- Pack a cozy dressing gown and socks. Ideal for wandering the ward.
- Pack slippers or flip flops for trips to the restroom.
- Pack comfortable, loose maternity clothing or old t-shirts. Take some spares in case things get messy.
- Pack towels as it might be nice to have your own ones from home.
- Pack nighties or open shirts that give easy access to your child, for skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding.
- Pack plenty of maternity pads. There can be a lot of bleeding after birth — vaginal or C-section.
- Pack a few pairs of big panties. High-waisted and cotton will be comfiest.
- Pack a couple of nursing bras and lots of breast pads.
- Don’t forget contact details of a lactation consultant or breastfeeding support service in case you don’t get the hang of breastfeeding straightaway.
- If you’re planning a water birth you might want to bring something to wear in the pool to begin with.
- Pack healthy snacks. The vending machine can be the back-up plan.
- Pack comfy going-home clothes. And a bag for dirty washing.
- Pack miniature toiletries, face wipes, lip balm, hairbands, dry shampoo, washcloths, and a toothbrush.
- Bring your own feeding cushion or pillow, a bright colored one that won’t get lost!
- Pack eye patches and earplugs, and water spray or a pocket fan if it’s the hot season.
- Don’t forget your phone and camera. To tell all your friends and family the good news and capture those precious first moments together.
- Pack some makeup, if it makes you feel good.
- Consider music. Some hospitals still have CD players. If not, prepare a pocket playlist.
- Consider books and magazines to keep you occupied during down-time.
- Pack a notebook and pen. Helpful for jotting down feeding times.
- Don’t forget your maternity notes, they contain your birth plan and medical information. This is when it’ll really come in handy.
- Pack a few kid’s outfits (2-3 bodysuits and 2-3 t-shirts depending on the season), socks, booties, a kiddie cardigan and beanie in case the weather is rainy or windy when you’re going home, cellular blanket, 1-2 packs of diapers, baby wipes, cotton balls, burping cloths (sometimes known as muslins), and scratch mitts. Pack an extra-long charger cable or a power bank, in case the sockets are far away.
- Bring a child’s car seat for the trip home from the hospital — it’s mandatory in many countries.
- Buy a big hospital bag to put all this in!
- With your bag on standby, you’ll need to know when you’re ready to give birth. Go to our Signs of labour checklist to find out.
Here’s where you’ll find everything you need to make the best of those first 1,000 days of parenthood… TOGETHER.
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