Hospital checklist: get ready for your new arrival
There’s nothing worse than feeling ill-prepared, but packing a hospital bag for baby needn’t seem like a daunting task if you know what to expect. Print a copy of our useful checklist to get ready for your new arrival.
Checklist for baby
• Two receiving blankets
• A lightweight swaddle blanket
• One pack of newborn disposable nappies
• Nappy cream
• Surgical spirits
• Cotton wool balls (use these instead of wet wipes)
• Baby soap and shampoo
• Four or six long-sleeved babygro
• A pack of muslin squares to mop up spills
• A nappy sack for used nappies
Labour: packing for mom
When deciding on how to prepare for a baby in hospital it’s imperative to take your comfort into consideration too. Here’s what you should be packing for the big day:
• Essential paperwork like a medical aid card and ID book
• Two copies of your birth plan
• T-shirts and a stretch shirt or vest
• A few pairs of comfortable underwear
• Slippers or non-slip socks
• Your dressing gown
• Your glasses or contact lens case
• Hairbands, headbands or a headscarf
• Face or body wipes
• A bag of toiletries
• Your tablet or smartphone and charger, and a pair of headphones
• A few of your favourite books or magazines
• A camera
• Your favourite and most comfortable pillow
Post-delivery goodies for mom
• A bag of maternity pads (steer clear of regular ones)
• Two bras that are suited for breastfeeding
• A few shirts that you can breastfeed in
• Nipple cream
• A bag of disposable panties
• A pair of maternity clothes to travel home in
• Bath towel and hair towel (or hair dryer if preferred)
• Breast pump
• A bag of cosmetics (your favourite perfume or eye cream, for instance)
Introducing your new baby to your toddler
Deciding what to pack for a hospital birth is imperative, but if you have another child it’s also equally important to decide on a strategy for them on the big day. It’s also worth laying down some guidelines for when you return home so that the transition is effortless and stress-free.
• Give your toddler a gift from their new sibling when you return home from hospital. They may be demanding at first but if you’re attentive they’ll soon settle down.
• If your eldest starts behaving differently, by asking for a dummy for example, remember that it is normal and don’t let it stress you out.
• Plan it so that you can read books to your child while feeding your baby.
• Always include your toddler – why not ask them to introduce visitors to their baby brother or sister, or to unwrap any presents that are received?
• Although a child shouldn’t be left alone with a newborn, allow your eldest to give their sibling some attention under your supervision.
• Turn off your phone when you are resting, and set limits for when visitors can pop in.
• Stick to your routine as much as possible, for your toddler’s sake as well as your own.
Quality time with your partner – NB
There are many things to remember on your checklist for baby, but don’t forget one of the most vital considerations of all – your partner.
• Get your partner to pack a bag for the big day too. It should contain things like a change of clothes, a cell phone or tablet charger, a book, magazines and a snack.
• Ensure they have lots of spare change for the vending machine.
• All the attention should be on you, but make your partner feel special by leaving a small gift on their pillow at home.
• When you’re back home, remember to make time for your partner and to share the duties – you are in this together and it’s vital to share every amazing (and hysterical) moment!
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