Getting ready for your baby’s arrival comes with plenty of tasks, shopping trips, and exciting moments. While many moms-to-be spend months organising everything in their new little nursery, painting walls, picking out the perfect safe car seat, and finding the ideal cot and pram, it’s surprisingly easy to forget one of the most important tasks of all once the third trimester finally rolls around. As you approach the full-term mark (or even a little sooner than that to be safe), it’s important to have your hospital bag packed and ready to go for the moment you go into labour. Not sure what you’ll need? Here’s a quick starter checklist to get you thinking.
The boring paperwork:
This is the less cute part – sorry. All of those insurance documents, ID books, and hospital forms will definitely be necessary once the time comes to check into the hospital – even though they’ll be the last thing on your mind once those contractions hit. Pack them in the bag way ahead of time so they don’t get left behind in the crucial moment. Check with your royal womens hospital obstetrician to make sure you know exactly what you’ll need to bring on the day.
Depending on your hospital of choice, you may end up with a few toiletry items to help you clean up after you give birth, but it’s always nice to have those home comforts with you in hospital. Pack travel-sized versions of your favourite toiletries so you can feel clean and comfortable once the shock of labour has worn off.
You’ll want several super-comfortable clothing options for both labour and the period after your baby is born. It’s difficult to say what you’ll want to wear in labour until you’re in it – some moms want to be wrapped up in their favourite nightgown while others prefer to get naked – it’s all good, either way. Bring a few options, as well as soft fabrics and comfortable, loose clothes to dress in while you get to know your baby after the birth. Don’t forget several sets of giant underwear to keep things covered up once your baby is born, and flat, easy to walk in shoes.
Baby’s first clothes:
This is the fun one!Once your baby is born, it’s great to have some naked skin-to-skin time to bond and initiate breastfeeding. Then the exciting moment comes when you can finally dress them in that adorable tiny first outfit that you probably purchased months ago. Bring several layers to make sure your new baby is comfortable and warm, particularly if the hospital is chilly, and bring outdoor-appropriate clothing options for the transition home.
One of the more frustrating aspects of labour is that it can really take quite a while. You may be pacing around the hospital for some time before things really get going, and if you’re feeling calm enough to be passing the time on your phone, it will probably go flat several times throughout this process. Bring a charger so you can stay in touch with loved ones and keep them up to date on your progress, and so you can take those all-important first moment photos when your baby makes their bigdebut.