It’s never too early to start packing your hospital bag and preparing yourself for baby’s arrival. It can even help reduce the nerves around feeling ‘ready’ for baby, if you plan and pack your hospital bag ahead of time.
There’s plenty of advice available on what items may come in handy for the hospital and the journey home with your precious new bundle, which can be somewhat overwhelming. We’ve made your job easier by compiling a handy checklist for what to pack for baby, what your partner may need, and of course, what to bring for yourself.
Andrea Heinrich (@missandreaheinrich), who recently had baby Ollie, shared her helpful tips and tricks for her hospital bag.
“Firstly, be prepared and pack your bag early. I hadn’t finished packing my bag when my waters broke, so I missed packing some essential items! The things I appreciated having with me, were comfortable clothes, my own toiletries and a phone charger with a long cord. Luckily, I’d already packed an outfit for Ollie, plus a couple of muslin wraps.”
Andrea added that she doesn’t think she would have used a robe or slippers, even if she’d had time to pack them!
What to pack in your hospital bag for YOU:
- Medicare card, health insurance card & hospital paperwork.
- Own pillows, blanket and other comfort items; anything to make the hospital room feel more homely and personal
- Slippers or comfortable slip-on shoes; saves you from bending down to tie up laces, or struggle with tight shoes!
- Robe or lightweight jacket; for roaming the hospital corridors
- Button-down pyjamas; for easy access if you’re breastfeeding
- Nursing bras, breast pads and nipple cream; these may be needed whether you’re breastfeeding or not
- Maternity pads; check with your hospital as they may provide these, but bring your own if you have a preferred brand or type
- Loose, comfortable clothes and underwear; to help you feel as cosy and comfortable as possible
- Lip balm; your lips can dry out quickly if using gas or air, and in the hospital aircon
- Toiletries – shampoo & conditioner (travel sized are handy), toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, any medication you take, hairbrush, hair ties, body wash, moisturiser, cosmetics; anything you think you’d like to have on hand to freshen up
- Music; if you’d like to have your own playlist playing to help calm, distract and energise you
- Eye mask and ear plugs; especially if you’re a light sleeper
- Phone and charger
What to pack in your hospital bag for your partner:
- Snacks and drinks; to keep them going, and to share with you if you need a re-fuel and are up for eating
- Camera or phone and chargers; capturing those first precious moments with your baby is a must
- Announcement list; the lists of family and friends you’d like to announce your baby’s arrival to
- Credit card or spare change; always comes in handy for parking meters and vending machines!
- Swimwear; if you’re considering a water birth or spending time in the shower
- Toiletries; shampoo & conditioner (travel sized are handy), toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, any medication needed
- Pillow and blanket; if your hospital doesn’t provide extras
What to pack in your hospital bag for your baby:
- Bodysuits/wondersuits; the two-way zip kind are very convenient when getting used to multiple nappy changes day and night
- Singlets and socks; pack an extra pair of socks to use as mittens – newborns can have very sharp nails!
- Nappies and wipes; your hospital may provide these, but bring your own if you have a preferred brand or type to use
- Blanket or muslin wrap; your hospital may provide these, but pack a couple of options for the trip home
- An outfit for heading home in
- Car capsule or travel system to take your baby home
- For pet owners – bring a new toy or blanket to keep with your baby for the first day or so, then have your partner or a visitor take it home to help introduce the new baby’s scent to your pet
- Gifts for older siblings; some parents find this helps introduce the newborn to their older siblings
- Nappy Bag – for tips on what to include in your Baby Bag, see our handy Nappy Bag checklist