time you get to plan the contents of your bag.
Hospital Bag For Moms And Babies
Childbirth is an exhausting experience for the mother. Like the baby, the new mother too needs medical care for a few days after delivery. The hospital stay typically lasts for 2-4 days depending on the type of delivery and complications involved. A fully equipped hospital bag is the new mother’s best friend during this hospital stay. Not only should it be equipped with the mother and her baby’s essential items, but also basic essentials of the person who is going to be the woman’s birth partner.
Why is a hospital bag important? What to pack in a hospital bag for delivery? When should you start packing a bag for your delivery? These are the common questions that pop into a woman’s mind when she is told to pack a hospital bag. Expectant mothers who are due soon may consult with their gynaecologist, their experienced friends or relatives who have recently given birth or someone who can educate them adequately about the importance of a hospital bag.
An ideal hospital bag for delivery is the one which fulfils all or most of the criteria mentioned below.
- Contains basic essentials for the new mother and baby to last for the entire duration of hospital stay
- Can be easily carried by the pregnant woman herself as well without causing her discomfort
- Does not occupy unnecessary space
- Has several compartments to store items of various size and shapes
- Has a zip or buckle that is easy to open and close even with one hand (You may find it difficult to use both hands if you try to open the bag while holding your little angel in your lap)
- Made of sturdy material that has good weight-bearing capacity
- Is of a bright colour or design (Don’t you want to look at your bag and feel cheerful from within? Who wants a dull coloured bag right?)
What is ideal for one may not necessarily be ideal for another. So the definition of an ‘ideal hospital bag’ depends upon every person’s individual opinion. Nevertheless, the hospital bag checklist for mom and baby is more or less common for all.
Hospital Bag Checklist
Should you carry your own sanitary pads? Will one pack of diapers be enough for the baby? Which bra would best prevent milk stains on your dress? Are these questions plaguing you as your due date is drawing closer? Now is the time for you to sit and figure out what to pack in a hospital bag for delivery. The eager anticipation every mother feels before her delivery makes the task of packing your hospital bag for delivery very exciting. It is almost as if you were packing enthusiastically for a long-awaited trip.
After welcoming your newborn, you will barely find time to fret over finding your necessities in your hospital bag. To pack your bag efficiently, start by making a hospital bag checklist based on what provisions the hospital will arrange and what you will need to carry. You do not want to burden your bag unnecessarily with the items which you will get at the hospital.
It is quite understandable if the whole ‘I am going to be a mother soon’ emotion gets overwhelming at times. But don’t let that hamper you from missing out on even a single item in your delivery bag list.
Do not stress much over what to pack in a hospital bag. Here is a detailed list and description of all essentials you will need while you recover in the hospital after bringing your little angel into the world.
Checklist For Your Baby
A new life full of tiny coos and giggles needs all the love and care there is to offer !! New mothers may feel confused about caring for their newborn due to lack of experience. Therefore, it is better to stick to a good checklist while packing for your little one. Here are a few essentials you simply cannot miss while making a hospital bag checklist for the baby.
Size zero diapers for newborns are easily available in local supermarkets and with pharmacies. Some hospitals provide baby diapers; however, if you wish to use a specific brand only you may carry your own.
2. Wet Wipes
You may want to check with the hospital if they make provision for wet wipes or you have to carry your own. Wet wipes are very useful in cleaning the baby after it has passed stool or urine. Choose a brand of wipes that is certified by paediatricians.
3. Formula Milk
While mother’s milk is the best source of nutrition for babies, there is a possibility that top feed may be required. This can happen if the new mother is experiencing no milk supply or lack of supply. It is important to consult a paediatrician before choosing a brand of formula milk.
4. Feeding Bottle
Feeding bottles may be needed if the baby needs to be formula fed or if the mother is expressing adequate milk but is unable to breastfeed for some reason. Breast milk may be pumped and fed through bottles in this case.
5. Swaddle Cloth
Wrapping the newborn in a swaddle cloth is the best way to ensure that they remain warm and get a feeling of security. A good quality swaddle cloth made of soft material deservedly finds a place at the top of your delivery bag list.
6. Pair Of Clothes
Many hospitals have a norm of using their own clothes for newborns throughout the hospital stay, for hygiene purposes. However, you definitely want your angel to look absolutely adorable while you take them home where a warm welcome awaits. Choose the prettiest of clothes for your little bundle of joy when you take them home!
While hospitals provide warm and comfortable blankets for the baby, your nesting instincts may urge you to purchase that super lovable, cosy blanket for your soon to be born angel. Carrying an extra blanket is always a wise idea. You may use it to wrap your infant while bringing them home.
8. Burp Cloth
A burp cloth could be any soft, long piece of cloth that can be laid over the shoulder by the one who burps the baby after every feed. This is very important as babies tend to spit up a certain amount of milk while they burp. The burp cloth prevents the clothes of the new mother or the baby’s attendant from getting spoilt.
There may be other items you need to put in the checklist, depending on your personal choices and what the hospital will be providing. Following a checklist will ensure that you do not forget to pack something important.
Checklist For The Mother
The new mother is showered with abundant blessing and love by her family and friends after the birth of her baby. But the biggest blessing for her is a well-packed hospital bag that has all of her essentials she will need while she recovers at the hospital. A list for the mom is as important as making a hospital bag checklist for the baby. Here is a quick look at the complete delivery bag list for a new mother.
Basic utility items like toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo go to the top of the delivery bag list. You can choose your own brand of these items rather than relying on hospital supply.
2. Sanitary Pads
Postpartum bleeding can vary from very heavy to mild spotting. Hospitals provide sanitary pads in most cases. However, it is better to be armed with a stock of good quality sanitary pads that are comfortable and of your own choice.
3. Nursing Bra
New mothers take time to get used to breastfeeding efficiently. Nursing bras are specifically designed for the mother to breastfeed comfortably anywhere. They are a must-have for every breastfeeding mother.
4. Breast Pads
Overproduction of breast milk may cause leaking which stains the bra and clothes. Breast pads which are attached to the inside of the bra help to avoid this embarrassment. They are helpful during your journey back home from the hospital.
5. Comfortable & Loose Clothing
Choose such clothing for the duration of your hospital stay which is loose around the breasts, hips and your tummy. With postpartum bleeding and painful stitches, you do not need an additional burden of uncomfortable clothing bothering you.
You may get visitors in the hospital while you are breastfeeding. Throw a long scarf over your neck to maintain privacy. This helps you nurse your child and comfortably interact with others at the same time.
7. Check-Up File
The most important content of your bag is your medical file which contains records of your check-up details, sonography, medication, blood tests that you have undergone throughout the duration of pregnancy. This is very important to decide the course of delivery and postpartum care as well.
If you have been on any medication during pregnancy, carry it along to the hospital. However, do not continue the dosage as before without consulting with your obstetrician.
Women may even choose to carry a nice book to read, an iPod full of their favourite songs, a few makeup items, perfume etc. As long as what you carry is not harmful to you or your baby, it is absolutely to have your own choice of items with you.
Your hospital bag is like your mini wardrobe packed into a bag to last a couple of days. And your hospital bag checklist is like that bestie who is constantly running behind you to ensure that you are comfortable. Take help from your husband, mother or sibling while you pack the bag so that you don’t forget a single thing. If you still happen to forget to pack something, do not panic! Someone could always rush to your house and fetch the things that you forgot. Do not look at this as a task, but as another sweet memory that you will treasure forever.
Remember that you are not only packing luggage in that bag but also a lot of love and care for your soon-to-arrive angel. Have a happy and safe pregnancy and delivery. Happy motherhood to you!