As a card-carrying Type A, there’s not much I love more than a good list. One that can be successfully checked off? Even better...
However, as the mother of two very active boys, the days of completed lists are unfortunately long gone. So, when the opportunity arose to create the ultimate packing list to prepare for the birth of my second son, I was ready. Armed with experience from my first birth (surprisingly, my pre-pregnancy jeans were not taken out of the suitcase?), a wealth of recommendations from fellow birth-givers, and a well-formatted Excel spreadsheet, this was going to be one list well executed. Having now delivered my little (actually, very large) Charlie, I can confidently claim that this list is the definitive guide to hospital packing. Assuming a 4-night hospital stay, all you need is a few weeks pre-birth (for organisational sanity – see prior Type A note) and a highlighter. (And perhaps a handy credit card, as I’ve included links to buy.) Let’s get listing.
Firstly, we need to start with two bags:
Firstly, we need to start with two bags: Your labour bag Your hospital stay bag
Your labour bag
This is going to be a smaller-sized bag, which you can happily carry into hospital, while knee-deep in rolling contractions. My pick is a hard-working overnighter like this one from The Grace Collection. In here, you’re going to store everything you need for labour: · Your birth plan (if you have one) · Any documents your doctor has been using throughout your pregnancy · Your phone · Your wallet · A charger · A book (something light, please) · Lip balm · A room spray (we recommend this one from Maison Balzac. Click here) · A massage oil (try this Magnesium Oil from The Base Collective) · A good water bottle with a straw (we love this one) · Snacks! (Nuts, dried fruit, and easy things to eat.) In this bag, I also recommend popping in your toiletry bag. If you’ve scored a good-sized overnighter, you should have no issues squeezing it in. It may also be nice to have your hairbrush (Aveda does our favourite – it’s like a mini head massage every time you brush) and other essentials nearby for those visitors who insist on arriving exactly thirty seconds after your placenta.
Your Toiletry Bag
When it comes to the actual bag, I can’t go past this set, which is not only a great sized, sturdy bag, but also includes many of your essentials (so you’re not frantically packing your moisturiser as you head out the door). In here, you’ll pack: · Make up wipes · Cleanser (included in your set above) · Moisturiser (included in your set above) · Deodorant · Tinted moisturiser · Concealer · Something for your brows · Waterproof mascara · Cream blush · Hairbrush (whatever is already sitting in your cupboard) · Straightener (if you don’t already have one … You don’t need one now.) · Hair elastics (I know you have these already) · Dry shampoo (again, Aveda is our favourite. Try their Shampure Dry Shampoo) · Razor (surely you don’t need a link for this) · Shampoo (included in your set above – try Aveda’s invati advanced range which is great for that postpartum hair loss) · Conditioner (included in your set above) · Toothbrush · Toothpaste
Your main bag
For your stay, use your favourite small suitcase – ideally a carry-on size (it may seem small – but with this clever list – you can do it). Now, get packing: · 2 x maternity bras (Berlei does great ones – see their range here) · 8 x pairs of big, black undies (we went for Bonds – so comfy. Make sure if you’re having a c-section you high-waisted styles – the higher the better) · Pack of maternity pads (if you run out mid-stay, remember that your partner or friend can pop down to the hospital’s pharmacy to grab you some more. Our recommendation is Tom Organic. Go for their ‘new mum kit’) · Pack of breast pads (again, go for Tom Organic) · A dress and robe you can use throughout the day and night (those times do tend to merge…). This set from Francis and Henry has you covered. · Slippers (Peter Alexander always does super cosy styles) · Thongs · Comfy shoes (and socks if you need them with the shoes) · 2 x pairs of bed socks (try these ones from Peter Alexander – hospital beds tend to get cold at night) · Post-birth compression shorts (try SRC) 4 outfits (if you decide to make it out of your pyjamas and robe): · Loose t-shirt and tights · Maternity singlet and loose pants · Oversized shirt and tights · Loose T-shirt and pants As well as a: · Cardigan · Light scarf · Going home outfit (something easy that you can also nurse in) · Going home outfit for your baby (a onesie is a good idea)
Another bag tucked inside to pop all your washing in for at-home; a canvas bag from your supermarket is fine! (And you can then use the extra room in your suitcase for all those gorgeous gifts you’ll inevitably receive and hospital mementoes.) Make sure you check with your hospital to see if they provide essentials for your baby. If so, you’re all set with the list above. However, if they don’t provide bits and bobs for your bubba, you’ll also need to include: · A pack of newborn nappies (we love tooshies by Tom) · A pack of baby wipes · A set of baby onesies · A baby blanket · Four swaddles (check out our collab with Mama Maya) And you’re done! It may seem light-on, but with this super simple packing list, you’ll be set with just what you need for your hospital stay – nothing more, nothing less. Is there a better way to pack? Image: Grace Alyssa Kyo