I’m now 37 weeks pregnant so I’m well and truly preparing for baby, and of course that includes packing my hospital bag.
When I had my first son, Abel, I planned a home birth. I expected it to go smoothly and so I had a very poorly packed ‘just in case’ hospital bag, which I was adding to last minute when we decided to transfer to the hospital during my labour. I don’t recommend. Pack a hospital bag, regardless of whether you expect to need it.
This time, I am planning a hospital birth. At the moment our baby is lying sideways (transverse), so if she stays in this position I will need to have a c-section. If she turns head down then I plan to attempt a VBAC. Either way, I’ll have a well packed bag so I won’t have to worry about that during labour/immediately postpartum.
I felt a little bit lost as to what to pack because although I’ve had a baby before, like I said, last time was an unorganised scramble to get what we needed, and I had to ask my husband to bring more stuff from home after the baby was born. I found a few lists on the internet that were helpful such as this one. My mom is a birth photographer in Bellingham, Washington, not to mention she’s given birth nine times, so I found this list she put together helpful as well! She’s also put together this birth guide that you might want to check out. I just printed off the birth plan, birth affirmations, and 4th trimester printable.
What’s In My Hospital Bag
Snacks for Labour
You and your husband or birth partner will both want to keep your energy up, during and after labour, so pack some good snacks.
Lip Balm and Hair Ties
Lip balm and hair ties will be handy during labour, nipple cream is a must for breastfeeding, baby wipes are great for everything, and some scented lotion will help me feel human. 😉
I packed a large muslin blanket, a soft flannel blanket, and a merino swaddle.
Baby Clothes — Newborn and 0-3
When my son was born, he didn’t fit the newborn pajamas I brought. Thankfully I’d also grabbed one in 0-3m and that fit him well. So this time I brought a bit of clothing in both sizes! I anticipate staying in the hospital for several days if I have a cesarean. Hopefully I can stay less time if I have a VBAC. I packed several outfits just in case. Although this is a summer baby, I don’t know how warm or cool it will be in the hospital so I tried to cover all my bases. I packed the different sizes in separate ziploc bags and labelled them with a sharpie so it will be easy to grab the desired size.
Special Outfit for Baby
I’m planning to take a cute ‘baby is here’ photo to share, so I put aside pajamas, a headband, and a sign with baby’s name. These are in a separate bag inside of my hospital bag so that when I’m ready to take the photo I can easily find what I need.
Change of Clothes for Dad
Don’t forget to pack a change of clothes for your husband!
Clothes for Yourself
Of course you’ll need clothes as well. Anticipating the possibility of staying for several days, I packed enough clothing for that. It’s a bit tricky because barely any of my clothing fits me at 37 weeks pregnant, but I won’t fit my normal clothes right away after giving birth. So I had to find what I can spare right now that will still fit me just a day or two postpartum. If you plan on breastfeeding, make sure to include comfortable nursing bras or tank tops, and shirts that are easy to feed in. I also packed warm socks, regular socks, and underwear, I just didn’t feel the need to photograph that. 😉
I packed four tops, two nursing tanks, three nursing bras, two comfy skirts, two supportive leggings, one pair of warm socks, three pairs of regular socks, and four pairs of underwear.
I packed some reusable and disposable breast pads, baby face washers, Tui baby balm, and white noise machine and charger. I’ll also include my pregnancy book and birth plan.
To Pack Last Minute
I know, I just said I wanted to be well prepared because last time I was scrambling around last minute. But some things I still need at the moment. I’ll be sure to consult my list and grab them when I know it’s time.
Phone and charger, water bottle, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, and purse.
Don’t forget to have your baby carseat installed in your vehicle as well! If you already have kids, make sure you have a plan for who will look after them. If they will be going to someone else’s house, have a bag packed for them as well.
If you do plan to breastfeed, be sure to check out this blog post I wrote when Abel was a few months old!