At around 36 weeks of pregnancy it’s a good idea to get your Hospital Bag packed with all the things you will need for labour and the birth. If you are intending to have your baby at home you will still want to gather these things together so that they can be found easily when the time arrives.
When I had my babies it was recommended to pack two bags, one with items that you will need for the labour, and another with items that you and the baby will need during your stay at hospital. I must admit that both times I gave birth these were both completely mixed up by about half-way through labour!
This is no longer the advice, so just get yourself any bag you like that everything will fit into.
Your hospital or midwife should be able to provide you with a list of what you will need, as different hospitals will have their own requirements. Some hospitals will provide washable nappies during your stay and do not allow disposables to be used. Some prefer to provide formula milk themselves if you are not going to breastfeed.
It's a good idea to check your hospital's policy on mobile phone use. You may only be able to use your phone in specified areas of the hospital for example.
Finally be wary of taking anything of any financial value such as a good camera, tablet or laptop or a lot of cash. Sadly items are stolen in hospitals and if you are rushed off to theatre for a caesarean you won’t be able to take anything in with you.
Finally you will need a car seat if you are taking the baby home in a car; most hospitals will not let you leave until they have seen a baby car seat.
If that all seems too much you can get pre-filled maternity bags at Amazon.co.uk and My Hospital Bag which contain everything you need and have room for the things that you want to take as well. They are designed so that they can then be used as a changing bag once baby is born
Free Printable Hospital Bag Checklist We've left a few extra lines for you to add anything else that you want to take with you.
About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of eParenting.