Pregnancy

The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist

Every mother-to-be will ask the same question at some point in their pregnancy, especially toward the end: "What should I pack in my hospital bag?" All too often, we end up packing things we don't need, or forgetting essentials. To help you pack for hospital, we asked OHbaby! members what was in their hospital bags -- what was most useful, what was nice to have, and what little indulgences made things easier. We've prepared the ultimate hospital bag checklist for you to print out and tick off, as well as listed the items below if you want to create your own checklist.

Remember to pack your bag well in advance -- at least three weeks prior to your due date is ideal, and six weeks if you are super-organised. Have it ready and waiting in the car or by the front door. And don't forget to make certain you know how to install the baby's capsule well before your due date. There's nothing more frustrating than wrestling a carseat into the car in the hospital parking lot when all you want to do is go home!

Download and print our Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist (PDF).

Must-haves:

  • Digital camera and extra batteries
  • Cell phone, extra credit, and phone charger
  • List of people/numbers to call after birth
  • Snacks (muesli bars, barley sugars, lollipops, crackers, chocolate for afterward)
  • Drinks (sports drinks, bottled water, juice)
  • Contact lens supplies/glasses
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Button-up pyjamas or other front-opening pyjamas for breastfeeding (at least 3 sets)
  • Long dressing gown
  • Cheap cotton underwear x 10 pairs
  • Breastfeeding bras x 3
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body wash and mesh sponge
  • Deodorant
  • Face moisturiser and body lotion
  • Disposable breast pads and nipple cream
  • Clothing to wear home
  • Any medications you are currently taking
  • A copy of your birth plan

Nice to have:

  • Pillow from home
  • Face cloth
  • Lip balm
  • Hair ties or hair clips
  • Headband to hold back fringe
  • Rescue Remedy
  • Arnica drops
  • Pen and paper/small notebook
  • Portable mp3 player and music
  • Soft toilet paper or disposable toilet wipes
  • Book, magazines, or puzzle book
  • Flip-flops for in the shower
  • Slippers and socks
  • Sanitary pads
  • Makeup
  • Hot water bottle
  • Cash

Little extras:

  • CD player and CDs
  • Laptop and DVDs
  • Sleeping mask and earplugs
  • Soft facial tissues
  • Massage oil
  • Aroma Mother Facial Spray
  • Bikini (for labouring in the birthing pool)
  • Coffee from home
  • Razor in case you feel like shaving
  • Champagne for toasting afterward

For baby:

  • Carseat
  • Light blankets or muslin wraps x 2
  • Disposable baby wipes
  • Baby face cloths
  • Newborn-sized dummy
  • Size 0000 and 000 bodysuits x 2 each
  • Size 0000 and 000 pyjamas if colder weather
  • Socks x 2 pairs
  • Booties
  • Cotton hat
  • Going-home outfit
  • Baby oil (great for cleaning up baby's bottom after meconium nappies)
  • Formula, bottles, teats, and sterilising equipment if you plan to bottle-feed




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