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Hospital Bag Checklist

Hospital Bag Checklist

What to pack when you're expecting.
As you approach your due date, along with the usual "must be any day now" observations from strangers in the supermarket, another common question is: have you got your hospital bag ready?

Preparing a bag for your upcoming hospital stay sometime in the last trimester is a great idea. It doesn't necessarily need to be zipped up and ready to go from 28 weeks, but putting a bag together can help you to feel more prepared and settled when waiting for your little one to arrive. That way, if the cheeky little cherub does decide to put in an early appearance, it will save you having to describe your favourite dressing gown to your (somewhat flustered) partner.

The aim of the hospital bag is to make yourself and your partner as comfortable as possible for the labour and/or birthing process, as well as preparing a starter-kit of supplies for your new arrival.

Be it birthing suite, hospital or other arrangement, the unknown duration of the delivery process means you might need to make yourselves at home. Comfy clothing, calming smells, and soothing sounds can make the birthing space feel more personal and the whole experience more pleasant. Who knows, you may not feel like getting that scented candle out in the end, but you might be thankful for the snacks you packed when you're nearing the 36-hour mark and the hospital vending machine just isn't cutting it anymore.

We've put together a list of savvy supplies for your up-coming hospital stay:

Loose/Comfortable clothing including undies
By now you will surely be used to loose, comfortable clothing. Pack an oversized t-shirt or nightie to wear during labour and something you can move around in easily.

A Robe
A parade of midwives and doctors will likely see you through the delivery process. You will get used to people poking and prodding you. Why not at least throw on your favourite robe? It will make you feel more comfortable and it's easy enough to slip on and off when you need to.

Slippers or Slides
Make yourself at home! A pair of shoes that you can easily slide on and off is essential as you will more than likely want to get up and walk around during your stay at the hospital or birthing centre, and you will likely not want to be bending down to put them on.

Nursing Bra
If you're planning to breastfeed your baby, nursing bra's make life a whole lot easier, especially in the first few days when feeding will be most frequent. Nursing bras are normally wire-free for comfort and latch open and shut, to assist when having to support bub with one of your hands.

Amazingly many people forget the nappies! Don't worry the hospital will have a couple on-hand to get you started but pack a few days' worth, just in case. About 12-15 is probably plenty.

Muslin Wraps
Muslin wraps will be your new best friend. Pack a few for the early days, those swaddling classes are about to pay off! Muslin wraps help baby to feel secure and adjust to their new surroundings. Wraps are also ideal to cover yourself for discreet breastfeeding.

No need to pack the entire cupboard contents here, most hospitals will have some sort of café facilities, but it's a smart move to bring snacks for after-hours such as nuts, dried fruit, your favourite chocolate bar or even a box of muesli in case you get hungry during labour or throughout your hospital stay.

The chorus of nurse attendance buzzers and beeping monitors might not be the most relaxing vibe for your labour. Putting together a playlist of your favourite music can help you to dull those sounds and make you feel more relaxed.

Essential Oil Diffuser
Diffusers are perfect for hospitals, where naked flames are not usually allowed. Diffusing a relaxing blend of essential oils is something many people find soothing and helps make the process homelier.

If you have a favourite blanket or throw, take it with you. It's amazing what a big difference having a touch of home in your hospital room can make to your level of comfort.

Phone (devices) and Chargers
Remember the charger! No doubt you will be wanting to take approximately 1,374,476 photos of your new bub within the first 24 hours. So, you will need your phone fully charged. Pack your charger as well as of course your phone and any other devices you may need for watching movies and passing time.

Toothbrush, toothpaste, body-wash, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, face wash and all the usual suspects, plus a towel for a touch of at-home luxury. 

Baby Stuff
A baby starter-kit should see you through the first few days. Along with the nappies, pack a handful of sleepsuits (or bodysuits depending on the weather) as well as some socks, scratch mittens, a bonnet or two and a baby blanket.

Car Seat
The all-important car seat, should be installed and at-the-ready. Technically not something that goes in your hospital bag but definitely worth a mention.