In the final months of your pregancy, you will need to start preparing. Nesting they call it. One of the things you need to get ready is that all-important baby’s hospital bag. If you are wondering, what do I need to pack for my baby’s hospital bag?
Then we are going to share what we found useful and tips I wished I had known as a first time mum. Usually, people tell you that less is more. If you prefer to travel light, then maybe that statement is true.
However, in our experience more is more when it comes to packing for the hospital.
There are so many unknowns when you go in to have your little one. I mean, what kind of birth will I have?
Will my baby be big or small?
How long will I need to stay in hospital for?
Better to have everything and more, than not to have enough with you at all.
What to pack for your baby’s hospital bag.
We suggest packing enough essentials for baby to last for a 3 day stay.
If you need to stay for longer, you will have enough notice to plan to get more stuff to hospital with you.
Personally, we chose to pack a choice of 2 sizes of baby clothing. For most new mums a range of newborn and 0-3 month clothing will cover all bases.
Although, if you have been advised to expect a smaller baby, you will want to throw in a few tiny baby or preemie size clothes instead of 0-3’s.
And if you are expecting a larger baby you might prefer to reduce the newborn selection and add a few larger items.
If you have a c-section birth or are less mobile post birth you may need to rely on your partner or a midwife to help you find things you need inside your hospital bag.
When packing our hospital bag, we used small ziplock bags to put a full outfit in and labelled the outside with the sizes. This really helped others who were helping me.
Essential Hospital Packing List of Baby Items
Baby changing backpack –
We chose to use the changing bag that we would use for baby post birth.
There is no need to buy a brand-new solo purpose hospital bag when your regular nappy changing bag will be perfect.
We like the backpack style nappy bags as they can go on your back. This frees up your hands to carry all the other essentials you will need for you and your partner.
We suggest 2 per day. So for a 3 day stay you will need around 6. If your new born is likely to be an average weight of 6-9lb, we would suggest packing more of one size than another. For example, 4 new born, 2 0-3 months. After all you can always roll up the sleeves of a bigger grow if you need to.
Although this is what we recommend we’ll admit we packed 8 bodysuits. We didn’t need them all as we only had a 1 night stay but we didn’t regret having them.
Pack more if it makes you feel better, but don’t bring babies whole wardrobe. The aim is to fit everything for baby into just 1 bag.
You will want a vest to go with each bodysuit or sleepsuit you have packed.
You will have to make a sensible decision between long sleeve or short sleeve vests. Base this on the anticipated weather in your birth month.
If in doubt you could pack some of each, but its likely your bag is already going to be jam packed.
If you need to save space, then you could opt for short sleeve vests, after all you are going to be indoors where it is warm.
‘Going Home Outfit’ –
If you are as picture obsessed as we were and let’s be honest you should be. Because who doesn’t want to see a photo of your cute little newborn! You might want to have a going home or 1st photo outfit selected.
A full pack of nappies or cloth nappies –
A full pack you say? Yes!
Trust us! New born babies need changing…a lot! For most babies a pack of size 1 nappies will be what you need.
But like we’ve said before if you’re expecting a tiny one, pack a couple of size 0 nappies or some size 2 nappies for a super cute chunky one.
That way you are ready for every eventuality.
If you are using cloth nappies (well done you!). Make sure you have all your clean/dirty nappy storage bags at the ready, and enough nappies to cover you for a few days.
Cotton wool balls/pads or water based wipes –
Your new born babies skin is very delicate, and it is recommended to use cotton wool and water when cleaning their bottoms.
More recently water based wipes have become a big hit with new parents. They claim to be just as delicate on babies skin as the cotton wool and water combo, but without as much faff.
Personally we like the water based wipe trend (despite the £££ price tag it comes with), but its up to you what you choose.
Nappy bags –
Nappy bags, nappy bags, nappy bags, we used them for everything!
Sorting out your hospital bag when you get home is made a lot quicker if you’ve already nappy bagged anything that needs to go straight in the laundry or bin.
Why waste time sorting through everything when let’s be honest, with that baby brain of yours you might not remember what has and hasn’t been used. Which means, yeah you guessed it!
You have to wash it all.
Just what you need when you have a new born to care for too!
A hat or 2 –
Most hospitals will tell you to make sure you have a little hat for your baby to keep them toasty post birth.
We made the mistake of putting on their ‘photo outfit with matching hat’ on straight after birth.
Needless to say it wasn’t salvageable after many washes, because it was covered in blood, gunk and I’m not really sure what else from the birth.
Save the best hat for later on. Keep 1 plain hat you don’t mind throwing to use initially post birth.
Scratch mittens –
Or better yet, you can buy bodysuits with scratch mittens built in.
Not a necessity but for the few months we loved these.
You’d be surprised how easy it is for new born babies to accidentally scratch themselves.
And in those first few days who needs that guilt trip when you are staring for hours at your little ones face (which you will. You just wont be able to help it).
You only really need enough mittens for the nights. As not only will you being staring into your childs eyes for hours but you will no doubt want to hold their un-mittened hands and admire the size of those teeny tiny baby fingers. Too cute.
What to pack in your baby’s hospital bag – Essential Items
A cosy blanket –
For sleeping it is advised for babies to sleep with a cellular blanket (you know those hard ones with holes in them) to avoid suffocation if they accidentally cover their face.
However, in the first few days our little ones slept in our arms, or in some ones arms, and what we really liked was a cosy soft cuddly blanket to wrap them up in. This is also great for anyone hoping to breastfeed.
New born babies can be a little sleepy, and a midwife will probably encourage you to strip your little one down to a nappy to help make them more alert to feed. Having a cosy blanket to hand is perfect to place over your naked baby once they are feeding.
Muslin cloths –
if your little bundle is anything like ours, they may have a little bit of mucus still on their lungs post birth (this is totally normal).
However it does mean that your little one may bring this up. Along with milky feeds and burping, muslin clothes are ideal for keeping both you and baby clean.
Babies Milk –
If you’re planning on breastfeeding, I have good news, you can skip this bit, unless you’ve been harvesting colostrum (**).
Harvested colostrum is fantastic for your newborn, and it is worth bringing some with you to the hospital.Don’t forget to call your midwifery unit ahead of time to find out what options they have for storing it safely for you.
If you plan to or think you may want to formula feed your baby, don’t forget to pack their milk. Most UK hospitals no longer supply milk unless in case of emergencies.
Generally, you need to bring the premade up stuff. Most formula brands now sell ‘starter kits’ which are essentially a multipack of small bottles of milk which come with sterile one time use bottle teats.
We have to admit that when we packed for our 1st born, despite wanting to breastfeed, we brought along a starter kit. It really helped to remove the pressure of worrying about any setbacks that we may have faced in the start of our breastfeeding journey.
Carseat – most hospitals will require you to bring a car seat to take baby home with you. I know its not actually something that you’ll packing in your hospital bag it is something you will need to have brought in after, so have it ready and handy.
What you think you need but you don’t!!
Snowsuit/ Jacket – It isn’t advised for new-borns to wear either of these in a car seat for their safety. As you will more than likely be putting your little one into a carseat in your hospital room. It makes sense to make sure instead that you have a cosy blanket to cover them in. Which, if you’ve been taking notes on our packing list you will already have thrown into your bag.
2 piece outfits – Those tutu dresses and 2 piece outfits are super cute. But trust us you want simple bodysuits while you get used to changing your small little bundle of joy.
Socks – unless you’ve decided that you simply have to bring a 2 piece outfit to hospital or have opted for some footless bodysuits, then there really is no need for socks.
Medicines/Teething powders and Gels – most of these products aren’t licensed for under 3 month old babies. So we can tell you now you wont need them. If you do, it’ll be provided by the hospital.
Nappy Creams – Again babies’ skin is so delicate that it isn’t recommended that you apply any creams to their bottoms in the first few weeks.
We are almost there with the items that you will need to pack for hospital
Bibs – bibs and muslin cloths are one of the same, you won’t need both. New born babies don’t need dribble bibs. Yes, you will want to put something by their neck when feeding to keep them dry. But muslin cloths are perfect for this, and they are a lot more versatile in their uses than a bib.
Fold up changing mat – Just handy to have when changing your precious bundle and keep everything safe.
Baby toiletry products – I know, I know. You don’t need us to remind you again. You already get it. Babies skin is too delicate for baby creams, bath washes and the likes. As babies are born covered in a creamy white coating known as Vernix. This helps to moisturise babies skin post birth, and you really want to leave this vernix to absorb into your babies skin.
That’s it, I hope that it fits into the one hospital bag. But remember, don’t panic if you don’t have everything on the day. You can always send one of those well-intentioned well-wishers out to bring back some of the essentials that you have run out of. Most of all enjoy those first days, these little ones grow so quickly.
If you can think of anything else then feel free to comment below, it’s always great to share handy tips.
Showers & Sprinkles