Congratulations, mama. You’ve made it to the pointy end of pregnancy (aka you feel like you’ve been pregnant for 84 years and you need to get your partner to check whether your pedicure needs redoing).
You’re about to bring a new little soul into the world, and your heart just about melts into a puddle when you imagine meeting him or her for the very first time. These are the days that are oh-so precious, and we know that you want to make sure everything, from that first shot of your brand-new family to baby’s going-home outfit, is just so.
Yet whether you’re a first-time mama, or going in for round two (or three), it can be overwhelming deciding exactly what you’ll need to pack in your hospital bag. (‘Will I really need that many onesies?’, ‘Shall I pop in my pre-pregnancy denim, just in case?’).
So, from newborn beanies and bodysuits to nipple cream (trust us, this will become your beauty bag’s new MVP), we’ve curated the ultimate hospital bag checklist for the modern, style-conscious mother.
- Bodysuits – you won’t want to fiddle with separates during nappy changes, so a supply of organic cotton onesies in chic earthy tones will have you sorted
- Growsuits – these nifty pieces have built-in feet to keep your tiny love warm, and come with a two-way zip, making wrangling wriggly little limbs a breeze(ish)
- Beanies – to keep that precious head cosy. Stick to a palette of rich tonal hues and you won’t have to think twice about whether this goes with that when dressing bub
- Socks – and yes, her feet really will be that teeny
- Nappies – check whether your hospital supplies these or you need to bring your own. As a rough guide, you’ll go through up to 12 nappies a day in the hospital.
- Comfy pants – It will take a little while for your belly to go down post-birth, so you’ll likely still be in your maternity clothes for a bit (yep, that’s a definite pass on the pre-pregnancy jeans!). Pack enough maternity leggings and loungewear-style pants/trackies for up to 5 days.
- Tees, long-sleeve tops and easy-access cardis – hospital temperatures vary, so pack options for layering
- Black cotton undies – select a high-waisted style in case you’re having (or end up having) a c-section, and be sure to go up a size so they’re roomy enough to fit a maternity pad
- Breastfeeding singlets – with practical clip-on straps and easy belly coverage, these will become a hero piece in your wardrobe in the early days
- Warm, cosy socks
- Slippers or slides – something you can easily slip on for impromptu midnight strolls down the hospital corridor
- Robe – you’ll appreciate having a quick, stylish cover-up for those moments when your in-laws pop in
- Thongs for the shower.
- Nipple cream – your girls will thank you
- Baby wipes – occasionally it will be a while before your post-birth shower (particularly if you have a c-section), so these can be a good save
- Dry shampoo – stay fresh minus the bother of the wash, rinse, repeat routine
- Maternity pads
- Breast pads – you’ll probably need these once your milk comes in around day 3
- Lip balm – to keep them hydrated under that hospital air con
- Moisturiser – or even pack a soothing face mask, to love up your face with some TLC between feeds.
- Eye mask – hospitals are often brightly lit, even at night
- Ear plugs – a lifesaver if you’re a light sleeper
- Pillow – bringing your own from home adds a little bit of comfort and luxury when on the postnatal ward
- Snacks – post-birth recovery and breastfeeding (if you’re able) call for all of the snacks
- Laptop – just in case you get a little downtime and need some entertainment
- Phone charger – to ensure you don’t miss any of the 347 precious moments you’ll want to capture of your tiny love each day.
Written by Rebecca Hanley