What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag
Are you reaching the final stretch of your pregnancy? People are telling you to start packing your hospital bag but you have no idea what to pack in your hospital bag? The answer is you don’t need much.
When I was pregnant with Lauren, just like most first-time mother, I had no idea where to start. Thanks to the Internet, one can easily google and find the answer. So I found this printable list from Babycentre.co.uk and followed it to a tee. There are 40 items on the list, I ended up using 10 items.
Here are what I packed and if I would pack them again:
- Your picture ID, medical card or any hospital paperwork you may need.
- Birth Plan: I didn’t even glance at it. Not once. But I’ll still bring it next time because it is just a piece of paper and it doesn’t take much space. Besides, I found that by writing down my birth plan, I was actually going through the delivery in my head and was ready for any emergency that may arise. Highly recommended for one.
- Spectacles/Glasses, if you need them: I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be in labour, and I didn’t want to deal with contact lenses and solutions in the hospital.
- Dressing gown / Old T-shirt to wear in labour: Don’t bother. The hospital will provide this.
- Flip flops: I walked a lot prior to labour and it is easier to slip on and off after labour than having to fuss with shoes. If you are going to take a shower, you wouldn’t want to go bare feet in the hospital bathroom. So bring!
- Socks: In case the hospital gets chilly. But I didn’t use mine.
- Snacks and drinks: My hospital, Thomson Medical Centre provides a massive dinner before I went into labour. During the 2 nights stay, I was fed every 2 hours, so no chance for me to snack.
- Book and magazine: Are you kidding? I doubt anyone could actually read right before labour.
- A hairband: Yes, need to get those hairs out of the face when I was throwing up from the effect of epidural.
- Toiletries: Just the basics. Toothbrush, toothpaste, facial cleanser, moisturizer and lip balm.
- Music: Hubby played some music from his iPhone. There is a DVD/CD Player and TV in the room, but we never turned it on.
- Going home outfit: Bring one of your maternity dresses, because your tummy is still gonna be big. Make sure it is comfy and easy to put on.
- Nursing bra: You may need one if you want to contain the post birth boobs. But I was breastfeeding every 2 hours, so I didn’t bother putting it on. I did put on a strapless bra whenever there were visitors.
- Nursing pads: Brought these but my milk didn’t come in until the 3rd day. So no use for these in the hospital
- Mobile phone and charger: For informing family and friends. To play music. Play games. It is smaller than an iPad; so it is easier to tuck it away in between contractions. I was busy messaging my sister on Whatsapp all night.
- Baby going home outfit: My hospital provided these. Bring a set, just in case.
- Diapers: Most hospital will give you a few but it is a good idea to bring a couple of your own.
- Wipes: It is generally good to have wipes on hand. Great to wipe down any surfaces before you lay baby down or hand them to visitors before they touch your newborn.
- Mittens and socks: To keep baby’s hands and feet warm. Baby Lauren would scratch her eyes out without these.
- Muslin squares: These are so versatile. It can be used as a blanket for baby, wiping baby’s hands and protect your clothes when you burp your baby. I also used them as breast pads. Super absorbent.
- Baby toiletries: Provided by the hospital. Besides, they will clean your baby up during your stay in the hospital, so no need for these yet.
- Car seat: It is compulsory by law in Singapore that a baby is secured in a car seat in a private vehicle. It is ok to hold the child in your arms if you are taking the taxi or bus. Remember to have the car seat properly fitted in your car before your due date. You won’t want to fuss with this on the day itself.
For your spouse/birth partner:
- Change of clothes: It might be an all-nighter. Or he/she could be holding the vomit bowl for you, like my husband Nick. So something clean to change into after the labour would be nice.
- His own toothbrush: He can use your toothpaste and other toiletries if needed.
- Water and snacks: The hospital only provided food for me and nothing for him. (Update: He was offered meals at our third baby’s birth at Mount E Novena.)
Nice to have but not important:
Contact lenses and solutions
Makeup: If you want to look good in photos, but I was too tired to care at that point.
Here are what you don’t need:
Massage oils and lotions
Camera and dvd recorder: Just use your smartphone
A watch to time contractions: My hospital hooked me up with the ECG machine throughout the labour
Lap top: I brought mine, thinking I can get some work done during the hospital stay. Who was I kidding? My time was split between sleeping, nursing baby and having visitors.
Hope this is helpful to you. Is there anything I might have forgotten, please let me know by commenting below.