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Expecting a baby? Tips on what to pack for hospital

marle prinsloo

If you are pregnant, you've probably googled a million sites and referenced your “what to expect when expecting" book once too many to try and figure out what to pack for your baby for hospital. While there are loads of information available, it is difficult to decide what is relevant and what isn't.

As such, I thought it might be useful to share some personal tips based on my experiences. Please keep in mind that I had Caesareans, and that my advice is specifically based on my experiences.

So here goes: 

1. Be ready for anything

Even though you might be planning for a natural birth, it’s important that you plan and pack for the possibility that you might have a C-section (and as such a longer hospital stay). This way you and your partner will be prepared in case of an emergency.

2. Pack 7 baby outfits … to be safe

I made sure that I had at least 2 full sets of clothing for my new baby per day. This meant I always had a spare set of clothing in case of a nappy or any other ‘messy’ emergencies.

Each set of clothing should include:

  • Vest
  • Baby grow (preferably full length)
  • Beanie
  • Socks
  • Basic or receiver blanket (you don’t necessarily need 7, but I would recommend at least one for each day in hospital)

I also packed 3 warmer blankets and at least 1 drool blankie per day (which is helpful to clean up any messes too).

Make sure that all your vests and baby grows have studs at the bottom – you need to be able to change nappies easily.

3. Package each set of clothing individually

This might sound a bit over the top, but you will thank me later!

Package each set of clothing individually in a zip-lock plastic bag. This way you always know that everything you need to dress your baby is together in one place. It also makes it easy if you need to ask your partner or a nurse to help dress your baby.

What’s more, when you take off one set of clothing, you can place it back in the plastic bag and send the dirty laundry home with your partner.

4. Check in with the hospital to hear what they will supply

With my first baby I packed absolutely everything and anything. I didn’t realise that many hospitals provide a start-up kit.

You can then crosscheck and supplement the hospital goodies with a few extras. For example, I took:

  • an extra bag of new born nappies (the new born nappies from Huggies work really well)
  • 2 additional packs of wipes (you can never have enough)
  • dummy (I didn’t use it, but it might come in handy)
  • a pack of maternity pads and breast pads (these were for me, but worthwhile to note that you probably need more than what the hospital will provide in your kit)
  • disposable changing mats (these are super handy)

5. New born vs. 0-3 month clothing

I made the mistake with my first baby to think that new born clothing wasn’t necessary. While my Mia was a very healthy 3.3 kg at birth, she nearly ‘drowned’ in her 0-3 month outfits. In fact, both my girls wore their new born outfits well into their second month.

6. Two-point plug

Those who knows me, know that I can’t live without my phone. Everything is on there…including a camera! So, take the necessary plugs, chargers etc. with to hospital…just in case.

Let me know if I missed anything … would be great to add some more personal insights and experiences to the list.

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