What’s in the bag?

Whether you are welcoming baby number one or three into the world, bringing home a new bundle of joy comes with an endless to-do list.

We know how overwhelming it can be so we’ve spoken to Parenting and Pampers® Institute Expert, Sister Lilian for some tips and hints on what you will need to make sure that you and baby are all packed for this important occasion.

What should you be packing for labour?

  • Your birth plan and maternity notes – A birth plan is a great way for you to communicate your wishes to the midwife and doctor who will be taking care of you during labour. It provides them with an overview of the labour and birth you would like to have and what you would like to avoid.
  • Snacks – Carbohydrates are good to eat during labour as they are easily digested and give a slow release of energy. These will really help you through contractions.
  • A dressing gown, comfy slippers and socks -These will come in very useful if you end up having to pace up and down the hospital corridors during early labour, added to that – did you know that your feet can get really cold during labour?
  • Music – Your labour could last hours, make sure that you and your partner have put together an epic playlist that covers all bases – something soothing, a bit upbeat at times and happy songs to focus your mind on positive thoughts and feelings.
  • Stuff for dad – everyone seems to focus on Mom that Dad has a toiletry bag and fresh change of clothes so he’s ready for anything too.

Your baby will need very little really (excepting you!), but some of the essentials include:

  • Newborn-sized dummy – this is a nice to have and isn’t a necessity as close contact with you will take care of all those suckling needs
  • Light blankets or muslin wraps
  • Newborn nappies
  • Various toiletries for baby, which should preferably not be used in the first 24 hours to allow the skin barrier to develop (baby lotion and oil; bathing soaps/body wash; face and body cloths)
  • Newborn pyjamas (especially if it’s winter)
  • Newborn bodysuits and socks
  • Going-home outfit

Baby’s just-born bag

  • Cotton wool balls for cleaning the navel and umbilical stump
  • Cleansing lotion for the navel
  • Gentle cosmetics for Baby like liquid soap, shampoo, skin lotion, buttock cream, and talc (don’t remove all traces of vernix – it’s nature’s own baby skin protector)
  • Three sets of clothes – onesie body suits with feet, plus a vest and cap
  • Three baby receiving blankets
  • One baby shawl for leaving hospital
  • Small orthodontic dummy – just in case
  • Baby car seat – installed and ready for the trip home

Hospitals vary in their policies about what you are allowed or need to bring when you have your baby, so it’s always best to check-in with them. You may want to take a few items from home, such as your own pillows or bedding to make the environment familiar and comforting, but be sure to check first.

Even if you aren’t planning a hospital birth, you may need to go in unexpectedly so planning ahead and having your bag packed by the 36-week pregnancy mark is ideal.

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Once you’ve made your list, place it somewhere convenient that everyone’s aware of and get ready for your baby’s arrival. It’s an exciting time so don’t get too anxious or caught up in the logistics of the day but rather look forward to welcoming the newest addition of your family.