Packing your hospital bag is great preparation for new motherhood.
It gives you first hand experience at fitting epic amounts of baby stuff into a single bag.
But what to pack? That is the question on every mama-to-be’s lips. When it comes to your hospital bag, it’s important to adopt the ‘all killer, no filler’ rule. You want every single item to serve a purpose. Because let’s face it, unless you’re a Kardashian, space is limited.
We quizzed our Mum Central Facebook community about their maternity must-haves to bring you the ULTIMATE hospital bag checklist for baby and mum. Here’s what our mums told us they couldn’t live without.
The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby and Mum
1. Nipple Balm
If you’re planning to breastfeed, a good nipple cream is a must for those super sensitive milk makers. It’s important to choose a natural product, free from nasties like lanolin, petrochemicals and mineral oil and one that can be safely ingested by bub. We love Gaia Skin +Body Nipple Balm, $12.95. Made from all natural, organic ingredients, it helps soothe and repair cracked or sore nips and doesn’t need to be wiped off in between feedings.
2. Maternity Pads or Disposable Knickers
We’re not going to sugar coat it, the days following birth are a blood bath (sorry). Keeping your flow on the down low is key. Many of our Mum Central mums mentioned that they completely underestimated just how many pads they’d need. TIP: This is one area where you should overpack.
It’s also worth checking out disposable incontinence underwear (like TENA Pants Discreet, $15.29). You may feel like a 75-year-old, but it’s super handy to be able to toss your knickers post wear in those first few days. Plus you avoid the ‘surfboard sized pad in the knickers’ scenario, which is always a bonus.
3. Bottom Balm
There’s nothing quite like a teeny, tiny brand new baby bum. You want to keep that gorgeous soft skin protected (especially from that epic first poo). Enter Sudocrem, $10.99 the brand trusted by mums for treating nappy rash, eczema, abrasions and minor skin irritations. Sudocrem forms a wee and poo proof barrier, protecting delicate skin from irritants. It’s the perfect mummy multitasker.
4. Flushable Wipes
Our community were unanimous in their love for flushable wipes. And we totally get why. Things can get mighty sore in your baby exit zone post birth and hospital toilet paper, well it ain’t Sorbent six ply. Flushable wipes are a much gentler option and help make it easy to keep things, well, clean down there.
TIP: Look for the unscented, gentle variety!
5. Nourishing Body Lotion for Stretch Marks
Hospital air is drying AF. It’ll suck all the moisture out of your skin. And nobody wants to be looking like lizard lady for those first photos. PURE Papaya Renew Cream, $20.99 is specifically designed to treat scars, stretch marks and dry skin, making it the perfect maternity bag must have. Light, gentle and non-greasy it softens and hydrates skin without leaving any residue behind.
Best of all it’s 100% natural, safe for the whole family, formulated by naturopaths and made using only skin-friendly ingredients like organic herbs and nourishing oils. It’s free from palm oil, phalates and parabens, which are not only harmful to your skin, but also to bub. Plus, it can double as a hand and face cream, so every part of your skin can look and feel awesome.
6. Breast Pads
Boobs leak. You’ll discover this wonderful fact when your milk comes in. Avoid a soaked mattress by ensuring you pack plenty of breast pads (because toilet paper down the bra DOES NOT cut it #fact). As with maternity pads, pack more than you think you’ll need.
And here’s a HOT TIP: Not all nursing pads are created equal, Pigeon Breast Pads are like wrapping your sore boobs in a fluffy cloud. Fact. And in those early weeks, when you and baby are still trying to work out how this breastfeeding caper works, you’re going to want that.
7. Baby Wipes and Nappies
Some hospitals will provide these, but it’s worth checking as many won’t. Your average newborn goes through a super stack of nappies in the early days so it pays to be prepared. Baby wipes make changing that first poo a little bit easier and can also be used for (almost) everything.
You’ll know you’re a bonafide mama when you catch yourself using your packet to clean your face, wipe down your hospital tray table and disinfect your partner’s manky mitts.
8. Favourite Toiletries
That post birth shower is a thing of legend. Never before has a lukewarm wash felt so good. Most hospitals don’t provide toiletries for mum (or dad) and trust us when we say, you’ll be wanting some body wash and shampoo. Stash a travel sized bottle of your essentials in your bag to keep you covered.
TIP: Look for an unscented body wash product like Ecostore Fragrance Free Body Wash, $9.95. Newborns can be very sensitive to scent, especially when learning to breastfeed and anything with perfume can end up confusing them.
9. Super Comfortable Nursing Bra
An ever-growing bust needs soft, comfy support, especially as your milk comes in and you learn exactly how to breastfeed. The Cadenshae Smoothie Crop, $59.99 ticks all the boxes with its soft, silky fabric and supportive fit. Free from wire, clasps and other fastenings, it’s comfortable enough to sleep in while offering enough bounce-protection for leaping out of bed umpteen times to check on your new bub.
Plus, it’s super easy to clip and unclip making breastfeeding so much easier and a whole lot smoother when the time comes.
Every second Mum Central mum seemed to mention this one. Labour and birth triggers a hunger like nothing else. Depending on what time you birth and the hospital you’re staying in, you may well be hours away from a solid meal. Avoid needing to raid the vending machine and stash a few packets of your favourites in your bag. Muesli bars, fruit, lollies, even packets of crackers and cheese are all great options.
Want something more nutritious that’ll actually help your milk supply? Check out the range of pre-made lactation cookies (like Franjos Kitchen Tanker Toppers) for a yummy, milk boosting nibble.
11. Hand and Foot Print Kit
Ask any new mama and she’ll tell you that those first few days/weeks/months go by in an absolute blur. Make sure you have a way to remember those tiny baby feet or hands. The BABYink Ink-Less Print Kit, $19.95 is a fab way to freeze time forever. Super lightweight, mess free and available in a range of colours, you can get your prints done and dusted while they’re bonafide newborn tiny and before #mumlife gets in the way.
Best of the rest
We loved these other suggestions from our Mum Central mamas.
- “Phone charger, notepad and pen.” Vanessa
- “Definitely pack more clothes. My mum had to take our stuff home to wash them because we had to stay in for 4 days!” Zoe
- “Hydrogel breast discs.” Sarah
- “Phone charger, heaps of nappies, clothes and blankets for baby.” Alison
- “Socks as your feet get cold from staying in bed.” Dionne
- “… a beanie for baby for immediately after birth.” Em
- “I took my feeding pillow with me this time and it was fantastic.” Lauren
You can check out the full post below and join the conversation:
And if you’re packing a hospital bag, it means you’re close to your due date. make sure to read our article about what every mum needs to know as her due date gets closer.