It is a good idea to pack your bag for the hospital in the final phase of your pregnancy. Week 36 of your pregnancy would be the ideal time to pack your bag, just in case you need to go to the hospital earlier than the given due date.
Things to consider before packing
- What the hospital provides - Most hospitals have a set list of things they provide for patients. It is advisable to get this information from your hospital in advance. It will be wise to find out if the hospital is going to charge for any of the things that they provide, so that you have the option to make alternative arrangements.
- What the hospital allows - Some hospitals are very strict about what they allow you to carry from home. So find out and pack your bag accordingly.
- The season or weather at the time of delivery – Keep in mind the weather or season and pack clothes accordingly … woollens, warm clothes, light clothes, in-betweens etc.
You may want to pack two bags for the hospital but this depends on how much space is available in the room that you’d be staying in. So take a look at the room beforehand and decide.
List of things to pack
- Medical reports - arrange all the reports in a file or folder and remember that this file is top-priority.
- Medical insurance papers (if any).
- Nightgowns or nighties - If these are front buttoned, then they will serve the dual purpose of nursing gowns. Though, some hospitals provide gowns as well.
- Cotton socks - It is advisable to keep a pair which you can wear in the delivery room as your feet tend to become cold, even if the weather outside is pleasant.
- Lip balm and moisturising lotion.
- Snacks - You and your partner or attendant might want to munch on some snacks but some hospitals are strict about not allowing outside food. So pack only if allowed.
- Toiletries - Do not forget your toothbrush and comb in the list of toiletries.
- Hair clips or bands
- Nursing bras
- Breast pads
- Maternity sanitary pads - You will need them after delivery or caesarean section.
- Comfortable panties - Cotton ones are always preferable.
- Clothes for going home - Your tummy will take about a couple of weeks to go down after child birth, you will need loose, comfortable clothes.
- A shawl, stole or 'dupatta' with which you might want to cover yourself while breastfeeding.
- Mobile charger
Things to pack for your new born baby
- Clothes - Rompers, sleep suits, T-shirts, shorts or leggings, all depending on the weather at that time.
- Socks or booties - At least two pairs.
- Cap or bonnet
- Vests - As innerwear for your baby, in case it is winter.
- Diapers or nappies - Calculate, approximately 12 diapers per day. But since carrying too many will be problematic, keep enough for the first day after delivery and later on your partner or attendant can get more.
- One rubber sheet or water-proof sheet to keep the bed dry.
- Soft cotton sheets for your baby's bed; keep a couple of them at least.
- A soft, warm blanket or a soft cotton draw sheet; choose as per weather.
- One soft cotton towel
- 2/3 small squares of soft cotton cloth or small cotton hand towels to wipe baby's spit-up and spill-over while breastfeeding.
- Baby's toiletries - A baby cleanser, mild baby shampoo, massage oil, very soft hairbrush, wet wipes. Keep these in a small pouch so that they are easy to find.
- Baby blanket. Babies need to be kept warm, so you will definitely need this.
- Sweater or jacket, depending on the weather outside.
- Swaddle cloth. A cotton or light-weight wrap cloth with an attached cap can be packed too. But this is optional.
Optional things you can pack in your hospital bag
- Extra cushions or pillows to make you feel more comfortable and which can be of help when breastfeeding your baby.
- Things that relax you, like your favourite music, magazines, books and so on.
- Water spray bottle and wet wipes to freshen up.
- Digital camera or camcorder if you or your partner want to capture the first moments of your baby. Check if the hospital allows such recording equipment.
You might want to keep a print-out of this checklist for easy reference.
Once your bag for the hospital is packed, relax and focus on a smooth labour and delivery.