Nope, I’m not crazy to take a trip on a whim right now. But I’d be crazy if we are not on standby mode for our little one’s birth, which is anytime now! Thank goodness we’ve our hospital bag checklist to make preparations easy!
After weeks and months have swept us by, the last countdown to meet her is increasing our anxiety levels by leaps and bounds (or mine, at least). Have we bought XXX?? Did we get YYY?? Is ZZZ needed?? As we wait in anticipation for our newborn’s arrival, one of the most important things to prepare right now is the hospital bag!
When is the best time to prepare our bags for labour?
Personally, I’d recommend getting those hospital bags at least 90% ready by the time you’re full term at 36 weeks, pregnant mums! However, if you’ve been given heads-up that there might be early labour, or your gynaecologist has informed you of your Estimated Delivery Date (EDD), you should definitely prepare according to that timeline.
I’m thankful we packed early because B2 aka Leroy gave us a false alarm at 38 weeks! You can read my experience here!
If you’re delivering at Thomson Medical Centre, a Hospital Guide will be provided – also available here. For Mount Alvernia, you can refer here on what to bring. The various maternity hospitals in Singapore are well-prepared for such frequently asked questions from new parents-to-be, so do check the website of the hospital that you’ll be delivering at too!
My mama tips: Asking friends who have delivered at the same hospital as you would be helpful too, so you know exactly what will not be needed. Things that are additionally requested for are also chargeable. For e.g. maternity disposable underwear.
So, what should I pack in my hospital bag in anticipation for labour?
Here’s my hospital bag checklist which I used when packing my essential items before giving birth:
- Nursing 2-pc pyjamas (front-open types for easier breastfeeding)
- Nursing bras
- Bedroom slippers/flip flops
- Maternity sanitary pads –> my friend passed some half-opened ones, bringing them to request nurses not to open another brand new pack although it’s probably already paid for as part of the stay package.
- Polythene bags or wet bags (for soiled clothes)
- Disposable nursing pads, in case milk kicks in (I didn’t need them though but some new mums’ breastmilk kicked in early!)
- Maternity disposable underwear –> available at department stores, Giant etc.
- Breast pumps, if milk kicks in early, or, you’d like to pump or stimulate supply. Hospitals loan breast pumps too (Mt. Alvernia charges $20 (rates as of 2016) to rent during your hospital stay so do check with your maternity hospital), or you may leave yours at home if you’re planning to rent.
- Toiletries –> your own cleanser, moisturizer/cream or makeup.
- Mobile phone charger
- Fresh set of clothes to wear home (bring something loose and easy to don) –> just in case the set that was worn to check-in gets soiled since we have no clue how things may go till it happens!
- Nipple cream, because it’ll hurt during the initial days of breastfeeding
- Bottom spray (for those opting for natural birth, although the hospital is likely to provide alcohol and cotton balls)
- Cord blood kit (if you’ve already signed up with CordLife or StemCord)
- Socks, to keep your feet warm since you’ll be in a fully air-conditioned place for the first few days
What should I pack for the hospital for my new baby?
- A clean set of clothes for baby
- Baby’s mittens, socks/booties,
- Newborn’s hat –> although some hospitals may provide (e.g. Mt Alvernia states to bring your own baby clothes for discharge) and baby will be wrapped in a swaddle, it’s up to you if you prefer baby dressed in his/her own clothes. A friend reminds that the items should be passed to nurses so they can help prepare baby on day of checkout.
Other essential items that mummy may need: your spectacles, contact lens essentials, medication (check with your gynae), items for your elder child if he/she is visiting/staying over.
Now that the mum-to-be is more prepared, don’t forget about the anxious dad too! These items can help to comfort him as he enjoys his fave snacks while waiting for the arrival of his bundle of joy. We brought Dad’s Survival Kit into the delivery suite too when packing using my hospital bag checklist. Yes, he was chomping on biscuits and sipping coffee as the contractions went on. LOL! Much-needed fuel for him for when the time comes! :P
Dad’s Survival Kit – don’t forget to pack what daddy needs in the labour room and for his hospital stay with you too:
- Food/snacks e.g. biscuits, bread, tidbits, sweets
- Drinks e.g. instant coffee, tea bags, Milo (the hospital usually has a vending machine conveniently located for easy access – remember to bring coins!)
- iPad, books or any games for entertainment while waiting
- Camera –> won’t include video.. I mean, who’s gonna watch that scary tape again?! To each his own, though…
- Toiletries for the stay
- Fresh sets of clothes if he’s bunking in with you (maternity hospitals in Singapore charge additional fees for rooming-in after child delivery) for the next few days
- Pyjamas, like track pants as it gets cold with the air conditioning in the hospital
The administrative stuff that MUST be included in any hospital bag checklist:
- Hospital admission papers
- Yours and your husband’s identification cards
- Marriage certification (for registering baby’s birth in the hospital)
- Pre-delivery expense receipts (for claiming from Medisave, and to pass to the front liners to submit for you)
- Cord blood documentation
- Telephone numbers to Confinement Nanny, Massage Lady, confinement food delivery etc, so you can call them at the hospital to arrange the schedules.
- Documents for starting the Child Development Account (CDA)
My mama tips: I would encourage mums to let the hubby/another adult to take care of these administrative documents and arrangements, as there would be many things for you, the new mummy to be concerned about.
I’m blessed that the Hub did all that without hesitation. Thank you for being so understanding new daddy :)
To all new mummies and daddies, all the best for your delivery and remember to put on a smile to welcome your little ones into your world and arms! :D
P/S: We had both kids at exactly 40 weeks. HAHA. They’re extremely prompt, I must say! You may like to read my birth story of Vera here, and our birth story of Leroy (aka B2 because we didn’t know his gender till he popped haha!).
I hope my personal hospital bag checklist comes in handy for pregnant mums who are preparing for their baby’s delivery! Are there other items to add on for mummy, daddy or the newborn? Share them in the comments below!