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Things to Pack before Leaving For the Maternity Hospital

Approaching the due date brings a mixed bag of emotions with it. Happiness, anticipation, the thought of seeing the baby for the first time, sense of relief and release from physical discomfort and a myriad of other emotions. With this comes a bit of anxiety as well. It is prudent to expect a time of whirlwind and madness coupled with never felt emotions for both parents. Every birth is different, every mother is different, and the same mother can feel differently when she gives birth the second or third time. Interestingly, every time one feels unsettled and learns new ways to cope up with this.

How can one prepare herself well amidst all the unpredictability? Exact minute of a baby's arrival, her health, and the birth experience - these are not under anyone’s control. But what can be organized is creating certain To Do checklist so that the external environment around the mother and baby are in control. E.g., it's worth keeping a hospital bag handy and pack the things a new mom would need.

What is the perfect time to pack the hospital bag? Ideally, one should have the bag ready by the time she is 36 weeks or 37 weeks pregnant, just in case one goes into labor early.

Here are some ideas.

Things to Pack in Hospital Bag for Mom

  • 1. A comfortable robe or a nightie or an oversized t-shirt, spaghetti tops are some of the best postpartum clothing items one should keep in the bag.
  • 2. Imagine, at the last minute, the doctor had to leave the town for some family emergency. What would one do then? That's why one must have all her medical records handy.
  • 3. Hairbrush, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant to stay hygienic and clean.
  • 4. A perineal spray is also a priceless addition to postpartum arsenal. Your bum will thank you.
  • 5. A comfortable and easy to slip in and out of to wear as one might have to walk around the hospital ward.
  • 6. Pack a few comfortable underwear pairs that you won’t mind getting messy and large enough for those maternity pads.
  • 7. Be prepared with a few nursing bras or any other cozy, well-fitting bras.
  • 8. A friend on standby, in case one forgets to pack anything. Disclaimer: you cannot pack her????. He/she can rush to the departmental store and get you the things you need.
  • 9. May be some chocolates or dry fruits as a handy snack as hospital food tends to be bland.
  • 10. Some soothing cream and may be some cosmetics in case one is feeling fit enough to try some on
  • 11. Headphones to listen to some soothing music
  • 12. Some soft towels and burp cloth and bibs
  • 13. Some comfortable pillow or blanket in case one wants her own things on her special night.
  • 14. Many couples in nuclear set-ups may need to look for car seats for their new born to travel back home for the first time. These seats must be selected as per the baby’s height and weight. Plus, the best side to position them would be in the center of backseat or behind the passenger side for adequate safety. We recommend rear facing car seats for the first few rides. One may opt for a convertible one which faces the rear of the car during the initial few months and then can be turned towards the front. However, one needs to be very careful in selecting the car seat as a new born is extremely susceptible to injury. Utmost care should be taken in selecting the right car seat.

Packing List for the Partner

  • • Change of clothes and underwear. Better maintain personal hygiene if one means to stay in close contact with the new born and the new mother.
  • • Essential toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitizers, extra face masks, gloves, pads/tampons {for women}, cosmetics, soap papers etc. Avoid highly scented products as they may cause allergy to the newborn.
  • • Although it’s a hospital, it is important to carry one’s own medicines
  • • OTHERS: Snacks, charger, water bottles, slippers, a comfortable sweatshirt or a sweater.
  • • Comfortable footwear. This stay may require some amount of running around. Smart converting all the walks into brisk walk and burn some calories.
  • • Identity card, debit and credit cards and some cash.
  • • Lastly, it is important to bear a supportive and a calm personality that will lend emotional strength to the mother.

Things to Pack in a Hospital Bag for a baby

  • • Pack 3-4 different outfits in tiny sizes. Don't forget caps, socks, and mittens.
  • • Bottles: If one plans to bottle-feed from the start, pack at least two for the hospital.
  • • Formula Milk: If one plans to start formula feed, carry some, though the hospital will most likely have samples handy.
  • • Diapers and wipes

Once the bag is packed, one knows she is ready to be a mother and all set to head to the hospital for her to meet her baby.