Have you already started packing your hospital bag for labor? According to a BellyBelly Forum survey, most pregnant women pack their hospital bags at about 33-36 weeks of pregnancy. If you’re wondering what to pack, we’ve compiled a pre packed hospital bag checklist in 2020 for labor.
In the categories below, we’ve included a list of essential items, as well as labor bag supplements – for things that aren’t essential but are a great idea nevertheless. We’ll also be adding your suggestions to our list as we go along.
Get ready for the big day.
You’ll hear this phrase a lot as you get ready for the big day. And the more you hear it, the less you feel prepared. Believe me, I’m telling you. And that’s okay because to be brutally honest, you will never be prepared for this day. It’s never gonna go the way you thought it would go, and there will always be an element of surprise; trust me on that as well.
However, there is one part of that day that you can really prepare for: your pre packed hospital bag.
Pre packed hospital bag checklist in 2020:
One of the first things you will do, even before your child’s room is finished, is making a pre packed hospital bag.
Pre packed hospital bags checklist in 2020: for the mother-to-be
The more glamorous the better! You’ve just had a baby – what better way to feel good than with a great pair of comfortable pyjamas and slippers. Be sure to bring two pajamas if you plan to breastfeed.
Men’s underwear is very comfortable after birth. They have a lot of space, are cheap and you can throw them away without any worries! Choose darker colors if you are worried about leaks. If you have enough for 2 a day, you should be covered. Don’t forget to pack a separate plastic bag for your used underwear. Socks will keep your feet warm in a cold hospital, so make one pair of nice warm socks a day.
Even if you’re not breastfeeding, underwired bras are not a good idea because they can become uncomfortable or cause mastitis by blocking the milk ducts. Pack 2-3 maternity or wireless bras. While your milk may take days to come in (which means leaking is not likely to be a problem right away), you can get very hot and sweaty in the process. So it’s a good idea to have more than one.
Used not only to dry your hair but if your hairdryer has a low setting, you can use it to dry your vulva carefully and lightly after a shower. This can be particularly attractive if you have had stitches and do not want to rub the area with a towel.
You should not use tampons after delivery because of the risk of infection. Although there are many brands to choose from (if you like thin sanitary pads), unfortunately, most maternity pads are very thick and padded! However, many new mothers like the thicker padding for support and protection. You can still use ultra thins when your blood loss slows down. Pack enough for about 8 per day.
You may not need it right away because you only produce small amounts of colostrum for a few days before the milk arrives (at any time, but usually around 3-4 days, sometimes longer, especially after a cesarean section). By the time you get home, your milk will probably have come in, so you will only need a pack or two of nursing pads.
Shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, hairbrush, face washer, razor (in case you want to shave your armpits!), and all the other usual things for to go. Use deodorant lightly, and perhaps not at all for the first 24 months after birth so that baby can get used to your unique scent.
Pre packed hospital Bag Checklist in 2020: For the Baby
It is worth checking what your hospital provides in terms of diapers. Some provide both disposable and cloth, some provide only cloth (meaning you will have to provide your own disposables) and some provide only disposables. If you need to bring your own diapers from home, pack rather more than less.
f this is the first time you are changing a diaper, you can get into all kinds of messes by trying to put the diaper on properly. Putting on a diaper seems so simple, but if you thought the “pregnancy brain” was bad, just wait for the “new mummy brain”! So, pack enough for eight a day. If you miss, which is unlikely, you can always send friends or family for more.
If you bring cloth diapers, bring a plastic bag to put the diapers in. There are now bags available on the market that are scented and work brilliantly by keeping the scent in the bag! They are fairly inexpensive and available in supermarkets.
It is likely that the hospital will provide some sort of baby clothes/gowns, but if you wish to bring your own set of clothes, make sure that all items are clearly marked or named. Babies regulate their temperature with their heads, so hats or caps are not necessary unless you are going out for a photoshoot or if it is particularly cold.
Socks and mittens aren’t usually too dirty, but they are important because babies usually have poor circulation in their hands and feet – they’re almost always cold! Pack one pair a day. Waistcoats or bathing suits are important to keep the baby warm, so pack 1-2 waistcoats a day.
It’s not a problem if the sizes are a little larger than you need, as vests get longer than anything else as the sizes increase. Grow suits and Wonder suits are shiny. They are inexpensive, cover the whole baby and some even have special cuffs so they can cover the hands like mittens.
The hospital will probably provide that as well. Don’t rush and spend money on all lotions and creams, as many of them are very fragrant and can irritate babies’ skin or cause a rash – even some of the “baby” brands have irritants.
How do you know what to get? Read the ingredient label – if there’s something in there that you can’t pronounce or need a science degree to know what it is, then it contains chemicals, which is not good for the baby’s skin. Some products say “organic” but only contain one organic ingredient. Look for the ACO (Australian Certified Organic) symbol on products, which means the entire product is certified organic, not just one or two of the ingredients.
For wipes, it is best to use cotton and water for a newborn baby. You can also use face and water, but water is best for their very sensitive and newborn skin.
For other lotions and cleansers, BellyBelly recommends the Mi-Essence line, which is certified organic products that are gentle enough for baby and can be used by the whole family. The products smell divine and work very well – you know you’re putting the best possible products on your baby’s skin.
The sunflower body wash is particularly good, it can be used for washing, but also children’s bubble baths. Commercial bubble baths tend to be very hard on babies and children’s skin with lots of chemicals and additives. Babies don’t get dirty enough to need more than water, but for the occasional bubble bath, it’s great and you’ll love the smell.
Pack one for each day. They can’t get dirty at all, but when it comes to babies, it’s always better to have too many than too few, especially when those diapers are leaking! Mousselines are BIG, just like stretchy cotton. When wrapping a baby, the stretch factor really helps to tuck them in, rather than the stiff ones that are harder to tuck in, especially if you don’t have enough fabric to fit the baby – the whole wrap falls apart!
Even if you plan to use disposable products, cloth diapers are the best thing to do. You can use them on your shoulder when you want the baby to burp, or to place under the baby when you change them – so it’s a good idea to take some with you wherever you go. Face washers may be enough for you at the hospital and for swimming, but it’s still something the hospital will provide.
If you plan to bottle-feed your baby, the hospital will probably have everything you need, but you can check to see if you can bring your own
Oh, and that birthing plan? The one that listed walking and using the balloon exercise by trying to be as natural as possible without drugs and with specific music basically over time? Yeah, it wasn’t even taken out of the bag and I never looked at it again. The birth plans are a cute idea, but they are rarely fruitful, and that’s good too; because all that matters is that you’re both happy and healthy at the end, no matter what process is required to get there.
To sum up, it’s important to have a Pre packed hospital bag checklist in 2020 for the day of your delivery, but don’t worry too much. The most important thing I can tell you is this: Prepare to be surprised. Prepare yourself for the pain, relief, and surprise that come with not having a baby inside you anymore, but rather have it in your arms.
And also, be prepared to feel so much love for the little person that you are finally going to meet, you think your heart might actually burst.
And most importantly, prepare to be the most amazing mother to your little one.