DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links. This means after trying a particular product, I love it enough that I am willing to recommend it to others and the company will pay me a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you decide to purchase from my affiliate link. I will only recommend products and services that I have tried myself and love. Please click here for my full disclaimer.
Bringing a newborn home is both one of the most amazing things and daunting things you’ll do in your life. While you’re worried about how you are going to go with feeding, sleeping patterns and how a baby will impact your life after you leave the hospital, the hospital bag essentials for your baby is the last thing you need to worry about.
Whether you’re a first-time mum-to-be or a “repeat” Mum, having a list to refer to when you’ve got that third-trimester fatigue-induced brain fog I’ve rounded up the items that I thought were essential for the hospital bag for bub.
#1. A large reusable wet bag (or two)
You might think I’m crazy for this. Even if you don’t use cloth nappies, a large wet bag will be handy for storing all the dirty laundry when you get home. I read this tip on a Facebook page in the weeks before I gave birth and thought it was genius.
You probably already know this, but trust me, the last thing you want to be bothered with when you return home with a newborn is rummaging through bags for what’s dirty and what isn’t. You could even sort into what needs soaking before washing and separate your whites from darks.
You might think I’m crazy, but it saved a BUTT LOAD of time when I first got home from the hospital and I could just tip the contents of the bag into the washing machine.
You can get large wetbags quite cheap from eBay.
This is an obvious item that you need in a hospital bag for your infant, but how on earth do you pack for a baby you’ve never met? If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to err on the side of caution and be over-prepared for any situation you might find yourself in post-birth.
Here’s what I found to be sufficient for a 4 day stay in the hospital after having my daughter.
5 or 6 singlets and at least 5 or 6 bodysuits (short or long sleeve, depending on the season).
At least. Newborns require many changes of clothes. They spit up frequently, nappies can explode. You want enough clothes to last your entire hospital stay.
2-3 cotton blankets or specific swaddles.
Most hospitals in Australia will supply blankets but it’s always good to have blankets for the trip home from the hospital. Cotton blankets also make a good swaddle for your new baby.
I prefer the Love to Dream swaddles, but if you’re not up for spending $35 on a single swaddle (I get mine secondhand to save a couple dollars via eBay), then cotton blankets are definitely needed while you’re at the hospital.
3 pairs of socks and mittens
These are perfect for adding warmth if required for your baby. Have a few spare pairs in case of a longer than anticipated hospital stay.
2 cotton hats
Again, you want to make sure you can keep your bub warm if needed. You can always remove layers if it’s too warm. And those teeny-tiny baby hats hardly take up much room in your baby bag.
1 memorable outfit to take your baby home in
If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to take heaps of photos of your gorgeous newborn the day you bring them home, so make sure you have a memorable ‘going home’ outfit packed for that day.
If you don’t know where to start looking for the perfect outfit, start on Etsy, as they have some great options for both boys and girls and amazing unisex options if you’re waiting for their birth to find out the gender.
#3. At least 30 nappies and 2-3 packets of baby wipes.
You just don’t know what your newborn’s bowel and bladder schedule will be or how long you’ll be in the hospital for. And I can’t think of anything worse than running out of supplies during your stay.
You might think 30 is too many but if you’re in hospital for 5 days for a c-section (even if you don’t plan on a caesarean)who knows what labour and delivery will bring) and your baby required at least 6 changes a day (newborns eat and poop A LOT), you might even need your partner to bring more nappies to the hospital.
Optional items that may be useful to pack for your newborn
Bottles and formula if your hospital doesn’t provide them and you plan on formula feeding.
Ask your hospital if they have facilities to clean the bottles during your stay as this may limit the number of bottles you require.
Even though I swore black and blue during pregnancy that I’d never use a dummy, my mum snuck them into the bag and then two days in, I caved and used one for my daughter to settle her while we were in the hospital and walking to settle a child was difficult after my c-section. They were good to have on hand. You can see all my other parenting expectations that were completely contradicted once my daughter actually arrived here.
A baby carrier.
One of the best ways to settle a newborn who isn’t used to being outside the comfort of your body is to wear them on your chest where it is close and warm. A ring sling or stretchy wrap is best for newborns, provided they meet the minimum weight requirements.
This is the bare minimum that I packed for my daughter, on the advice of both my mum and aunt. Do you have any other items that were essential for your newborn at the hospital? Make sure you check out my post on what items are essential to pack for yourself during your hospital stay.