Hospital Bag Essentials: Your Guide to a Stress-Free Delivery

Hospital Bag Essentials: Your Guide to a Stress-Free Delivery


  • You can get your hospital bags ready in advance, from the 8th month or final trimester of your pregnancy onwards, to ensure you will be prepared for admission to hospital, whenever that may be.
  • You should consult with your birthing hospital about what preparations you should make prior to admission because some hospitals will already have some essentials for both mother and child, including those required by the father or other visitors.

In addition to worrying about the birth itself, new parents may also feel anxious about preparing food and other essentials required when mother and baby are recovering in hospital to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Packing your hospital bag prior to the birth is therefore the best thing to do, meaning that preparations should begin during the 8th month or as soon as the pregnancy enters its final trimester. This will ensure that when the term is complete or the contractions begin, all parties will be suitably prepared for their visit to hospital.

The newborn’s bag

This first bag will be full of excitement, kindness and comfort.

  • Clothing for newborns: Select material that will not irritate the skin, as well as clothes that can be tied or buttoned up as these will be easier to put on. The clothing should also be free from sharp edges that could cut your baby, while hats, mittens, and socks are advisable to keep your baby warm and protect them from scratching themselves. Make sure you also bring along enough newborn-friendly cleansers to last the duration of your stay in the hospital. Remember to thoroughly clean all newborn clothes before using them to ensure they are free from any dust or irritants that could potentially harm your baby's delicate skin.
  • Burp cloth: These will help keep your baby clean, and can be used when carrying your child to protect them from coming into direct contact with adults. Choose soft material in light colors so that you will be able to see anything that is stuck to them.
  • Disposable diapers: Select those that are secured with tape to ensure a tight and comfortable fit that also allows your child to move freely.
  • Blankets or wraps: Soft, thick material that will help your child feel safe and secure when being carried and will also be suitable for when they travel home. 
  • Wet wipes and cotton wool: In addition to wiping your baby’s bottom clean, mothers will also need to ensure your breasts are sanitized, so choose wipes that are perfume and chemical-free as these could be harmful to the soft skin of your child.
  • Vaseline: Apply a thin layer to your child’s bottom prior to putting their diaper on to protect them against irritation.
  • Shampoo, soap and natural sponges: When bathing your newborn, do not forget a soft flannel to wipe their body, as well as a soft towel to wipe them dry afterwards.
  • A diary: This will enable you to make a note of all the changes your child is undergoing during the early stages.

The mother’s bag

This second bag will be full of love and good health.

  • Clothing: Select comfortable clothing that is easy to put on, as this will also make breastfeeding easy.
  • Breast feeding bra: This item will make breastfeeding much easier whenever it is required.
  • Nursing pads: These will prevent against any breast milk seeping into your clothing, keeping new mothers feeling comfortable at all times.
  • Underwear: These items should not be too tight to ensure the new mother feels as comfortable as possible.
  • Belly wrap: This will help to avoid slouching by keeping a good posture that will also allow for a greater range of movement.
  • Sanitary pads: After giving birth, mothers will experience a discharge similar to their period. Most hospitals will provide sanitary pads but you should bring along your own regular pads for your own peace of mind and comfort.
  • Makeup: A crucial aspect for any young mother; make sure to bring along a small amount of makeup to help you look fresh and rejuvenated when receiving visitors, as well as when you are preparing for your return home.
  • Personal care products: Remember to pack essentials like soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, face cream, body lotion and a comb while for those with vision issues, do not forget to bring your glasses to hospital as contact lenses are not suitable for this stage of your recovery.
  • Mobile phone: This item can help you stave off loneliness and enable you to take plenty of photos of your newborn. Also, do not forget to save emergency numbers in your phone, such as the number of your physician, the hospital and your close relatives. 
  • Important documents: Don’t forget to bring your national ID card, house registration documents, documentation related to your pregnancy, doctor’s appointment diary and health insurance documents ready to register your child’s birth and their name.
  • Clothing for your return home: Remember to pack an outfit for your return home. This may be one of your pregnancy outfits as it is not possible to reduce your weight rapidly after giving birth.
  • Shoes: Bring along low-heeled shoes or flip-flops suitable for walking around your hospital room. 

The father’s bag

The last bag will be bursting with encouragement and strength.

  • Clothing, pajamas and underwear: Every father will be aware of how important it is to be there for his wife at all times, so pack enough clothing to get you through multiple nights at the hospital.
  • Personal care products: Some can be shared with the mother but do not forget your own toothbrush and glasses where required.
  • Eye mask: New mothers will require close monitoring by hospital staff, including round-the-clock visits, making an eye mask essential should fathers wish to get some uninterrupted sleep.
  • Socks: These will keep your feet warm in air conditioned environs.
  • Flip-flops: Footwear to protect you from infections while also keeping the room clean.
  • Mobile phone, charger and camera: In addition to being contactable by work or relatives, phones and cameras ensure fathers can be the family photographer, taking plenty of priceless pictures of both mother and baby for the family photo album.
  • Personal documentation: These include your national ID card or passport and driver’s license.
  • Cash and credit cards: These will allow you to take care of the various costs that may arise while in the hospital.
  • Car seat: A comfortable seat which is a safety essential for when you take you little one home with you.

Before packing your bags, make advance inquiries with the hospital as some places will already have a pack of essentials prepared for both mother and child, including those which can be of assistance to fathers and visitors.

Furthermore, new parents should research maternity and paternity leavers’ rights to ensure they are aware of what is allowed before calling into work or organizing cover. Also, do not miss a doctor’s appointments prior to the birth as the doctor will carefully check the state of your body in order to prevent against any complications that could arise in the final weeks of your pregnancy.

Expectant parents should try not to worry about things too much, practicing positive wellbeing while preparing for the eagerly awaited, healthy arrival of your little one.


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