The closer you get to meet your baby, the more important it is to start packing a hospital bag.
Regardless of where you're planning to have your baby, it's a good idea to have your hospital bag ready by week 36 and have it in the car or in the hallway, ready to go when the time arrives. If you're planning on packing your hospital bag in the coming weeks or months here are some of the best hospital bag hacks we think every expectant mum should know:
Divide your bag.
The biggest lesson I learned after delivering my first baby was the art of organisation. Divide your hospital bag into four categories. You will need a section for labour, recovery, baby and going home.
Hospitals are cramped and space is limited. Make a list of essentials and try to not overload your bag with things you really don't need. A small suitcase or cabin bag with wheels should do the trick.
Don't forget about your birth partner.
Depending on how long labour goes, your partner may require a few things, such as a spare change of clothes, snacks and toiletries like a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.
This is a great hack. When you're putting your hospital bag together, pack everything you will need for your first shower in a zip lock bag so everything is ready to go. The same applies for babies outfits - pack a nappy, onesie, vest and a hat in a clear bag and mark it so you know what size clothes are inside.
Miniatures are your friend.
Free up room in your hospital bag with small bottles of toiletries you may need for your post-birth shower. You may also want to use reusable pots for things like moisturizer and the likes.
Have a mix of newborn and up-to one-month-old clothes for your baby. You won't know the true size of your baby until they are born and the last thing you will want is clothes that don't fit your baby.
Pack a comfy pillow with your own pillowcase, your favourite pair of slippers and an eye mask to help you nod off under the bright hospital lights. The hospital wards can be noisy at night time too, so earplugs are a must.
Feeling hot hot hot.
To keep cool, bring a mini battery-powered fan, a facecloth or a water spritzer. I promise you will thank us later.
Okay, technically this isn't packed but do make sure your baby's car seat it is fitted correctly in the car a few weeks in advance. Look up when Check It Fits will be in your area next and have your baby's car seat inserted by a professional free of charge.
Sports-top water bottle.
A must-have during labour to stay hydrated without pouring water all over yourself. Brownie points if it's a reusable water bottle with a spout.
A bag in a bag.
The chances are you will leave the hospital with more things than you went in with so bring an extra bag to hold all the extra things you acquire.
Other essential hospital bag hacks include bringing flip flops for the shower, a small bottle of dry shampoo if unable to shower, extra sanitary towels, a charger with an extended cord and of course, high waisted granny pants.