The countdown is on, you've reached your third trimester and people are now constantly asking you whether you've packed your hospital bag, fear not, we are here to help!
We would recommend packing it around the 35-36 week mark, as your baby may make an early appearance and surprise you, so it is better to be prepared so you can just grab and go.
We have prepared this helpful checklist so you can print it off and ensure you have everything you need for you and your new baby. If you also click on an underlined title, you can shop our edit, simple.
Hospital Bag for baby:
Bag - we love the Jem + Bea Weekender Frames as it makes the perfect size hospital bag for all your new arrivals gorgeous new things.
Babygrows - you'll probably need to pack 3-5 babygrows, so you have plenty of spares for any nappy explosions or feeding mishaps whilst you're in hospital.
Bodysuits - it can often be cold in hospitals so a bodysuit worn underneath the babygrow is ideal for newborns to keep their body temperature regulated.
Hat - pack at least one as this will help regulate the baby's temperature in their new environment.
Nappies - at least 10-20 nappies made especially for newborns, the hospital will have spares if you get caught short but it is normal for your newborn to go through 10-12 nappies a day.
Cotton Wool - newborns skin is too sensitive for wet wipes, so we recommend just using water and cotton wool for the first few weeks.
Swaddles - the midwives can teach you how to swaddle your baby so you can be a pro by the time you leave the hospital. Swaddling helps to calm a baby as it mimics the position they have slept in for the last 9 months.
Muslins - perfect for feeding and burping, these can help protect your clothing from any spills or sick-ups.
Going-home outfit - Consider the weather: a bodysuit, babygrow and hat could be fine during the warmer months, but in winter pack a pram suit as well.
Car Seat - not one for your hospital bag but equally as important to remember to take this to the hospital (we know people who have forgotten it), so make sure it is installed in the car correctly so it is ready to go. You can leave this one in the car until you are ready to go home.
Blanket - useful for keeping your little bundle of joy warm on the trip home.
Hospital Bag for mama:
Maternity Notes - you need to ensure you have your hospital maternity folder, this ensures the midwives have everything on hand to check your medical history throughout your pregnancy.
Birth Wish List (if you have one) - we don't really like the word 'Plan' as nothing in life ever really goes to plan and childbirth certainly doesn't, so think of it as a wish list and add a few points that you would like e.g. my partner to cut the cord, a water birth if possible. Print out a few copies, so the midwives have something to refer to, as then it's one less thing for you to worry about when you're in labour.
Slippers - hotel disposable slippers work wonders for this occasion, as you don't need to worry about how messy they could become and they're perfect for walking to and from the bathroom in.
Pillow - obviously this will be provided by the hospital, but you may like to take in your own pillow to make you more comfortable (anything for more comfort)
Phone Charger - This is an essential if you have created a playlist on your phone and are using it during your labour. You may also want your phone to capture the moment your precious bundle of joy arrives into the world, so running out of battery just isn't an option.
Eye Mask - the hospital ward can be bright, so in order to help you get any sleep post-delivery, an eye mask is an essential.
Button down pyjamas or night dress - these are ideal if you plan to breastfeed but no matter how you decide to feed, being comfortable is essential after you've given birth so choose loose fitting options of either to help you sleep better.
Underwear - THINK BIG, think Bridget Jones style. They do not need to be sexy, we repeat they do not need to be sexy, as you will want to feel comfortable and this is not the time to be trying to impress anyone (trust us).
Heavy Duty Maternity Pads - I was somewhat naive to think I'd only need one pack of these, I think I could've had shares in Boots by the end of my post-birth recovery, pack lots. It’s normal to bleed a lot after the birth, and maternity pads are softer, more absorbent and have less chemicals than standard ones.
Nursing or Maternity Bras - nursing bras are great if you are planning on breastfeeding as they clip open at the front to make feeding easier, but no matter what you choose you want to be comfortable. Especially when your milk comes through and you start to look more Pamela Anderson circa Baywatch days!
Toiletries - you don't want to forget toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, hairbands, towels, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face cleanser and toner, moisturiser and even make up if it's part of your daily routine. Anything to make you feel a little more human again post birth.
Clothes - again, lead with comfort, do not go packing your little black dress and your highest heels. Pack some leggings or loose fitting trousers with a drawstring waist and a comfortable top, you'll need these to wear during your hospital stay and an extra pair for travelling home.
Drinks and Snacks - it can be a long process and you need to keep your energy levels up in order to birth your baby, so pack some high-energy snacks like nuts and fruit and bottles of water or sugary drinks.
Finally, you'll also have to consider a bag for your birthing partner but hopefully they are big enough to pack this themselves, as you have enough to be thinking about, however, maybe pack it together, as they will need similar items to you.
Just remember, you've got this and with this checklist it will be one less thing to think about when your hospital bag is packed and well stocked. Good luck!