There is a huge amount of information on the internet what you should pack in a hospital bag for baby, when you should pack it, how much of what to pack and what not to pack at all. And although all helpful, I found when I was pregnant with Violet I struggled to find a decent source of information on Australian products, or at least products you could actually buy in Australia.
So, as an Australian mother about to have her second baby, here’s my list of essentials, things you’ll actually put to use and things you’ll definitely be able to buy here down under, whether it be in store or online. And if you’re not from Australia, these are all still products I’ve used and love so if you can get your hands on these things, do try!
This post could get quite long, so if you’re in a hurry, you’ll find the summary of each item in italics underneath my blabbing.
1. Nappies and Wipes
I thought it best to begin with the obvious. I can’t remember if the hospital supplied nappies when Violet was born, but even if they did it wasn’t many so you will NEED these (obviously). Generally they suggest at least one packet, two if you want to make extra certain you’ll have enough. When it comes to the type it really is personal preference, every baby responds differently to different types of nappies. Some babies have extra sensitive bottoms, but generally they all get a little rash from having a nappy on for the first time in their existence. I have Huggies Essentails packed for the moment, I’ve tried them with Violet and find them to be quite good quality, I’ve also packed the BabyLove wipes. But as I said, it really is just a case of seeing what works for your baby, I had Aldi Newborn nappies in Vi’s hospital bag and they worked just fine and I don’t remember which wipes I used. As long as they catch the poop and don’t fall apart you’re on the right track!
Pack at LEAST one packet of newborn nappies and a packet of wipes(whatever kind you want)
Now these the hospital DOES supply, so if you’re not fussed on what blanket your little one is wrapped in then you really don’t need to pack any. Personally I like to have a couple of different colours and patterns for photo reasons, and I also love the extra softness. I have two packed, a white waffle type from Designer Bebe in Bamboo Viscose, it feels absolutely heavenly, honestly can’t get enough! And the second is a cream and white striped blanket from Bubba Blue, one side has cute pink animals on it as well. It’s a little thicker, just in case the air conditioning in the hospital is a little cool and lets be real, it’s always overly cold in hospitals.
Pack blankets you like if you want, although the hospital will supply some
3. Singlets (x4)
These are a must in my opinion, new babies are used to the cosy warmth of inside our uterus so they do need a few extra layers to keep their body temperature normal. I’ve packed 4, I do believe they are the kmart brand, but I could be mistaken (they were a gift). Really any baby singlets will be just fine and newborn size is your best bet unless you’ve been advised otherwise, you can often purchase them in packs which is super handy for the hospital.
Pack at least 4 newborn singlets (newborn size)
4. Long Sleeved Onesies (x6)
Long sleeved onesies are also a must, for the reason previously stated. I have a real issue with decision making, hence why I’ve packed 6, but 4 would also suffice. The terry towelling onesies are absolutely excellent, I’ve packed 3, you’ll find them at a number of different stores from kmart to Best and Less and they’ll all be about the same quality. They’re just that little extra bit warm, plus I can’t get enough of the look of a newborn in a terry onesie. I’ve also got 3 non terries, because I can’t make decisions remember? ZIPS are your friend, I didn’t realise we only have ONE newborn onesie with a zip, but the more zip ones you can find the better (the buttons are from satan when its 3am and you can’t see properly because of how tired you are).
As for sizing, I found 0000 (4 zeros) perfect on Vi who was born 6lb 13oz (about the average size of a newborn), She also fit into 00000 (5 zeros) and wore a couple in the hospital, however I wouldn’t recommend purchasing any as they outgrow them within about a week. I have some packed but that is really only because I have them so I may as well use them. It’s also best to pack one or two 000 (3 zeros) just in case you have yourself a little chunker.
So to play it safe pack at least one 000 and a few 0000 long sleeved onesies, if you can, buy the ones with ZIPS!
5. Short Sleeved Onesies (x2)
These are definitely not 100% necessary. You’ll be wanting to keep bub as warm as you can, however on the off chance that the hospital is warmer than expected, I’ve chucked in two short sleeved onesies. It’s unlikely that bub will wear them, however she is an end of spring baby so I thought I’d better be safe. If anything she might wear one of these underneath a swaddle and a blanket, but likely not on its own.
Unlikely to be used, but two short sleeved onesies can be packed on the off chance the hospital is overly warm
6. Socks, Beanies and Mittens
Again for warmth reasons these are great to bring along. The long sleeved onesies should cover baby’s feet anyway so socks might not be 100% necessary, but they’re good to have. Mittens are also great, not necessarily because of the temperature but because little ones tend to unintentionally scratch their lovely little faces with their new found hands. And the beanie? It’s just a photo opp too cute to pass up. I have two pairs of socks, a beanie and a pair of mittens packed.
At least one pair of socks, a pair of mittens and a beanie are great to have.
This is definitely something I am doing differently this time around. When Vi was born, we only had the muslin swaddles, THIS time I’ll be packing three different types, one muslin, one Ergococoon and one Love to Dream. Babies wriggle, and often regular muslin swaddles have the tendency of coming undone when least convienient. We had the ergococoon when Vi was little but definitely didn’t use it as much as we could have, not because it wasn’t good, just because we had SO many muslin swaddles. Ergo has a little slit at the bottom for easy nappy changes and buttons at the top to keep their little arms in. Love to Dream swaddles are absolutely raved out here in Australia, I never purchased one when we had vi (because we had a million muslins) but they make swaddling extra easy with a ZIP! So naturally when I was gifted it (thanks Bri!) it went straight into the hospital bag pile.
You’ll want at least two swaddles if not more, and the style is totally up to you.
8. Bathtime basics
We weren’t in hospital long enough with Vi to bathe her there, but I liked having the products I preferred with me just in case. You’ll want gentle products intended for newborns, and it doesn’t really matter if you don’t end up using them because you will need them at home anyway. I have a few face washers packed as well as the Nature’s Child organic baby wash and some moisturiser. Hospitals can be fairly drying so moisture filled products are always ideal.
The hospital may supply the basics if you have to bathe baby there, however if you have a product preference then definitely consider packing it, as well as 2 or so face washers.
9. Burp Cloths/Hand Towels
We are lucky enough to have a super crafty nanny merele who is a whiz on the sewing machine. She whipped up these wonderful burp cloths for us before Violet was born. They’re treey toweling on one side and flannel on the other, I’m almost certain similar things can be purchased online, however a hand towel will do the exact same job. Babies can be a bit spewy, so its nice to have something covering your clothes just in case.
3 hand towels or burp cloths are super handy if you’re worried about getting spit-up on your clothes.
This is definitely a personal preference. I know some parents don’t use dummies with their little ones so you definitely don’t have to include these in your hospital bag if its not something you want for your child. We do use them, and they worked wonderfully with Vi, it could be completely different with this baby but I’ll pack them anyway. I like to stick to the natural rubber products for newborns, they give me a bit of piece of mind about what I’m putting into my babies mouth. The brands I have packed are Natural Rubber Soother and Hevea, lots of people commented on how ugly they look, but I think the big dummy tiny baby thing positively adorable.
Pack them if you want them, don’t pack them if you don’t want them, simples.
11. Butt Cream
Sensitive little baby bums aren’t used to nappies yet, so some nappy rash cream is good to have on hand. I have the Thankyou brand Nappy Balm packed as well as some paw paw cream, both are great for relieving those little rashes. Sudocrem is also amazing, I’ll be packing our big tub of that as well when I find it in amoungst all our moving boxes. I think the hospital may have supplied some sample sized creams when Violet was born, but every hospital varies so it’s definitely good to have on hand.
At least one type of nappy rash cream, Thankyou brand, Sudocrem and Paw-Paw cream are all great
12. The BAG
The centre of it all, the bag! You really don’t have to have anything fancy, anything big enough to fit the entirety of this list in it will work. I have friends that used duffel bags and even suitcases. My mum got me my nappy bag before Vi was born and it is just about the perfect size. It is one of the Colette by Colette Hayman baby bags, they go for about $80 but are definitely worth the investment, I’ll be continuing to use mine as it’s pretty much still in perfect condition after almost 2 years of use, plus I feel kind of chic when I use it, it is very pretty.
Anything big enough to fit everything in it works!
So that about sums up what I pack in the hospital bag for baby. I’m more than likely forgetting things (pregnancy brain right?). But for the most part these are all things I used with Violet in the hospital when she was born. Of course every birth and baby are different and depending on the length of your stay and how big your baby is born you may change some of the sizes and number of clothing items you take.
I pack a completely seperate bag for myself, just because it wouldn’t all fit in one bag. So my next post will be the Mama’s Edition. I hope this was somewhat helpful for someone out there!
If you’ve been there and done that, what are some products you recommend? I’m always on the look out for good item to take!
xo Emily @ LovingLittleOne