Now that I'm more than 38 weeks into the pregnancy and might just pop anytime, one of the most important things to get ready is the hospital bag! Yes, I really don't like to fumble or having to search about at the last minute so I've been adding things into our bags in the last couple of weeks till I'm happy to say that we're more or less prepared now for the big day.
Today, I'm sharing with you a list of things that go into my hospital bag and hopefully this might come in as a handy reminder for some of you in future.
If you remember, I gave birth to Angel in Sweden where there was no such thing as a nursery so from the moment she was born, she never left us and we had to learn to handle a newborn from scratch. For Ariel, we chose to stay in a single-bedded room so that we could have her room in with us and she would only be taken away for baths and vaccinations (I badly wished we could have bathed her ourselves and witnessed every of her jabs). This time round, it's going to be the same as previous so I prefer to pack a bag for myself and a separate bag for the baby's needs. In times like this, I find it better to be safe than sorry and be more prepared rather than less.
So, here goes...
- Going-home outfit
I like my baby to come home in a new, clean and nice attire so I would make sure I get one ready ahead of time.
- Baby clothes
Most hospitals would have clothes for the babies and these usually come with the hospital's name. Since my baby sleeps with me through the night, I usually pack some sleepsuits and rompers just in case he/she needs a change of clothes.
- Wet wipes
This is usually provided too but an extra pack or two might just come in handy at times, especially since I will be the one changing the baby's soiled diapers.
- Cotton balls
Since my firstborn, we've preferred to use cotton balls to clean her whenever she soils her bottoms for the first couple of weeks. So, I will pack a couple of sterile cotton balls into the bag and these come in useful when I wish to clean up my own wound too.
We all know how often newborns tend to poo so a few more newborn diapers might just be what I need. I have some of these in the bag so that I don't need to ask the nurses and can depend on my own when that moment calls.
- Diaper rash cream / Oil / Lotion / Powder
Not every newborn needs to have creams or oils but just in case, I usually bring along a diaper rash cream, Ru Yi You (chinese medicated oil), baby powder and a baby moisture lotion.
- Nail clipper / scissors
The nurses in Sweden once told me that baby nails can be easily pulled off just using fingers but I'm not really good at that so I bring along a pair of infant nail scissors instead. I remember Angel scratched her own face on the first day and that really pained my heart so I try to avoid that if I can.
- Mittens, booties, hat
These are essentials for every newborn and I like to have at least one new set (the rest are hand me downs) for my baby. We bought a set that says "Little Brother" for this baby boy and the girls can't wait to let didi wear them!
This is just in case I need to clean the baby on my own. Like I said, I really don't like to depend on the nurses and would rather do it myself whenever possible.
It might get a little chilly at night so a thermal receiving blanket will be good to have. This also helps to keep the baby warm when breastfeeding in the middle of the night.
- Swaddle / Multi-purpose muslin cloth
I like to swaddle my baby as it usually helps him/her to sleep better. We have this fleece swaddle that we use for all our babies which helps to keep them warm and snug. Muslin cloths are also handy and can be used for a variety of purposes, including as bedliners, to swaddle baby, as baby's head support, for discrete breastfeeding, for baby's vomit and so on.
- Bean pillow
Just to help prevent startles and give a sense of comfort, I also bring a small bean pillow to place on the baby's tummy when he/she sleeps.
- Nursing bra/tops
This is to ensure comfort and ease of feeding if you plan to breastfeed your baby.
I don't really like to be clad in the hospital gown so I usually bring along my own nightwear.
- Maternity pads
I can't survive without these and I make sure I bring enough to help with the bleeding right after delivery.
- Disposable panties
These might come in useful and save the need for washing too.
If you are staying in the hospital for more than a night, you might need a change of clothes too, especially if you know that friends and family are coming to visit the baby and you wanna look more refreshed.
- Towel and toiletries
If you intend to take quick showers in the hospital, then do bring along your own towel. Also, most of us will be staying over the night so do remember your toiletries too.
- Going-home attire
Do also bring along a set of attire you wish to wear when you are heading home as a happy mum carrying your newborn.
- Socks/ bedroom slippers
We need to try to keep our feet warm so a pair of thick socks or bedroom slippers will be useful especially at night when the room gets cold.
In case you need a energy boost when waiting to deliver, bring along some of your favourite snacks just to make yourself feel happier.
- Books / magazines
Depending on the individual, the initial wait might be long or short so reading a book or magazine might actually help to pass time and calm you down.
- Camera and charger
No matter how many babies you have, don't forget to take more pictures of him/her in the first few days of his/her life. For they are just too precious to be missed.
- Mobile phone and charger
From the moment we head to the hospital till the time the baby arrives, many of us will be busy updating our family members, friends or posting status updates and pictures on Facebook or Instagram. So, don't forget to bring along your phone and charger!
I try to refrain from blogging during the hospital stay but sometimes I find it hard to go to sleep with all the excitement going on. So, having the laptop around gives me a chance to surf the net, write the baby's birth story or upload all the pictures and videos I have taken.
- Hospital admin letter/ baby records
Whatever records or letters that your gynae has instructed you to bring along when you go for delivery, don't forget them.
- Cord blood collection kit
If you intend to save your baby's cord blood, do also remember to take along the collection kit.
These will include presents for the siblings' gift exchange when they meet for the first time or anything that you've prepared for your precious one. For me, I am bringing along a personalised name card and a little stuffed toy that I crocheted.
So, there you have it. These are the things that I have in my hospital bags and the most important thing to remember is to stay calm and relaxed even if you realise you have missed out something. That is because you can always ask the hubby or a family member to pick it up for you later, so don't stress yourself up unnecessarily. For now, we are just waiting with much anticipation and holding our breaths. See you soon, my dearest baby!