About to pop and not sure what to pack in your hospital bag? Our free downloadable hospital bag checklist will have you sorted!
Now that you’ve gotten all the necessary baby gear, prepped the nursery for baby’s arrival and booked your postnatal confinement food service, it’s time to pack that hospital bag and have it ready for the big day! Most babies arrive between 36-40 weeks, and some as early as 35 weeks – so it’s best to have a to-go hospital bag ready at the door by your third trimester for any emergencies. But what should you actually pack? Many first-time parents often make the mistake of overpacking their hospital bag. You’ll be happy to know that most public and private hospitals in Singapore will have all the essentials for mama and baby to send you home with, such as maternity pads, newborn diapers and baby wipes (which they may charge you for regardless of whether you use them or not) so you may want to skip bringing those unless you have a brand in mind. More often than not it’s the seemingly insignificant things that are the most important to take with you in your hospital bag!
Here’s our tried-and-tested guide to a realistic hospital bag packing list for you, your baby and your partner to make for a more pleasant hospital stay.
Free Downloadable: Hospital Bag Checklist
Hospital Bag Checklist for Mama
- ID card: You can also access your SingPass account on your phone in a pinch, but it’s better to have a physical card handy in case you’re too preoccupied to hand your phone over or fiddle with a passcode.
- Prenatal records and forms: By now you should have accumulated a folder of ultrasound scans, test results and brochures from your past appointments. You never know when you’ll need to produce or refer to these documents, so it’s good to have them on hand.
- Birth plan: Your doctor should have your birth plan already, but it’s handy to have just in case you need extra copies for your midwife or nurses.
- PJs or a nursing gown: It helps to be as comfortable as possible so you’re in the best headspace for labour.
- Flip flops: Would love to hang around in comfy bedroom slippers, but you might want to bring some flip flops because you can wear them in the shower.
- Socks and a cardigan: It can get quite cold in the labour suite!
- Personal toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, lip balm, hairbrush… and some favourite products to make you feel a little bit pampered and special like a nice scented shampoo and conditioner combo, or an aromatherapy roll on to calm you down. You may also want to pack some makeup basics to look and feel good for photos – but don’t bother bringing your entire makeup kit.
- A change of clothes: For when you get discharged – make sure it’s a comfortable and feel-good ‘going home’ outfit… remember you’ll still have a tummy, so nothing too tight!
- Comfortable underwear: For comfort and practicality. If you’re having a C-section you may want to buy some sized up to accommodate wound dressings.
- Mobile phone and charger: Can’t be without your phone for some entertainment (and distraction from the pain), plus don’t forget to pack a charger!
- Water bottle
- C-section Extras: DVT socks, belly band, loose clothing: read our C-section Hospital Packing List here.
Hospital Bag Packing List for Baby
- Swaddle: You could use a large swaddle or the pocket kind with wrap-around for ease and comfort for the baby. We love the ones from Aden & Anais, Malabar Baby or RAPH&REMY but you can easily get just as good no-brand ones from places like Kiddy Palace.
- Burp cloths: Lots of spit-up in the first few weeks!
- Going-home outfit: Comfy and easy to wear – you may get a little excited and feel like packing all the cutesy stuff but trust us, the simpler (ie onesies) the better!
- Scratch mittens: many babies are born with long, sharp nails so these protect them from scratching themself
- Baby hat: for warmth – it can get chilly in the hospital air con
- Car seat: To go home safely in if travelling by car. Make sure you have a newborn car seat already installed in your car (saves figuring out how it works on your home trip) or if you don’t own a car you’ll still need a newborn car seat if travelling home by taxi.
- Pacifier (if you want): Might be useful while waiting for milk supply to build up. Some babies love them, some don’t – best to be prepared though!
Hospital Bag Packing List for Dad
- ID card: Important for registration and registering baby’s details after birth.
- Snacks or cash and coins for vending machine snacks: If it’s a long wait, you will get peckish!
- A change of clothes: Just so you’ll feel fresher after a potentially long night.
- Personal toiletries
- Entertainment on your phone or other (maybe even games you enjoy together – it might be a long night!)
- Breast pump: An electric breast pump may be an expensive investment to start with in the beginning (and you won’t know how much use you’ll get out of it until the first few weeks of baby’s life) so you could just bring along a handheld breast pump or letdown-catcher like the Haakaa to help stimulate milk production.
- Silver nursing cups and breast pads: To soothe sore nipples and catch unexpected letdown.
- Witch hazel pads: We’ve seen lots of hacks about this online and they can really help with postpartum healing!
- Night eye-mask: In case the hospital lights are too bright for you to get some shut-eye.
- Nappy cream: Newborn bottoms can be very sensitive in the beginning. We highly recommend Desitin or Aquaphor.
- Nipple cream
- Peri bottle: Some hospitals don’t have bidets, so it could be worth bringing your own bottle to wash up with as the vaginal area may be sensitive (if you have a vaginal birth).
- Gifts and cards for the hospital staff
Extras to make your stay cosier
- Room scent spray or an aromatherapy oil diffuser: Candles aren’t allowed, so make sure your diffuser is electric!
- Your favourite pillow: It’s amazing how much more comfortable a hospital bed can seem when it sort of smells like home.
- Small picture frame with a picture of any absent family
- Snacks: Hospitals aren’t known for their great food selection, so whether you want to nosh during labour or afterwards, or just sip on coconut water, best to come prepared.
That’s probably covered the most important things! Also make sure your hospital bag is one that’s easy for you and your partner to get things in and out of. Good luck, mamas and dads!