Preparing for Baby’s Arrival – Hospital Bag Checklist
Preparing for baby’s arrival is one of the most exciting adventures you’ll have during pregnancy! So much to do and only 9 months, it’s now actually less than that now! Don’t feel overwhelmed, all can be solved with just a little bit of planning. Make sure you have all the hospital bag essentials ready in advance for your exciting journey ahead.
Hospital Bag Checklist
- Nappies, wipes and nappy sacks
- Nappy rash cream
- Cotton wool
- Going-home outfit
- Mitts and hats
- Muslin cloths
- Snow suit (if it’s a winter baby)
- Car seat
- Medical records and birth plan
- Comfy sleepwear, slippers and dressing gown
- Hair bobble or clips
- Clothing for after birth and to go home in. We suggest dark and loose.
- Underwear in your current maternity size that you won’t mind having to dispose of
- Maternity pads
- Breast pads
- Phone and charger
- Food or snacks to get you through labour
- Lanolin HPA nipple cream doubles up as lip balm too
- Nursing bra
- Bubble bath
They are so cute and the temptation is endless … remember to remain practical through, your bundle of joy will grow very quickly, all babies do! And you will probably receive clothes from friends and family too. Everyone is tempted by baby clothes, they are just irresistible.
You’ll be changing your baby’s nappies 10 to 12 times a day, so stock up! Remember to also buy nappy sacks and baby wipes, you’ll go through them quite quickly.
Breast pads are a must as your breasts might start leaking even before you give birth, you can also use washable breast pads which are great to use at night or at home. If you are planning to breastfeed look at products such as nipple cream, hot or cold breast therapy packs which you can use for lots of different situations (like mastitis, engorgement, or simply to encourage your milk flow) and a nipple everter (in case you get flat nipples).
If you are planning to express there are 3 types of pumps to choose from: manual breast pump, single electric and double electric breast pumps – they are very easy to use and great if you want to build a breastmilk supply.
You might also need storage products like breastmilk storage bags or bottles which enable you to store your breastmilk in the fridge or freezer. If you wish to involve your partner or grandparents in the feeding routine then you’ll probably need some feeding bottles. Just make sure you establish breastfeeding before introducing a bottle! A steriliser and bottle warmer might be very useful too!
For the first few months, you’ll need a crib, a carry cot or a Moses basket (a light, portable bassinet). Your baby needs to sleep somewhere safe, warm and in the same room as you for the first 6 months. You’ll also need a firm mattress that fits the cot snugly (so that there’s no space for baby’s head to get stuck!), sheets and a light blanket for warmth. Sleeping bags are also recommended as they reduce the risk of blankets sneaking up over the baby’s head.
A baby bath can be useful and baby towels. In the first few weeks, you’ll only wash your baby with water but you might want to stock up on natural and organic toiletries for later days. A bath thermometer is also a useful tool to ensure the water isn’t too cold or hot.
Spend some time looking at what’s available for getting around with baby. Think about what will suit you best before making a choice and ask your friends and other mums what they’ve found useful. You can use baby carriers (slings) which your baby will love because he/she will have you near and will be able to enjoy your warmth – choose one which is secure and holds your baby’s head well and be sure to read up on safe use of baby slings. Pushchairs are suitable for young babies only if they have a reclining seat so the baby can lie flat. Prams give your baby a lot of space to sit and lie comfortably but they are hard to use on public transport and they grow out of them quickly. Another option is a carrycot on wheels and you might also want to look at a three-in-one. If you have a car, then you’ll need a car seat for your baby as they will always need to sit there, even when you are bringing them home from the hospital!
You’ll need a changing bag! There are many bits and pieces you’ll start taking with you once your baby is born, so a dedicated bag for everything is a must. Look for one which includes a changing mat and a space for wet wipes. You might prefer one with lots of compartments or a simpler one. You’ll also need muslin squares – As well as protecting your clothes from the inevitable baby sick and mopping up dribbles, they provide a soft surface to rest your baby’s head on.
It’s also a good idea to get the house in order as much as possible before the arrival, because believe it or not, they may be small but it’s like a hurricane has hit once they’re home! Another really helpful thing to do is cook lots of meals and stock up your freezer so you don’t have to worry about going to the supermarket or cooking in the first week or so.
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