Packing your hospital bag is such a huge milestone in your pregnancy.
Packing your hospital bag is such a huge milestone in your pregnancy. You’ve read the articles and glanced at the list from the hospital but when the times comes to actually pack it can feel extremely surreal.
These are the actual items that you will be relying on when you are giving birth. Those are the actual clothes that your baby will be wearing. It makes it all feel very real and it’s hard to believe that the pregnancy is soon going to be coming to an end.
Until now the focus has been on being pregnant and now it is directed at actually helping this baby enter the world.
Some women like to pack their hospital bag well in advance. It is a matter of personal preference and we all have different levels of organisation that help us to feel comfortable. If you have intense work commitments or other children in the home you may simply have to take advantage of a block of free time that comes your way to get the task at hand done and dusted. It feels like a weight off your shoulders to tick that off the list.
In the case of multiples, your care team may suggest preparing your hospital bags at an earlier stage than the standard recommendation due to the possibility of the babies coming sooner which is very common when you are expecting twins or triplets. The same can be said for when a history of preterm labour is present.
In general though, most hospitals will suggest having your hospital bags packed and ready to go by your 36th week of pregnancy. You might spend the weeks leading up to that picking up bits and pieces before officially packing the bags so that they are ready to go on the big day. Your hospital should be able to provide you with a list of what is needed and expected for your hospital bag. There will usually be a list of what the mum needs and a separate list for what the baby needs.
This is my second baby so I had a pretty good idea of what I needed to pack this time around. However this time there was one major difference – I had my little boy to think about too. Packing the actual hospital bag for myself and the baby was not difficult. I had a list, I picked things up as I went along and I looked up various hacks and ideas to help it all fit more compactly. It was an easy and enjoyable experience.
One thing that was really adding stress for me was the lack of certainty around when the big day would happen. I kept thinking about my son and how the surprise and lack of notice might impact him. We have people ready and waiting but due to schedules, we don’t actually know who he will be staying with, when that will be and if it will involve him being moved during the night or collected from school for example. Realistically I cannot control those things.
There is one thing that I can control though and that is having HIS bag packed. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner but packing a bag for my son at this point (37 weeks pregnant) has taken away so much of that anxiety. It means that regardless of when things happen or who is taking him I know that mama bear has packed a bag for him and he will have everything he needs.
The idea of someone else packing up his things was filling me with anxiety. I know he would be fine but what if something important was forgotten?
And that my friends is the hack that I think makes all the difference for a mum of more than one child when packing your hospital bags. Pack a bag for your other children too. My hospital bag now sits in the hall ready and waiting for the big day and beside it resides a bag for my son which includes his favourite pyjamas, a couple of sets of clothes (and options for cold/warm weather), a new toothbrush, a couple of toys and a coat/shoes in case the person taking him doesn’t know where to find those.
I cannot tell you how much calmer this has made me feel and I highly recommend you do it too!