Learn my very special trick to make your hospital bag totally daddy proofed! I still use this in family trips!
You are so ready to not be pregnant anymore, right? :-D I'm sure you are dying to see the face of your baby after so much guessing looking at ultrasounds.
Now it's time to get ready and prepare your hospital bag!
I am going to share with you what I am taking to hospital with me this second time around. And yes, experience is gold!
Let's start with the bag that you need. There are so many cute (and expensive) options out there! Well, let me tell you, you don't need to spend so much money on it.
I have taken the very same bag to the hospital both times, and that is a Zara pram bag (30€ / 135 AED) that is flexible (you really want to be able to throw it anywhere), wide (to fit your stuff and the baby's), has pockets (for easy finding) and I can use for travel or other stuff.
Choose a bag that is flexible, wide, multifunction and has pockets
You really want something comfortable to open and that is why I never recommend a classic suitcase, that opens like a book and needs double the space in your hospital room.
Now, I am going to give you THE TRICK! You know those IKEA ISTA zip bags that you can find in many different sizes? Well, grab a few!
You want to pack everything individually in zip bags. Why? Because it is very likely that you will be lying in bed, with your precious little baby in your arms asking your husband to hand you this and that from the bag. And you know, husband did not prepare the bag, so husband has no clue where the stuff is. So we are going to make it easy peasy for poor husband and pack and label everything up.
The trick: Pack and label everything in zip bags
I still do this for my kid when we travel! It makes life just easy.
Ok mamma, so, if you are bringing this baby into the world in the middle of this horrible pandemic you need to know that, unless you have a C-section, you will only stay in hospital for 24 hours. If you deliver during the day, you will go back home the day after. If you deliver during the night, you are very likely to stay a couple of nights. If you are having a C - section or there are complications, you will be asked to stay around 3 days.
Must ask Question: how long am I asked to stay in the hospital?
Now, keep in mind that during your stay you want to be comfy, hydrated and warm.
ID and delivery docs: First things in the bag! Make sure you bring your birth plan (most hospitals send you a template if needed) and any important docs like marriage certificate, ID of both parents, etc. You may also want to add some change for the food machine, just in case the dilatation phase takes long and you get hungry.
Comfy pajamas: If you are breastfeeding you will need the top to have buttons or be easily removable.
Comfy socks: oh boy did I get COLD during my first delivery. I remember shaking! so this will be useful for both the delivery and your stay. You can bring them non slip and double as slippers (be minimal in your bag!)
3-4 panties/briefs: You have two options here: either go for the disposable ones or just buy very cheap 100% cotton that you don't care much about. I find the disposable ones uncomfortable so I chose 4 very inexpensive and old-lady-looking ones that I know will hold everything in place. If they get stained with blood, it will not hurt to toss them away.
2 nursing bras: Hospital will provide the cotton disks if needed. If you are not breastfeeding your baby you will want to wear a bra without underwire. Remember, you will want to be comfy.
1 pair of slippers for the shower: I mean, not your shower, you better be safe. Also, you will be weak, so better not slip.
Toiletry Bag: Shower gel, shampoo & conditioner, travel hair drier, hair ties and pins, brush, tooth paste and toothbrush and deodorant.
I highly encourage you to not use body cream and/or perfume, since your baby is recognizing you for your natural smell. You really don't want to mask it.
Some mamas like to put on some make up during their stay. It may help you feel better even though no visits are allowed nowadays!
Nipple cream: Because breastfeeding is an amazing experience but it takes some time getting used to. Make sure it is compatible with breastfeeding so ask in the pharmacy.
Phone and phone charger: Your phone can be crucial if the dilatation phase takes hours and also to send some baby pictures to your family, who are dying to see the baby!
Light reading: I mean magazines. Again, long dilatation phase...
Going home outfit: Bear in mind that the belly will slowly go down but it will need a few days (weeks?) so maternity pants will still be useful. Choose something that is loose and airy. Should you need a C-section you do not want to have something pressing on the wound.
The hospital will provide with maternity pads and breastfeeding disks
Zip bag #1-3 - Outfits: Yes, bring 3 different outfits for baby. You may only use 1 or 2 but, if you are not familiar with the term poop explosion, well, welcome to maternity. Babies do need an extra layer so I have always packed footed pants and long sleeves onesies because it is either winter or there is air-con on, so you want that baby warm.
Zip bag #4 - Beanies + socks: Babies do need their head warm so a beanie is mandatory! Socks, just in case you are not bringing footed clothes. And no, I do not recommend mittens. You can use a baby nail file if you want to avoid scratches, but the baby wants to smell and touch you!
Zip bag #5 - 2 Footed pajamas: With such small babies you want to bring the kind of pajamas that have press studs all over so that you can easily put it on/off.
Zip bag #6 - 2 extra bodies: Again, poop explosions /stains....
White noise: I am a huge advocate of white noise. Your womb is a noisy environment, and that is where baby has been for the past months so the white noise can help calm him/her. Also, white noise can be a marvelous ally in the future when trying to keep your baby asleep, but this is another post ;-)
Pacifiers: If you are breastfeeding you want to wait until the breastfeeding is settled and baby latches on correctly, which may take a few weeks. If you are not breastfeeding they can help soothe a fussy baby.
Muslins and blanket: Muslins are so multifunctional! you can swaddle the baby in them, you can use them to clean the baby, to burp them, to change them.... And a blanket, just in case it's cold.
The hospital will provide with diapers and towels. But you can always bring your own if you want to be on the safe side.
As for dad, he should bring pajamas, comfy shoes, 1 outfit, his phone and charger and lots of patience and love! He can always rush back home in case he or you need something extra!
I suggest you have that bag ready in the car or at the door for you to easily grab and go, just in case.
And if you are asking yourself when to prepare this bag, my suggestion is when you are 35 weeks. If you are carrying twins or the pregnancy has non be an easy trip you may want to have it ready a little earlier. You can always go back through it before the actual day!
You want to prepare the bag by week 35
Hope this has been useful and it gives you peace of mind when getting ready for the big day!
I have prepared a little checklist for you that you can use when packing your own bag. You can download it here:
Now, I would love to know: what else are you packing in your hospital bag?
I read you!