What’s the next best thing to finding out you are pregnant?
Getting to select adorable miniature outfits, setting up the nursery and…packing the bags!
It does not matter how many times one has had to pack those bags- it never fails to undo even the calmest of mothers.
What if I run out of clothes for the baby? Will the hospital take my baby away if I fail to pack enough clothes for him/her?
Should I pack just one more receiving blanket? Maybe throw in another night-outfit. And get another bag or repack as the bag looks more pregnant than me!
The packing and repacking continues to irate an otherwise pleasant task.
What exactly do you pack for the hospital?
Am I a bad mother for not knowing what I need? Where do they teach you all that? Surely this is more important than learning about where an ancient pharaoh is currently rotting away!
Having had my babies in two different countries and circumstances, I have finally come to a conclusion about the magical list.
It does not exist.
Unpredictability of life extends to the hospital bag requirements. You could take the safe option of packing every single thing you purchased and earn the silent curse of the one handling the bags or use a regular hospital list and add/remove items as you go. As with most parenting hacks, this is one of the sanest options.
3 or 4 outfits (ideally shirts that button down the front or nursing shirts and wide wraparound skirts)
3 or 4 night gowns that provide nursing access
10 dark coloured underwear
3 or 4 nursing bras
Maternity sanitary napkins or extra absorbent regular napkins
Hair brush and ties/clips or anything to keep the hair off the face
Gel based cologne (liquid is fine too)
Moisturiser (it doubles as massage lotion for your tired feet!)
Tooth brush and paste
Liquid body soap and shampoo (small bottles)
Oats based snacks (for milk production)
Dates (you need the energy)
A good book
Special tips for Muslim Mama’s who wish to maintain their Aura:
Pack one or two elastic caps that could cover your hair since any shawl you use is bound to come off your head at the most inappropriate time; pinning the shawl is not an option most of the time. This way your hair remains covered.
Make sure that whatever outfit you pick to pack covers as much of your aura as is medically allowed. Check your hospital policy as I was told to avoid full sleeves since it interferes with the needles.
10 full body suits that button down the front
10 short sleeved onesies or baby shirts(depending on the country)
Going home outfit
1 set of mittens/socks/cap
4 swaddling blankets
1 or 2 baby shawls, depending on the weather or air-conditioning
1 hand quilt(do not let the baby be held by anyone other than the new parents, without the barrier of a swaddle and hand quilt or suitable substitute)
New born diapers (large pack)
Baby products including a soft bristle hair brush
2 or 3 Hooded towels
THE Labour/Delivery bag
This is the bag that should be packed and safely hung by the door or stowed in the car from the moment you hit the 7th month. There is no legal nor medical reasoning; plain paranoia and the need to be ready for any instance is what prompted me to do this and never regret it. Take this bag wherever you go as one can never be too prepared.
All the medical records
One comfortable outfit for Mommy Bear
First outfit for Baby Bear (full body suit, cap and mittens)
Receiving blanket and swaddle cloth
Travel pack sized bottle of Zamzam water and dates for Tahneek
Something to listen during labour (Mishary Al Efasy’s Yasin recitation is highly recommended by yours truly)
*Use Ziploc bags to pack the baby’s things
** Wash and iron all new clothes
For Papa Bear
Ability to handle stress
Ability to not take offence at any hurtful statement blurted during labour
Something to gather his wits as he will come undone at the sight of the precious bundle
This list is merely intended as a guidance; please use your instincts to judge your requirements. When in doubt, consult your doctor/hospital and save Dr.Google for the final option.
Congratulations on the imminent arrival of your bundle of joy!