Tips and tricks

What you really need in your hospital bag

Now, given the fact that I’ve been pregnant thrice in under five years, I’m kinda immune to the over-catering of things, when it comes to preparing for my pending birth. I mean, call it what you want (efficiency, wisdom, “she has two small kids and no time”), I’ve just decided to not be extra this time around and it’s giving me life.

With that said, when I started packing my hospital bags the other day, I realised just how much nonsense I packed when I gave birth to my other minions children. I mean, have you tried rummaging through a bag filled with stuff, while trying to care for your freshly squeezed out (haha) newborn? Let’s just say I learnt a hard lesson in keeping my bags light and filled with necessities.

Anyways, needless to say, I’m keeping things easy this time around and I thought that maybe you guys would want to know about it. (How presumptuous of me). So here are my mommy and baby hospital bag check lists… please, hold the applause:

What you really need in your hospital bag (for mommy):

Practical pajamas (because calm down Sophia Loren).
Seriously though, chances are you’ll be messing on your pretty silky pj’s anyways, so keep it practical and if you’re choosing to breastfeed, opt for button down tops, for easy access. You usually labour in a hospital robe, so your PJ’s are for afterwards, just fyi.

You definitely want to take along a comfy gown as well.

Maternity undies and pads
Bless the person who was like “you know what, these maternity pads cannot fit into our teeny tiny delicate undergarments, so I’m going to create underwear that is big enough to accomodate it AND make it disposable too because aint nobody got time to wash that.”

Seriously though, stock up on disposable maternity undies (The Carriwell brand is top notch, but the Clicks brand also does the job and is much more affordable) and maternity pads. You would need more than one pack. Just saying.

Socks and slippers
You want to take along your favorite comfy pair of slippers (again, let’s not get too fancy) and for some reason, your feet always gets cold during labour (I don’t understand it, but I embrace it) so take along a pair just in case you’re a weirdo like I am.

Breastfeeding gear
Comfy cotton breastfeeding bras are a must, if you plan to breastfeed. I know you get the cool, semi-padded clip ones. That’s nice. But when you’re introduced to your newborn, while trying to navigate your new body sans child, from a hospital bed, the last thing you want to worry about is clipping your bra. I love these cotton crossover bras for those early days. Simply pull down, to feed your kid. Ta daaaah! (BTW you could probably pick these up at a fraction of the price, in sports shops)

You also want to take along your breast pads and nipple cream (remember, I swear by Lansinoh! Yes, it’s safe for baby.)

A towel
Some hospitals will usually provide a towel, but if you like your own stuff, you would want to take your own towel along with you.

Most hospital’s also provide hospital-grade soap, in their showers, for you to use. To be honest, with my previous births, I found myself opting to use that instead of the fancy body wash I brought along with me. (Mainly because I’m not standing in the shower, lathering myself up, ala TV Advert moment. It’s an “in and out” kinda vibe, when you know your baby is waiting for you).

Oh and you definitely need to pack your own toothpaste and toothbrush, Harriet.

Things I don’t take with: shampoo and conditioner, lotions and potions (unless you really need it), bucket loads of make up (if you must, maybe just the bare necessities?)

I use the word “frivolties” but these are the (often forgotten) little things that kept me sane:
– A set of earphones (if you are wanting to watch TV)
– A cellphone charger AND a 2 point plug (tip of the day: your plug point could be at an awkward spot, so consider taking along a portable charger and extra cable as well, so that you can toggle between the two)
– A few hair bands and grips to pin that hair back
– A packet of tissues
– Chapstick is a must
– Extra snacks… so very important! I’m not even joking. I’m always SUPER hungry after giving birth. Remember: breastfeeding requires that you stock up on resources (food) since your body has to create milk.

Going home outfit
Now, I know that we see something else when we watch The Bold and The Beautiful. Our friend, Brooke Forrester, is selling us lies,  ladies. Your body does NOT bounce back to it’s original state a day or two post-birth. So I usually take along a comfy pair of maternity pants and tshirt along, for my going home trip. Also, one year I forgot my shoes and exited the hospital wearing slippers. Don’t be like me. Do the right thing. Shoes are important.

Important documents
Did you know that you can register your baby’s birth at the hospital? No jokes! This definitely helps with not having to stand in those long Home Affair’s ques! So don’t forget to have you and hubby’s ID cards on hand.

why a mother would leave her newborn in a drainWhat you really need in your hospital bag (for baby):

My baby bag is usually a lot less involved, but it looks a little something like this:

3 little onesies and vests
A hat and socks
A receiving blanket and a warmer blanket
Newborn nappies (I like the Huggies brand because it accomodates the belly button area)
Wet wipes and a gentle bum cream
Surgical spirits and cotton buds
Top to toe baby wash
Baby towel

I don’t take along any other baby toiletries because, honestly, I just don’t feel that they need it.
Most hospital’s provide you with a baby bag filled with goodies. I usually send that home with Hubstopher, because everything that I need is in my perfectly curated bag that I brought along with me. I’m not going to give myself a headache trying to juggle between a gazillion different bags.

So that’s it you guys. How efficient am I? (Read: Tired)
What other necessities did you add to your hospital bags? Please pop me a comment below, to let me know if I’ve forgotten anything.


  • Kate

    Oh my word!! YES snacks!!! I ate ALL the time! I found normal pyjama shirts great because I could just pull them up rather than unbutton with one hand. I had a C-section so needed really loose pants. Yes to maternity underwear and yes to their soap. I packed some stuff for my hubby as well (toiletries because he helped me shower and other things).
    Brilliant post! So much nostalgia!

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